Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.
He's dark. He's powerful. He's a bit unhinged. He commands armies but whines in his room to the mutilated helmet of his dead grandfather he never knew. Kylo Ren is the synthesis of the broodiness of Anakin Skywalker and the ominousness of Darth Vader. His backstory is both tragic and mysterious. Originally conceived of as “the Jedi killer,” he leads the Knights of Ren and uprooted Luke’s Jedi academy by either converting or killing his classmates. We want to see him succeed and do the right thing, but it's hard to hope for the best after he eliminated one someone who felt like family to us—his own father, Han Solo.
The magic of what makes Kylo Ren work is exactly this dilemma and so much more. When he was introduced to fans in the months leading up to Episode VII, reactions varied. Some complained about the crackling crimson cross-hilt lightsaber. Others marveled. Some said the mask was derivative of Darth Revan. Resoundingly, it was hard not to think the obvious: it's a cool character design, but how will he compare to the single most legendary villain in the history of pop culture, Darth Vader? As it turns out, this was front-and-center in the minds of the filmmakers as well. For Kylo Ren himself, this represents his single greatest doubt. In one of the quieter moments of The Force Awakens, he voices his indecision and his "pull to the light." This culminates in Rey turning the tables on her interrogator in the movie's second half, reading Ben Solo's mind and giving words to what we were all thinking, "You're afraid that you'll never be as strong as Darth Vader!" Therein lies the stroke of brilliance. Kylo dreads being a pretender. He wants to establish himself as a true dark side powerhouse, but standing in the way is the Resistance, Rey, his own inner doubts, his parents, and his master, and even his own legacy.
Kylo Ren’s story is truly one of the most compelling elements of the Sequel Trilogy. He had a tragic turn to the dark side involving a perceived betrayal by his parents and some sort of manipulative targeting from Supreme Leader Snoke. There’s still so much of his story yet to be explored. But The Last Jedi gave us a series of flashbacks show his rocky relationship with his uncle, Luke. His agenda is hard to pinpoint, exactly. On the one hand, he wants to prove himself and establish his evil prowess, but on the other, he doesn’t follow a traditional villainous trajectory. He eliminated his own master, Snoke, and invited Ray to join him in ruling the galaxy. At the end of Episode VIII, he becomes the new Supreme Leader of the First Order, but has he truly erased his pull to the light?
While the wealth of Kylo Ren stories are yet to be told (an exciting idea!), here are a few recommendations. He will feature most prominent in an upcoming mini-series from none other than Charles Soule, The Rise of Kylo Ren. The author described it as “from Ben to Ren.” It looks to tell the story of leaving Luke’s Jedi academy and becoming the villain we love to hate. You’ll also want to check out two recently released comics in the Age of Resistance series, Snoke #1 in particular, for a young Ben being trained by the Supreme Leader in the dark side cave on Dagobah. Empire’s End shows baby Ben. Bloodline features Leia in the expanse between ROTJ and TFA, with glimpses at how an adolescent Ben might receive the surprise news that Darth Vader was his grandfather. We’re not willing to let the past die with Kylo, not yet anyway. Additional recommendations if you’re a fan of Kylo Ren’s persona include a taste of Soule’s best comics writing in his Darth Vader series, a tour of the dark side with Darth Plagueis, an ambitious and eager-to-prove-himself Darth Maul in Shadow Hunter, and Jacen Solo’s first steps down the dark path in Legacy of the Force: Betrayal. We’re anxious to see what the future holds for Kylo, but there’s plenty to read in the meantime.
Our team is hard at work building out this collection. Stay tuned!
Books in this Collection
When a common foe from Han and Lando's past shows up on the latter's doorstep, the recent hero of the Rebellion and new father to Ben Solo must rush off once more to save both his friend and possibly, the entire galaxy.
Last Shot uniquely employs a number of different eras throughout the novel, and while jumping between time periods, we get to experience Han, Lando, L3-37 and more at various points in time, allowing us to witness the maturation and evolution of our favorite characters right before our eyes.
With a host of new characters right alongside the classics, including a villain that can't help but terrify all those who encounter him, Last Shot is an essential addition to the Han Solo story.
It’s one of the galaxy’s most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren’t your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcon tries to claim the elusive prize—first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device’s creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn’t interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge. . . .
It’s been ten years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn’t given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han’s doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s Fyzen’s assassins that he’s running from. And without Han’s help, Lando—and all life on Cloud City—will be annihilated.
With the assistance of a young hotshot pilot, an Ewok slicer prodigy, the woman who might be the love of Lando’s life, and Han’s best and furriest friend, the two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They’ll have to journey across the stars—and into the past—before Gor uses the device’s power to reshape the galaxy.
Age Of Resistance: Kylo Ren
The Rise of Kylo Ren: (Trade Paperback)
Age Of Resistance: Supreme Leader Snoke
After the fall of the Empire, the Senate is split into the Populist and Centrist parties. Both profess the goal of restoring the Republic, though they are unable to set aside their opposing views. Tired of the pointless bickering within the Senate, Leia takes on one final mission before retiring. However, the mission proves to be bigger than she originally thought, inducing chaos and unveiling corruption.
Leave it to Claudia Gray to make politics exciting with action and drama! Bloodline is also an excellent gateway into the sequel trilogy, making this an essential read for fans interested in that era.
WITNESS THE BIRTH OF THE RESISTANCE
When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.
Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy—from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.
As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing. . . .
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Alan Dean Foster brings his fantasy and sci-fi storytelling experience to Star Wars canon for the first time in his adaption of the highly-anticipated 2015 film The Force Awakens.
The official novelization of the film expands upon the events shown onscreen, giving readers the chance to see the Resistance engage in battle with the First Order from the unique points of view of different characters. Whether you’re a fan of Rey, Poe, Finn, or a combination of figures old and new, this book will take you on a journey across the galaxy you’ll not soon forget.
More than thirty years ago, Star Wars burst onto the big screen and became a cultural phenomenon. Now the next adventures in this blockbuster saga are poised to captivate old and new fans alike—beginning with the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And alongside the cinematic debut comes the thrilling novel adaptation by New York Times bestselling science fiction master Alan Dean Foster.
Set years after Return of the Jedi, this stunning new action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters. Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges.
So return to that galaxy far, far away, and prepare yourself for what happens when the Force awakens. . . .
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
Jason Fry gets the honor of continuing Star Wars’s rich history with novel adaptation. In particular, his novelization shines in adding additional material to enhance the story in written form, such as Luke’s Force vision introduction and re-insterting deleted scenes from the film–even Rey’s third lesson! The novel allows us to get an inside look at certain characters such as BB-8 during the space battle over D’qar. Reading the novel of Episode Eight will allow you to soak up the story like never before, taking your time with the characters and getting the story from all-new perspectives.
Written with input from director Rian Johnson, this official adaptation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi expands on the film to include scenes from alternate versions of the script and other additional content.
From the ashes of the Empire has arisen another threat to the galaxy's freedom: the ruthless First Order. Fortunately, new heroes have emerged to take up arms—and perhaps lay down their lives—for the cause. Rey, the orphan strong in the Force; Finn, the ex-stormtrooper who stands against his former masters; and Poe Dameron, the fearless X-wing pilot, have been drawn together to fight side-by-side with General Leia Organa and the Resistance. But the First Order's Supreme Leader Snoke and his merciless enforcer Kylo Ren are adversaries with superior numbers and devastating firepower at their command. Against this enemy, the champions of light may finally be facing their extinction. Their only hope rests with a lost legend: Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.
Where the action of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended, Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins, as the battle between light and dark climbs to astonishing new heights.
Featuring thrilling photos from the hit movie.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker - Expanded Edition
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 1 (Trade Paperback)
From acclaimed writer Charles Soule comes a brand-new, exhilarating series exploring Darth Vader's early history. Picking up directly where Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ends, follow Vader as he receives his legendary red lightsaber and witness Vader's rise to power as a Dark Lord of the Sith!
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
Throughout the galaxy, it was believed that Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker–the Chosen One–had died on Coruscant during the siege of the Jedi Temple. And, to some extent, that was true. Anakin was dead.
From the site of Anakin Skywalker’s last stand–on the molten surface of the planet Mustafar, where he sought to destroy his friend and former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi–a fearsome specter in black has risen. Once the most powerful Knight ever known to the Jedi Order, he is now a disciple of the dark side, a lord of the dreaded Sith, and the avenging right hand of the galaxy’s ruthless new Emperor. Seduced, deranged, and destroyed by the machinations of the Dark Lord Sidious, Anakin Skywalker is dead . . . and Darth Vader lives.
Word of the events that created him–the Jedi Council’s failed mutiny against Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the self-crowned Emperor’s retaliatory command to exterminate the Jedi Order, and Anakin’s massacre of his comrades and Masters in the Jedi Temple–has yet to reach all quarters. On the Outer Rim world of Murkhana, Jedi Masters Roan Shryne and Bol Chatak and Padawan Olee Starstone are leading a charge on a Separatist stronghold, unaware that the tide, red with Jedi blood, has turned suddenly against them.
When the three narrowly elude execution–and become the desperate prey in a hunt across space–it’s neither clone soldiers, nor the newly deployed stormtroopers, nor even the wrath of the power-hungry Emperor himself they must fear most. The deadliest threat rests in the hideously swift and lethal crimson lightsaber of Darth Vader–behind whose brooding mask lies a shattered heart, a poisoned soul, and a cunning, twisted mind hell-bent on vengeance.
For the handful of scattered Jedi, survival is imperative if the light side of the Force is to be protected and the galaxy somehow, someday reclaimed. Yet more important still is the well-being of the twin infants, Leia and Luke Skywalker, the children of Anakin and his doomed bride, Padmé Amidala. Separated after Padmé’s death, they must be made safe at all costs, lest the hope they represent for the future be turned to horror by the new Sith regime–and the unspeakable power of the dark side.
This is the era of Luke Skywalker's legacy; the Jedi Master has unified the order into a cohesive group of powerful Jedi Knights. But as the new era begins, planetary interests threaten to disrupt this time of relative peace, and Luke is plagued with visions of an approaching darkness. Evil is rising again—out of the best intentions—and it looks as if the legacy of the Skywalkers may come full circle. Honor and duty will collide with friendship and blood ties as the Skywalker and Solo clans find themselves on opposing sides of an explosive conflict with potentially devastating repercussions for both families, for the Jedi order and for the entire galaxy.
When a mission to uncover an illegal missile factory on the planet Adumar ends in a violent ambush—from which Jedi Knight Jacen Solo and his protégé and cousin, Ben Skywalker, narrowly escape with their lives—it's the most alarming evidence yet that sparks of political unrest are threatening to ignite into total rebellion. The governments of numerous worlds are chafing under the strict regulations of the Galactic Alliance, and diplomatic efforts to enforce compliance are failing. Fearing the worst, the Alliance readies a preemptive display of military might in a bid to bring the rogue worlds to heel before an uprising erupts. The designated target of this exercise: planet Corellia—renowned for the brash independence and renegade spirit that have made its favorite son, Han Solo, a legend.
Something of a rogue himself, Jacen is nevertheless duty bound as a Jedi to stand with his uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, on the side of the Galactic Alliance. But when the wary Corellians launch a counterstrike, the Alliance's show of force—and a secret mission to disable Corellia's crucial Centerpoint Station—give way to an armed skirmish. Once the smoke clears, the battle lines are drawn. Now the specter of full scale war looms between a growing cadre of defiant planets and the Galactic Alliance that some fear is becoming a new Empire. And even as both sides struggle to find a diplomatic solution mysterious acts of treachery and sabotage threaten peace efforts at every turn.
Determined to root out those behind the mayhem, Jacen follows a trail of cryptic clues to a dark rendezvous with the most shocking of revelations—while Luke grapples with something even more troubling: dream visions of a shadowy figure whose Force power and ruthlessness remind him of Darth Vader—a lethal enemy who strikes like a dark spirit on a mission of doom. An agent of evil who, if Luke's visions come to pass, will bring untold pain to the Jedi Master—and to the entire galaxy.
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It's a sprawling tale that establishes several important origin stories for characters fans know well. Readers learn how Plagueis seduced Palpatine to the dark side and how their alliance led to the Sith apprentice’s ultimate betrayal of his master. This is how darkness truly began to rise.
Darth Plagueis: Like all Sith Lords before him, he craves absolute power. But like no Sith Lord ever, he possesses the ultimate power—over life and death.
Darth Sidious: In secret he masters the power of the dark side, while publicly climbing to the highest government office.
One desires to rule supreme; the other dreams of living forever. Together, they will destroy the Jedi and rule the galaxy. Unless merciless Sith tradition becomes their undoing. . . .
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
Plans for the Trade Federation’s blockade of Naboo is at risk of being compromised, so Darth Sidious sends his skilled apprentice to Coruscant to take care of the problem. Completely loyal to his master, Darth Maul vows to crush any threat that is prone to delivering their secret agenda to the Jedi.
Shadow Hunter is a spectacular display of a Sith apprentice’s devotion to their master. Darth Maul had been trained by Darth Sidious since he was a child, and it shows in the way he hunts his prey and fuels on his anger to finish the job.
For the infamous, power-hungry Sith, beholden to the dark side, the time has come to rise again.
After years of waiting in the shadows, Darth Sidious is taking the first step in his master plan to bring the Republic to its knees. Key to his scheme are the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation. Then one of his Neimoidian contacts disappears, and Sidious does not need his Force-honed instincts to suspect betrayal. He orders his apprentice, Darth Maul, to hunt the traitor down.
But he is too late. The secret has already passed into the hands of information broker Lorn Pavan, which places him right at the top of Darth Maul’s hit list. Then, in the labyrinthine alleyways and sewers of Coruscant, capital city of the Republic, Lorn crosses paths with Darsha Assant, a Jedi Padawan on a mission to earn her Knighthood. Now the future of the Republic depends on Darsha and Lorn. But how can an untried Jedi and an ordinary man, stranger to the powerful ways of the Force, hope to triumph over one of the deadliest killers in the galaxy?