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#1 Edited by darthbane77 (2114 posts) - - Show Bio

Now that "The Force Awakens" has launched, I want to talk about where Kylo Ren ranks among the pantheon of Dark Side users seen in the films, shows, and Expanded Universe properties. I'll give my opinions, and you all feel free to say what you guys think as well.

Force Powers: Kylo Ren only used three Force powers in the film. Dominate Mind, Telekinesis, and Force stun. Kylo appears to be well practiced in all of these abilities, being especially skilled in the Force Stun ability and Dominate Mind. His combative application of the Force seems rather limited though, as he doesn't really use any of his abilities in combat, only before combat is instigated. He has an unimpressive list of powers, though he can use them very effectively.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=802uDCTIopo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlT-sJLfCPU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpgmDkiRuBU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWF0f183tSA,

Connection to the Force: Kylo Ren is obviously a powerful Force user, every time he uses the Force it is extremely effective (except for when he attempts to dominate Rey's will). His application of Force Stun is incredibly powerful, as he's capable of completely immobilizing his target and even stopping blaster bolts in mid-air. His ability to easily dominate a person's will is impressive at the least, and his Force Pushes seem to be very powerful (he easily launched Rey backwards a good 10 to 20 feet). It seems that, while he doesn't have many powers at his disposal, he is extremely skilled in using the ones that he does know. It's obvious that his connection to the Force is incredibly powerful.

“An incredible power, an incredible force, and incredible potentialthat was, like many young people, sort of misguided and unclear. And the story for him is one of conflict, not just internal conflict but external conflict. And it’s what makes him a rather interesting villain.”

Interview with J.J. Abrams

"Kylo Ren has a lifetime of training and practice, is one of the most powerful combatants in the history of Star Wars, and is the leader of the Knights of Ren."

StarWars.com

“When next Snoke spoke there was an intimacy in his voice, a familiarity that stood sharp in contrast to the commanding tone he had used with Hux. “I have never had a student with such promise—before you.” Ren Straightened. “It is your teachings that make me strong, Supreme Leader.”

Snoke demurred. “It is far more than that. It is where you are from. What you are made of. The dark side—and the light. The finest sculptor cannot fashion a masterpiece from poor materials. He must have something pure, something strong, something unbreakable, with which to work. I have—you.” He paused, reminiscing. “Kylo Ren, I watched the Galactic Empire rise, and then fall. The gullible prattle on about the triumph of truth and justice, of individualism and free will.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

Durability: Kylo Ren is incredibly durable as well, capable of tanking shots from Chewbacca's bowcaster. The bowcaster, as seen earlier in the film, was capable of sending Stormtroopers flying backwards several feet. At one point a Stormtrooper hit by the bowcaster hit the wall behind him so hard that the wall, as well as part of his armor, shattered where he impacted. Here is a link for reference (I couldn't find the example I was looking for, but this one works just as well.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT4z5dHJCVw

Lightsaber Skills: Many people are quick to point out that Kylo is a poor lightsaber duelist, that is simply not the case. For the whole of their duel, Ren was pushing Rey back; dominating the fight. Keep in mind, that he was wounded while doing so; and he was trying to convert Rey, not kill her. His performance against Finn is also something good to point out, as Finn was a practiced hand at melee combat; and even while wounded, Ren was able to easily dispatch him. Ren is obviously not a great lightsaber master, far from the same caliber as his inspiration, Darth Vader; but he is still a competent duelist. I would say that Ren is probably about the same level as TPM Obi-Wan Kenobi or Johun Othone as a duelist, skilled but not excellent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWF0f183tSA

Personality: Ren is very quick to anger, as seen several time throughout the film. While it's common for Dark Side users to draw on their anger to fuel their power, it's almost always controlled. There are very few Sith, even in the EU, that go into blind fits of rage due to a failure or just getting angry; and those that do still have the skill to stay alive, Ren doesn't seem to have that needed skill. This is another thing that I believe works against Ren, as going into a frenzy can expend energy; against almost any opponent, this would be near fatal.

Overall I think Kylo Ren is competent but not entirely on a true Sith's level. I'd say he's around an average Sith Warrior, such as some of the lesser Sith of Vitiate's Empire. Powerful and skilled, but no threat to any Jedi Master or high end Jedi Knight of note. However, Ren is more than capable of being able to defeat the average Jedi Master.

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#2 Edited by Holocron24 (696 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree.

But he's not Maul level, Darth Maul would almost certainly dominate him in a duel although he's definitely the superior telekinetic and force user but in a duel he won't beat Maul and I doubt he can ragdoll someone of Mauls Calibre which would have otherwise been his only way of defeating him...

As of 'The Force Awakens', I believe in terms of his duelling proficiency he's about Kanan level although in a duel between the two I'd back Ren due to his vastly superior telekinetics and the strength/speed that his strong force potential/connection would grant him

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#3 Posted by the_stegman (40245 posts) - - Show Bio

Dude almost got beat by Finn... Even if he was hurt, that's pretty bad feat wise.

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#4 Posted by gamiz7 (1396 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the purpose of kyloren fighting like that is that is suppose to resemble the original trilogy ,to be more magic knight and not a ninja samurai

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#5 Posted by Obi_Wan__ (809 posts) - - Show Bio

does nobody remember when kylo stops a blaster bolt that was pretty cool

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#6 Posted by gamiz7 (1396 posts) - - Show Bio
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#7 Posted by Havenless (3109 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the Finn fight reflected his injury, his struggle with the light side, and how he handles his anger. All of the scenes he's doing something dominant, he is calm. But like when he's trying into get Rey's head, she pushes back and he gets upset and loses his grip a little.

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#8 Edited by Heinrich7 (541 posts) - - Show Bio

Ren was Injured, and was struggling with his idenity. Finn was nowhere close to defeating him even with those factors. He was even able to give Rey a run for her money after all he went through.

That said, he isn't Maul level. But I believe he's going to grow much more powerful soon. His Force feats are pretty good though, Ren shows immense command of the force. It's his Lightsaber skills that need work IMO.

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#9 Edited by TheHeat (712 posts) - - Show Bio

@obi_wan__: That was pretty awesome. Symbiote Spider-Man would kick his ass though.

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#10 Edited by JediXMan (42744 posts) - - Show Bio

He's certainly below Maul, based on what we've seen.

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#11 Edited by Heinrich7 (541 posts) - - Show Bio

@gamiz7: This is true. Real Sword Fighting is much less flashy because you're not trying to tap swords with your opponent, you're trying to hit their limbs/torso.

Prequel fights were much more focused on hitting the Lightsabers then the duelist themselves. Not to mention they had a ton more of parkour and spins, of which you want to not do in combat realistically. IMO fights are more about the characters identities than the physical combat. But that's just me, I'm an original trilogy guy.

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#12 Posted by Spector_Rand (3946 posts) - - Show Bio

I feel you need to consider the conditions when looking at the final fight.

He was clearly fighting against himself. Nearly all

Of his dialogue can be seen as him talking to "Ben". There was a definite internal battle going on. What's more, the movie went to some length to establish that he was injured badly before the fight.

I think we'll get a true sense of where he is in the next films, especially since his training will continue.

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#13 Posted by JediXMan (42744 posts) - - Show Bio

@gamiz7: This is true. Real Sword Fighting is much less flashy because you're not trying to tap swords with your opponent, you're trying to hit their limbs/torso.

Prequel fights were much more focused on hitting the Lightsabers then the duelist themselves. Not to mention they had a ton more of parkour and spins, of which you want to not do in combat realistically. IMO fights are more about the characters identities than the physical combat. But that's just me, I'm an original trilogy guy.

To be fair, when dealing with characters who have superhuman abilities and a degree of precog, realistic swordsmanship can just go right out of the window.

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#14 Edited by Heinrich7 (541 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman: Very true indeed, I think it's more of J.J staying more true to the Original Trilogy though.

I want to see where the other two directors take it.

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#15 Posted by JediXMan (42744 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman: Very true indeed, I think it's more of J.J staying more true to the Original Trilogy though.

A little too much, if you ask me.

I want to see where the other two directors take it.

Agreed.

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#16 Edited by Heinrich7 (541 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman: I agree with you there too. I mean I like this movie a lot(It's better than the prequels IMO). But I felt something in the back of my conscience saying "It's playing it too safe". I mean I tried to suppress it, but I'll admit it borrows too much from the OT, not just in terms of fights. After my second viewing I think I'll permanently think this way.

I would've liked to see something reminiscent of the NJO era, Jedi rebuilding and having a revised code made by Luke himself. Instead of the Hero coming from the lower end of society. I mean don't get me wrong some things in the EU I don't care for(Like The Emperor coming back). But it explored what was "Out there" in the Star Wars Universe. Not just "Light Side vs Dark Side".

I could be wrong though, but I'll guess that Luke will be the mentor figure(Yoda/Ben) of the next film. Again, this is up to the directors, but if they did something like the full exploration of the Light and Dark side and why people go down their respective routes, I'd love that. I mean Jolee Bindo was what I loved most about KOTOR, he saw the issues the Jedi had, while still seeing the twisted nature of the Dark Side.

Again, this is just my opinion, but I wanna see a new side of Star Wars in film format. But I feel Executives over at Disney may be saying "Don't make OT fans angry, follow a familiar formula".

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#17 Posted by DonatelloRawks (1324 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess there were a few reasons for Kylo Ren's "weak showings".

1. He was weakened from previous injuries

2. He was struggling with himself, the good vs evil thingy

3. This movie is the start of a new trilogy, as a writer, you don't want to pull out the most impressive stunts yet

4. Another not too obvious point is that the Jedi/Sith knowledge of the Force is probably dying out as the time goes by. Few survive to pass on the knowledge required to go on a higher level of power.

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#18 Posted by darthbane77 (2114 posts) - - Show Bio

I compared Kylo Ren to Maul because they're basically opposites of each other. Ren has no skill in lightsaber combat and Maul has no skill in the Force really. I do agree with Holocron24, his saber skills are only around a padawan's level, unless his apparent lack of skill was due to his wounds (which I highly doubt).

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#20 Posted by modsbehating (543 posts) - - Show Bio
No Caption Provided

"loses all skills and ability when facing wanna be Jedi not even wanna be Jedi just some punks who found a light saber" i dont think ray even used it before then

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#21 Posted by Obi_Wan__ (809 posts) - - Show Bio

@theheat: i dont doubt that spider man would beat ren but ive seen nobody mention that so i thought i would

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#22 Posted by Fallschirmjager (23432 posts) - - Show Bio

Even if injured, there's no way a proper Jedi or Sith would lose to two people who've barely held a lightsaber.

The fact that he KO'd Rey with a force push initially but lost overall speaks to some PIS involved, but still. He's not much of a battle character after just 1 movie.

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#23 Edited by Erkan12 (8435 posts) - - Show Bio
@darthbane77 said:

I compared Kylo Ren to Maul because they're basically opposites of each other. Ren has no skill in lightsaber combat and Maul has no skill in the Force really. I do agree with Holocron24, his saber skills are only around a padawan's level, unless his apparent lack of skill was due to his wounds (which I highly doubt).

You're forgetting that Kylo failed to pull a lightsaber from an untrained Rey's force pull. That was pathetic.

No Caption Provided

Beating a non-force sensitive being with the force, and stopping a blaster bolt isn't better than using a combative force attack in mid-duel against a highly trained Jedi and surviving from being cut in half due to his superior dark side powers.

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#24 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthbane77: Not maul level though. Maul is one of the most dangerous siths.

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#25 Edited by InFamous_Wolf (1427 posts) - - Show Bio

As badass as I think Kylo Ren is, he isn't anywhere near Darth Maul level. He is a powerful force user, but his swordsmanship....is lacking. Him being injured is hardly an excuse to struggle with two people with zero lightsaber training. I do look forward to see how strong he will be after he completes his training tho.

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#26 Posted by i_like_swords (26231 posts) - - Show Bio

It's disturbing that none of you responded violently to the idea Maul isn't a "true Sith" and has "no skill in the Force". That's about as close to pure horseshit manifesting in text as you can get.

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#27 Posted by Penderor (5561 posts) - - Show Bio

Now that "The Force Awakens" has launched, I want to talk about where Kylo Ren ranks among the pantheon of Dark Side users seen in the films, shows, and Expanded Universe properties. I'll give my opinions, and you all fell free to say what you guys think as well.

Force Powers: Kylo Ren only used three Force powers in the film. Dominate Mind, Force Push, and Force stun. Kylo appears to be well practiced in all of these abilities, being especially skilled in the Force Stun ability. His combative application of the Force seems rather limited though, as he doesn't really use any of his abilities in combat, only before combat is instigated. He has an unimpressive lost of powers, though he can use them very effectively.

Connection to the Force: Kylo Ren is obviously a powerful Force user, every time he uses the Force it is extremely effective (except for when he attempts to dominate Rey's will). His application of Force Stun is incredibly powerful, as he's capable of completely immobilizing his target and even stopping blaster bolts in mid-air. His ability to easily dominate a person's will is impressive at the least, and his Force Pushes seem to be very powerful (he easily launched Rey backwards a good 10 to 20 feet). It seems that, while he doesn't have many powers at his disposal, he is extremely skilled in using the ones that he does know. It's obvious that his connection to the Force is incredibly powerful.

Lightsaber Skills: In my opinion this is where Ren drops the ball. His lightsaber skills seem sub-par to say the least, as he was struggling to overpower Rey (someone who has no prior experience using a weapon like the lightsaber). Even being outright defeated and incapacitated by her, though an argument could be made that Rey's powerful connection to the Force allowed her to react quickly enough to fight Ren off (this argument doesn't carry much weight however, as skill is still required to be good at using the weapon)

Overall I think Kylo Ren is competent but not entirely on a true Sith's level. I'd say he's around an average Sith Lord, such as Darth Maul or some of the lesser Sith Lords of Vitiate's Empire. Powerful and skilled, but no threat to a Jedi Master or high end Jedi Knight.

He never easily dominated anyone. Average Vitiate's Sith would have killed him.

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#28 Posted by WollfMyth209 (16817 posts) - - Show Bio

Kylo Ren? Darth Maul level? As of this time?

HA!!! ...No...

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#29 Posted by darthbane77 (2114 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly I'm just going on what we see in TPM and TCW. I didn't read much on Maul in the EU, until just recently. SO let me take back what I said, Maul would best Ren in a raw saber duel but in terms of Force power Maul isn't quite there (as Maul wasn't terribly strong in the Force, not weak but not strong either). Who do you think then, Kylo is close to?

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#30 Edited by Erkan12 (8435 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthbane77 said:

Maul would best Ren in a raw saber duel

You don't say ?

@darthbane77 said:

Who do you think then, Kylo is close to?

After losing a force pull contest to untrained Rey, it's hard to think of it.

@darthbane77 said:

as Maul wasn't terribly strong in the Force, not weak but not strong either

Except that Maul was strong in the force.

Palpatine : “I’m aware that the Jedi have been continuing to harass Trezza for creating assassins and proxy armies, so consider what might have happened had a Jedi been present during the exercise. A Jedi would not only have grasped that you are strong in the Force, but that you have received training in the dark arts, endangering my position.

(...)

She (Mother Talzin) appraised him. “Very revealing. A few moments ago I was thinking that I erred in coming so far and in risking so much to return you to your clan brothers. And yet I sense that you are strong in the Force.

Source : Darth Maul: Restraint

Darth Maul has an agility never before seen in Star Wars, this Zabrak was so strong with the Dark Side he survives being cut in two.

Source : Starwars. com / Databank

No Caption Provided

Obi-Wan Kenobi : I believe Maul's rage was so powerful, and his knowledge of the dark side so great, he simply refuse to die...

Source : The Clone Wars: The Sith Hunters

Mighella attempts to use an energized sword to stop Darth Maul, then surprises him with a burst of Force Lightning. A moment after Mighella realizes her opponent is a Sith Lord with far superior dark-side knowledge, she is felled by a lethal slash of Maul's lightsaber.

Source : The Ultimate Visual Guide (credit to zapan)

Maul leaves behind a powerful dark side energy, which is felt by Leia Skywalker even after decades.

No Caption Provided

-Shattered Empire 03

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#33 Posted by AlphaQ (6356 posts) - - Show Bio

Kylo level is still pretty unclear, he could well be Maul level, although he has done nothing to confirm or deny this yet.

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#34 Posted by darthbane77 (2114 posts) - - Show Bio

Just an FYI. My knowledge of Maul has been improved by a lot recently. I can safely say I was an idiot to think that Maul wasn't powerful; he'd stomp Kylo into the dust,

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#35 Posted by RedHeathen (2246 posts) - - Show Bio

"Personality: Ren is very quick to anger, as seen several time throughout the film. While it's common for Dark Side users to draw on their anger to fuel their power, it's almost always controlled. There are very few Sith, even in the EU, that go into blind fits of rage due to a failure or just getting angry. This is another thing that I believe works against Ren, as going into a frenzy can expend energy; against almost any opponent, this would be near fatal."

it is seen repeatedly in star wars, and is *almost* a requirement as manipulation of those emotions is how some masters lure their desired apprentices to the dark side. this topic is discussed in the reference book "beware the sith", if i remember correctly. if not that ref book, then another. then again, the eu has many, many more sith to use for examples as compared to canon, and this book only discusses canon sith.


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#36 Posted by kbroskywalker (13408 posts) - - Show Bio

@holocron24: I think with some training , him being a skywalker would put him near the top

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#37 Posted by kbroskywalker (13408 posts) - - Show Bio

@yousufkhan1212: snoke is completely wrong about that. The deathstar was going to explode regardless of how vader v luke played out, and the empire was still going to be crippled.

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#38 Posted by kbroskywalker (13408 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthbane77: He would due to dueling, but i doubt maul stomps a skywalker in force power, even one with little training

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#39 Posted by darthbane77 (2114 posts) - - Show Bio

@kbroskywalker: Maul doesn't stomp in terms of raw power no, but raw power is irrelevant if the Force user can't use it properly. Look at Luke Skywalker, his raw power at the time of TESB was far beyond Vader's; yet Vader roflstomped him. It's all about the ability to properly use their power, not who has more.

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#40 Posted by kbroskywalker (13408 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthbane77: What little we have seen shows he has skill. For example holding a blaster bolt still while engaging in a conversation is something only top force users can do. I think his problem isn't his force skill, its that he struggles applying it in a duel, hence why the likes of kenobi and maul would stomp in a duel.

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#41 Edited by RedHeathen (2246 posts) - - Show Bio

@kbroskywalker:

as far as raw power goes, no, maul isn't beaten by a skywalker. Beware the Sith , an old canon reference book on the sith (nota game book), regarding canon sith apprentices - comparing the apprentices of darth sidious in a section that simply described how sidious chose his apprentices - it is stated that maul has more raw power.

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#42 Posted by kbroskywalker (13408 posts) - - Show Bio

@redheathen: Well beware the sith is wrong. The skywalker's are the force(in other words god)'s kids. And if it actually calls maul more powerful than the son of the force, then it clearly knows squat about star wars

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#43 Edited by RedHeathen (2246 posts) - - Show Bio

@kbroskywalker: so much for star wars published books, and it doesn't say maul is more powerful in the force. don't let you emotions control you. :) there is a difference in these terms, so just remember that and use logic getting through this stuff. i do agree with you that there is no way that maul could ever beat either vader or luke, and we also know that maul knows this from the season 2 finale of rebels because maul ... i think... says this. if he doesn't outright say it then we know he is purposefully trying to avoid vader.

also, i guess it depends on anyone's definition of god, but yes, from the canon mortis arc, we know that anakin was as powerful as the father. i am not up to speed on grand master luke, but from what i've read, which could be wrong, if anakin wouldn't have been burned and lost ~80% of his body on mustafar, then he'd be more powerful than luke. that isn't the case though, and luke has all these super abilities.

i think that the star wars franchise allowed books, novels and reference, to get out of hand as we have a huge amount on inconsistency in the eu and old canon.

edit - btw, i agree with some of what you said. i just like pointing out facts even if they are inconsistent.

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#44 Posted by kbroskywalker (13408 posts) - - Show Bio

@redheathen: It's nit just power, maul is also outclassed in raw power. In fact he's likely worse off in raw power as maul does have more training than Kylo. In terms of raw power, the sky walkers are unrivaled as it was a family line created by the force. The book you mention(correct me if I'm wrong) seems to suggest maul had the most raw power out of his apprehended which is wrong as anakin skywalker has been stated by numerous sources to have the most raw potential of any force user. Even him having more raw power than dooku is debatable. If anything, maul is closer to anakin on combative power than raw power due to the fact that anakin never achieved his full potential save for Morris.

Also I'm a skywalker, emotions controlling me are in my dna

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#45 Posted by YousufKhan1212 (2266 posts) - - Show Bio
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#46 Posted by YousufKhan1212 (2266 posts) - - Show Bio

@kbroskywalker: So that means you also don't like sand? Because it's coarse, rough and irritating... And gets everywhere.

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#47 Posted by kbroskywalker (13408 posts) - - Show Bio

@yousufkhan1212: Hey luke skywalker was my gramps too!!!!!!!....

And he was a pretty good comedian

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#48 Posted by YousufKhan1212 (2266 posts) - - Show Bio
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#49 Posted by kbroskywalker (13408 posts) - - Show Bio
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#50 Posted by YousufKhan1212 (2266 posts) - - Show Bio
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