Kylo Ren's Power Scaling

I’ve encountered a pretty large amount of debaters the past year who are of the opinion that Kylo Ren can’t be properly used in battle threads on forums like KMC or ComicVine. While I do partially agree that Kylo lacks a sufficient amount of appearances to place him against other character in threads based solely on feats Kylo accomplished however by scaling him off other characters it’s possible to get roughly an idea of where to rank him.

1. Power and Initiate Talent

The first way to scale Kylo is by looking at his family lineage, given that he’s a Skywalker it affords him an incredible potential in the Force like for example Luke Skywalker or Anakin Skywalker.

“The elements align, Kylo Ren. You alone are caught in the winds of the storm. Your bond is not just to Vader, but to Skywalker himself. Leia…”

The Force Awakens novelization
The Force Awakens Visual Guide
The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Like we’ve seen during the Prequel and Original Trilogy both Anakin and Luke both advanced rapidly to become one of the most powerful Jedi ever. It’s only logical that Kylo, who also receives incredible accolades which praise his power in the Force, would follow in their footsteps to become one of the best ever. More so in an blog about Rey versus Kylo Ren on StarWars.com he’s named one of the most powerful fighters in the entire history of the mythos.

"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

Of course a blog on the site of Star Wars isn’t exactly canon but given that it’s still published on an official medium and considering some of the writers of these blogs also work on Star Wars Insider it should hold some value.

2. General Combat Abilities and Power

A second way to determine Kylo's place amongst other characters is by comparing him to Kanan Jarrus from the Star Wars Rebels TV Show. Now first you have to aks yourself the question "What makes a Force user a great combatant?", a couple things should come to mind like potential in the Force, training and experience amongst other things. In terms of potential Kanan was considered a very young when he become Depa Billaba's padawan which should definitely attribute to his potential on the contrary Kylo Ren (or Ben Solo during his time as a Jedi) is a close descendant of Anakin Skywalker himself who was supposed to become the most powerful Force warrior that ever existed which grants him an enormous amount of potential (also look at 1. Power and Initiate Talent). Other than that Supreme Leader Snoke, someone who saw the Galactic Empire rise and fall and is considered a powerful figure of the Dark Side, considered Kylo Ren his most gifted apprentice.

“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.”

The Force Awakens novelization

I think that it's pretty clear that while Kanan's potential is impressive it's Kylo Ren who's the bigger prodigy, specially chosen by Supreme Leader Snoke because of his incredible power in the Force. The next area is training, Kanan was inducted into the Jedi Order at a very young age like most of his fellow Jedi at that time, he trained as a youngling until he was promoted to the rank of Padawan 6 months before the end of the Clone Wars. During that time he fougt alongside his master Depa Billaba against the forces of the CIS until his training was cut short by Order 66 in which Depa sacrificed herself to save him, from that point he abandoned his Jedi teachings until the start of the Star Wars Rebels TV Show (14 years later) where he takes the young Ezra Bridger as his own apprentice. On the other hand Kylo Ren, still Ben Solo at that point, started training at a young age with his uncle Luke Skywalker for at least until he was 23 yeras old (Novel Bloodline) to afterwards fall to the Dark Side and become the apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke, a person who's steeped in Dark Side Knowledge. Like many of you know, we don't really have a lot of detailed information about Luke's Jedi Order or the training Kylo received from Snoke however it should be noted that Luke, even before undertaking much study and acquiring a welth of Jedi Knowledge, was trained by Yoda into a full fledged Jedi Knight capable of confronting Vader and the Emperor.

“No more training do you require,” Yoda assured him. “Already know you that which you need.”

Return of the Jedi novelization

“After the Empire is defeated, Luke undertakes much study, travel, and spiritual contemplation, before committing to pass his knowledge on to a new generation of Jedi Students.”

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded

So while we don't have any exact information if Kylo's training at the hands of Luke ( which laster more than a dozen years) it's safe to assume it's superior to Kanan's training he received up until the first season of Rebels especially considering that Kylo Ren on top of his Jedi training also studied 'Arcane Dark Side lore' under Snoke which would further supplement his knowledge about the Force.

Having studied Jedi skills as well as arcane dark side lore, Kylo Ren is the embodiment of conflict, drawing upon contradictory teachings and deriving power from discord.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Last but not least experience is an important factor for the prowess of any fighter in general and thus should also prove to be vital for a Force Warrior however it's extremely difficult to compare which makes it almost impossible to use it in this situation. For this reason Kylo Ren' scaling of Kanan Jarrus is limited to his (early) season 1 portrayal in SW Rebels since by then it's still safe to assume that the former's training eclipses Kanan's.

As a short conclusion to this part of the blog it's enough to say that Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens should be (solidly) ahead of Season 1 Kanan Jarrus in terms of lightsaber skill and general Force power, next I'll list a couple examples of Kanan's most impressive feats to show what is exactly means for Kylo in this case.

Kanan alongside Ezra manipulates two giant asteroids, the size of which is comparable to that of the starfighter displayed in the picture, to intercept with a Mandalorian Gauntlet fighter travelling at an immense speed.

Star Wars Rebels Magazine
Star Wars Rebels Magazine

In A New Dawn, which takes place roughly 8 years Star Wars Rebels, Kanan stops a collapsing cave from crushing him and Hera.

Twisting faceup as he dropped, Kanan hit the ground. He looked up into the onrushing mass – and stopped it, with his mind.

It was an odd feeling, like putting on an old article of clothing. It was like the leap, something he had sworn never to do. Not in front of anyone, to be sure.

But now he had done it.

Star Wars A New Dawn

For more information of Kanan, take a look at Americanspeeddemon's respect thread of him

3. Force Augmentation

A third way to scale Kylo Ren is through TCW Asajj Ventress, more noticeably her appearance in the episode Massacre in season 3 (S03E19). In that episode Count Dooku orders General Grievous to attack Dathomir, the homeworld of the Nightsisters and Ventress now she rejoined them. During the battle Ventress challenges and defeats the General but the latter orders his droids to fire on her nonetheless, hitting her on her shoulder in the process which makes her collapse in pain (1:35 and onward).

Like the video shows, Ventress struggles to stand and even needs the help of a fellow Nightsister to move away from the battle itself. In comparison Kylo Ren has endured a wound from Chewbacca's bowcaster moments after killing his father, Han Solo, which made him feel weaker than before and proceeds to outrun both Finn and Rey in order to confront them on Starkiller Base.

Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to this knees. Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened.”

The Force Awakens novelization

It's true that initially Kylo Ren has difficulty standing up, however he eventually forces himself to go forward and continues to duel both Finn and Rey while still bleeding out from this same injury. If we place both feats next to each other it becomes evident who's superior, on one side Ventress is collapsing after being hit by a normal blaster on Dathomir (confirmed to be a Dark Side Nexus in Dark Disciple) while on the other side Kylo is hit by a more powerful weapon (Chewbacca's bowcaster) in a more vital area (his stomach) when he was in a more vulnerable position (having just killed his father which weakened him). The only advantage Kylo Ren had was that he was wearing some form of armor although this is solidly compensated by his already weakened state and the fact that it still penetrated his armor enough to cause a wound that was still bleeding after outrunning and fighting both Finn and Rey.

The Force Awakens comic part VI
The Force Awakens comic part VI

An additional comparison can be made by looking earlier in Kylo's fight with Finn, there he suffers a lightsaber wound, which should at least equal the destructive capabilities of a blaster shot, to his shoulder but continues if nothing has happened despite that he was already suffering from his mental condition (after killing Han Solo) and Chewbacca's bowcaster wound.

The Force Awakens comic part VI
The Force Awakens comic part VI

I think it's safe to say that Kylo Ren's endurance outstrips Ventress's by a very solid margin which translates itself into the respective strength of both character's Force Augmentation considering that it's the only way to amplify someone's physical capabilities (in the end both Ventress and Kylo are still organic beings with normal limitations if not for their connection to the Force).

4. Force Power

A fourth way to scale Kylo is through OCW Shaak Ti, originally I wasn't going to inlcude this part in this blog because it falls under the Legends banner but since it's almost certain he will be pitted against Legends characters either way. In this case I'm referring to the Battle of Hypori where General Grievous confronted Shaak Ti and a couple other Jedi (e.g. Ki-Adi-Mundi). During the fight Grievous takes out all the Jedi except Shaak Ti and when he eventually disarms her she uses the Force to block his lightsaber strike but is launched into a wall either way (4:20).

In The Force Awakens novelization and junior novelization Kylo performs a similar feat, when he's eventually disarmed by Rey he blocks Rey's blows by putting out a Force Barrier until she even bypasses those defenses as well. When putting both feats next to each other there are a couple differences which well determine what feat is exactly superior. In Ti's case she was overwhelmed by the attempt to block Grievous's strike which sends her crashing into a nearby wall while on the other side Kylo's able to block multiple of Rey's lightsaber strikes despite suffering from a long list of injuries (mentally hindered, bowcaster wound, lightsaber wound by Finn and Rey).

It stands to reason that in this case it's clear that Kylo Ren has shown to be able to perform far more formidable in a far worse situation than Shaak Ti even in a medium like the OCW which in general portrays Force users and their abilities in a more exaggerated way compared to the mediums Kylo has appeared in.

5. Conclusion

The general overarching conclusion can be drawn by combining all the four parts of this blog, through his lineage Kylo Ren gained a enormous amount of potential as a descendant of Anakin Skywalker while with his training at the hands of Luke Skywalker and Supreme Leader Snoke he achieved a good degree of mastery in the Force and lightsaber combat which easily supersedes the likes of Kanan Jarrus or even Shaak Ti, one of the greatest Jedi that lived during the golden age of the Jedi Order. His abilities in the Force also allow him to reach a level which is outstripping that of the infamous Sith Acolyte Asajj Ventress who herself proved to be a worthy ally to legendary Jedi Knights such as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

As a last note, I created this thread in order to show that Kylo Ren despite his few direct appearances can still be scaled off other characters and because of his he can gain some kind of ranking which hopefully can be useful in future Battle Threads.

4 Comments

Canon Maul's superiority over Obi-Wan

I’ve supported Maul’s superiority over Obi-Wan in most relevant areas of combat for some time now. This thread will focus on the reasons I consider Maul a better lightsaber combatant and so I hope to convince as many people as possible of my point of view. My main argument will center around both their fights in the Clone Wars TV show combined with a couple of extra examples.

1. Maul vs Obi-Wan on the Turtle Tanker

I’m going to start this thread with evaluating the first fight between both combatants on board of the Turtle Tanker in the finale of season 4. First I’ll show you the video of the fight since most of the material speaks for itself.

The first part of the video of the video (00:39) shows how Obi-Wan lands a few hits on Maul, effectively gaining the advantage in the first part of the fight. Now this could be explained by multiple different factors, to properly describe those we’ll have to take a look at the situation. At this point Maul has just been restored back to his full health by Mother Talzin after 12 years of exile on Lotho Minor. He initially struggles to walk and use the Force, so it’s only logical he would also show the same problems when participating in his first fight in a dozen years, as evidence when he is awkwardly fighting Obi-Wan in the beginning yet doesn’t seem to have these moments during the rest of that battle or any other fight from then onward.

Moving on to the second part of the fight we see how Maul regains his composure and himself lands a couple of hits on Obi-Wan. This is the first point I want to address in Maul’s favor, both fighters land hits on each other yet only Obi-Wan shows he’s visibly hurt and is forced to seek out the higher ground while before this he was comfortable by fighting Maul head-on. Further down Maul goats Obi-Wan into attacking him and proceeds to easily defeat him and Obi-Wan’s eventually forced to flee. I already addressed my first point to why Maul is superior to Obi-Wan, Maul’s martial hits actually do damage and forcing Obi-Wan back. So now I’m going to provide three other arguments to further support Maul.

  • The first one centers around Obi-Wan’s own admission that he was outmatched when facing Maul. Many may believe that the main reason for this is Maul’s use of Dun Möch, the exact opposite is actually true. Obi-Wan by the end of the fight has fought Maul before and after Maul used Dun Möch and so has a good idea of what he and Maul are capable of which means that his evaluation of both his and Maul’s combat abilities takes everything into account and not just the part where he was under the influence of Dun Möch. This reinforces the idea that Maul gained a bigger advantage over Obi-Wan earlier in the fight.

  • The second argument consists of the description the episode guide on StarWars.com provides us. It claims that the Zabrak brother’s raw power, in this case expressed through their martial prowess since both didn’t utilize the Force in any offensive way, was to much for Obi-Wan and Ventress to handle. This also reinforces Maul’s superiority over Kenobi because also this quote makes a general statement over both fighters rather then specifically referencing to the Dun Möch part of the fight.

No Caption Provided

  • The third and last argument which supports Maul’s superiority is the official Fact File magazine which says that Obi-Wan and Ventress only barely held their own during the fight on the Turtle Tanker. This (again) reinforces the idea that Obi-Wan and Ventress were outmatched over the entire duration of the fight.

No Caption Provided

As a conclusion to the first part of this thread, it’s safe to say that Maul was the superior fighter on the Turtle Tanker in season 4 which is backed up by the content of the fight, Obi-Wan himself, the episode guide and the official Star Wars Fact File magazine.

2. Maul vs Obi-Wan on Florrum

Their second fight took place on Florrum during the first episode of season 5 of the Clone Wars TV show, directly after the previously discussed fight in season 4. I’ll again start by showing the video of the fight in order to give a general overview of it.

The fight starts when Maul shortly engages Jedi Master Adi Gallia and Obi-Wan and then Maul gravitates towards Kenobi while savage takes care of Adi Gallia. We see that Maul starts pushing Obi-Wan back (00:56) and eventually Obi-Wan runs away (01:03) towards higher ground. They again start fighting around (1:29) and if you look very carefully you’ll see that Maul is actually gaining ground on Obi-Wan (look at their position before- and after the screen cuts to Savage & Adi Gallia).

The battle is cut off when Savage kills master Gallia and Obi-Wan retreats towards the caves with Hondo. I’m not going to discuss the rest of the fight because it has been covered in debt in the past (take a look at the Shadow Conspiracy novel) and it’s less relevant to this thread because of it’s amount of circumstances. In order to further explain why Maul came out superior we’ll have to take a look at Obi-Wan’s preferred fighting style since the main argument in favor of Kenobi is that he’s a defensive fighter that willingly gives ground in combat, while I agree about the former (defensive fighter) I disagree about the latter statement (willingly giving ground in combat).

In all of his fights in The Clone Wars there are only two moments he willingly gave ground, against Ventress on Teth and against Grievous during the battle over Saleucami. However in both occasions there was a reason, Obi-Wan’s primary mission was to delay his opponents in order for Anakin to complete the mission, as confirmed by the episode(s) itself. In all the other fights he generally hasn’t shown the aptitude for retreating during a fight in TCW, as we’ve also seen during the duel on the Turtle Tanker where Obi-Wan only retreated after he was hit by Maul. This is of course important since Maul was thus forcing Obi-Wan back during their fight on Florrum and Obi-Wan didn’t willingly gave ground. There is only one conclusion, Maul came out superior for the duration of the fight we’ve seen on screen.

Now let’s even go further on this topic and look at another example why Obi-Wan didn’t employ the “waiting out” tactic like so many believe by comparing his fight with Grievous in Revenge of the Sith with his fight with Maul on Florrum.

The first important difference is featured in the very beginning of the fight, Obi-Wan takes an extreme waiting attitude when he’s letting Grievous come to him and want to wait what Grievous is going to do (he’s visibly observing the General’s fighting patterns), this is greatly different on Florrum where Obi-Wan just directly tries to take on Maul. A second important difference is how we see Obi-Wan run away from Maul on Florrum while never even shows the tendency to do this in his fight against Grievous in Revenge of the Sith. It’s pretty clear that Obi-Wan’s approach against Maul is greatly different from his approach against Grievous where he clearly willingly gave ground.

It can be concluded that Maul came out superior from his fight with Obi-Wan on Florrum because he was the one that pushed Kenobi back, even to the point he had to run away and again seek out the higher ground, analogous to his fight on the Turtle Tanker back in season 4.

3. Other examples of Maul’s superiority over Obi-Wan’s

In this last part a couple of extra examples will be explained that could help support Maul’s superiority over Obi-Wan.

  • The first example is both their performances against Savage Opress, we’ve seen how Maul handles Savage in a couple moves while even though Obi-Wan never fought Savage one-on-one, he still had considerably more difficulty with him contrary to Maul.

  • A second example can be found in the form of canon Magnaguards. In Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan handily defeated a single Magnaguard but that one still held out for a respectable amount of time while Maul decimated four of these Magnaguards in the Son of Dathomir comic.

  • A third example is a little bit less to prove Maul’s superiority but more to counter a possible argument in favor of Kenobi. I’m of course speaking about both their fights against Pre Vizla. In the beginning of his fight with Maul, Vizla is forced o his knees after roughly 9 seconds of fighting while it took Obi-Wan 13 seconds to accomplish the same thing, from then Vizla started using his equipment and thus makes it impossible to compare the rest of the fight. However there isn’t a performance noticeably superior to another, even if it is through the greatly different usage of equipment.

  • The last example is based on a recently discovered quote (Fact File) proclaiming Obi-Wan and Grievous as perfect equals over the course of the Clone Wars. So if Maul is presumably Kenobi’s equal then theoretically speaking a fight between Grievous – Kenobi and Kenobi – Maul should be comparable given the fact that both Maul and Grievous have very aggressive and overwhelming fighting styles. Yet we see that Maul is able to push Kenobi back where Grievous is never been able to do this to the same extent as Maul, further reinforcing Maul’s superiority over Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and General Grievous often fought to a stalemate when they clashed, so equally matched were they as warriors. Eventually tough, Kenobi was to learn how to best the Cyborg.

Star Wars Fact File

A conclusion of this part again point out, like the previous two sections, that Maul is Obi-Wan’s superior when it comes down to martial combat.

64 Comments

Ezra Bridger Respect Thread

One of the main characters from Star Wars Rebels, Ezra has quickly become one of my favourite Jedi and because of this I wanted to create a Respect Thread for him. It will also be mentioned during which season certain feats took place in order to give a clear overview on Ezra’s abilities.

Respect Ezra Bridger.

"I will never let my friends get hurt again!"

Force Power

(Season 1)Kanan remarks that Ezra is strong in the Force because he could open the holocron without any training.

“It binds the galaxy together. And it’s strong within you, Ezra. Otherwise, you’d never have been able to open the holocron.”

Star Wars Rebels: The Rebellion Begins
No Caption Provided

The Star Wars Rebels Visual Guide notes that Ezra has the potential to become a powerful Jedi.

“The Force is strong in Ezra-he has the potential to become a powerful Jedi if he works hard.”

Star Wars Rebels Visual Guide

(Season 1)The StarWars.com databank notes that Ezra possesses remarkable strength with the Force.

Kanan had never completed his Jedi training. While in hiding, he’d denied his Force abilities and battled his guilt over his inability to save his master. But that changed when he encountered a thieving orphan named Ezra Bridger, who possessed remarkable strength with the Force.

http://www.starwars.com/databank/kanan-jarrus

(Season 1)Kanan comments how Ezra’s abilities are growing faster than he can teach him.

"I feel his abilities are growing faster than I can teach him."

Kanan Jarrus

(Season 2)The Fifth Brother notes to Darth Vader that the Jedi, Ezra and Kanan, are growing in their power, implying how they have improved since their last encounter.

“The Jedi are growing in their power.” – Fifth Brother

S02E17 Shroud of Darkness

(Season 2)Yoda comments to Ezra how his abilities are growing and that this is the reason he can now see Yoda contrary to their meeting in Season 1.

“Growing your abilities are.” – Yoda

S02E17 Shroud of Darkness

NOTE: In Season 1 Kanan couldn't see Yoda in the Jedi Temple on Lothal, implying that Ezra’s more powerful than Season 1 Kanan.

(Season 3)In an announcement for Star Wars Rebels Season 3 it is mentioned that Ezra grew more powerful between Season 2 and Season 3.

Having established a secret base on Atollon, the Ghost crew, now led by a more powerful Ezra, strengthens the rebel fleet by acquiring new resources and recruits eager to stand against the Empire.

StarWars.com

Telekinesis

(Season 1)Ezra uses the Force to lift an information disk.

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(Season 1)Ezra manipulates a button in order to release prisoners of the Empire.

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(Season 1)Ezra manipulates a crate to show Vizago that he’s a Jedi.

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(Season 1)Ezra launches a Force Push at the Grand Inquisitor.

“Ezra reached out with his hand and focused with his mind, urging the Force to thrust the Inquisitor back into the cell.”

Star Wars Rebels: Droids in Distress

(Season 1)Ezra, without any training, Force Pushes Agent Kallus when he’s on the verge of killing Zeb.

No Caption Provided

(Season 1)Ezra, alongside Kanan, opens the door of a hangar.

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(Season 1)Ezra, with the help of Kanan, unlocks the entrance to the Jedi Temple on Lothal.

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NOTE: It’s interesting to note that the weight of the entrance is compared to that of a speeder bus.

“Ezra descended into the hollow, glancing over his shoulder in astonishment. The stone must have weighed as much as a speeder bus, yet he had rooted it from the ground without ever touching it."

Star Wars Rebels: Ezra's Duel with Danger

(Season 1)Kanan, with Ezra’s help, moves two asteroids to intercept with a Mandalorian fighter.

Star Wars Rebels Magazine
Star Wars Rebels Magazine

NOTE: ShootMyNova has on KMC calculated the scale of the asteroids.

(Season 1)Ezra uses the Force to repair the Ghost.

Star Wars Rebels Magazine
Star Wars Rebels Magazine

(Season 1)Ezra uses the Force to open a cave entrance which is blocked by multiple rocks.

Star Wars Rebels Magazine
Star Wars Rebels Magazine

(Season 2)Ezra disarms two Stormtroopers by using the Force to pull their weapons towards him.

No Caption Provided

(Season 2)When Vader is distracted by the explosion of a thermal detonator, Ezra alongside Kanan push Vader under the collapsing AT-ST’s.

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(Season 2)Ezra saves Hondo from being thrown into Space by lifting him.

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(Season 2)When using his darker emotions Ezra opens the Sith Temple on Malachor with Maul.

No Caption Provided
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NOTE: This feat took place on Malachor, a potent Dark Side Nexus.

(Season 2)Ezra pushes agent Kallus, someone who’s gone toe-to-toe with Zeb, against a wall, successfully knocking him unconscious.

No Caption Provided

(Season 2)Ezra uses the Force to throw a Rodian of a platform.

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(Season 2)Ezra incapacitates a couple of Stormtroopers alongside Kanan.

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(Season 2)Ezra manipulates a TIE Bomber when its anti-gravity is activated.

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(Season 2)When fighting the Inquisitors, Ezra uses the Force to throw Kanan towards the Seventh Sister.

No Caption Provided

Force Sense

(Season 1)Ezra senses that Seebo is in trouble.

“This wasn’t a trick, it was just a memory. His father had probably spoken those words when Ezra was younger, and now his conscience was reminding him. Tseebo. The Rodian was in trouble and needed his help.”

Star Wars Rebels: Ezra's Duel with Danger

(Season 1)Ezra locates the Jedi Temple on Lothal despite that he had previously no idea what it looked like or even on which planet it was situated.

"The Force—that Ezra could feel. He felt in in the birds around their ship. He felt it in the blades of grass growing below. He even felt it in the occasional mound that interrupted the plains. One large stone stood out, like a strange artefact from another age. Stranger still was when the Force took Ezra’s mind inside, as if solid rock was nothing. He found himself in a chamber that narrowed into a tunnel, where at its end blazed a bright, bright star. Ezra opened his eyes. There was no need for a hyperdrive. The Jedi temple was right there, on Lothal.”

Star Wars Rebels: Ezra's Duel with Danger

(Season 2)Ezra knows that minister Maketh Tua speaks the truth when asking the Rebels to rescue her because he can sense her fear.

“She’s telling the truth…I can sense her fear” – Ezra Bridger

S02E01 Siege of Lothal

Telepathy

(Season 1)Ezra telepathically communicates with Seebo causing the latter to clear his mind.

“In the common room of the Ghost, Tseebo stopped staring at the meiloorun fruit to look for Ezra Bridger. He had heard Ezra Bridger’s apology, but oddly, Ezra Bridger wasn’t in the room. His implant’s sensors didn’t even detect Ezra Bridger on the Ghost."

Star Wars Rebels: Ezra's Duel with Danger
No Caption Provided

(Season 1)Ezra controls a group of fyrnocks.

“Just then Kanan lost his hold over the fyrnocks and they leapt at Ezra, all at once. Ezra raised his hands, but didn’t move. He didn’t need to. The fyrnocks gave Ezra a friendly lick, then sat before him, as calm as house pets, connected through the Force.”

Star Wars Rebels: Ezra's Duel with Danger

(Season 1)Ezra and Kanan command a group of fyrnocks to attack the Grand Inquisitor and his forces.

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(Season 1)When tapping into the Dark Side, Ezra summons a giant fyrnock.

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(Season 2)Ezra telepathically communicates with a Purgil.

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(Season 2)Ezra summons two beasts to escape from the Inquisitors.

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(Season 2)In his first attempt at using a Mind Trick, Ezra successfully makes the Imperial Officer give the evacuation order.

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(Season 3)Ezra controls the Imperial Trooper who’s sitting behind the controls of an AT-DP to shoot his fellow Stormtroopers.


Physical traits

(Season 1)Ezra’s physical capabilities were even without any training above what any normal being could achieve.

“Ordinary boys didn’t ride speeder bikes like champion racers. Ordinary boys couldn’t leap over Stormtroopers without wearing a pair of jump boots. This boy possessed a gift beyond the ordinary.”

Star Wars Rebels: The Rebellion Begins

(Season 1)Ezra performs a number of Force enhanced jumps.

No Caption Provided

(Season 1) Ezra jumps high over a Stormtrooper to rescue

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Speed & Agility

Without any training Ezra moves faster than thought.

“Faster than thought, he extended his left wrist. His slingshot snapped into place as his right hand flashed to his left and he pulled back on an energy ball.”

Star Wars Rebels: Ezra's gamble

(Season 1)Ezra dodges multiple blaster shots in close range in the very early stages of his training.

No Caption Provided

(Season 1)Ezra dodges a blow from the Grand Inquisitor.

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Prior to any training in the Force, Ezra evades fire from a TIE fighter.

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(Season 2)Ezra dodges blasterfire and performs a backflip.

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(Season 2)Ezra dodges a lightsaber blow from Kanan during a sparring session.

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(Season 2)Ezra performs a backflip.

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(Season 2)Ezra jumps over the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother during their duel in Shroud of Darkness.

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(Season 2)Ezra performs a side flip in space.

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(Season 2)Ezra walks on a wall in order to cut down a Stormtrooper.

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(Season 2)Ezra deflects multiple blows from Darth Vader, showing that he can react to him.

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Strength

(Season 2)Ezra blocks a blow from the Fifth Brother who’s putting all his strength behind it. It’s important to note that this Inquisitor has matched Zeb’s strength in the episode Shroud of Darkness.

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(Season 2)During a sparring session Ezra’s show the capability to match Kanan’s strength.

No Caption Provided

(Season 2)Ezra blocks a blow from the Eight Brother and proceeds to push him back.

No Caption Provided

NOTE: This feat took place on Malachor, a potent Dark Side Nexus.

(Season 2)When fuelling himself with this darker emotions Ezra’s matches and pushes back the Seventh Sister.

No Caption Provided

NOTE: This feat took place on Malachor, a potent Dark Side Nexus.

Durability & Pain tolerance

(Season 1)Ezra takes a blaster shot to the shoulder.

Star Wars Rebels Magazine
Star Wars Rebels Magazine

(Season 2)Ezra is unharmed by an exploding turret.

No Caption Provided

Combat Abilities

(Season 1)Despite any training Ezra is noted by Kanan to be comparable to a soldier with the highest quality training.

“Kanan had asked himself that question many times on this crazy chase. Either the boy had military training of the highest calibre, or his talents stretched beyond the ordinary.”

Star Wars Rebels: The Rebellion Begins

(Season 1)Sabine notes that Ezra has become quite skilled with a lightsaber in a matter of weeks.

“Sabine was impressed. Ezra had become quite skilled with a lightsaber, considering that only a few weeks earlier he had nearly amputated his arm multiple times.”

Star Wars Rebels: Battle to the End

(Season 1)Ezra shows to master the ability of blaster deflection.

No Caption Provided

(Season 1)Ezra fights the Grand Inquisitor alongside Kanan, even parrying some of the former’s strikes.

No Caption Provided

(Season 1)Ezra deflects fire from multiple Stormtroopers.

Star Wars Rebels Magazine
Star Wars Rebels Magazine

(Season 2)Ezra deflects the Seventh Sister’s rotating lightsaber.

No Caption Provided

NOTE: This feat took place on Malachor, a potent Dark Side Nexus.

(Season 2)Ezra deflects fire from Stormtroopers and continues to disarm them.

No Caption Provided

(Season 2)Ezra deflects fire from Stormtroopers and kills them by aiming the reflection of the blaster fire at them.

No Caption Provided

(Season 2)Ezra destroys a TIE fighter by slashing at its left wing.

No Caption Provided

(Season 2)When fuelling himself with this darker emotions Ezra’s matches and pushes back the Seventh Sister.

No Caption Provided

NOTE: This feat took place on Malachor, a potent Dark Side Nexus.

(Season 2)Ezra shows the ability to spar evenly with Kanan, even remarking that they are tied again, indicating that they sparred multiple times with neither getting any edge over each other.

No Caption Provided

(Season 2)Blocks multiple blows from the feared Sith Lord Darth Vader before ultimately succumbing to him.

No Caption Provided

(Season 3)Ezra kills multiple Stormtrooper with a combination of lightsaber skill, martial ability and Force Power.

(Season 3)Ezra deflects fire, and kills, multiple Stormtroopers and proceeds to deflect and disarm the Imperial Officer Titus.

30 Comments

Clarification I: Kylo Ren vs Finn & Rey

This blog is the first in a new series I intend to write to clarify different aspects from the Star Wars universe which I think are misinterpreted across Comic Vine. The idea is loosely based on Silver’s famous blog series and I want to thank him for that but it’s not my intention to duplicate or steal anything Silver has written in the past.

This thread covers one of the major fight scenes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, namely Kylo Ren vs Finn & Rey. Comments like “Kylo was injured by an average Stormtrooper” or “Kylo was defeated by an untrained Force-sensitive” have me believe that this fight is wrongly perceived among numerous Comic Vine members and this blog will hopefully correct a lot of misunderstandings.

There will be a distinction between two parts of the fight, Kylo Ren vs Finn (part 1) and Kylo Ren vs Rey (part 2).

Part 1: Kylo Ren vs Finn

Many members have asked how it was possible that Kylo Ren was so strained in his fight against a Stormtrooper (Finn), who has never been trained in the art of lightsaber combat.

To explain this we’ll first take a look at the entire fight as depicted by The Force Awakens novelization and junior novelization (the important parts are underlined).

“Drawing himself up, a towering figure in the snow, Ren did not even bother to gesture. “I’m going to kill you for it.” He rushed forward. Despite his feat, Finn raised the beam to defend himself. Ren lunged, struck—Finn parried. Shards of light flew, illuminating the snow and the surrounding vegetation. Drawing back slightly, Ren considered his unexpectedly determined opponent, then resumed his assault with a vengeance.

Finn blocked him again and again, once letting the other man’s beam slide against his own and harmlessly off to one side. He counterattacked, to no avail. The longer the contest continued, the stronger Ren seemed to become. It was as if he was enjoying the challenge. Feeding upon it.

At least, it appeared so until Finn parried, swung, and unexpectedly stabbed, the tip of his lightsaber beam grazing Ren’s arm. That made it more than a challenge. Taking a step back, Ren reconsidered his opponent. When he closed the distance between them anew, it was with a purpose that had been previously lacking. Expecting an execution, he had found a contest. Now he had been touched. It was time for play to end.

Advancing relentlessly, he was driven by something that Finn could not even sense, far less counter. Still the ex-trooper fought back, until Ren landed a blow that cut across Finn’s chest and sent the lightsaber flying from his hand. It landed in the snow six meters distant. It was over.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

“Finn blocked and parried the first flurry of Ren’s attacks. Ground snow melted as the tips of their blades swooshed low. Finn could not find an opening in Ren’s defenses, despite the man’s injury. Ren drove Finn back, seeming to draw strength from Finn’s frustration. Training had taught Finn to bait an opponent into thinking he had the advantage. Finn parried weakly, then disengaged and stabbed. His blade sheared Ren’s arm. It didn’t do much more than sizzle his opponent’s skin. But Ren backpedalled, reassessing Finn.

Holding the blue blade in front of him, Finn stared at Kylo Ren, ready for anything. But he was not ready for the fury of the attack Ren launched at him. It was if the previous back and forth had been child’s play. Ren’s swings flew at Finn fast and strong, pushing him back. Ren’s blade gashed open Finn’s chest.”

Taken from The Force Awakens junior novelization

We can conclude from this that:

  • Kylo Ren was toying with Finn and still had the edge in the fight.
  • The moment Kylo decided to end things, Finn was directly defeated.
  • Kylo Ren was severely injured during the fight (this will be explained in the following part of the text).

Furthermore Finn isn’t just your average Stormtrooper, he has been praised as being a formidable fighter and being amongst the best of the First Order Stormtroopers, who are trained to combat Jedi.

“Despite lack of any training with a lightsaber, Finn was athletic and courageous. In tandem with such traits, the saber made him a formidable fighter.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

FN-2187 (Finn) was in the top 1% of all Stormtroopers in his abilities. He is commended by Captain Phasma as exemplary. Hux notices that he has a “dangerous level of empathy” because he helps his fellow Stormtroopers.”

Taken from Before The Awakening (Credit to RogueShadow)

We also find another example of Finn’s combat prowess in the novel, Before The Awakening, where Finn defeats every other cadet in melee combat, only losing because he wasn’t focused on the fight.

Taken from Before The Awakening (Credit to RogueShadow)
Taken from Before The Awakening (Credit to RogueShadow)

Note: For more information on Finn, take a look at WollfMyth209's respect thread of him.

In addition to this, Kylo Ren was also hindered to a serious degree.

  • He was shot by Chewbacca’s bowcaster that has sent First Order Stormtroopers flying and shattered stone.

“Amid the rising bedlam and confusion, Kylo Ren struggled to stand.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

“Before she could fire, Ren raised a hand, halting her. She strained against him, her anger giving her strength. But she couldn’t fire. He was struggling also, against her newly discovered ability, as well as the wound inflicted by Chewbacca’s bowcaster.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

“Chewbacca’s quarrel had burned a hole through his robes and shattered the armor around his torso. From the looks of it, he was wounded badly.”

Taken from The Force Awakens junior novelization

“The hilt wobbled in the snow. Pulling it through the Force proved more strenuous than it should. The pain of Ren’s wound clouded his concentration.”

Taken from The Force Awakens junior novelization
  • He was mentally hindered.

Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to his knees. Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

In the end there is only one person who was going to win this fight, Kylo Ren. Stating that Finn could have actually had any chance to pose a serious threat to Kylo is going against all evidence we have from the fight (the novelization, junior novelization and the movie itself). Finn did however land a hit on Kylo which is no doubt an impressive feat even when considering that it barely scratched the flesh. Yet that despite his massive hindrance (mental trauma, wounded by Chewbacca’s bowcaster) Kylo still practically beat Finn in a near stomp the moment he decided that it was over just shows that there never was a real possibility that Finn was going to defeat Kylo nor pose a serious threat to him.

Part 2: Kylo Ren vs Rey

Next we have the second part of the fight, Kylo Ren vs Rey, which suffers from the same misunderstandings addressed in the first part of this blog.

Again, we’ll be looking at the fight as depicted by the novelization and junior novelization of The Force Awakens (the important parts are underlined).

“But she had no time to ponder his comment, nor was she inclined to do so anyway; she was to consumed with rage. Holding the haft of the lightsaber in both hands, she ignited the beam—and charged.

Ren met her with his own weapon alight. Expecting weakness, he encountered only strength. Her skill with the device was raw at best, but it was backed by a fury that was as new to his experience as it was unexpected.

When the beams of their lightsabers crossed, the resulting burst of energy lit an entire section of forest.

To an observer at a distance, it would have appeared as if a series of small explosions was going off in the depths of the forest. Blow after blow landed as lightsaber struck against lightsaber. Though Ren was bigger and stronger than Rey, their struggle had nothing to do with physical size. What she lacked in mass, she made up for in ferocity.

For a while she actually drove him backward, until he regained his self-assurance and in turn pressed her. The fight continued to shift back and forth; first he gained the advantage, then an enraged Rey took it back.

There was a vast rumbling, as of a continent sighing, and a gigantic chunk of forest behind Rey simply collapsed downward, leaving her fighting on the edge of a cliff so high that the newly formed surface below could not be seen through the rising cloud of dust.

Ren held his lightsaber, poised to strike. “I could kill you right now. But there is another way.”

Breathing hard, Rey looked up in disgust at the man looming above her. “You’re a monster.”

“No. You need a teacher.” He was beseeching and insistent all at once. “I can show you the ways of the Force!”

Slowly she shook her head. “The Force?” That was what this was about? Instead of moving to defend herself, Rey closed her eyes. Ren hesitated, confused by her actions. A long moment passed, in which Ren sensed a change in the air, a change in her. Then she opened her eyes and attacked, viciously, in a way she didn’t know she was capable of, striking again and again as Ren was slowly driven back. The flaring energy from the interacting lightsabers was more pronounced than ever in the flurry of her attack. And—Ren went down.

He was up again in an instant, but not in time to fully deflect a following blow from Rey’s weapon. He succeeded in blocking it, but he still took the full force of the strike against the haft of his own lightsaber. The weapon went flying into the snow, he raised a hand and utilized the Force to fend off one slashing blow after another, until finally her fury penetrated his remaining defenses.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

Her surprise shifted to anger. Ren could feel it, like waves of heat radiating off of her. She wanted to strike back at him for what he had done to her friends. He stood there, daring her to do so with his stare.

The girl switched on the lightsaber and rushed him.

Ren ignited his own blade and parried her attack. He countered; she blocked, then went in for another attack. While her sword strokes were unpolished, it was clear she knew how to fight with hand-to-hand weapons. Her blade smashed against his, over and over, never buckling, at times forcing him back.

She was also angry. She drew her power from the same well as Ren—her rage. And that would be the weakness he would use to defeat her. Kylo Ren had more rage than she would ever know. He lashed out with his ligthsaber, chopping and slicing. She deflected him but could not sustain her defense without stepping back. And back. And back.

A giant fissure opened in the ground and swallowed most of it. Dust billowed out. Within seconds, Rey was standing at the edge of a cliff. She had no more ground to lose.

Ren pointed his lightsaber at her. “I could kill you, right now. But there is another way.” Rey snarled at him. “You’re a monster.”

“No. You need a teacher,” he said. “I can show you the ways of the Force!”

“The Force?” she repeated, sounding confused and exasperated all at once. She closed her eyes for a moment, then lunged at Ren again, more furious then before. And for once, Kylo Ren duelled an opponent who had more anger than he. Or maybe what fuelled her wasn’t anger. Maybe it was an emotion he didn’t recognize anymore. Whatever it was, it took him down.

Staggering back to his feet, his parry could not match the strength of her swing. It cast his lightsaber out of his grasp.”

Taken from The Force Awakens junior novelization

We can also draw some conclusions from this.

  • Rey was fuelled by her anger.
  • Kylo Ren was driving Rey back until she experienced her ‘in the Force moment’.

As pointed out earlier in this thread, Kylo Ren was at a disadvantage because of several reasons.

  • He was shot by Chewbacca’s bowcaster that has sent First Order Stormtroopers flying and shattered stone.

“Amid the rising bedlam and confusion, Kylo Ren struggled to stand.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

“Before she could fire, Ren raised a hand, halting her. She strained against him, her anger giving her strength. But she couldn’t fire. He was struggling also, against her newly discovered ability, as well as the wound inflicted by Chewbacca’s bowcaster.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

“Chewbacca’s quarrel had burned a hole through his robes and shattered the armor around his torso. From the looks of it, he was wounded badly.”

Taken from The Force Awakens junior novelization

“The hilt wobbled in the snow. Pulling it through the Force proved more strenuous than it should. The pain of Ren’s wound clouded his concentration.”

Taken from The Force Awakens junior novelization
  • He was mentally hindered.

Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to his knees. Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

One of the other misunderstandings that I have crossed paths with is that Rey is completely untrained, which again supplements to the question how Rey could have ever beaten Kylo in a lightsaber duel. Yet there are several quotes in the Visual Dictionary and the junior novelization of The Force Awakens who prove the exact opposite of these claims, Rey is actually a skilled melee combatant prior to engaging Kylo.

The Visual Dictionary depicts that Rey has perfected certain quarterstaff sequences and that those skills translate well into the use of melee weapons (like a lightsaber for example).

Taken from The Force Awakens Visual Guide (Credit to WollfMyth209)
Taken from The Force Awakens Visual Guide (Credit to WollfMyth209)

Kylo mentions that despite that Rey’s technique is unpolished, she clearly knows how to use melee weapons.

“He countered; she blocked, then went in for another attack. While her sword strokes were unpolished, it was clear that she knew how to fight with hand-to-hand weapons.”

Taken from The Force Awakens junior novelization

Besides her already considerable combat prowess, Rey was also fuelled by her anger which strengthened her.

“But she had no time to ponder his comment, nor was she inclined to do so anyway; she was to consumed with rage. Holding the haft of the lightsaber in both hands, she ignited the beam—and charged.

Ren met her with his own weapon alight. Expecting weakness, he encountered only strength. Her skill with the device was raw at best, but it was backed by a fury that was as new to his experience as it was unexpected.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

“Before she could fire, Ren raised a hand, halting her. She strained against him, her anger giving her strength. But she couldn’t fire.”

Taken from The Force Awakens novelization

Now we can draw conclusions similar to part 1, we see that Rey is, like Finn, a skilled combatant (perhaps even to a greater degree than Finn) and was aided by circumstantial factors (e.g. her anger giving her strength). Next there is the fact that Kylo Ren is severely injured (e.g. Chewbacca’s bowcaster) and considering that his fight with Rey happened after his fight with Finn, his injuries logically should have worsened over time. Despite these factors the fight was still relatively even, although some sources (TFA junior novelization) claim Kylo had the edge in the duel, and it wasn’t until that Rey discovered her “channel the Force” moment that she actually defeated him.

Conclusion

If we take everything into account I think it’s safe to say that this fight shouldn’t be used in a negative context when discussing Kylo Ren because there are tons of circumstances that influence the fight heavily. From him being injured to the point that he could barely stand to the fact that both Finn and Rey are actually skilled fighters. In the case of Rey for example, we have seen numerous examples of characters (Luke, Savage,…) who without an extensive amount of training became skilled combatants because of the immense potential they possess and Rey surely ranks among them in terms of raw power.

I can personally understand that the movie content of the fight wasn’t a 100% clear and that because of it, a lot of misunderstandings have occurred. I hope this blog was useful and I want to remind everyone that this is just my opinion, which I tried to support with feats and facts, and that it should never be used as a fact nor ever treated as one.

Next blog: Clarification II: Kylo Ren's training and knowledge in The Force Awakens

25 Comments

Ben Solo/Kylo Ren Respect Thread

Kylo Ren, formerly Ben Solo, is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. He's a former protégé of his uncle Luke Skywalker before joining the First Order and becoming the apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke.

Before I begin with the thread I want to thank DarthAnt66 for giving me the chance to make this thread.

Note: To optimally view this thread, watch it in Blog format.

Now, respect Kylo Ren.

“Show me again, Grandfather, and I will finish what you started.”
“Show me again, Grandfather, and I will finish what you started.”

Biography

General Description

Born as Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, was once a Jedi apprentice but was drawn to the dark side of the Force by Supreme Leader Snoke and became a member of the knights of Ren, taking on the name Kylo Ren.

Early life

Ben Solo was born shortly after the battle of Endor in which his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, died. At a certain point in his youth he was sent to his uncle, Luke Skywalker, to begin his training as a Jedi. During his training, he eventually fell to the dark side and became a member of the knights of Ren, taking on the name Kylo Ren in the process.

The Force Awakens

Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi, has disappeared since the destruction of his new Jedi order and Kylo, now a commander in the First Order, has been looking for him ever since. On his quest, Kylo Ren comes across the planet Jakku where the last piece of the map to Luke is located. On Jakku, he crosses paths with Poe Dameron, who has been sent by General Leia Organa, and captures him in the process but fails to retrieve the part of the map which is taken by BB-8, the astromech droid of Poe.

In the chase for BB-8, Kylo Ren ends up in Maz Kanata’s castle where he encounters Rey, a scavenger from Jakku, whom he easily defeats and captured.

Afterwards the Resistance launches an assault on Starkiller Base, the planet sized super weapon of the First Order. A group, led by Han Solo, infiltrates Starkiller base to find Rey and to destroy a vital part so that the Resistance Starfighters can destroy the weapon. The group succeeds in finding Rey but encounter Kylo Ren, who during the following encounter kills Han Solo and gets injured by Chewbacca in the process.

Kylo chases Finn and Rey, finally confronting them in the forests of Starkiller base. He uses the Force to incapacitate Rey and proceeds to duel Finn, who picked up Anakin’s old lightsaber. In the beginning Kylo Ren was toying with him until Finn unexpectedly landed a hit on Kylo’s shoulder, in return for this injury Finn received a slash across the chest.

Still straining against his injury at the hands of Chewbacca, Kylo tries to pull Anakin’s lightsaber towards him but is surprised that it passed him in favour for Rey. Rey then proceeds to attack him, holding her own because of her anger. The two Force users are evenly matched until Rey channels the Force through her and manages to injure and disarm Kylo.

The Resistance fighters gain success in critically damaging Starkiller base and instead of killing Kylo Ren, Rey turns towards the wounded Finn. Kylo is dragged off by Stormtroopers under the command of general Hux, who received orders from Supreme Leader Snoke to take Kylo Ren with him so that he can finish his training.

Knowledge and Training

Training under Luke Skywalker

In order to get a better picture on how much knowledge Kylo Ren, as Ben Solo, had access to, there will be looked at the knowledge Luke Skywalker, Ben’s Jedi Master, gathered during his lifetime up to the point of the destruction of his Order at the hands of Kylo Ren.

First of all, Luke by Return of the Jedi was trained by Yoda, the Grandmaster of the Prequel Trilogy Jedi Order, to not only be a full-fledged Jedi but also be capable of starting a new Jedi Order and pass down his knowledge.

“No more training do you require,” Yoda assured him. “Already know you that which you need.”

Return of the Jedi novelization

“Luke—of the Emperor beware. Do not underestimate his powers, or suffer your father’s fate you will. When gone I am … last of the Jedi will you be. Luke, the Force is strong in your family. Pass on what you … have … learned …”

Return of the Jedi novelization

​Secondly it’s mentioned in Bloodline and in Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded that Luke studied the Force and gathered long lost Jedi knowledge when the Galactic Empire was defeated.

“They say on my world that the Force sometimes runs strong in certain families.” So much of the lore of the Jedi had been lost—but on Gatalenta, the old religion had remained strong. History had become legend, but some of the legends were still told. Gatalenta had been one of Luke’s first destinations when he began his research into the Jedi Knights of old.

Star Wars Bloodline

“After the Empire is defeated, Luke undertakes much study, travel, and spiritual contemplation, before committing to pass his knowledge on to a new generation of Jedi Students.”

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded

Furthermore the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia also mentions that Luke gained knowledge from the famous explorer Lor San Tekka, who’s said to have uncovered much of the Jedi History (The Force Awakens Visual Guide), possess many Jedi secrets (The Force Awakens Visual Guide) and discovered many fragments of ancient Jedi traditions (Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expan

In his travels, Lor San Tekka uncovered much of the history of the Jedi Knights that the Galactic Empire had tried so hard to erase.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Others now seek him for his knowledge of Jedi Secrets.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Lor San Tekka uncovered many fragments of the ancient Jedi traditions that the Old Empire had worked so hard to destroy. When Luke Skywalker began researching Jedi history in the hope of restoring the Jedi Order, he learned much from Lor San Tekka.

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia Updated and Expanded

Additionally it’s mused by Leia Organa that there isn’t a Jedi ruin that Lor San Tekka hasn’t explored.

Poe Dameron 001
Poe Dameron 001

Dark Side Knowledge

The Force Awakens Visual Guide acknowledges that Kylo Ren studied arcane (= very rare) Dark Side lore.

Having studied Jedi skills as well as arcane dark side lore, Kylo Ren is the embodiment of conflict, drawing upon contradictory teachings and deriving power from discord.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Knowledge about Lightsaber Combat

He created his crossguard lightsaber based on an ancient design dating back to the Scourge of Malachor, this implies that he had access to ancient knowledge.

Kylo Ren’s unusual lightsaber is an ancient design, dating back thousands of years to the Great Scourge of Malachor.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Jedi Knowledge

Kylo Ren could have access to Jedi Knowledge and possibly at least part of the Jedi Archives because we know that the First Order pulled out the map to the First Jedi Temple out of the old Imperial Archives while at the same time we know that the Grand Inquisitor studied these Jedi Archives.

"I am familiar with general droid technical specifications. I don't need to acquire one: What I want is located in it's memory. It's carrying a section of a transgalactic navigational chart. We have the rest, recovered from the archives of the Empire."

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Training under Supreme Leader Snoke

Likewise we can take a look at the knowledge Kylo Ren’s master Supreme Leader Snoke possessed.

Supreme Leader Snoke, who trained Kylo Ren, is said to be steeped in Dark Side knowledge.

Kylo Ren is the most gifted apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke, a mysterious figure steeped in dark side knowledge who commands the First Order from a distance.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

To put Snoke's knowledge better in perspective we can take a look at the canon novel Dark Disciple where Darth Sidious's involvement with the Dark Side is described as 'steeped'.

"Darth Tyranus," intoned Count Dooku's Master. Even though he wasn't physically present, the simple sound of his voice - rasping, papery, somehow, like the rustling of ancient parchment - sent a shiver through Ventress. This man was steeped in the dark side of the Force, saturated with it, in a way that she was certain Vos, perhaps even Dooku, had never been.

Star Wars Dark Disciple

Force power

In an interview with J.J. Abrams, director of The Force Awakens, it is revealed how Kylo Ren was manipulated and turned to the dark side in which J.J. Abrams comments that Kylo possesses an incredible potential.

An incredible power, an incredible force, and incredible potential that 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

In an article written by two StarWars.com writers named "From a certain point of view: Who is stronger with the Force - Rey or Kylo Ren?", Kylo Ren was named as one of the most powerful combatants in the history of Star Wars.

"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

In another interview with Adam Driver, who plays Kylo, and J.J. Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens, it is mentioned that Snoke especially chose Kylo Ren to be his 'ally' because of his incredible potential.

Director JJ Abrams then builds on this, musing: "It's more than just having a 'bad seed' as a kid. Snoke had targeted this kid and knew that this kid was going to be incredibly powerful in The Force and wanted him as an ally.

Interview with J.J. Abrams and Adam Driver

Supreme Leader Snoke, who has seen the Galactic Empire rise and fall, named Kylo Ren as the most promising student he ever had. Afterwards he proceeds to praise Kylo Ren as pure, strong and unbreakable.

“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.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo Ren is a member of the Skywalker line, a family extremely powerful in the Force.

“The elements align, Kylo Ren. You alone are caught in the winds of the storm. Your bond is not just to Vader, but to Skywalker himself. Leia…”

The Force Awakens novelization

Leia Organa comments that her son, Kylo Ren, is strong in the Force.

“He knew our child would be strong with the force. That he was born with equal potential for good or evil.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo Ren is a descended of the most powerful Jedi and Sith.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide
The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Supreme Leader Snoke considers Kylo Ren to be the ideal embodiment of the force, a focal point of both light and dark side ability.

"The Supreme Leader believes Ren to be the ideal embodiment of the Force, a focal point of both light and dark side ability."

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Kylo Ren, as Ben Solo, is considered a promising apprentice to Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars Databank
Star Wars Databank

Telekinesis (TK)

The Visual Dictionary claims Kylo Ren’s telekinetic defenses are immense.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide
The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Kylo Ren used the force to freeze a discharge that was fired in his direction by Poe Dameron.

“Perceiving the threat, Kylo Ren reacted immediately. A hand rose sharply, palm facing toward the unknown assailant. The gesture was merely the physical manifestation of something infinitely more powerful and entirely unseen. It intercepted the discharge from the pilot’s weapon, freezing it in mid-air as effectively as any solid barrier.”

The Force Awakens novelization
Star Wars The Force Awakens
Star Wars The Force Awakens

NOTE: The discharge was kept in the same position while Kylo Ren interrogated Poe Dameron, only releasing it when he returned to his shuttle.

After stopping the discharge, Kylo also stunned Poe Dameron, making it impossible for Poe to move.

“Initially driven by pure rage, Poe now found that he could not move. His heart pounded, his lungs heaved, but his voluntary muscles refused to respond. He was paralyzed as effectively as the blast from his blaster.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo Ren pulls Lieutenant Mitaka towards him.

“Reaching out, a black-gloved hand clutched the startled lieutenant and pulled him violently forward. That metallic visage was now close, closer than Mitaka had ever been to it. As the officer struggled to breathe in that remorseless grasp, Kylo Ren’s voice took on a timbre lower and more menacing than any the lieutenant had ever heard.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo Ren effortlessly freezes Rey to the point she can only breathe slowly.

“Until, evidently, he tired of it. He raised a hand, held it toward her, palm outward. As she inhaled sharply, her hand froze on the blaster. She tried to turn, to run, but her legs refused to respond. She could only stand there among the trees, taking in slow, measured breaths, as he came toward her.”

The Force Awakens novelization
Star Wars The Force Awakens
Star Wars The Force Awakens

When striding back to this personal shuttle, Kylo Ren, without gesturing, used the force to lift up the blaster from Poe Dameron and let it crash into a nearby structure.

“Once he was beyond its reach he touched it-but not with his hands. It rose, seemingly of its own accord, and flew free, smashing into a nearby structure and scaring the wits out of an idling Stormtrooper unfortunate enough to be standing nearby.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo Ren disarms Finn by pulling his lightsaber from his hand.

Kylo used the Force to pull Finn’s lightsaber from his grip. As the weapon flew through the air, Rey knew it would be her only chance to stop Kylo.

Rey's Story

When striding back to this personal shuttle, Kylo Ren, without gesturing, used the force to lift up the blaster from Poe Dameron and let it crash into a nearby structure.

“Once he was beyond its reach he touched it-but not with his hands. It rose, seemingly of its own accord, and flew free, smashing into a nearby structure and scaring the wits out of an idling Stormtrooper unfortunate enough to be standing nearby.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo Ren, while being injured and enduring an emotional trauma, disarms an enraged Rey and then proceeds to hurl her into a nearby tree.

“Before she could fire, Ren raised a hand, halting her. She strained against him, her anger giving her strength. But she couldn’t fire. He was struggling also, against her newly discovered ability, as well as the wound inflicted by Chewbacca’s bowcaster. Gritting his teeth, he flung his arm sideways in a single, powerful gesture—and the blaster went flying out of her hand. Inhaling deeply, he gestured again, and this time it was Rey who went flying, to smash into a tree nearby and slide to the ground, dazed and hurt.”

The Force Awakens novelizatoin
Star Wars The Force Awakens
Star Wars The Force Awakens

Following quotes will give a better understanding just how much Kylo Ren was hindered by the emotional trauma and by Chewbacca’s bowcaster.

Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to this knees. Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened.”

The Force Awakens novelization

“Amid the rising bedlam and confusion, Kylo Ren struggled to stand.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Mind probing/TP

Kylo Ren is skilled at using the force to probe someone’s mind.

Beyond such tools, Kylo Ren is skilled at using the Force to probe the minds of the unwilling, tearing loose deeply held secrets.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Kylo Ren has mastered telepathic intrusion according to The Visual Dictionary

The Force Awakens Visual Guide
The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Kylo Ren probes the mind of Del Meeko, a former member of the Imperial Special Forces Inferno Squad, for the location of the map to Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars Battlefront 2
Star Wars Battlefront 2

Kylo successfully interrogates Poe Dameron, who had resisted every other interrogating method.

“General Hux was waiting for him. As expected, the interrogation had not taken long. The senior officer did not have to ask if it had been successful. No matter how determined the prisoner, not matter his or her individual resolve, Ren’s questioning invariably produced the same results.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo discovers information about Rey by entering her mind.

“Surprised by what he was finding, Ren lowered his hand. Relieved of the mental intrusion, she sucked in great, long draughts of air. His brows drew together and a reluctance to believe his own findings colored his comments. “Is it true, then? You’re nothing special after all? You’re just a—Jakku scavenger?” How did he know that? She agonized as she stared back at him. Surely she hadn’t thought it! She’d tried to keep her mind blank, her memory locked, and still he had wormed his way in.”

The Force Awakens novelization

With just a hand gesture, Kylo Ren makes Rey fall unconscious.

“The squad leader saluted, lingered a moment to look on in fascination as at a gesture from Ren the young woman standing motionless before him collapsed, and then he hastened to relay the command lest his interest in something that was none of his business be noticed.”

The Force Awakens novelization
Star Wars The Force Awakens
Star Wars The Force Awakens

Kylo Ren again effortlessly enters Rey’s mind.

“That, and then the mind probe. The pain. Her efforts to shut it out, and the contemptuous ease with which her mental defences had been brushed aside.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo Ren tried to penetrate her mental defenses a third time but was stopped by Rey, who had discovered her powers at that moment.

“Ah he thought to himself. Something there, of interest. Not the image of the map. That would take another moment. But definitely something worth investigating. He shifted his perception toward it, seeking to identify, to analyse, to—the barrier he encountered stopped him cold. And it was he, Kylo Ren, who blinked. It made no sense. He pushed, hard, with his mind—and the probe went nowhere.”

The Force Awakens novelization

NOTE: After discovering her new powers, Rey was able to instinctively use a mind trick on the Stormtrooper guarding her, showing her immense potential.

Force Barrier/Deflection/Tutamis

Kylo Ren fends off Rey’s lightsaber strikes utilizing the force.

“The weapon went flying into the snow. Unarmed, he raised a hand and utilized the Force to fend off one slashing blow after another, until finally her fury penetrated his remaining defenses.”

The Force Awakens novelization

The feat is even more impressive if you consider that Kylo was severely injured to the piont that he had trouble with pulling Anakin's lightsaber towards him.

"The hilt wobbled in the snow. Pulling it through the Force proved more strenuous than it should. The pain of Ren's wound clouded his concentration."

The Force Awakens junior novelization

Physical Traits

Accolades

Kylo is said to have immense reflexes.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide
The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Strength

Kylo Ren holds lieutenant Mitaka up with one hand.

“Reaching out, a black-gloved hand clutched the startled lieutenant and pulled him violently forward. That metallic visage was now close, closer than Mitaka had ever been to it. As the officer struggled to breathe in that remorseless grasp, Kylo Ren’s voice took on a timbre lower and more menacing than any the lieutenant had ever heard.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Kylo Ren is considered stronger as Rey.

“To an observer at a distance, it would have appeared as if a series of small explosions was going off in the depths of the forest. Blow after blow landed as lightsaber struck against lightsaber. Though Ren was bigger and stronger than Rey, their struggle had nothing to do with physical size.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Speed & Agility

Kylo is said to have immense reflexes.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide
The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Finn and Rey can’t outrun a wounded Kylo Ren.

Finn kept pulling them forward. Kylo Ren was surely close behind them. The red flash of his lightsaber caught Rey’s eye. Rey and Finn stopped for a moment and looked at each other. Silently, they agreed that they couldn’t outrun him.

Rey's Story

Kylo Ren is fast enough to easily deflect the blaster bolts Rey shoots at him.

Kylo easily deflected both bolts. With a terrifying confidence, he walked toward her. Rey fired shot after shot, but Kylo deflected every blast.

Rey's Story
Star Wars The Force Awakens
Star Wars The Force Awakens

Durability & Pain Tolerance

Kylo Ren keeps on fighting after being mentally hindered to the point the fell to his knees in shock and being hit by Chewbacca’s bowcaster.

“Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to this knees. Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened.”

The Force Awakens novelization

“Amid the rising bedlam and confusion, Kylo Ren struggled to stand.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Lightsaber skill & combat ability

Accolades

Kylo Ren’s lightsaber skills are described as deadly and they were pivotal in bringing down the new Jedi order, implying that his skill with the lightsaber is second only to Luke Skywalker.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide
The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Kylo Ren is described as an almost unstoppable force on the battlefield.

The Force Awakens Visual Guide
The Force Awakens Visual Guide

Kylo Ren is named as the greatest warrior of the First Order

Taken from The Force Awakens New Adventures
Taken from The Force Awakens New Adventures

Ultimately Finn is no match for Kylo Ren despite that the latter was injured.

Finn was fighting bravely, and Kylo was hurt from Chewbacca’s earlier shot, but Finn was still no match for Kylo’s practiced attacks. With a mighty blow, Kylo knocked Finn to the ground, wounding him.

Rey's Story

Lightsaber Combat

Kylo Ren, while injured by Chewbacca’s bowcaster and enduring an emotional trauma, engages Finn, who is depicted as a being amongst the best stormtroopers, in lightsaber combat. Ultimately, after toying with him, Kylo Ren defeats Finn.

“Drawing himself up, a towering figure in the snow, Ren did not even bother to gesture. “I’m going to kill you for it.” He rushed forward. Despite his feat, Finn raised the beam to defend himself. Ren lunged, struck—Finn parried. Shards of light flew, illuminating the snow and the surrounding vegetation. Drawing back slightly, Ren considered his unexpectedly determined opponent, then resumed his assault with a vengeance.

Finn blocked him again and again, once letting the other man’s beam slide against his own and harmlessly off to one side. He counterattacked, to no avail. The longer the contest continued, the stronger Ren seemed to become. It was as if he was enjoying the challenge. Feeding upon it.

At least, it appeared so until Finn parried, swung, and unexpectedly stabbed, the tip of his lightsaber beam grazing Ren’s arm. That made it more than a challenge. Taking a step back, Ren reconsidered his opponent. When he closed the distance between them anew, it was with a purpose that had been previously lacking. Expecting an execution, he had found a contest. Now he had been touched. It was time for play to end.

Advancing relentlessly, he was driven by something that Finn could not even sense, far less counter. Still the ex-trooper fought back, until Ren landed a blow that cut across Finn’s chest and sent the lightsaber flying from his hand. It landed in the snow six meters distant. It was over.”

The Force Awakens novelization

Finn is noted as a being among the top 1% stormtroopers.

"Whatever the test, whatever the evaluation, FN-2187 consistently scored in the top 1 percent."

Before The Awakening

Note: For more information on Finn, take a look at WollfMyth209's respect thread about him.

Following quotes will give a better understanding just how much Kylo Ren was hindered by the emotional trauma and by Chewbacca’s bowcaster.

Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to this knees. Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened.”

The Force Awakening novelization

“Amid the rising bedlam and confusion, Kylo Ren struggled to stand.”

The Force Awakening novelization

Kylo Ren, while severely injured and under psychological hindrance, duels an enraged Rey, who had picked up Anakin’s lightsaber. After a long and intense duel, Rey finally defeats him when she lets the Force flow through her.

“But she had no time to ponder his comment, nor was she inclined to do so anyway; she was to consumed with rage. Holding the haft of the lightsaber in both hands, she ignited the beam—and charged.

Ren met her with his own weapon alight. Expecting weakness, he encountered only strength. Her skill with the device was raw at best, but it was backed by a fury that was as new to his experience as it was unexpected.

When the beams of their lightsabers crossed, the resulting burst of energy lit an entire section of forest.

To an observer at a distance, it would have appeared as if a series of small explosions was going off in the depths of the forest. Blow after blow landed as lightsaber struck against lightsaber. Though Ren was bigger and stronger than Rey, their struggle had nothing to do with physical size. What she lacked in mass, she made up for in ferocity.

For a while she actually drove him backward, until he regained his self-assurance and in turn pressed her. The fight continued to shift back and forth; first he gained the advantage, then an enraged Rey took it back.

There was a vast rumbling, as of a continent sighing, and a gigantic chunk of forest behind Rey simply collapsed downward, leaving her fighting on the edge of a cliff so high that the newly formed surface below could not be seen through the rising cloud of dust.

Ren held his lightsaber, poised to strike. “I could kill you right now. But there is another way.”

Breathing hard, Rey looked up in disgust at the man looming above her. “You’re a monster.”

“No. You need a teacher.” He was beseeching and insistent all at once. “I can show you the ways of the Force!”

Slowly she shook her head. “The Force?” That was what this was about? Instead of moving to defend herself, Rey closed her eyes. Ren hesitated, confused by her actions. A long moment passed, in which Ren sensed a change in the air, a change in her. Then she opened her eyes and attacked, viciously, in a way she didn’t know she was capable of, striking again and again as Ren was slowly driven back. The flaring energy from the interacting lightsabers was more pronounced than ever in the flurry of her attack. And—Ren went down.

He was up again in an instant, but not in time to fully deflect a following blow from Rey’s weapon. He succeeded in blocking it, but he still took the full force of the strike against the haft of his own lightsaber. The weapon went flying into the snow, he raised a hand and utilized the Force to fend off one slashing blow after another, until finally her fury penetrated his remaining defenses.”

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