By Ioana Balas
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren is a miniseries that started in December 2019 and continued its release after the movie The Rise Of Skywalker. It is written by Charles Soule, an already known writer for Star Wars content, both in comics and novels. The illustrator is Will Sliney, of Spider-Man 2099 fame.
The comic explores the time after Ben Solo was attacked by his master, foreshadowing from the beginning the future affiliation of Ben to the Knights of Ren. We get to see Ben’s fellow Jedi students, Luke teaching them and of course, inserts of evil. Both Snoke and Palpatine make appearances, so it’s the perfect comic to understand Ben Solo better prior to TROS.
The storyline is very fulfilling, answering many questions in only 4 issues and having lots of statements. We meet Ren, a character who is strong with the dark side of the Force, who is trying to get Ben on his side. We also meet… a Snoke, in the most beautiful setting of the comic, in the second issue, on a planet engulfed in nature, very antithetical to the character itself, given what we find out about him in Episode IX.
The Knights of Ren are also present and aggressive, and their presence would have made a bigger impact if this comic would have been R-rated.
We also get to REALLY understand Ben Solo’s constant struggle between the light and dark. He still has his parents and uncle and he is, like we know from the movies, not very keen on being a spawn of legacies. That and a sensible mind combined made him make some horrific choices that led to him befriending Ren.
My only issue with this comic is Sliney’s art. He does backgrounds and planets flawlessly, there is a splash-page that is terrific, but as most artists from Marvel, he can’t get Adam Driver/Ben Solo/Kylo Ren right. That happens in an instance with General Leia Organa too. Yes, both Adam and Carrie Fisher have interesting and hard to draw faces, but is it too much to get a comic where Kylo Ren’s face is done right?
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren is a must-read for Kylo Ren/Ben Solo fans. You’ll see him in action, doubting his beliefs and being fleshed out in a very respectful way. Even if you didn’t like TROS, this comic is a very solid read.