In the Star Wars universe, there is a clear distinction between the two sides of the Force. There is the light side and the dark side.
Those who adhere to the Jedi’s general idea of what’s right and wrong are part of the light side. They believe in peace, keeping a clear mind, and protecting all life, which are all decent attributes for an individual to have.
If they believe the opposite, and follow the ideals of the Sith, then the Force user is considered to be a part of the dark side.
Every now and then, an individual begins to question the philosophy of their respective side. More often than not, this occurs in the form of a switch from the light to the dark side.
One particular example of this change is Kylo Ren. In the case of this mysterious warrior, his history is not as clear-cut as simply switching from Jedi to Sith.
For that matter, he wasn’t technically either a Jedi or a Sith. So what happened to Kylo Ren?
Let me explain.
Table of Contents
Is Kylo Ren a Sith or a Dark Jedi?
Contrary to popular belief, Kylo Ren isn’t exactly a Sith. He fell into a newer generation of dark warriors who embraced the dark side.
Although Kylo Ren has some sort of Sith affiliation, it is an unsustainable connection. For one, Ren was trained in the way of the dark side but not necessarily the way of the Sith.
What’s more, he was trained by Supreme Leader Snoke, who was not a Sith himself. This is despite the fact that Snoke was created and controlled by Darth Sidious. Therefore, Ren could be considered more of a Dark Jedi.
But what exactly is a Dark Jedi?
Well, a Dark Jedi, also known as a Fallen Jedi, is a Force-sensitive who has chosen to reject the Jedi and, by extension, the light side of the Force. They choose to follow the dark side.
Kylo Ren fell into this category of being a former light-side user who made the switch to the dark side. Ergo, on paper, he was certainly a Dark Jedi.
Why Did Kylo Ren Switch Sides?
Kylo Ren was born Ben Solo to General Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa. Naturally, from the beginning of his life, he was trained to be a light-side Force user.
Unfortunately for the family, Ben would eventually switch to the dark side.
As a youngling, Kylo Ren had the privilege of being his uncle, Luke Skywalker’s, Padawan. That was until the Jedi Master had a vision of Ben falling to the dark side.
In a misguided attempt to avoid this future evil, Luke tried to use his lightsaber to kill his nephew while he was asleep.
Consequently, when Ben woke up to see his uncle armed with his lightsaber, ready to kill him, he felt betrayed and subsequently turned his back on the Jedi.
Now separated from the Jedi, Ben sought out the help of Supreme Leader Snoke. But little did he know, Snoke was merely a stand-in for Sith Lord Darth Sidious.
When Did Ben Solo Become Kylo Ren?
Even though he was older than most of the Padawans, Ben was still en route to climbing the ranks of the Jedi’s newly formed Jedi Order. Of course, that was until the young man saw his uncle getting ready to end his life.
Disgusted, he joined forces with Snoke and severed ties with the Jedi and the light side. Additionally, to completely sever ties, Ben got rid of his given name and used his new dark side name, Kylo Ren.
Why is Kylo Ren Not Called Darth?
As we have already established, Kylo Ren was neither a Jedi nor a full-blown Sith. Therefore, he never became a Sith Lord and thus never gained the title that went with it, “Darth.”
He was trained by a biologically engineered being known as Snoke. Snoke was not a Sith Lord in his own right, but he was an incredible warrior for the dark side.
Given how closely Snoke’s training of Kylo mimics that of the First Order, it’s no surprise that Darth Sidious was the mastermind behind Snoke and how he trained Kylo.
Because they imparted so much knowledge of the older Sith Order to Kylo Ren, his fighting style and philosophies mirrored those of the Sith. Even his lightsaber resembled that of the First Order.
Not having the epithet of “Darth” did not hold Kylo Ren back in the slightest. He still went on to become a powerful warlord for the dark side.
Kylo Ren’s initial reaction to Luke Skywalker trying to kill him is justified. Not only was his uncle the one who was supposed to protect him, but Luke’s instinct to murder Ren was in direct violation of the Jedi Code.
Kylo Ren saw the rules he was taught to never stray from being blatantly disregarded. As one might expect, this caused him to lose faith in the Jedi Order and the light side.
Therefore, he unsurprisingly switched over to the dark side, where he was welcomed with open arms.
Even though Ren was theoretically trained by Darth Sidious through his proxy, Supreme Leader Snoke, he was never officially a Sith. By extension, he could not carry the title of “Darth”.
Yet, Ren had all the talent and knowledge to have become a dark lord if he had been accepted into the Order. Instead, Kylo Ren was a part of a new organization on the dark side, known as The Knights of Ren.