After an intense first issue, issue #2 of Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren picks up right where issue #1 ended. Meaning, Snoke’s manipulation continues to draw out Ben Solo’s dark side.
We learn a few things about Ben Solo in this issue, including the fact that he hates his name and what it lives up to. He is named after legends, and that is a lot of pressure on someone. It is even relatable. Obi-Wan Kenobi was an amazing Jedi, and Han Solo was a hero. Of course, one would expect Ben to live up to his name. Only, it angers him and pushes him away from the light side. And even easier for Snoke to get into his mind.
Pushing his birth name aside, he is told he will have to choose a new one in order to join the Knights of Ren. Ben thinks it is a stupid name he came up with as a child, but Snoke (who chose his own name as well) tell him a child’s thoughts are pure and that is why the name will be true and good. To my utter surprise, I actually agree with Snoke there. That is some powerful writing by Charles Soule!
In addition to a new name, Ben will also have to pay a price to join. We saw this price at the very beginning of issue #1, and one that makes you wary of what is to come for Ben Solo. If he fails, which we also saw at the start of the series, Ben will face death himself.
What is wonderful about pop-culture related comics is that we get stories beyond what we have seen. For instance, in this issue we get to see a young Ben Solo on a mission with Luke Skywalker and Lor San Tekka. We also a get a better understanding of his character as we see Snoke got their hooks in him quite early. We also see that he encountered the Knights of Ren quite early, too. (Seriously, Ben! Stop feeding Snoke information!) It makes Ben Solo’s journey to Kylo Ren seem inevitable from this viewpoint.
Once again, Charles Soule, Will Sliney and the wonderful team that is working on this series has brought the world of Star Wars to life. I am absolutely loving this delve into Ben’s psyche and what drove him to his inevitable fall into darkness. They work cohesively to bring excitement, action, and suspense to each turning page. I cannot wait until the next issue when we see Ben come face to face with the price he has to pay to join the Knights of Ren. Find it digitally and in comic shops February 12!