And with that, the series rights itself.
After last months lacklustre issue, Soule really ties the story together the bring ‘The Rise of Kylo Ren’ to a quick but satisfying conclusion.
Ben uses his Mind Invasion technique to stop Ren and the Knights from murdering innocent beings but they do it anyway. Once they reach their objective, the locals are joined by Voe and Tai.
Ren and the Knights fight Voe whilst Tai battles Ben and tries to bring him back to the Light Side. Ben disarms him but Tainis then killed by Ren who challenges Ben, not believing the former Jedi is actually as great and Dark as Snoke believes him to be.
As they fight, Ben’s fall to the Dark Side is felt across the Galaxy, Leia, Rey, Snoke and evening Palpatine feel his growing Darkness.
Ben kills Ren before using Ren’s lightsaber to kill Voe. The rest of the Knights bow to Ben. They leave on the Night Buzzard where Ben attempts to bleed his Kyber Crystal. Something goes wrong and he breaks it in two.
He places them in his lightsaber but the energy is too powerful so he modifies the hilt, making it into the cross guard lightsaber we all know and he is asked for his name.
The focus of the issue is really the final leg of Ben’s fall which is the fight with Ren. It’s in that sequence we get to see so much, Leia sensing his turn whilst Snoke pushes him, egging him on. Rey sensing a cold feeling on Jakku, probably her first real feeling of the Force, showing the Dyad connection between her and Ben, and finally, the true power behind Ben’s turn, Palpatine on Exogol.
Seeing the Knights in action was cool, despite being brief, but we get to see how they operate more, brutal killers who are more effective against the weak and unarmed, but when facing a trained foe they are pretty useless, getting beaten by Voe, who Ren describes as nothing more than a child. I think it’s safe to describe them as nothing more than the Star Wars equivalent of a Biker Gang, which may sound like an insult but I don’t mean it that way at all.
Ben’s fight with Kai also reveals that Ben has felt the pull to both sides since he was a child and he feels that the Dark is his only choice after what happened at Luke’s Academy, despite his friends attempts to bring him home. It’s sad to see how little Ben thinks of himself, other than a name and part of a legacy that, rather than a sense of pride, he senses pressure to live up to that legacy.
A definite improvement from Issue 3,!but still not on par with the first two issues. It’s a satisfying conclusion but the wrap-up at the end where he forged his weapon feels rushed. I would have liked to have seen him forge the mask as well, perhaps a fifth issue would have been beneficial, unless Soule has something planned, a sequel series perhaps?
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