There are so many things to speculate on in the Star Wars Universe. Is Finn a Force user? Who are Rey’s parents? Why is Luke Skywalker in hiding? What made Kylo Ren turn to the Dark Side? Those aren’t the things that bother me. I know they will all be explained in time.
Let the nerd rant begin.
Here’s the thing that bothers me: I’ve been writing an article on Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren, and the more I type it, the more I don’t like it. “Kylo Ren.” It just sounds weird. Everyone one else has a short name or a shortened version of their name. Artoo, Threepio, and even Chewbacca. But Kylo Ren has no shortened version.
Let’s take a moment to point out the ridiculousness of that name. It’s a mouthful. It’s two words and it’s not the easiest to say. It’s not his real name (and no I don’t mean “Adam Driver”), so we all feel silly calling him Kylo Ren or we feel silly calling him Ben Solo. There’s no clear winner (and isn’t that kind of the point)?
It’s not like “Darth Vader” where we had heard the name “Anakin Skywalker” right away, but we didn’t associate it with Darth Vader until years after. So we had all become pretty comfortable calling him “Darth Vader” by the time we found out that wasn’t the name his momma gave him. They don’t even let us get our shoes laced up before they let us know: this guy is Kylo Ren, but he’s also Ben Solo.
“Ben Solo” is much easier to say. It’s the same number of syllables and is infinitely easier as it rolls off the tongue, but we don’t know Ben Solo, do we? We know Kylo Ren.
On the subject of Darth Vader, we can call Darth Vader “Vader” because that’s his adopted name. It also helps that characters in the original trilogy call him “Vader,” or “Lord Vader.” There’s only one instance of a character calling him “Darth” and it didn’t end well. In this case, the original trilogy acts as a style guide. If we follow the pattern we would call this new guy “Ren.” But that sounds awful.
However, we find out later that “Darth” is Darth Vader’s title because he is a Dark Lord of the Sith and all Dark Lords of the Sith have a “Darth [Something With a Negative Connotation]” name. It doesn’t flow that way with Kylo Ren. He is a Master of the Knights of Ren, so in this case the last part of his name is the title. If we call him by the part of his name he doesn’t share with other Knights of Ren, he becomes “Kylo,” which is the least intimidating name I can think of. Maybe “Ben Ren” was already taken.
So which is it? Is it Ren? That makes me sound like an eeeediot. Is it Kylo? That’s too adorable. Do we all just keep having to call him Kylo Ren? In the meantime, my sister has taken to calling him “Rilo Kiley,” which is somehow still more fearsome.
End of nerd rant.