So claims a popular fan theory.
Ok, so let’s say this at the top: This theory is almost for sure completely bunk, but it’s just too cool not to talk about and has a little too much circumstantial evidence to 100% dismiss out of hand. I personally don’t believe in this theory, but I’m going to do my best to make its case because I’m a Star Wars nerd and this is fun.
The theory, which comes from 23-year-old Brazillian blogger Letícia Piroutek and her father, says that Kylo Ren embraced the Dark Side not because he was tempted by Supreme Leader Snoke and fell, but because he’s a deep cover mole to find and kill Snoke. The theory says Kylo Ren is becoming a Sith both to be sure his cover is convincing, and because only the combined and unified might of the Light and Dark sides can overthrow Snoke.
The Evidence For
At least on a surface level, the theory accounts for every piece of evidence in The Force Awakens, and (though it doesn’t mention it) also fits well with other likely theories like the possibility that Supreme Leader Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis, Emperor Palpatine’s former Sith master. The crux of the theory is that Snoke is so powerful that Luke and his burgeoning new Jedi order can’t take Snoke on directly. To whit, Kylo’s massacre of Luke’s Jedi academy was staged, with the trainees, including Rey, actually hidden away, and Kylo’s “treason” is what injects him into Snoke’s trusted inner circle.
This fits with the movie in several ways.
1. Kylo Ren Feels the Pull of the Light Side
It’s a nice little reversal of fortunes that Kylo Ren is a Dark Side figure who feels the call of the Light. It fits well with his origins as Han and Leia’s child raised in the Light, but it’s also weird for a character who’s intentionally devoted himself to the Dark Side. That’s usually a point of no return (or at least very difficult return) for characters in the Star Wars universe.
The theory that makes Kylo Ren a Jedi assassin explains this by saying that in his heart of hearts, Kylo Ren is still committed to his virtuous mission of defeating Snoke, so he struggles with needing to adopt the ways of the Dark Side to make his cover more convincing.
2. He’s Deeply Conflicted, Especially When it Comes to Family
Another major point of evidence for the theory is how Kylo Ren says that he’s being torn apart inside. That’s because, just like his family aches to see him again, he’s had to make the heart wrenching decision to turn away from, scorn, and even kill the ones he loves in order to achieve a higher good.
3. It Explains Why He Seems to Recognize Rey
If the whole destruction of the new Jedi Order was a sham and Rey’s memories have been wiped for her own protection, it makes sense that Kylo would still recognize Rey and go out of his way to make sure he could watch over and protect her. If the ultimate goal is to unite the power of the Dark Side with the power and virtue of the Light Side to overthrow Snoke, Kylo Ren needs to protect his Light Side counterpart in Rey.
4. Kylo Ren’s Obsession Over Finding Luke is Actually Protecting Him
If Kylo Ren has become so convincing that Snoke trusts him to track down Luke’s location, this actually puts Kylo in the perfect position to protect Luke. If he ever does find evidence of Luke’s whereabouts, he’ll be able to hide or obscure it before others who would do Luke harm can find him.
5. The Similarities Between The Force Awakens and A New Hope Are Just a Massive Misdirect
A lot of people (including us) have commented on just how alike the original Star Wars and The Force Awakens are when you start breaking them down in terms of structure and character. The theory alleges that this is intentional for more than just making Star Wars fans feel at home. Instead, while we’re expecting Kylo Ren to grow worse prior to a potential redemption, instead he’ll reveal he was never in need of any redemption, and was working for the good guys the entire time. The Force Awakens is so similar to the original just to throw us off the scent.
In the words of the theory, here’s where it all leads:
They are always saying that the Dark Side and the Light are together in the Force.
They need the personification of both sides (Kylo and Rey) in order to be strong enough to destroy Snoke!!!!!!!!
He [Kylo Ren] literally has to become a Sith to join forces with a Jedi.
The Evidence Against
Ok, so the theory does have a few holes in it.
First, there’s been no evidence in any of the Star Wars movies that an equity between Light Side and Dark Side is keeping the Force in “balance,” nor that the Dark Side has power the Light Side is lacking. Yoda says as much in The Empire Strikes Back.
LUKE: “Is the Dark Side stronger?”
YODA: “No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.”
There’s really nothing to suggest that a cooperation between the Light Side and the Dark Side will achieve anything other than to pull the Light Side into darkness.
Two, even if Snoke is Darth Plagueis and is more powerful than the Emperor ever was, it’s hard to believe Luke would disappear for so long and not confront the problem head on. If anyone in the galaxy is properly prepared to take on the Sith, it’s got to be Luke.
Third, and this is really the big one, in Kylo Ren’s most private moments, he seems to be dealing with a very different kind of internal conflict than the theory supposes. Even when he’s alone, he’s conflicted about the path before him. Should he take the Light Side or the Dark? If he was a double agent, the conflict would be more about feeling isolated and oppressed by the Dark Side all around him. The moments where he feels the Light would be brief moments of respite to be nurtured, not a plague Kylo Ren would be trying to rid himself of. And the showdown with his father, Han Solo? Seems pretty clear that’s Kylo trying to rid himself of the last traces of Ben Solo.