I have a twin, so I always felt like there are two of me. Maybe that’s what Ben Solo needed. Since he didn’t, he had to create a secondary persona.
We all know the premise of the story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll was a nice, tame guy who hid away the animistic instincts he had. These came out as Mr. Hyde.
You might think you know where I’m going with this, but I’m going to flip the script.
What if Ben Solo is actually Mr. Hyde – the big secret no one can know exists that is denied by Kylo Ren. Ren is Dr. Jekyll – the person he consciously believes is superior.
This way of thinking even helps make the fastest case for “Bendemption.”
There is one theory from Freud that’s highlighted throughout Jekyll and Hyde. It states the unconscious mind (our wants and desires) drive our actions. Kylo Ren believes he is in the driver’s seat. He believes he has full control and has tucked away the pesky Ben Solo. Instead, Solo is simply his unconscious mind. It is the “pull to the light” that Ren can’t shake. Ben Solo keeps coming up time and time again, gaining more ground each time. It’s Ben Solo’s goodness that is driving the action and Kylo Ren doesn’t even realize it.
It starts small in The Force Awakens. Kylo Ren mentions that he feels Ben Solo coming out. He prays for darkness and control. Instead, he (seemingly accidentally) finds small salvations for Rey. He practically saves her when he takes her away from the fight on Takondana. He shows small mercies in his interrogation on Starkiller Base.
Ben Solo plays more of a role in The Last Jedi. He mentors Rey and gives her comfort when needed. Even when he goes on a small murder spree (like the original Mr. Hyde) in Snoke’s chambers, it’s for a good cause.
Much like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Ben/Kylo duality started because one individual was not able to accept multiple sides of their self. They split in two and evil is born from the friction between those two sides.
Here’s where the fun begins.
We can start by tying in some of the prophecies and customs we learned in Master and Apprentice and Dooku: Jedi Lost. In Master and Apprentice, Qui-Gon Jinn is presented as one of the most insightful Jedi in “modern history.” This is partly because he was able to accept and acknowledge what others thought of as the dark side. He knew, though, that is “wasn’t the dark side, it was being awake.”
Dooku: Jedi Lost takes this a step further and tells us what ancient Jedi used to preach every day.
“We call upon the three: light, dark, and balance true.
One is no greater than the others.
Together they unite, restore, center, and renew.
We walk into the light, acknowledge the dark, and find balance within ourselves.
For the Force is strong.”
Once Ben/Kylo can accept both sides of who he is, walk into the light as Ben Solo while acknowledging all he’s done as Kylo Ren, we may see the balance of the Force personified.