Intriguing new details about Kylo Ren and what he was up to leading up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been revealed.
Bryan Young, a writer for Star Wars who is also part of a podcast based on the saga called Full of Sith, is convinced that Ben Solo prevented the assassination of his mother Leia in the book Bloodline by Claudia Gray, which is set six years before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director and writer Rian Johnson, who has been working on the film even before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was actually the one who came up with many of the elements that served as the foundation of the book.
This includes the Napkin incident, which involved a plot by the First Order to kill Leia in order to elect a new Chancellor-like position called the First Senator.
The assassination was set to occur during her breakfast meeting at Hosnian prime. When she got there, she noticed a paper streamer beneath her plate that warned her to “run.”
As the Star Wars: The Force Awakens prequel book details, this was the first time in a long time Leia has seen anything handwritten, save for historical documents. The part in question reads as follows.
“Actual writing. Virtually nobody wrote any longer; it had been years since Leia had seen actual words handwritten in ink on anything but historical documents. But today, someone has left this message on her plate, only one word long. RUN.
“Leia shoved her chair back, instantly leaping to her feet. ‘We have to get out of here,’ she said to the startled senators at the table. ‘Now. Go!'”
The book offered no details on the identity of the person behind the warning that allowed Leia to walk out of that breakfast meeting alive, but Young has reason to believe that it is no other than her son Ben Solo.
Fans will remember that even though he led the First Order as Kylo Ren to attack the Resistance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Ben Solo in him still decided against blasting the ship his mother was on. The official novelization revealed that had he known his troops were looking to do the job for him, he would have done something to stop them.
In a video on Star Wars Explained, Young explains that this is exactly what Ben managed to do in another attempt at his mother’s life before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
In the official Star Wars: The Last Jedi visual dictionary, it is revealed that Ben owned a calligraphy set that included pens, ink, and parchment scrolls.
That very set appeared in the flashback scene in the film—eagle-eyed fans would have caught a glimpse of it on his bedside table as he attempted to save himself from Luke who he thought was going to kill him.
Bloodline‘s emphasis of handwritten documents becoming practically obsolete at this point in the galaxy and the fact that Rian Johnson referenced Ben Solo’s love for the art in Star Wars: The Last Jedi convince Young that it was a hint on the future First Order supreme leader’s unexpected role in the Napkin incident.
He added that if Star Wars has taught fans anything, it is that nothing happens by accident in the galaxy far, far away, so all this has to be connected.
It was not long after this incident that Ben turned to the dark side and became the Kylo Ren fans first met in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His uncle’s “betrayal” pushed him over the edge after he learned that he was the grandson of Darth Vader.
Although Star Wars: The Last Jedi ended with Kylo Ren now hell-bent on ridding the galaxy of the Resistance—even if he has to undo his every effort to save his mother—up until this part in the film, the Ben Solo who loved Leia dearly was still inside him. Whether he is gone for good or could come back in Star Wars: Episode 9 is a mystery at this time.