The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may have brought the Skywalker Saga to an end, but it was far from complete in terms of filling in a lot of key background story. Marvel Comics Star Wars: The RIse of Kylo Ren has now stepped up to fill-in the story of how Ben Solo finally fell to the dark side and became Kylo Ren. In the final chapter of the story we get to see the actual moment where Ben Solo fully embraced the dark side and became "Kylo Ren," and not surprisingly, Emperor Palpatine is revealed to have provided the final push in Ben's fall.
Warning - Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #4 SPOILERS Follow!
The final chapter of Rise of Kylo Ren takes place on id Rim, The Minemoon of Mimban. The Knight of Ren and Ben Solo arrive their to loot a precious artifact known as "The Mindsplitter." While Ren and his Knights are busy mercilessly slaughtering the Mimban locals, the group is ambushed by Ben Solo former friends from Luke Skywalker's Jedi Temple, Voe and Tai.
It's revealed that Ben and Tai were actually best friends with a deep bond in the Force, and it is Tai who sheaths his lightsaber and approaches Ben from a place of compassion. Tai uses his bond with Ben and their shared sensitivity to the Force to force Ben into admitting he is an agent of the light side. However, Ren has been watching Ben closely the whole time during his "initiation" into the Knights of Ren, and Ben's mercy for Tai is all the proof needed that he will never be a true villain. While Tai is pleading with Ben, Ren uses Force push to break Tai's neck. The death of his close friend fills Ben Solo with the necessary rage to finally be lured over to the dark side.
In the climax of The Rise of Kylo Ren sees Ben battle Ren in a duel to the death. That battle sees Ben and Ren fall over a cliff and make a long fall while dueling, and it's during this both literal and figurative fallout Ben that we finally get the reveal that Emperor Palpatine was heavily involved and giving Ben final push over the edge. As been brandishes his lightsaber and Tai's to fight Ren, Palpatine is seen speaking from his hideout on Exegol, feeding his Snoke puppet the exact words Ben needs to hear in the moment:
"Now you will be who you are. Who you were always meant to be... Yes my boy... yes... Claim your birthright and strike him down."
Palpatine's dark side influence is counterbalanced by Leia sensing her son slipping away, and calling for him to resist the dark side; even Rey (still unaware of her powers) feels a cold shift in the Force. Ultimately, Ben lands his fall by brutally impaling Ren, and having the Knights of Ren bow to him as their new leader. As a final act of darkness, Ben murders Voe in cold blood, claiming that since the Jedi Order is done, her life has no purpose. The story ends with Ben taking the Kyber Crystal from his lightsaber and converting it into a dark side crystal, which becomes the now-iconic sword-hilt lightsaber Kylo Ren used. Palpatine's final words in Ben's head? "What is your name?"
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #4 is now on sale.