Lit Darth Caedus & Kylo Ren - A thematic comparison

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Charlemagne19, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    No, I don't mean in a fight. I mean their storytelling potential and how the two characters compare THEMATICALLY. Now that we've got two movies of Kylo Ren, we've got a better sense of who he is and how he compares to the other Evil Solo child.

    There's a lot of parallels and some differences.

    Both are extraordinarily powerful
    Both of them conquered the galaxy.
    Both rejected redemption
    Both of them have a brown haired female Jedi as their archenemy
    Both of them were trained by Luke Skywalker as his personal apprentice
    Both of them were educated by Darksiders who influenced them at a low point in their life

    Jacen was an expansive war veteran who fell to protect his daughter
    Kylo Ren grew up in a time of peace and fell due to a gross misunderstanding
    Kylo killed his master
    Jacen had his master sacrifice herself
    Jacen killed his Aunt
    Kylo killed his father and caused Luke to sacrifice himself
    Jacen corrupted Tahiri
    Kylo failed to corrupt Rey but corrupted the Knights of Ren
    Jacen was a true Sith Lord
    Kylo is just a pretender

    What are the ups and downs of both?

    What works for one and fails for the other?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  2. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2007
    Kylo and Caedus actually had something in common beyond their origins. Both were incredibly poor fighters.

    Caedus got his backside handed to him Aurra Sing, Mara Jade, and eventually Jaina. The only decent fight he was against Luke and he lost that one too.

    Kylo got beaten by a girl who'd never held a lightsaber. He had trouble with a handful of Forceless guards that any Sith Lord worth their saber could have dismissed with a gesture.

    So much for the Dark Side being easier and quicker to aid in a fight.
  3. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jan 23, 2011
    We really don't have enough information on Kylo Ren to even begin accurately comparing them thematically.
  4. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Aug 19, 2002
    I liked Jacen plenty, but I find Kylo a lot more compelling than Caedus.
  5. Slater

    Slater Jedi Master star 2

    Oct 12, 2014
    Kylo isn't a complete character assassination and derailment of Ben Solo.

    Therefore he is automatically better then what that abomination Caedus did to Jacen Solo
  6. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 3, 2013
    Yeah, whether you think Kylo is a great villain or a godawful one, it is next to impossible to create a worse villain than Caedus. I'm having trouble picturing what that would even look like in a non-parodic work. Like I've said in the past, even disregarding the whole character derailment issue and taking him purely on his own terms he's horribly inconsistent to the point of being like 3-4 different characters.

    Honestly, I think it's a genuine shame that the comparison is even being made in the first place when Jacen Solo wasn't evil for the vast majority of his existence (IU and OOU both).
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  7. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 4

    Apr 5, 2015
    Caedus. He knew so many obscure and esoteric force powers, was a much better lightsaber duelist, had Force lightning in his arsenal and was less of an idiot......
    kalzeth likes this.
  8. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 12, 2012
    the finger flick to call the lightsaber to him in Last Jedi was one of the coolest things I've seen in a Star War movie in decades so Kylo wins by default.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
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  9. Voltron64

    Voltron64 Jedi Master star 1

    Dec 23, 2009
    True enough, but the idea of him falling to the dark side is a good one considering how heartbreaking it could feel to the readers who were so familiar with him.
  10. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Apr 25, 2004
    I think if we were just going off TFA, I would go with Caedus as being the less awful character...because I did not like Kylo in TFA at all. With TLJ though, I think Kylo improved a good deal, so I'd switch it around.
  11. Havoc123

    Havoc123 Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 26, 2013
    Caedus is the superior one, in my opinion. He actually manipulated his way into galactic leadership and gained a large number of supporters. While Kylo Ren contends with Hux, Caedus has the likes of Bwua'tu and even Alliance hero Gavin Darklighter serve him. Closest to his Hux, Niathal, is actually a smart woman who rose up to the rank of Admiral, even if she is a bit of an Ackbar fangirl (who isn't an Ackbar fan anyway?). Anyway, Caedus gained the loyalty and completed a turn of the old NR from a loose democratic entity into a more authoritarian model, a style which apparently stuck into Daala.

    As an opponent to the Jedi, Caedus managed to take on and kill Mara Jade. He didn't only halfway corrupt Ben Skywalker but he also got Tahiri Veila with him.

    As @Charlemagne19 pointed out, Caedus fell out of a necessity. He saw the way the Galaxy was heading and saw himself as the only one to prevent it from devolving into chaos and conflict, so he did what he saw needed to be done. It was a slow and quiet fall, but a reasonable and expected one. Meanwhile, Kylo falls because Luke goes 100% out of character and decides to storm his room with an ignited lightsaber.

    And Caedus looks to be in control of certain situations. He even acts as an equal to his master, not as a servant. Kylo Ren's never in control, and it's very difficult for me to take him seriously in his Supreme Leader role.
  12. Nom von Anor

    Nom von Anor Jedi Master star 2

    Oct 7, 2012
    I think Caedus and Kylo Ren are both awful, uninteresting villains. Both give me the impression that they turned to the dark side because "yeah, why not?" But I loved Jacen before they turned him into a wannabe Sith lord.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  13. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    I'm going to go with Kylo Ren.

    I've never particularly felt Caedus had a particularly good opening for becoming a Dark Lord because so much of it didn't make sense. He didn't turn into a Sith Lord during the Yuuzhan Vong where he could have conceivably been broken by the torture, trillions of death, and personal losses he suffered. Instead, he became a Sith Lord during the relatively peaceful time when the Galactic Alliance was ascendant.

    His motive of saving his daughter from joining Darth Krayt was also tacked on by Troy Denning who I have a lot of respect for but seemed like he was fighting Karen Traviss for control over the character. Karen wanting to make Caedus a pathetic lunatic who was afraid of his own cloak (seriously?) versus Troy Denning's Alexander the Great as a Sith Lord. The galaxy also seemed too willing to hand Jacen control over the galaxy.

    Then again, unlike @Havoc123, I considered Niathal his strongest supporter.

    Kylo Ren is a character we have seen pretty much carve a way through the Star Wars galaxy while maintaining a certain level of sympathy. His fall is something that is somewhat ridiculous but at least it makes sense: He thought Luke was going to kill him, so he fled to Snoke who he apparently knew as a close friend and mentor. The fact he almost immediately turned on Snoke when it was revealed he didn't care about him was also a good moment.

    Sadly for those who want a redemption, Kylo Ren is also responsible for Luke's death as while he didn't blast him to death or kill him with a lightsaber, he did cause him to exhaust himself then die.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  14. Noash_Retrac

    Noash_Retrac Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 14, 2006
    @AdmiralNick22 Recommend your eyes in case of Disney bashing (again).
  15. Anslyder

    Anslyder Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 8, 2018
    They both are meh characters, but Jacen at least has an understandable motivation compared to Kylo who till this day I can't tell why he is doing what he is doing.

    And no, I don't think TLJ improved Kylo. If anything, it actually made him worse.
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  16. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    To complete his grandfather's work and bring ORDER to the galaxy.

  17. Anslyder

    Anslyder Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 8, 2018
    So, he killed his father, caused his uncle death and almost killed his mother to complete the work of his grandfather who sacrificed himself to save his son.

    And he casued chaos in the galaxy which was in peace before he joined Snoke to bring ORDER.

    I'm sorry, but is he idiot or something? Was it revealed that he was hit in the head when he was kid? Because this will explain something at least.
    Nom von Anor and kalzeth like this.
  18. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 28, 2003

    Please don’t mini-Mod. There is nothing in Charles post that isn’t allowed on these forums. Our policy on these boards is the following: We accept the new canon is canon and don’t allow debates on that fact. However, folks are allowed to dislike the new canon, we only step in when users troll or repeatedly detail threads about it. Otherwise, they are free to post their views. [face_peace]


    I’m gonna tweak the name of the thread, as versus threads aren’t permitted. You clearly state in your opening post what this thread is discussing, so I’m just gonna modify the name.

    —Adm. Nick
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
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  19. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    Kylo Ren is all in on the side of the First Order. Assuming that Luke tried to kill him, he seems to genuinely believe their side is a bunch of hypocrites and speaks often of how they disappointed him. I suspect Snoke stroked his belief the Galactic Empire was a flawed but necessary organization which the Rebellion brought down.

    I'm tempted to bring this up in the Endor to Jakku thread but @AdmiralNick22 brought up a lot of information in that thread which highlights why people would be less than impressed with the New Republic. Basically, the New Republic is a gutted shell of its previous Galactic Republic self. There's a new Confederacy, a new Corporate Sector, massive numbers of independent worlds, and the Secessionist First Order itself. The New Republic is also crippled by its weak Federal government and infighting to the point it might as well not exist.

    It's an extremely chaotic galaxy and doesn't seem likely to get any better.
  20. ChrisLyne

    ChrisLyne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 29, 2002
    100% this!

    Ben Solo was a blank slate, we were introduced to him as Kylo. Caedus was a complete character assassination built on a retcon (Vergere) and every time the readers called them out on it/rejected their reasoning they came up with another attempted justification/retcon to try and make it work. It never did.

    Kylo is probably the most compelling of the new ST characters (and I say that as someone who always tends to favour the heroic characters). Caedus was a slap in the face to all fans of Jacen Solo and the NJO's story arc.

    Honestly, I'd much prefer it if the ST hadn't gone with the old Skywalker descendant turns to the dark side story, but at least they've done a far better job than LOTF ever did.

    Of course I also much prefer the heroic Jacen Solo to both of them :D
    Charlemagne19 likes this.
  21. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    Caedus didn't get "his backside" handed to him-I seem to recall he prevailed in the duel with Mara and Mara caught him by surprise.

    As for Jaina-he prevailed in the first duel and sent her fleeing-he could have captured or killed her but ordered his men to direct their fire elsewhere. In the second duel-he was focused on something far more important than coming out of that biodisposal chamber alive. Jaina notes he could have focused all his power on killing her but he wasn't interested in revenge or getting the one up on her or his family.

    As for Luke-well Luke caught him from behind and its GM Luke Skywalker-he managed to hold his own for quite sometime at that.

    As for Aurra Sing-she was subdued and locked up and was never seen from again however she was a notorious Jedi killer and trained bounty hunter/assassin. But she ended up in what amounted to a dungeon anyway.

    Caedus force powers and knowledge I don't think he ever mastered-give him another five years to a decade and Luke would have been more hesitant to challenge him.

    Caedus never reached his potential and Jacen far overreached his when defeating Onimi-achieving a power level far beyond what would have been his limits but Caedus was extremely powerful and would only get stronger after all the force favors the young and Caedus was only in his early thirties.

    As for Caedus motivations-there were probably as many as there were authors of LOTF and FOTJ and they often were retconned and hard to reconcile but they fit Jacen to some extent at least as parts of his psyche.

    Kylo on the other hand-spends the first movie trying to live up to Vader in an almost childish attempt at imitation, and as far we know did not have the kaleidoscope of motivations and pressures Jacen was under that made him accept Lumiya's overture.
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  22. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 22, 2005
    Time to bring back one of my posts from another thread... ;)
  23. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    I'd be interested in seeing a fanfic where Caedus and his fleet alongside Jaina and Tahiri are transported to canon.

    How long would it take Caedus to seize power in the Canon universe?
    kalzeth likes this.
  24. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    I'd write that fanfic but it would be in the vein of Gwenpool.

    Caedus: *fights Rey* You fight well. Who trained you?

    Rey: Oh no, I don't have any training with a lightsaber. I just use the Force/

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  25. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    The TLJ novel explains some of the reason she’s so adept, if you needed such explanations.

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