The Star Wars timeline is complicated. On the one hand, it’s relatively simple. The franchise is divided into three big eras — prequels, original trilogy, and sequels — set on a linear path. But then there are all the movies and shows that fill the spaces between those eras, plus weirder concepts like the World Between Worlds, which is basically the closest Star Wars ever got to time travel. So when Lucasfilm tries to set the timeline straight, it’s worth paying attention.
A new book with the lengthy title Star Wars Timelines: From the Time Before the High Republic to the Fall of the First Order does just that. And fans have noticed one interesting detail that could answer a pivotal question from both the sequels and the prequels.
Solving a Kylo Ren mystery
As Redditor u/Obversa recently noted, Star Wars Timelines reveals the exact year when Ben Solo (aka Kylo Ren) turned against Luke Skywalker and destroyed the Jedi Temple. It was 28 ABY (that’s After the Battle of Yavin, the climax of A New Hope). If your next question is about how old Kylo Ren was at the time, we’re way ahead of you.
Ben Solo was born in 8 ABY. That made him 20 when he turned to the Dark side, betrayed Luke, and murdered the other Jedi-in-training. That in itself might not be of note, but when you consider the broader Star Wars context it becomes much more interesting.
Ben Solo and Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker isn’t just Ben’s grandfather, but also Kylo Ren’s greatest inspiration. In the sequel movies, we saw Kylo speaking directly to Darth Vader’s helmet and promising to carry on the Sith lord’s legacy. Now it turns out the two have more in common than we realized.
When Anakin first arrives on Coruscant in The Phantom Menace, the Jedi Council decides he’s too old to be trained as a Jedi. Despite his innate Force abilities, Anakin has seen too much and experienced too much trauma to resist the temptation of the Dark side, according to Yoda. Of course, we all know what happens next. Anakin trains as a Jedi anyway before eventually becoming a Sith, and Yoda earns the biggest “I told you so” in the galaxy’s history.
Fast forward a few decades, and Yoda’s sage advice rings true again. At age 20, it seems like Ben Solo was definitely too old to become a Jedi-in-training, so it’s no surprise things went south. If only Yoda had been around to warn Luke — maybe this time someone would have listened to him.