How Emo is Kylo Ren?

I need to confess something to you. I like Kylo Ren. I may have let the title sway you into getting the click so you will read the article. Anyways….Kylo Ren, I like him. He is a “bad guy” that has depth with internal struggles. I think Adam Driver did a great job in his performance as him, and I look forward to the character growth over the next two (hopefully!) films.

There have been some people out there who have pointed out how “Emo” they think he is. There are even a few parody accounts on twitter, like this one and this one. One of the accounts also got into an argument with a parody Han Solo account.
Emo Kylo Twitter

“Emo”, for those of you out there that have no idea what I am talking about, is when someone wears all black, with eyeliner, is super moody all day, and listens to sad music. At least that is my definition of it. I had a buddy in high school, let’s call him Jared, because that’s his name, who wasn’t “Emo” but he listened to Dashboard Confessional so we made fun of him by calling him “Emo.” “Emo,” as defined by google, is “a style of rock music resembling punk but having more complex arrangements and lyrics that deal with more emotional subjects.”

According to the super reliable Urban dictionary: “Genre of softcore punk music that integrates unenthusiastic melodramatic 17 year olds who don’t smile, high pitched overwrought lyrics and inaudible guitar rifts with tight wool sweaters, tighter jeans, itchy scarfs (even in the summer), ripped chucks with favorite bands signature, black square rimmed glasses, and ebony greasy unwashed hair that is required to cover at least 3/5ths of the face at an angle.”

To make my own determination I will take one for the team and rewatch The Force Awakens, for the 6th time this summer, to examine the scenes with Kyle Ren and come to my own conclusion based on a level of emo, then give my final verdict.

Retro/Emo Diary of The Force Awakens

1 – Opening scene:

Kyle Ren comes out of his ship and confronts Lor San Tekka. They have an exchange then Ren strikes him down with his lightsaber in anger. I have seen Vader kill people using his signature force choke hold, but usually is was because he was punishing someone for not doing their job. The only time we really see Vader use his lightsaber is when he is being attacked with blaster bolts or in a lightsaber duel. The scene on Jaku reveals how much anger Ren is trying to suppress. But he does turn around and stops a blaster bolt 2 seconds later.

Level of Emo: Low.

2 – Interrogation Scene with Poe Dameron:

Kylo Ren walks in and is able to intimidate Poe and use the force to get the information out of him. Pretty straight forward.

Level of Emo:  None

3 – General Hux/Kylo argument:

Kylo argues but isn’t too whiney. Makes threats. We are still getting to know the character the past two scenes.

Level of Emo: Low

4 – “Sir we were unable to capture the droid from Jakku”:

A lower officer tells Ren the droid got away. Ren then freaks out and destroys a consul with his lightsaber, looked winded after then asked if anything else. Afterward, the officer informs him there was a girl. To which Ren replies, “What girl?” then he force-chokes/pulls the officer to him, which by the way, was pretty awesome.

Level of Emo: Medium (first real sight of a fit)

5 – Talking to Darth Vader’s Helmet:

Kylo Vader
Kylo gets a little emo with grandaddy Vader.

The scene starts out with a shot of Ren’s star destroyer, and then you see his face and he is talking; “Forgive me, I feel it again, the pull of the light, show me the power of the darkness” That is a rough outline of what is said. The camera pans out and you see that he is talking to Darth Vader’s burned mask. So you’re talking to yourself, alone, in the dark. It’s more like complaining about your inner struggles that no one else understands. This is called whining.

Level of Emo: High

6 – Confronting Rey in the Forest of Takodana:

Kylo Ren stalks Rey, then deflects her blaster shots, and finally uses the force to freeze her. He uses fear to show her his dominance. Then he uses the force to make her pass out. He is still dressed in all black in a humid, tropical climate. This decision for this scene is more based on his attire instead of his behavior. Mainly because I am the one writing this, and I get to make the decisions. (Next to my editor…)

Level of Emo: Low

7 – Ren Interrogating Rey/Conversation with Snoke:

Ren is talking to Rey with his mask on, still in all black. He takes his mask off. His voice doesn’t sound as cool and his mask sounds heavy as he drops it. Ren wants to know about the droid, explains what he wants, and belittles Rey. He then uses the force to look into her mind. Up until this point, he is pretty bad ass. He isn’t too whiny. Once he seems like he is in complete control is when he starts to get Emo. He begins to realize he can’t read her mind. He looks lost, confused, and frustrated, bewildered almost. Then Rey starts to explain his fears and he looks frightened. When Ren goes to Snoke his excuse sounds like a child’s.

Level of Emo: Medium

8 – Kyle Ren discovers Rey is no longer in her cell

Ren is marching towards Rey’s cell. Once he arrives he realizes Rey is no longer there. He paces the room, screams “No!!” a few times, and starts to throw a tantrum that rivals that of my 3-year-old. He uses his lightsaber to cut into the machinery and computers in the room. He does this to the point that two stormtroopers who turn the corner into the hallway, do an about face and go back.

Level of Emo: High

9 – Ren & Stormtrooper/Imperial Officer

While searching for Rey, Kylo Ren has two quick interactions with a stormtrooper and imperial officer. The first line is telling for the movie, but for our purposes, it doesn’t offer much help into how Emo he is. “The longer we take, stronger she becomes.”

Level of Emo: Low

10 – Ben and Han Reunion

Once Han shouts calls Kylo by his real name (Ben). Kylo responds by saying “Han Solo”. Who responds to their dad by saying his full name? When Solo asks for his mask to be taken off he responds, “What do you think you’ll see if I do?” Ren’s behavior is of a child angry with his parent. He then goes on to describe how he is being torn apart on the inside, and how he wants to be free from the pain.** We all know what happens next, he kills Han. Ren’s face, once he has killed Solo, shows some remorse at the beginning, but then goes to indifference and apathy. Which is the calling card for Emo.

Level of Emo: High

11 – Kylo Ren vs Finn, then Rey

Kylo IS EMO!

Ren starts the scene by hitting his side to show he is in pain. He then takes Rey out with a force push. He is confident when Finn runs at him and then hits his side again when Finn is on the ground, showing he is not 100%. He then turns off his lightsaber and longingly looks at Luke’s old lightsaber trying to use the force to get it to come to him. He is shocked when it goes past him and Rey catches it. When they are fighting and he is trying to convince Rey he could teach her, he almost looks like he is begging her. When Rey owns him after allowing the force to flow through her, he has a look of despair on his face.

Level of Emo: High

So, How Emo Is Kylo Ren?

Final Verdict:

I looked at almost every scene Kylo Ren was a part of in The Force Awakens. Which was around 11 scenes. The final count for level of emo: 1 none, 4 low, 2 medium, and 4 high. Looking at the count I would have to say he is more Emo than not. Now, that being said, he does do a lot of bad ass stuff that redeems his Emoness. (Pretty sure I just made that word up.) At the end of the day, Kylo Ren has parts of him that are Emo, but he is a more complex character than that.
**Full disclosure: This scene is one of my favorite scenes from all of the Star Wars franchise. Han Solo is my favorite character and seeing how he is still able to connect with his son, after everything Ben/Kylo has done, really resonates with me.