While the Skywalker Saga technically ended in December with the release of the new film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, today Lucasfilm Publishing and Marvel Comics completed the filling-in of another gap in the four-plus-decades-in-the-making story with the final issue of the excellent Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren miniseries by writer Charles Soule and artist Will Sliney.
Across this incredibly well-received four-issue event, Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren followed young Ben Solo from the moment after he collapsed his hut at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi training academy, to the point where he… well, I won’t spoil the very ending of this last issue, but I think you can probably guess where the narrative was heading.
Issue #4 opens with Ben and his new pals the Knights of Ren in pursuit of a mysterious artifact known as the Mindsplinter, which takes them to the Minemoon orbiting Mimban– a planet first seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story, appropriately enough. They slaughter some of the local Mimbanese workers, though Ben is still hesitant to participate in senseless violence. Then his former fellow Padawans show up and attempt to put a halt to the attack.
Naturally a big melee breaks out between the Knights of Ren and the Jedi-in-training, but I also don’t want to spoil how that ends– again, you can probably extrapolate if you’re even slightly aware of how this story should unfold at this point in the timeline. The very interesting part of the battle is how Ben Solo begins to hear ominous voices and how his emotional eruption during one specific duel affects others around the galaxy via the Force. There are a few surprising (and welcome) character appearances in this issue that absolutely make sense giving Ben’s connections, both past and future, but once more I won’t spell them out in case you’ve haven’t yet read the full comic.
This is the climactic installment of Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren, so a good deal of the issue is taken up by thrilling action sequences, masterfully illustrated by Sliney (whose work also heightened the appeal of Marvel’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order: Dark Temple miniseries), but the dialogue and plotting are also perfectly crafted by Soule (the current writer for the main Star Wars comic and author of the upcoming Star Wars: Light of the Jedi novel as part of The High Republic publishing initiative). The final few pages are indeed chilling and serve as a terrific precursor to what we know comes after.
This series has been so effective I could see it being successfully adapted into an animated short, perhaps utilizing the voice talent of acclaimed Star Wars live-action sequel trilogy star Adam Driver reprising his role as Ben Solo. For now, there are plenty more Star Wars comics on the way from Marvel.
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren issue #4 is available now wherever comics are sold, and the trade paperback edition collecting all four issues is due out on Tuesday, May 12.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.