What turned innocent Ben Solo into evil Kylo Ren? I blame C-3PO.
As little Ben grows up, mommy Leia’s busy as politician and diplomat, spending long days and long voyages to build a new republic and leaving daddy Han Solo as the family breadwinner. So Han’s gone a lot, trading and smuggling with Chewbacca all over the galaxy. Meanwhile, Uncle Luke’s off X-winging with R2-D2, seeking young adepts for his new Jedi academy.
Thus Leia and Han leave much of Ben’s upbringing to the nanny who knows etiquette and protocol: C-3PO.
But C-3PO, hard-wired to be a servant, isn’t great at handling the willful, emotional Ben. C-3PO knows only one way to calm Ben’s frequent tantrums: Tell him stories like the one he told the Ewoks about Luke, Leia, Han, and grandpa Darth Vader.
Ben’s in no mood to consider the often absent Mom, Dad, and Uncle Luke as heroes — but C-3PO’s tales of Vader captivate him. Mom’s trying to patch together fragile coalitions with demagogues and ward-heelers, Dad’s dickering for scraps and running from customs agents, and Uncle Luke’s begging children to go to school; but Vader was a Force-choking badass who could’ve ruled the galaxy.
C-3PO’s not very shrewd about human emotion, but eventually he notices Ben’s Vader-worship. He refuses to reveal more about Vader, which only fires Ben’s fascination higher. So by the time Supreme Leader Snoke comes to tempt Ben into joining the Knights of Ren, the young man is primed to go.
And it’s all the fault of the family’s loyal droid.