There are many questions left unanswered following Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The identity of Rey’s family as well as that of Supreme Leader Snoke have launched numerous fan theories, and will continue to do so right up until we get our answers in future episodes. However, we have to admit there’s one question that we never thought about asking that, it turns out, may have a quite interesting answer. Why does Kylo Ren punch himself in the chest during battle? According to one theory, it's because it makes him stronger.
Just before the climactic lightsaber battle at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ren (Adam Driver) pauses to punch himself several times in the spot where Chewbacca had shot him earlier. While we’d honestly forgotten about this moment until now, the video from Star Wars Minute does remind us of it, and it also reminds us that we thought it was odd at the time. But according to them, there’s a real reason for it.
There are multiple legends, examples of Sith Lords surviving grievous injuries by using their pain to feed their power.
The idea is that, since the Dark Side feeds off of pain, by causing himself more pain, Kylo Ren is actually able to make himself stronger. As evidence, the video looks back at a number of Dark Side characters throughout the Star Wars expanded universe who were able to do the same thing. While the books are no longer considered canon, there is one example -- Darth Maul was able to do much the same thing in order to survive into the Star Wars: Rebels animated series -- which is still considered canon.
It’s an interesting theory that adds an additional layer of depth to what his otherwise a fairly simple moment on the screen. It’s clear that Kylo Ren is incredibly powerful, if for no other reason than he’s still standing after Chewie blasts him. The fact that the Dark Side is recursive like this, and an injured person can feed off their own injury makes anybody seem much more dangerous.
It’s certainly possible that the video is reading a little much into the entire sequence. It’s still possible that Kylo Ren is just trying to make himself look tough to get into Rey’s head. It’s also possible his injury, and that whole "murdering his father" thing has him a little on edge. Still, we like the idea that everything Ren did had a purpose.
What do you think of this idea? Was there a method to Kylo Ren’s madness or are we reading too much into a scene that isn’t nearly that complicated. Let us know what you think in the comments.