5 Books That Kylo Ren Should Read


Put down the saber, Kylo. We just want to help. (Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in “The Force Awakens”/Disney ©)

Kylo Ren has problems — big ones. His family life is a mess, he’s an emotional tornado, and his supposed “friends” only want to use him. We don’t know any good therapists in the Outer Rim, but we can recommend some books that will help Kylo get a handle on his problems.

  • The cover of the book The Perfect Nazi

    The Perfect Nazi

    Uncovering My Grandfather's Secret Past

    Darth Vader’s past as one of the galaxy’s most infamous Space Nazis isn’t exactly a secret — especially to Kylo Ren. Still, idolizing grandpa’s leading role in the Empire isn’t exactly healthy. Maybe our tempestuous young dark sider could learn from Martin Davidson’s experiences researching his own grandfather’s sinister past. Bruno Langbehn was an enthusiastic member of the Nazi party whose diehard commitment to its ideals never waned. History is not destiny, Kylo: You don’t have to follow in your grandfather’s footsteps.

  • The cover of the book Harnessing Anger

    Harnessing Anger

    The Inner Discipline of Athletic Excellence

    Kylo Ren is a swordsman, so he’s likely to find a lot he can relate to in the story of six-time Olympic fencing champion Peter Westbrook. Like Kylo, Peter grew up with his share of challenges. Raised by his single mom in a Newark ghetto, Peter found an outlet for his own troubled spirit in the art of fencing. By learning to harness and channel his anger in the pursuit of athletic excellence, Peter rose to the highest ranks of his sport. Kylo is a skilled combatant, but maybe learning to control his temper could help him become better swordsman and person.

  • The cover of the book The Quarter-Life Breakthrough

    The Quarter-Life Breakthrough

    Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life That Matters

    Give the devil — I mean Kylo — his due: It probably took a lot of work to become a leader of the First Order. A lot of that work probably involved carbonized stumps where hands used to be, but still, the point is he did it. Unfortunately, the job isn’t quite what it was cracked up to be. As we learned in “The Force Awakens”, Kylo still nurses some private doubts about the Dark Side. If he’s ever going to escape the First Order, he’s going to need to have a plan. We recommend reading The Quarter-Life Breakthrough as a first step in thinking about a second career.

  • The cover of the book The Upside of Your Dark Side

    The Upside of Your Dark Side

    Why Being Your Whole Self--Not Just Your "Good" Self--Drives Success and Fulfillment

    Kylo Ren has a dark side, but so does the rest of us. According to The Upside of Your Dark Side, acknowledging our shadow selves is an important part of living a happy and successful life. Todd Kashan and Robert Biswas-Diener argue that emotions like anger and guilt can be put to good use, provided we learn to be emotionally agile and respond to life’s difficulties in a healthy manner. We think Kylo could learn to do the same. Is this book available in a Sith holocron format?

  • The cover of the book Toxic Parents

    Toxic Parents

    Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

    I love Han and Leia. They’re practically family to me. Practically. For Kylo Ren, they are family, and that’s where the problems start. Han is a rambling man who can’t stay at home, and Leia has plenty on her plate, what with saving the galaxy from remnants of the Empire. Snoke took advantage of Kylo’s feelings of abandonment: feelings that were probably exacerbated when his parents dumped him off on Uncle Luke. I’m not blaming Han and Leia. They’re human beings and they probably did their best. Regardless, Kylo has some healing to do, and Susan Forward’s book might set him on the right path.