Ben Solo of the Skywalker Clan
Now we arrive at one of the more likely of the two possibilities. One thing Star Wars has been adamant on throughout the years is ‘from a certain point of view’ the dark half and light half of a person are two separate people. Anakin was separate from Darth Vader and now Ben Solo is separate from Kylo Ren. This means for Adam Driver’s character to rise as a Skywalker, he must be redeemed. Kylo rising in power would not count since ‘Kylo’ is not a Skywalker even though he does have Skywalker blood. The fact he goes by Solo and not Skywalker would count him out in my book, but that would admittedly be a weak disqualification.
The question is what are the odds Ben Solo is redeemed and rises to light side power? I think this is low. This is Star Wars not Game of Thrones. Star Wars has had its darker moments, but at the same time, the franchise prefers the happier endings. There is an outside chance he can still be redeemed, but given all he has done in the past two movies and now has the unchecked power of the First Order; it would be a cop out to bring Kylo back to the light. Rey was his link to the light and if anything, SHE is done with HIM.
So, could he be the one? There is one scenario now that I could accept Kylo turning back into Ben Solo. Now that we know Sidious has returned in some form (presuming actual, physical return), I could see Sidious trying to reassert his power. In doing so Sidious rubs Kylo’s nose in everything he has orchestrated. Kylo realizes how badly he has been manipulated and played. He joins Rey and the two of them take on Palpatine together. I would prefer either Rey or Kylo die in the process, but since we are talking Rise of Skywalker, Rey would have to die for Ben’s return.
I could accept this, but I don’t see it happening. Ben would be the most obvious choice to be the Skywalker rising, but that does not mean he is the best choice. Most roads with him lead to cop-outs and cheap storytelling.