This page has spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Everyone has seen The Force Awakens now, so I feel like I can discuss this theory. This theory I originally saw as an Instagram comment, and honestly was one of the first thoughts going through my head while I was actually watching the film. The theory is really that simple, Kylo Ren didn’t kill his father. Han committed suicide. Even though the film does a great job concealing it, you can’t deny that it’ll make a perfect plot twist later in the trilogy. In this context, let’s review the scene ;
Han and Ben are on the catwalk, Ben asks “Can you help me?” and Han replies “Yes. Anything.” Ben takes out his lightsaber, they get close, Han puts his hand on it, they stand in silence, Han activates the lightsaber and Ben thrusts it into his father. Ben, under his breathe, says “Thank you.” Han looks at his son one last time, brushes his face with his hand lovingly, and falls into the abyss. Even in the encounter, neither are struggling. They are both calm. Han’s reaction is from the pain, not surprise.
Now, think about Ben or Kylo Ren’s position. He needs to kill his father, or Snoke would likely kill him. The last smudge of light is left in him, surrounded by darkness and it can only be extinguished with him murdering his father. Yet, he doesn’t want to. Now, in Han’s position, as a father, he wants to protect his son in anyway he can. By him killing himself, that ensures the survival of the light in Ben and prevents Snoke from killing Ben. If you were Han, wouldn’t you sacrifice your self for your son’s protection?
Later in the trilogy, directors could use this a plot twist like Darth Vader revealing he is Luke’s father. The general movie-going population would be surprised, and, like Darth Vader, Kylo Ren would return to being Ben and return to the light as well in the final fight against Snoke and assist Rey and perhaps Luke. It would further shadow the original trilogy, as well as add a new plot twist to the mix. The light inside of him can grow, like how the darkness inside of Anakin grew. Sure, now it might be small but by the time we get to the third and final film he could be switching sides.
I know it sounds far fetched, but I rather like the theory. What do you think?