In the end, it’s inconsequential as to why the bad guy is bad. Realistically my biggest problem with The Force Awakens was they Kylo Ren wanted to be a bad guy so badly. His quest was specifically to set out and be a bigger bad guy than his grandfather. I have always had a problem with the binary nature of the good/bad power alignment in Star Wars and other properties. Why couldn’t Kylo just say, “Look, you can call it the ‘dark side’ if you want to but I understand that this is the path to truly mastering your real potential. I am strong enough not to go mad with power like those before me.”
… Which of course he was not. They never are. Part of what makes a villain believable is the flawed nature of their character. Often why we seem to relate to villains better than white-hat heroes who ride in on their spotless horse and never miss a shot while saving the day and upholding the purest ideals of our western society-centric moral fantasy.
Being a villain is less enjoyable. Being a villain means that there’s nobody who really cares about your backstory. It means all you are to people is the guy who does the wrong thing for whatever reason. Nobody cares about my reasons in the end. It’s just that I’m a bad person for doing the wrong thing. What I wanted wasn’t global power. It wasn’t riches. It wasn’t fame. But it doesn’t matter anyway. I lose a lot in this scenario. The Death Star blows up, the TIE fighter crashes, and the credits roll.
Not that anyone will ever read this, but if by chance you’re out there at some time in the future: thank you for the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. That is not sarcasm. It is heartfelt. Without that level of pain there is no way to measure the happiness you have experienced. Two sides of that same coin. One dark, one light. May the force be with you. Always.