"Loyalty Test" is a comic story featuring Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux. The story was written by Michael Moreci, illustrated by Arianna Florean, and published in Star Wars Adventures (2017) 30 on January 29, 2020.
Above the planet Vendaxa, General Armitage Hux was giving a group of First Order stormtroopers the task of destroying Resistance operatives on the planet. But he was interrupted by Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, who was going to finish the operatives himself. Hux disagreed, but Ren was already about to leave. Hux announced that he would go with Ren. Ren was surprised by this but reluctantly agreed.
After touching down on the planet, Hux still failed to understand why they didn't just use stormtroopers for the mission. But Ren believed that the Resistance would have been alerted to their presence and escaped if they used stormtroopers. He didn't not believe that an army was needed to defeat the Resistance even if he had unfinished business with one of them. Hux reminded him to not allow his personal feelings to cloud his judgment, but Ren asked Hux how long he wanted to be in command of the First Order military. Hux told him that he would always be loyal to him even if Ren thought differently.
As they walked through the forest of the planet, Ren asked Hux about what he knew about it. Hux told him that they had learned from spies that the Resistance was attempting to set up a base on the planet. He tried to tell Ren why he had originally put stormtroopers in charge of the mission, but Ren warned him to watch his mouth. Ren told him that he would have to earn his trust. Behind them a creature appeared, slowly creeping up on them. Hux argued that he had been loyal to the First Order his entire life, but Ren believed that he had sacrificed more than Hux.
All of a sudden, a large acklay charged out of the forest and attacked the duo. Hux ran away, but Ren stayed to fight the creature. He ignited his lightsaber and began to slash at the creature. He dodged the attacks and each time hit back. The two then charged at each other, but the acklay tossed Ren back, disarming him in the process. Ren shouted that he was not afraid of the creature and was willing to keep fighting it.
But Hux came back to take on the creature himself. He then asked Ren if he really thought that he was not worthy of Ren's trust and loyalty. But he also believed that loyalty should be earned and opened fire on a tree branch. The branch crashed onto the acklay's head and Ren pushed it back with the Force. They both fought off the creature, and it retreated into the forest.
Ren believed that the creature would not return, and they both concluded that the Resistance would not build a base on the planet. But Ren argued that now they had wasted their time. Hux thought that they could have done better because they were trying to achieve the same goal of destroying the Resistance. But they had both won each other's trust.
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Notes and references
- "Loyalty Test" is set between the events of Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi and Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, which are respectively dated to the same year and one year after the Hosnian Cataclysm by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the Hosnian Cataclysm in 34 ABY, The Last Jedi must be set in the same year, and The Rise of Skywalker must be set in 35 ABY.