Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Abrams & Kasdan Discuss The Origins Of Kylo Ren With EW

By: Benjamin Hart

Kylo Ren is one of the most visually striking and thought provoking characters to be revealed from The Force Awakens. The character, played by Adam Driver, has been shrouded in secrecy since showing up in that first teaser trailer last year, but it seems the powers that be are now looking to shed some led on Ren. Today Entertainment Weekly has been releasing a massive spread of information and photos from the film, which will be fully revealed in their Fall movie preview issue this Friday. One of the latest reveals give us an interview with director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and they had some surprising things to say about Episode VII's mysterious masked antagonist.

One of Kylo Ren's most intriguing characteristics is his mask and triple-bladed Lightsaber, both of which have launched massive speculation among fans about their origins. J.J. Abrams is finally willing to put at least some of that speculation to rest:

"The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask. [Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film... The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character."

They also discuss how Kylo Ren is apparently not at his prime yet, perhaps just beginning his journey. They draw comparisons to Luke Skywalker in the Original Trilogy and imply that Ren could be on similar path, albeit in a complete opposite way:

“As you see in the best of storytelling, and no doubt the best of Star Wars, these are tales in which an everyperson has to step up. And I think that what makes Ren so unique is that he isn’t as fully formed as when we meet a character such as Darth Vader,” Abrams says. “And I think that there are two sides to the Force. Both sides, arguably, would see themselves as the hero of their story, and I think that applies here.”

But by far the biggest reveal to come from this interview was a confirmation of something fans have been predicting since the character was revealed; "Kylo Ren" is not his real name, or at least not the one he was born with. Similarly to how "Darth" is a title held by various Sith Lords in the first six films, "Ren" is a surname of sorts that Kylo took on at some point. Abrams explains:

“He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren... He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy. He is a little bit more complex than that, and it was a great joy to work with Adam Driver on this role, because he threw himself into it in a deep and remarkable way.”

Lawrence Kasdan also had an interesting take on Kylo:

“I’ve written four Star Wars movies now, and there’s never been a character quite like the one that Adam plays. I think you’re going to see something that’s brand new to the saga.... He’s full of emotion. No matter how we express ourselves in the world, whether we hide it and act very calm or whether we’re very out there and demonstrative, everybody’s roiling with emotion. And you want your characters to be that way, too. Then they have to deal with their emotions as best they can, with what they are.”

All in all it's refreshing to see Kylo Ren's character fleshed out further, while still leaving what is sure to be many surprises left for us when Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18th! Be sure to check out the full article on to learn more!


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