One of the aspects that has made the new Star Wars sequels so intriguing is the strong central dynamic between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Even if you strip away the mystery regarding Rey’s parentage, you still have two powerful Force users who come from different backgrounds and are swept into a much larger conflict. While at the outset we may see two characters headed towards different sides of the Force with Rey going toward the Light and Kylo Ren heavily on the Dark Side, that doesn’t mean they’ve staked out their positions. If anything, a new story in EW shows that both characters are very much in flux in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
“The Resistance is really not that much to her,” Ridley says. “I mean, she’s been left her whole life, and very quickly is eager to sort of help other people, which is wonderful. She wants to be part of something. I mean, everyone wants to be part of something.”
But then when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) rejects her after seeing her raw power, it sends her adrift similar to where a young Ben Solo found himself.
As for Kylo Ren, Driver tells EW, “He has been aware of this ability in himself from such a young age, and I don’t think there’s a lot of people around him who are on the same level,” the actor says. “I think that there is something familiar there, as well as something to be feared, or something … that he can’t quite place.”
Driver adds that Kylo Ren’s behavior also stems from a disconnect between his parents’ heroics and feeling out of place in that world. “Looking around and not seeing yourself and not identifying with what’s around you, I think, affects how we behave,” Driver says. The Last Jedi picks up with Kylo thinking that killing his father may have provided a path forward. “From his perspective, what he’s done is hopeful,” Driver says. “If anything he has justice. I think he’s surprised by how he would feel after Han Solo. He’s hoping for hope. He’s hoping for clarity.”
Where these two characters start will lead them on surprising journeys, and director Rian Johnson almost sees it like a coming-of-age for both Rey and Kylo Ren:
“This is very much about Rey trying to figure out how she fits into all this, much like any of us as we’re growing up, as we’re transitioning from childhood into adulthood,” Johnson says. “You’re going meet people who you think are going help who don’t. And help is also going come from unexpected places.”
There are a lot of storylines I’m interested to see in The Last Jedi, but the path of Rey and Kylo Ren is at the top of the list.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15th.