‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Villain Kylo Ren’s Original Trilogy Roots Revealed

     August 12, 2015


When casting was underway for the then-titled Star Wars: Episode VII, everyone knew that J.J. Abrams was auditioning practically every talented actor under the sun. However, while there was an expectation of new heroes, fans were mighty curious to see who could possibly follow in Darth Vader’s footsteps and fill the role of the villain for this new trilogy of Star Wars films. That honor eventually went to Adam Driver, one of the most magnetic performers working today, whose scene-stealing work ranges from HBO’s Girls to Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and While We’re Young.

And while we’ve now gotten a look at Driver’s character, Kylo Ren, and his distinct lightsaber, we still don’t know much about how Ren fits into the Star Wars universe other than the fact that he’s allied with The First Order, a remnant of the Empire in this post-Return of the Jedi world. In a new interview with EW, however, Abrams reveals that Ren has a very serious—and very obvious—connection to the Big Bad of the original trilogy:

“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.”


Image via Disney

Moreover, Ren doesn’t seem to be some distinguished type or politician, but instead is a more wild and independent figure, which is reflected in his peculiar lightsaber:

“The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character.”

Whlie not confirmed, it’s expected that Kylo Ren will be the main antagonistic force through at least this new trilogy, so we should hopefully be seeing more of Driver for quite some time in this franchise. What’s unclear is how his arc fits into The First Order given that Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux is the leader of that particular movement, but it’s incredibly promising (and exciting) to hear Abrams tout Kylo Ren’s strong connection to Darth Vader. One imagines this provides some interesting story possibilities, especially in relation to Luke, Leia, and Han Solo, as well as depth of character beyond simply “Bad Guy in Mask.”

Peruse our recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens coverage below:


Image via Lucasfilm

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