Solo: A Star Wars Story star Donald Glover believes Kylo Ren is a better villain than Darth Vader. The galaxy far, far away is no stranger to memorable antagonists, with Vader widely considered to be one of the greatest in movie history. His stature in pop culture made crafting a great villain for the sequel trilogy a daunting task, but J.J. Abrams pulled it off by making Kylo Ren Darth Vader's grandson, forever haunted by his family legacy. The fallen Ben Solo deeply aspires to be as powerful as his grandfather (and always comes up short), giving his character a compelling inner-turmoil.
This decision seems to have paid off in spades, since Adam Driver's performances in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are widely acclaimed by critics and fans. It didn't take long for Kylo to be considered one of the best cinematic villains himself, cementing his status as a worthy successor to Vader. While many still prefer the original trilogy's Dark Lord, Glover feels Kylo is actually a stronger character.
While participating in a video questionnaire for Noisey (hat tip IndieWire), Glover was asked which Star Wars villain he liked best: Darth Maul, Darth Vader, or Kylo Ren. His response is sure to get the attention of fans:
“Kylo Ren has a really interesting sense of humor. He’s intense, I get his story. So I kind of have to go with Kylo Ren.”
While it may seem blasphemous to suggest the emo Vader wannabe is better than the Sith, Glover's opinion isn't entirely baseless. Kylo Ren is arguably the most nuanced figure in the Star Wars movies and is someone audience members can relate to. There's no denying Vader is an intimidating and powerful presence in his appearances, but up until his shocking parental revelation at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, he was more the Imperial muscle/enforcer than anything else. During A New Hope, he spends most of his screen time as Grand Moff Tarkin's subordinate. Kylo Ren had a complete arc in The Force Awakens, highlighting various traits that were expanded upon in Episode VIII. And as we've learned more about him (namely, his troubled history with Luke Skywalker), he's become a more sympathetic individual with depth to explore.
With Kylo Ren murdering Supreme Leader Snoke, a case can be made that he's more evil than his grandfather ever was. Vader didn't kill Palpatine until he was turned back to the light side, but Kylo's betrayal was the next step as he descended further into darkness. Vader was always the Emperor's second-in-command, but Ren evolved into the sequel trilogy's big bad and now will stop at nothing until his enemies are crushed. Unlike Anakin, there doesn't seem to be any hope for Ben Solo. If Leia gave up on him, he's truly lost.