Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) has a shaved head in Star Wars: The Last Jedi concept art from the movie's official tie-in artwork book. After much anticipation, The Last Jedi was released in theaters last week to a radically mixed response. The initial critical reaction was overwhelmingly positive and The Last Jedi has since gone on to earn an A Cinemascore from general audiences. However, a number of hardcore Star Wars fans have taken issue with the different character arcs and themes in the film.
One element of the new trilogy that both sides seem happy with, however, is Adam Driver's villainous Kylo Ren. The angst-ridden youngster made a huge impression in J. J. Abrams' The Force Awakens with his intimidating Darth Vader-esque mask and unique lightsaber and, by the end credits, Kylo had suffered a nasty facial wound to serve as a reminder of his duel with Rey. Kylo's scar is added to the villain's design in The Last Jedi and the character also spends more time without his infamous helmet in the latest installment.
However, it appears that Kylo Ren's transformation between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi could have been far more striking. Phil Szostak's The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi gives a unique insight into the production of the movie and reveals some early designs for key characters. One of the most interesting concepts revealed in the book (via Games Radar) shows Kylo Ren with a completely shaven head. You can check out said artwork, below.
While Kylo's costume in this piece is very close to his eventual gear in The Last Jedi, it's remarkable how different the character looks without his long black locks. Certainly however, the villain's stubble-covered scalp adds an air of maturity to the character. One of Kylo's key personality traits over the past two movies has been his youthful impulsiveness and this is reflected visually by a long, dark, messy mane that wouldn't look out of place at a Black Veil Brides concert. Given how much Kylo Ren matures in The Last Jedi, it's possible that this bald design was originally intended to reflect his inner growth on a visual level.
Although Kylo's bald design does provide a more authoritative feel to the character, it was probably a wise decision to retain his famous black-haired look. The flowing mane adds extra drama to lightsaber battles and can also create a sense of mystery during emotional scenes by obscuring his facial features. Having said that, there is still the forthcoming Episode IX to consider and with Ren maturing considerably in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it's possible that this hairless look could be introduced in the future.
Source: Phil Szostak (via Games Radar)
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- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019