His actions in The Force Awakens will have some serious repercussions on Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi. If there was one thing that fans can agree J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan did well in The Force Awakens, it was setting each of their new main characters on a trajectory that audiences wanted to see continued in the later sequels. From deciding to murder his father, Han Solo, to losing a lightsaber duel to Rey (Daisy Ridley) on Starkiller Base, it was clear that Ben Solo/Kylo Ren had embarked down a path that would only make him an increasingly interesting and tortured villain down the road.
Writer and director Rian Johnson, along with everyone else involved in the film, has teased several times already about how the direction that the characters take in The Last Jedi may not be what fans had expected or hoped either. But by challenging each of them in personal and unique ways, it's looking more and more like The Last Jedi will be entirely about the struggle of the characters, both good and bad, as they continue to wage war against each other.
During his interview with Vanity Fair about the film as well, Johnson teased how his decision to kill Han Solo in The Force Awakens was going to affect Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi. Hinting that his facial scar may also be indicative of the personal struggle happening psychologically within the character, Johnson said that the film finds Ren at first in a "rehabilitation state":
“I feel like almost everyone is in that rehabilitation state [at the beginning of The Last Jedi]. You know, I don’t think that patricide is all that it’s cracked up to be. Maybe that’s where Kylo Ren is starting from. His external scar is probably as much an internal one.”
So it sounds like, based on Johnson's comments here, that Kylo's struggle to fend off the "pull from the light" side of the force may not yet be over for the character, and could instead, become even harder for him as the guilt over killing his father eats away at his psyche. But what will be interesting to see, is if that really ends up slowing down or altering his path towards becoming a Sith, created in the image of his master, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis).
By throwing away the mask he wore throughout a majority of The Force Awakens, it looked as though Kylo Ren had finally become the man he wanted to be in The Last Jedi. But it seems like Johnson had no desire in taking these characters down any simple roads like that, which should only give them even further levels of complexity and emotion, in addition to the basic archetypes they were introduced as in The Force Awakens. So while it's becoming more and more clear where these characters are when we meet them again in The Last Jedi - maybe more than any other Star Wars film in history - there's still no telling where it is or who they will be by the time the film is over.
Source: Vanity Fair
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
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- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019