Kylo Ren will reportedly wear a new helmet during the events of Star Wars: Episode IX. The mask has been an integral aspect of the character ever since his debut in 2015's The Force Awakens, as it's always been more than just a neat-looking visual designed to sell merchandise. It's directly connected to the former Ben Solo's psychology; he originally wore it to conceal his identity as he studied the dark side of the Force, in an obvious homage to his grandfather, Darth Vader. In The Last Jedi, Kylo actually destroyed it after being chastised by Supreme Leader Snoke.
After his failure at Starkiller base, Kylo obviously felt the need to prove himself to Snoke (which explains why he wrecked the helmet), but the troubled youngster went a completely different route as The Last Jedi progressed. In one of the more shocking cinematic twists in recent memory, Ren killed Snoke and appointed himself as the new Supreme Leader. With Snoke, mocker of helmets, out of the way, some might be wondering if Kylo will have some new headgear in Episode IX. And it definitely sounds like that's the case.
According to Making Star Wars, Kylo will be in possession of a mask in Episode IX. From the sound of things, it could be his damaged one repaired, as it's being held together by "red crystalline bonding material" and has a "very corrupted look." Of course, this is just a rumor for the time being, but it's nevertheless an interesting development.
Considering it was Rian Johnson who destroyed the helmet (mainly to showcase the full range of Adam Driver's performance), it'd be easy for the Last Jedi detractors to point to this as an instance of J.J. Abrams retconning in Episode IX. However, a twisted, "corrupted" helmet actually sounds quite appropriate for Kylo Ren's current mental state. Through his actions, Ben Solo found himself completely alone in the universe. Leia gave up on him, Rey severed their connection, and his colleagues in the First Order despise him. Whatever was left of Ben's humanity has likely vanished, and he's chosen to live life like a hateful monster. There's no telling what happened to Kylo during the presumed time jump leading into Episode IX, so the mask will make for a compelling visual.
Fans continue to debate about whether or not Ben Solo will be redeemed by the end of Episode IX, but right now, most of the evidence points to him remaining a villain. The Last Jedi firmly established him as the trilogy's big bad moving forward, and unless there's some unforeseen Darth Plagueis twist forthcoming, there isn't another powerful Force user at the top for Rey to defeat. Many people saw Snoke as the Emperor surrogate for the sequels, and he's gone. Besides, having Ben return to the light steers too close to the ending of Return of the Jedi, and though there will be parallels to previous films, Abrams may try to avoid going that far if he can.
Source: Making Star Wars
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019