Adam Driver provides a small tease for Star Wars: Episode IX, hinting at big plans for Kylo Ren. After the shocking events of The Last Jedi, the former Ben Solo is poised to be the galaxy's ultimate evil, leading the First Order in a destructive conflict against the Resistance. The previous films in the sequel trilogy toyed with the idea of Kylo returning to the light, and while that could still happen, Leia's admission that her son is gone serves as primary evidence Kylo will remain evil throughout Episode IX.
Whether Ben Solo returns or not, whatever J.J. Abrams has in store for the character should be compelling to watch. One of the reasons why Kylo ranks among the best movie villains is Driver's nuanced performance, brilliantly selling audiences on the troubled youngster's inner turmoil. After being a highlight in The Force Awakens and Last Jedi, fans are eager to watch Driver reprise his now-iconic role and see what's next for Kylo. As one might expect, Abrams and company have something massive up their sleeves.
In an interview with Vulture, Driver was asked what he finds the most interesting about playing Kylo. His response is extremely cryptic, but nonetheless intriguing:
That’s hard to say because we’re working toward something in particular with that character. I don’t want to give anything away.
Episode IX doesn't premiere until December 2019, so obviously everyone is being mindful of keeping the film's secrets under lock and key. Driver is now a seasoned veteran at this and must know what he can and cannot say in interviews. No doubt, Lucasfilm has a marketing strategy for Star Wars 9 in place, and then fans will get a more concrete taste of what's coming through the pipeline. There are still several months until Star Wars Celebration (the likeliest spot for a trailer drop, going by history), so for now, viewers will have to make do with cryptic statements such as this. Driver's statement makes it sound like Episode IX will be a true culmination for Kylo's arc, directly building off what transpired in the other films. Considering this movie aims to end the Skywalker saga, that implication isn't too surprising.
As for what that'll be, it's anyone's guess for now. What's fascinating about Kylo is that he killed Han Solo and was downright bloodthirsty for Luke Skywalker, but didn't pull the trigger on Leia when he had an opportunity. Since Episode IX is bringing back Leia via unused footage of the late Carrie Fisher, there's a chance the film taps into their dynamic. Obviously, Abrams is limited with what he can do with Leia (and she probably didn't shoot scenes with Driver), but there are ways to manipulate things and effectively pull it off. It should also be engrossing to see the emotionally volatile Kylo attempt to lead an army, especially after his embarrassing failure at Crait. Regardless of what transpires, fans can rest assured knowing the character is in the hands of a genuinely great actor.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019