New Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker art reveals Kylo Ren's repaired mask. Though it was a prominent part of the Force Awakens marketing campaign, the mask was destroyed early on in The Last Jedi. In a fit of frustration, Kylo smashed it to pieces himself, after Supreme Leader Snoke admonished Kylo for his failings. It appeared Snoke was never much of a fan of the headpiece, as evidenced by his line, "Take that ridiculous thing off." To the Supreme Leader, the mask was nothing more than part of Kylo's desire to be the next Vader.
But with Snoke now out of the picture, the mask is back. A shot in the Star Wars 9 teaser trailer showed it being welded back together, and Rise of Skywalker toy packaging displays it front and center. Lucasfilm continues to highlight the recognizable helmet on a new villain-themed magazine cover.
Star Wars News Net shared the artwork, which is a comic store cover for the latest issue of Star Wars Insider. The imagery depicts Kylo, Knights of Ren members, stormtroopers, Sith Troopers, and TIE fighters flying into battle. Take a look at it for yourself in the space below:
Some fans have interpreted the mask's return as The Rise of Skywalker backtracking on one of The Last Jedi's plot developments, but it's still too early to draw that kind of conclusion. It's worth remembering Kylo destroyed it because Snoke mocked him for wearing it. Kylo destroying the mask could be seen as the apprentice trying to appease the master, before Kylo got the idea to just kill Snoke. The troubled dark side user had his reasons for wanting to wear it, such as concealing his identity. Kylo always liked the mask, so it makes sense why he'd go through the trouble of having it repaired. It will be interesting to see how much screen time the helmet gets in Rise of Skywalker; Kylo has been seen sans mask in footage from both the theatrical teaser and the D23 special look.
In Star Wars, visuals often have clear metaphorical meanings, and Kylo is no exception. His lightsaber blade is intentionally designed to illustrate his mental state and highlight he's not in full control of his power. It looks like the repaired mask could provide further insight into Kylo's characters. The red bonding material holding it together resembles scars, symbolizing the physical and emotional pain Kylo's endured throughout the sequel trilogy. By the time The Rise of Skywalker picks up, Kylo will be a broken person, desperately searching for something that will make him feel fulfilled. That sounds like he'd be quite a vulnerable target for Palpatine, so it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019