Star Wars: The Force Awakens Villain Kylo Ren Is 'A Darth Vader Obsessive'

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 - 11:24AM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 - 11:24AM
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Villain Kylo Ren Is 'A Darth Vader Obsessive'
Kylo Ren has been one of the biggest enigmas about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His now-infamous crossguard lightsaber was the first part of the new mythology revealed to the fans. Months later, fan theories were finally confirmed, and Adam Driver was revealed to be the face under the shroud. Now, we finally have our first real information about the character, as EW characterizes him as "a Vader obsessive," and reveals that his name is not actually Kylo Ren.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Villain Kylo Ren Is a Darth Vader Obsessive

It doesn't come as too much of a surprise that Ren is influenced by Darth Vader, as his appearance was clearly inspired by the classic villain to some extent. But now, director J.J. Abrams has confirmed that Vader will be an influence on the character's personality and agenda:

Opening quote
"The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it's from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask," said Abrams. "[Ren] is well aware of what's come before, and that's very much a part of the story of the film."
Closing quote


The most concrete piece of information we've gotten about the character so far, however, is the fact that Kylo Ren is not his real name. Just as Darth was a title, rather than a given name, Ren is some kind of military title. "He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren," said Abrams.

Abrams also claimed that Ren is the villainous version of an everyman, complete with a Cinderella story and a handmade weapon. "The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character," said Abrams.

Opening quote
"As you see in the best of storytelling, and no doubt the best of Star Wars, these are tales in which an everyperson has to step up. And I think that what makes Ren so unique is that he isn't as fully formed as when we meet a character such as Darth Vader. And I think that there are two sides to the Force. Both sides, arguably, would see themselves as the hero of their story, and I think that applies here."
Closing quote


Abrams also reassured fans that Ren will not be a cookie-cutter villain: "He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy," said Abrams. "He is a little bit more complex than that."

Of course, the assertion that the villain is not a cliche is fairly subjective, but co-writer Lawrence Kasdan insists that we haven't seen anything like Kylo Ren in the Star Wars franchise before, which may mean that he falls more in the middle of the good/bad spectrum:

Opening quote
"I've written four Star Wars movies now, and there's never been a character quite like the one that Adam plays. I think you're going to see something that's brand new to the saga." What sets him apart? "He's full of emotion," said Kasdan. "No matter how we express ourselves in the world, whether we hide it and act very calm or whether we're very out there and demonstrative, everybody's roiling with emotion. And you want your characters to be that way, too. Then they have to deal with their emotions as best they can, with what they are."
Closing quote


Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens