Darth Vader has become the ultimate picture of a villain ever since he first appeared in Episode IV of the franchise. He later on appeared in three more films in the Star Wars franchise, which further cemented his role in the series.
In the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it will be difficult to come close to the icon that Darth Vader has created, but it looks like director JJ Abrams was able to create a potential icon.
Kylo Ren, who is played by theater actor Adam Driver, is a mysterious character that is bound to induce fear among other main characters in the film. He wields a “cross-bladed” red lightsaber, following in the footsteps of other villains before him.
Who is Kylo Ren?
The new villain is a member of a group called Knights of Ren, who are dark Force users and “fans” of Darth Vader, the last Lord of the Sith in Episode VI. While Darth Vader was redeemed to the light side of the Force in his dying moments, Kylo Ren still reveres him and his mask, which reportedly survived and now serves as a religious relic.
In the film, Kylo Ren is not alone. He is, in fact, a subordinate of the First Order commanders, Supreme Commander Snoke, and General Hux. The First Order is a military group that traces its roots from the Empire.
However, the 32-year-old actor claims that Kylo Ren is not a typical one-dimensional villain that most movie fans are used to.
“We tried to not think about that as much as possible,” said Driver. “And to not think of him as being bad, or evil, or a villain. We wanted him to be something that was more three-dimensional.”
Adam Driver Calls Kylo Ren “Reckless”
In addition, Driver said that Kylo Ren is more dangerous and unpredictable because everything he does can be morally justified based on his own beliefs.
Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the story for the film, also said that Kylo Ren is unlike any character in the Star Wars franchise. He also said that the villain is “very unpolished and unfinished.”
Due to the character’s unique part in the new film, Abrams reportedly wanted him to stand out.
— Phil Edwards (@Live_for_Films) December 15, 2015
Award-winning costume designer Michael Kaplan shared in an interview how they came up with the villain’s costume.
Starting with the mask, Kaplan said that it took them a while before Abrams approved of a design for Kylo Ren’s headgear.
“J.J. kept saying he’ll know when he sees it and one day we were having a discussion and he was talking about wanting it to be something that a child would remember, you know, that would be indelible in a child’s mind,” he said.
— Disney (@Disney) December 15, 2015
But then one of his concept designers came up with a black mask that has thin, silver lines on it. The silver lines design is what really makes the mask stand out, according to Kaplan.
This allows the silver to reflect any light that surrounds the villain, which “almost brings you into the mask.”
Also, the black cloak is reminiscent of Darth Vader’s garb, as well as the other Sith Lords before him – Darth Sidious, Tyranus, and Maul.
It is, however, interesting to point out that Kylo Ren’s mask does not appear to have any in-depth use given that he does not have any scars or wounds to hide. In fact, in some previews, Kylo Ren’s face was even on full display.
It’s just a matter of time until all of these puzzling details will be settled, as Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres in most parts of the world this week.
[Image via Lucasfilm]