Kylo Ren: Director J.J. Abrams Explains How The ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Villain Turned To The Dark Side

Kylo Ren is the villain in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one who idolizes Darth Vader, and director J.J. Abrams explained just how the movie’s primary antagonist turned to the dark side.

[WARNING: Major Star Wars spoilers ahead]

It is no secret that Kylo Ren is the villain in the latest Star Wars movie. Several months ago when he was featured in the teaser trailers, viewers saw him staring at the crushed helmet of Darth Vader and vowing to seek revenge.

But J.J. Abrams explained that it’s more than vengeance motivating Kylo Ren. In an interview with IGN, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens director said that he also has a desire to finish the work that Vader started years before.

“Kylo Ren idolizes Darth Vader, not Anakin Skywalker,” Abrams explained. “He idolizes what Vader represents and what Vader was trying to do. The idea that Vader didn’t succeed, if you look at it from Ren’s point of view, he was seduced by the enemy and failed because of that seduction. So the idea is that Ren wants to complete the thing that Vader started.”

Abrams also gave some background as to how Kylo Ren turned away from the Light Side in the first place.

“An incredible power. An incredible Force and an incredible potential, that was like with many young people sort of misguided and unclear. The story for him is one of conflict — not just external conflict, but internal conflict, and it’s what makes him, I think, an interesting villain.”

Kylo Ren certainly has the look of a Star Wars villain, with a long, black cloak and Vader-like mask. But as the Telegraph explained, he is more than just a re-creation of Darth Vader.

“I feel there’s a recklessness about him that’s maybe not normally associated with the Dark Side,” actor Adam Driver told the Telegraph during the film’s London premiere.

“You normally think of order, and structure, and full commitment and no hesitation…he’s just a little bit more unpolished,” he added. “It’s in his costume, in his lightsaber – how you kind of get the sense that it could just not work at any moment; that it could just blow up. That’s kind of like a big metaphor for him.”

The character is getting huge praise. The Washington Post called Kylo Ren the “perfect Star Wars villain,” noting that the lead-up to the movie did a great job of presenting him as something of a Darth Vader 2.0 but then showing a great deal of depth.

The report noted that while Kylo Ren may be his own character, he emulates Vader in many ways (and not just because he is directly related to the main characters, as Vader was).

“And well, Isn’t part of the reason Darth Vader is fascinating so many years later because we know he redeemed himself? We can forgive the world destroyer and Force choker because he let the light back in. His son was going to die and he just couldn’t let it happen. In his last moment, he came out of the shadows of the Dark Side.

“Kylo Ren has a light inside him, too. He struggles to suppress it, and extinguish it. And what he did to make the darkness take over — well, maybe it’s something we can’t forgive.”

There could still be more depth to Kylo Ren. Many are theorizing that Rey, the protagonist of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, could actually be the daughter of Han Solo and Leia. That would make Kylo her brother, and set up a major conflict in Star Wars: Episode VIII.

[Image via YouTube]