Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released digitally today, and a new video accompanying the film features Adam Driver explaining some of the roots of the anger driving Kylo Ren and keeping him from returning to the Light Side of the Force.
The minute-long clip was posted to the official Star Wars YouTube channel on March 31, as CinemaBlend points out. It features Adam Driver and J.J. Abrams giving a few heretofore unknown insights into the character of Kylo Ren, specifically regarding his family history, and how that plays into his fall to the Dark Side.
Driver points to feelings of abandonment as one of the main causes of Ren’s anger and, subsequently, his actions. According to the video, both Han Solo and General Leia were caught up in the end of the galactic civil war following the events of Return Of The Jedi. While they worked to bring about an end to the Empire and the creation of the New Republic, it turns out they were apparently also ignoring their child, leaving him feeling lost and abandoned. It certainly didn’t help either that the couple eventually opted to ship their son, then named Ben, off to Luke’s new Jedi Academy; sending him away likely only encouraged those feelings.
— The Mary Sue (@TheMarySue) April 1, 2016
Ren’s fall to the Dark Side is about more than genetics, however, and far bigger than the fact that he was related to Darth Vader, as J.J. Abrams points out in the video. Instead, Ben Solo was born with a target on his back, the scion of a family powerful on both sides of the Force. The grandchild of Anakin Skywalker was bound to be an exceptional Force user, a fact not lost on Supreme Leader Snoke. From the very beginning of Ben Solo’s life, Snoke desired to claim that power in the Force as his own by allying himself with Ren. Abrams pointed out that not only did Snoke actively target Ren, but the duties and responsibilities that called Han and Leia away from Ben left them too absent to guide him.
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While Luke’s Jedi academy likely seemed the best place to keep Ben Solo protected from Snoke, that plan failed spectacularly, as evinced by The Force Awakens. The events that resulted in the creation of Kylo Ren and the destruction of Luke’s academy have yet to be revealed, but audiences were treated to the briefest of glimpses of that moment during Rey’s Force vision, when she witnessed the Knights of Ren standing in the rain amid a field of dead Jedi trainees.
— Mashable (@mashable) March 31, 2016
Whether a more detailed explanation of Ben Solo’s fall to the Dark Side is forthcoming in Episode VIII or IX remains to be seen, although, Driver recently expressed his excitement to get on set for the next installment in the saga. As Entertainment Weekly reports, Driver praised the script of Star Wars: Episode VIII, while joking that the First Order and the Resistance would still be locked in mortal combat in the next film.
“They’re still at war. It’s still Star Wars.”
Whatever the future holds for the Star Wars saga, it seems likely that Kylo Ren will continue to fight the pull of the Light Side. Where his uncle once fought against the temptations of the Dark Side, Ben Solo struggles with the opposite situation, leaving plenty of room for the character to be developed in the coming films. Fans will have to wait until Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters in December 2017, however, to discover what comes next for Kylo Ren.
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]