In an exclusive interview with us, Adam Driver reveals not all aspects of Kylo Ren will be revealed in the remainder of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The character is set to have his return in this month’s The Last Jedi, where he should have an even more compelling arc than he did in The Force Awakens. The former Ben Solo is still reeling from his decision to murder his father, Han, which only worsened his state-of-mind from Episode VII. Kylo Ren is still torn between the light and dark sides, seeking answers about his ultimate place in the universe. Lucasfilm hasn’t been shy of teasing a partnership between Kylo and Rey, which would be a surprising direction to take.
Because Kylo has appeared in (for now) a single movie and has only been alluded to in various canon novels, there’s still a great deal about him we do not know. With two installments remaining in the new trilogy, many are hoping that further light is shed on various elements of the villain, including his history with Luke Skywalker. However, with the saga’s story moving so fast that even Han’s death could become something of an afterthought, there are going to be things we never see depicted onscreen.
Sitting down with us at the Last Jedi junket, we asked Driver about the fun of portraying the character, which stems from not knowing every little detail:
“Sure. I mean, there’s like a bits of pieces that we started working on that kind of, I know are answered in this one that we kind of started in The Force Awakens, that I knew was operating you know when we were doing that one, that I knew as time went that they kind of reveal themselves but even if those things, there’s a lot of those things that will never be revealed and there’s no plans to. There are things that I think about that, for me, is what makes it kind of more fun in the playing of them, you know.”
As Last Jedi director Rian Johnson famously said during promotion for the film, a story is not a Wikipedia page. There’s no obligation for the movie to reveal it all, it only has to tell audiences what is absolutely pertinent for the narrative at hand. This is similar to the original trilogy, in which Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the dark side was summed up succinctly in one passage of dialogue. The full story behind it (including the exact reason why Anakin betrayed the Jedi) was not told until several years later during the prequels. Right now, we know Ben Solo was an apprentice training under Luke before he was seduced by Snoke, and he’s now conflicted about where his allegiances should lie. This is a strong foundation for the trilogy, and while Last Jedi should peel back additional layers, it shouldn’t spell everything out like a history book. Much like Rey, Kylo’s future is more important than his past right now.
Driver has attempted to fill in the gaps himself, imagining Ben as a neglected child growing up in arguably the galaxy’s most legendary family, but this hasn’t been confirmed as canon yet. It’s probably for the best if the films leave some things to the imagination. Not only would that allow them to avoid getting bogged down in exposition, but it could be beneficial for Lucasfilm’s story group as a whole. Once The Last Jedi comes out, there could be books and comics that cover more of the time period between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens, and the authors of those publications would surely like to have some leeway in crafting their own stories. Regardless, it’s smart for the movies to preserve some mysteries, as certain questions are better left unanswered.