‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: J.J. Abrams Reveals the Origin of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren

Star Wars Adam Driver
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

As “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” continues its Imperial March towards theaters this December, new details continue to trickle out about the mysterious characters making their debut in the seventh installment of the beloved sci-fi franchise. One figure who continues to invite speculation is Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, seen wielding a controversial crossguard lightsaber in the trailers for the film.

While the red blade of the lightsaber conjures images of legendary Sith villains like Darth Vader and Darth Maul, J.J. Abrams has confirmed to Empire magazine that “Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He works under Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.”

Instead, Abrams recently told Entertainment Weekly, Kylo Ren is part of a different faction altogether. “He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren,” Abrams revealed, admitting that the character’s mask is reminiscent of a certain Sith lord’s for a reason. “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. [Kylo Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film.”

Driver’s character is clearly aligned with The First Order, as demonstrated by the first look images that show Kylo Ren alongside the film’s updated stormtroopers, and Abrams also shed some light on the origins of the galaxy’s new oppressors during his conversation with Empire.

“That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again?'” Abrams told Empire. “What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?”

We’ll find out when “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” bows in theaters on December 18.

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  1. perhaps the most important question unexplained is who is rey ? watch closely at the flashback when she touches lukes lightsabor! the young version of herself is being held back by a hand as she cried for the ship that dropped her off to come back.whoes hand?- its the junkyard owners!the one that bought the falcon. ! campare the hand when he raises them as he says”thats my ship”. same one holding her back! she was part of the purchase !but who sold her? her father did!! han solo !!!! !this is why ren didnt easily kill her when he could have,shes his twin or younger sister !it was best to seperate them at birth or at very early age for every reason same as it was to seperate leia and luke.he killes his father becouse he resents him for fighting against the darkside that he grows fond of.hes on a mission to kill his uncle luke couse he also ended the evil in his grandfather(vader). when he turns to the darkside he resents his father(solo)uncle(luke)and mother(leiah), but not his sister, she was born innocently and wishes to turn her to the darkside with him.its very obvious she somehow related to luke in bloodline! her reaction wouldnt be that strong when she touches his saber. she is lukes niece !

    • Gregg says:

      Rey is a scavenger, not a slave. She gets paid in food and seemingly not much, but she’s free to come and go as she pleases. Even after leaving Jakku, she wants to go back.

  2. I see that everyone keeps asking who Kylo Ren is, and the most common answer is that he is Kylo, a member of an order called ‘The Knights of Ren’. And from there everyone just assumes this is some new menace.

    I, however, have a different take on it. The mask we see him (Kylo) wearing looks hauntingly familiar to me. When I watch some of the videos of the ‘Old Republic’, the Sith warriors are almost all, to the man, wearing a helmet that looks almost exactly like the one that Kylo is wearing. I can’t remember the exact name of the video, but there is one where the Sith make a surprise attack on Coruscant, the Jedi Temple specifically, and the Sith that pour out of the spacecraft that crashes into the temple are all wearing a helmet that looks just like this one.

    Couple that with the news this week that his light-sabre is not a new model, but rather a take on a very ancient design, and you could start pointing to the Sith again. Or some form of ‘Sith fan-cult’ at least.

    my .02

  3. BillUSA says:

    Why not just give the names and places so as to make the reveal complete? Geez, I feel like I’ve already seen the film.

  4. Galina Wind says:

    Has anyone considered what this name “Kylo” is going to do to any boy that’s named Kyle or a girl named Kylie, for that matter? We have enough problems with bullying in this country as it is. Do we really need to pour gasoline onto the fire?

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