×

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

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.”

Popular on Variety

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.

More Film

  • A still from Miles Davis: Birth

    Film Editor Lewis Erskine on Finding the Rhythm for Miles Davis Doc 'Birth of the Cool'

    On-the-beat editing for the documentary “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” comes courtesy of Lewis Erskine who brings rhythm to the images apace with that perfect flow of the jazz icon’s horn. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019 and earned a nomination at the NAACP’s 2020 Image Awards for outstanding documentary [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial and Verdict

    European Industry Buoyed by Weinstein Verdict: 'Things Have Irrevocably Changed'

    Global film and TV executives, including “Elizabeth” producer Alison Owen and “Shakespeare in Love” producer David Parfitt, have spoken out about Harvey Weinstein’s guilty verdict, calling it a “seismic” victory that will bring about immutable change. Monday’s long-awaited outcome to the U.S. trial, which saw Weinstein convicted of sexual assault and third-degree rape, has been [...]

  • Kevin Hart'Jumanji: The Next Level' film

    Kevin Hart to Star in Action-Comedy From 'Broad City' Alums (EXCLUSIVE)

    Universal Pictures is developing an untitled action-comedy based on an original idea from “Broad City’s” Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs with Kevin Hart attached to star. Aniello and Downs will write the script as well as executive produce. Malcolm D. Lee is on board to direct the film with Will Packer and James Lopez [...]

  • Jeremy Saulnier John Boyega

    Netflix Sets Ensemble for Jeremy Saulnier's 'Rebel Ridge' Starring John Boyega (EXCLUSIVE)

    Don Johnson, James Badge Dale, Zsane Jhe, James Cromwell and “The Crown” breakout Erin Doherty are set to join John Boyega in Netflix’s “Rebel Ridge,” a thriller from “Green Room” writer-director Jeremy Saulnier, Variety has learned. Like the 2013 crime drama “Green Room,” Saulnier’s upcoming movie is said to be a high-velocity thriller that explores [...]

  • The Indoraptor prepares to strike in

    'Jurassic World 3' Director Announces New Title

    Director Colin Trevorrow announced via Twitter on Tuesday that “Jurassic World 3” has started principal production, and he also slyly revealed that the sixth film in the “Jurassic” franchise has a new title: “Jurassic World: Dominion.” The new title — which appears on the slate for the film in Trevorrow’s tweet — evokes the biblical [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content