Although we’re just over four months away from the release of J.J. Abrams’ franchise revival Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the director has managed to stay true to his reputation by keeping a great deal of the film’s details very close to the chest. While Abrams has admitted that some alleged spoilers that leaked out about the film had some level of truth to them, for the most part the seventh main “episode” of the Star Wars saga remains shrouded in mystery. Recently, though, Abrams has decided to pull back the curtain a bit on the Dark Side’s presence in the film, as embodied by the character of Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver.
In an interview with EW, Abrams talks a bit about the origins of Ren’s imposing mask, his lightsaber that caused quite an uproar when it was revealed in the film’s first teaser trailer, and a couple of other details that should be of massive interest to Star Wars fans. On Ren’s mask, Abrams said,
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. [Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film.
In regards to the lightsaber, featuring two smaller mini-blades that extend horizontally out of the hilt like a broadsword, Abrams says that the weapon was crafted directly by Ren.
The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character.
Abrams also seemed to intimate — while of course hesitating to give up too much information — that the paths of Kylo Ren and original trilogy hero Luke Skywalker may have had very similar beginnings, and also used that to talk about the similarities between the two sides of the Force.
As you see in the best of storytelling, and no doubt the best of Star Wars, these are tales in which an everyperson has to step up. And I think that what makes Ren so unique is that he isn’t as fully formed as when we meet a character such as Darth Vader. And I think that there are two sides to the Force. Both sides, arguably, would see themselves as the hero of their story, and I think that applies here.
Abrams also revealed that the character’s name is not his given name, but one bestowed upon him as a title by a new organization.
He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren. He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy. He is a little bit more complex than that, and it was a great joy to work with Adam Driver on this role, because he threw himself into it in a deep and remarkable way.
Just who exactly are the “Knights of Ren?” On that subject, Abrams lips are sealed. It looks like we’ll have to find out when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th.
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