Kylo Ren has been a source of speculation and intrigue since he briefly appeared and flashed his signature crossguard lightsaber in the first teaser for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” last year.
The details surrounding him have been sparse, but J.J. Abrams, the director and writer at the helm of “The Force Awakens,” has decided to reach into the shadows and shed light on the mysterious character in interviews this month with Empire Magazine and Entertainment Weekly.
We’ve got you covered below with all the information you need to know about the new antagonist.
Who is Kylo Ren?
Kylo Ren is the primary antagonist in ” The Force Awakens,” who will be played by Adam Driver (“Girls,” “This is Where I Leave You”). He is a user of the Dark Force and is allied with The First Order, a remnant of the fallen Empire that threatens the galaxy.
Is he a Sith?
Although Kylo Ren wields a lightsaber with an ominous red glow similar to those of villains like Darth Sidious, Darth Vader and Darth Maul, Abrams recently confirmed to Empire Magazine that he is not a member of the Sith Order.
“Kylo Ren is not a Sith,” Abrams said. “He works under Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.”
That explains why Kylo Ren is lacking the “Darth” title. However, “Ren” also acts as a title and was given to him upon joining the Knights of Ren, according to Abrams.
If he’s not a Sith, what’s with his look?
It’s hard to ignore the fact that Kylo Ren’s appearance is strikingly similar to Vader’s – most notably, the mask. That’s no coincidence, as it turns out that he is somewhat of a Vader obsessive and is aware of the Empire’s past quest to rule the galaxy.
“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,” Abrams said to EW. “(Ren) is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film.”
As for his distinct weapon of choice, the red crossguard lightsaber, Abrams confirmed that it is of Kylo Ren’s own creation.
“The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character,” he said.
What’s he after?
Abrams has been masterful in giving fans just enough insight without spoiling too much of the story, so of course he wouldn’t reveal Kylo Ren’s grand scheme or quest. However, he has emphasized that Kylo Ren isn’t a typical villain and is driven by motivations and perspectives that separate him from even the most notorious villains in the Star Wars universe.
“He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy,” Abrams said to EW. “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.”
Lawrence Kasdan, a veteran Star Wars writer and someone who is very familiar with the universe, echoed Abrams sentiment.
“I’ve written four Star Wars movies now, and there’s never been a character quite like the one that Adam (Driver) plays,” he said. “I think you’re going to see something that’s brand new to the saga.”
There are still so many questions that remain, but we’ll just have to wait patiently until “The Force Awakens” hits theaters on Dec. 18. Until then, let us know your thoughts and theories in the comment section.