If there’s one recurring theme of the Star Wars saga, it’s the tricky transition between adolescence and adulthood.
At least, that’s according to Rian Johnson, the writer-director orchestrating Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Three months out from the sequel’s long-anticipated theatrical release, and Johnson has turned in some new story intel via Empire – no, not that one – regarding Kylo Ren, Adam Driver’s mercurial baddie who was last seen nursing a facial scar aboard Starkiller Base.
Summoned by Supreme Leader Snoke alongside the returning General Hux, we can only assume that The Last Jedi will begin with all three villains on board the Supremacy, an impossibly large Star Destroyer spanning 60km in length. It’s ground zero for the First Order, which will be packing some serious heat by the time Rian Johnson’s sequel lights up theaters in December. Speaking of which, during that chat with Empire, the filmmaker teased how Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley’s Rey are “two sides of something.”
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That ‘something’ is likely a reference to the Force, but Johnson goes one step further to draw a line between Rey and her sworn adversary, Kylo, who is clearly “dealing with anger and wanting to separate from his family.” Much to the heartache of Carrie Fisher’s General Leia Organa.
Writing Kylo Ren is just so much fun. Star Wars boils down to the transition from adolescence into adulthood. That’s the heart of these films and Rey is most obviously the one that hangs on. But it’s also Kylo. In the originals you project entirely onto Luke, while Vader is the scary other — he’s the minotaur. The fascinating thing about Kylo and Rey is that they’re two sides of something. We can all relate to Kylo: to that anger of being in the turmoil of adolescence and figuring out who he’s going to be as a man; dealing with anger and wanting to separate from his family. He’s not Vader — at least, he’s not Vader yet — and that’s something I really wanted to get into.
The man formerly known as Ben Solo will no doubt have a massive role to play in The Last Jedi, and we’ll surely find out a little more about Kylo Ren’s arc on December 15th. For now though, tell us, what do you make of Rian Johnson’s comments about the underlying parallels that exist between Kylo and Daisy Ridley’s Jedi-in-training, Rey? You can, as always, drop your thoughts via the comments section.