The modern Star Wars movies have been incredibly divisive so far, with a huge number of fans loving them but a sizeable portion of viewers also reacting negatively to some of the storytelling decisions that’ve been made. One such element that has split opinion is Kylo Ren, the new trilogy’s chief antagonist.
Some love Adam Driver’s character for his volatile nature while others feel he’s just a cheap imitation of Darth Vader. It turns out that enough people think highly of him though for Ren to be ranked as the seventh greatest movie villain of all-time. The surprising bit of information comes courtesy of a poll run by Empire Magazine. The Force user formally known as Ben Solo beat out several iconic movie villains to get his coveted high placement, including the Xenomorph from Alien, Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh (No Country For Old Men) and Harry Potter‘s Lord Voldemort, as played by Ralph Fiennes.
In fact, Kylo is only inferior to six of the most universally acclaimed antagonists, ever. Namely, Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa (Inglorius Basterds), Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs), Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber (Die Hard), Tom Hiddleston’s Loki (various), Heath Ledger’s Joker (The Dark Knight) and, of course, Kylo’s grandpappy Darth Vader (as voiced by James Earl Jones). Speaking of which, Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine also featured on the list, coming in at a cool 15th place.
Interestingly, Empire’s poll first opened on December 15th, when The Last Jedi had only just began its box office run. Which means that Ren’s high placement on the list might be mostly to do with his actions in The Force Awakens. I suppose killing someone as universally beloved as Han Solo (especially when it’s your father) is enough to get you crowned one of cinema’s worst bad guys, ever. Who would’ve thought?
In The Last Jedi, Ren seemed to cement his villainous intent by killing Supreme Leader Snoke in order to steal the top spot of the First Order for himself. However, he did fail to kill his mother Leia, so there is a chance that he could still come back to the light. We’ll know for sure when Star Wars: Episode IX arrives on December 20th, 2019.