Over on Instagram, Star Wars concept artist Christian Alzmann has been in the the habit lately of sharing artwork from the Sequel Trilogy’s early years of development, one recent highlight being this intriguing set of designs for the villain eventually known as Kylo Ren.
If you thought that 2015’s The Force Awakens already borrowed too heavily from A New Hope, then you’ll probably think it’s for the best that none of these outfits were used in the final film. Granted, it’s an important element of Ben Solo’s character that he wants to be just like his grandfather Darth Vader, but all five of these “Jedi Killer” designs take that idolization to a whole other level.
Of course, the eventual outfit worn by Kylo was also pretty Vader-esque, but with a few unique touches that at least ensured the casual fan wouldn’t literally mistake him for his Original Trilogy predecessor.
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In 2017’s The Last Jedi, the villain even chose to lose the helmet completely in a moment that many viewers took as a sign that both Adam Driver’s character and Rian Johnson’s film intended to go their own way, rather than trying to recreate the past. It’s therefore worth considering what it means that the Sequel Trilogy finale will see the return of Kylo’s helmet, albeit with some fissure lines across the surface to show where it had to be repaired.
With J.J. Abrams back at the helm, some fans are concerned that we’re about to see a repeat of Return of the Jedi, but you can judge for yourself if Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker brings enough new ideas to the table when the film hits theaters on December 20th.