Rian Johnson Was Initially Wary Of Ditching Kylo’s Mask In Star Wars: The Last Jedi


“My worthy apprentice, son of darkness, heir apparent to Lord Vader.”

Had things panned out differently, Supreme Leader Snoke would have trained Kylo Ren to be his one true apprentice, and, by effect, heir apparent to Lord Vader. But just like a number of other story threads in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, writer-director Rian Johnson pulled the rug out from under our feet, as Kylo swiftly dispatched Snoke in a manner that would make even Darth Maul blush.

It’s a huge moment for the character (and Star Wars overall!), and will likely have huge ramifications for the outcome of Episode IX. However, The Last Jedi features another major development for the young Ben Solo – the destruction of his famous, Vader-esque mask.

Ditching that apparatus wasn’t a decision that Rian Johnson took lightly, either, as the director revealed in The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

That was the big design choice with Kylo – losing the mask. It was a little terrifying because, by the time we were making the movie, the first film had come out and every kid was wearing Kylo Ren masks on Halloween. It was the symbol of the movie on the packaging. And I love the helmet. But the whole premise of this film is that you’re getting inside this guy a bit more. More than that, Rey is seeing there’s more to him than she thought. And Adam Driver is one of my favorite actors working today. The notion of getting the mask off of him so we don’t have to deal with it and can look into his eyes seemed really important.

And you can’t fault Johnson’s reasoning. Aside from Rey, The Last Jedi really doubled down on Kylo Ren as a character, and the decision to remove his mask essentially brought the audience closer to Adam Driver’s fractured lead, one seething with anger and conflict.

Now approaching its third weekend, Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues to be the biggest movie in the galaxy, and without any notable competition in its path, Rian Johnson’s wondrous sequel is expected to reign supreme for weeks to come, before finishing its theatrical run in the ballpark of $1.6 billion.