Will Star Wars: The Last Jedi Offer Kylo Ren Redemption? Rian Johnson Weighs In


Kylo Ren is known as many things to many people – Ben Solo, the rogue student of Luke Skywalker and, on the other side of the lens, the most compelling character within Lucasfilm’s current Star Wars trilogy.

Raised under the looming shadow of Darth Vader, the young Ben was much more than just a ‘problem child’ for Han Solo and Leia Organa. Prior to the events of The Force Awakens, Adam Driver’s mercurial Force-user brought Luke’s Jedi Academy to its knees, thereby sending the wise old Jedi Master into exile on Ahch-To.

And that’s where The Last Jedi kicks off. But as the First Order begins to turn the screw on the Resistance (first target: D’Qar), can we expect Kylo Ren to have a shot at redemption? Both Adam Driver and writer-director Rian Johnson weighed in on that very question while speaking to Entertainment Weekly, where the former made note of Kylo’s unbridled power.

He has been aware of this ability in himself from such a young age, and I don’t think there’s a lot of people around him who are on the same level. I think that there is something familiar there, as well as something to be feared, or something … that he can’t quite place. From his perspective, what he’s done is hopeful. If anything he has justice. I think he’s surprised by how he would feel after Han Solo. He’s hoping for hope. He’s hoping for clarity.

But is Kylo Ren worthy of redemption? That’s a question that will be placed in the hands of J.J. Abrams, it seems, after Johnson stressed that all character arcs – Ren included – will be decided in the so-far untitled Star Wars: Episode IX.

There’s a big part of the story yet to be written and not by me. But I don’t think it’s very interesting if the whole story is just ‘Will Kylo get his comeuppance?’ He’s a more complicated character than that and I think he deserves a more complicated story than that. I don’t see the point of trying to get behind his mask and learn more about him if all we’re going to learn is ‘Yeah, he’s just an evil bad guy that needs to be killed.’

The raw strength bubbling within Kylo Ren was just one of many Star Wars-related topics covered by EW, and you can find more coverage of The Last Jedi right here – including some beautiful shots of the sequel’s core cast.