In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans were introduced to a new villain torn between his family's heritage and a desire for power. And though Kylo Ren had a possible moment of redemption, he sacrificed it by driving his lightsaber through Han Solo's heart.
Actor Adam Driver recently spoke about his character's motivations and how it links to the current political climate, likening him to a child lusting for power.
"It makes complete sense how juvenile he can be," said Driver in an interview with GQ. "You can see that with our leadership and politics. You have world leaders who you imagine — or hope or pray — are living by kind of a higher code of ethics. But it really all comes down to them feeling wronged or unloved or wanting validation."
The conversation shifted and Driver started speaking about the character's other influences.
"We talked about terrorism a lot," Driver said, talking about his discussions with directors J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson. "You have young and deeply committed people with one-sided education who think in absolutes. That is more dangerous than being evil. Kylo thinks what he is doing is entirely right, and that, in my mind, is the scariest part."
In the current cultural climate, broaching such topics should be done delicately. Driver makes broad comparisons that can rile up some people while being seen as insensitive or misguided by others.
That's not to say the comparisons are incorrect, and he doesn't name drop anyone in particular. But making broad generalizations about a science fiction villain and how they relate to real world problems can be misguided. It helps for how an actor plays the character, but those particular topics should be treaded lightly.
That said, Driver's comments on Kylo Ren provide new insight into how the character is portrayed in the film. It will be interesting to see how they're fleshed out in the next film.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15.