Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, now in theaters.
If you've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, chances are you've given a little bit of thought to why Kylo Ren chose the path he did in those final twenty minutes or so.
There wasn't a lot of specific discussion of what led to Ren's being seduced by the Dark Side, and it wasn't clear exactly what his relationship was with the people he had known before his fall.
When he made the decision to kill his father Han Solo, then, some fans questioned it -- although from context one would argue that his motivations and reasoning was actually fairly clear.
J.J. Abrams, though, spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the decision and cleared the air for anyone still left wondering.
"Long before we had this title, the idea of The Force Awakens was that this would become the evolution of not just a hero, but a villain," Abrams said. "And not a villain who was the finished, ready-made villain, but someone who was in process."
"All of us bring our own experiences to it," Abrams added. "As a father, as a friend to people who have children, I know what it's like to see struggle, to be part of struggle. I know how painful it can be. I know how real it is. And this is, of course, an insane extrapolated version."
Abrams also explained, "Star Wars had the greatest villain in cinema history. So, how you bring a new villain into that world is a very tricky thing. We knew we needed to do something f—king bold. The only reason why Kylo Ren has any hope of being a worthy successor is because we lose one of the most beloved characters."
That seems, at least on the face of it, to suggest that Kylo Ren's eventual redemption isn't planned for the new trilogy...although anything can obviously happen.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters December 18, 2015, kicking off a new trilogy of Saga films as Episodes VIII and IX are already scheduled. The film garnered a record $247 million at the domestic box office and $529 million globally in its opening weekend.