Among the many accomplishments achieved by the Star Wars sequel trilogy, fans largely connected with its exciting new characters, including Adam Driver's Kylo Ren. In honor of the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a group of fans began to donate to a GoFundMe in honor of the character's more heroic side, Ben Solo, with all proceeds going towards the organization Driver founded, Arts in the Armed Forces. In honor of the campaign accumulating more than $57,000, Driver shared a video of himself thanking fans for their support of not only the organization but also their support of the character he played in the sequel trilogy.
A message from AITAF Founder Adam Driver pic.twitter.com/EFbSSSn2q0— Arts in the Armed Forces (@AITAF) January 7, 2020
"I just wanted to say, I've been made aware of this GoFundMe campaign that was started in the honor of the Ben Solo character in The Rise of Skywalker, where all the money goes to a nonprofit that I started, called 'Arts in the Armed Forces,' and it means a whole lot to me that this thing exists and that so many people participated in it," Driver shared in the video. "Not only did you buy a ticket to see the movie, but now you're also giving money on top of it to this organization that I deeply care about. So I just wanted to take a moment, from me to you, and say thank you very much."
While Ben Solo's trajectory over the course of the sequel trilogy was more than enough to make him a beloved character, it was Driver's performance that established him as a compelling force in the Skywalker Saga.
"Adam Driver's portrayal of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo has been one of the greatest things to ever happen in the last three movies of the Star Wars saga," the GoFundMe campaign reads. "As a way of showing gratitude and appreciation for his hard work and because we believe in the mission of AITAF - using art as a tool to more fully understand ourselves and heal - we at r/StarWarsLeaks have decided to set up this fundraiser."
It adds, "We know how passionate Adam is about AITAF and hope this feels like a 'thank you' hug to him. Well, actually, since Adam doesn't particularly like hugging, maybe a friendly handshake? A pat on the shoulder? This is hard. Anyway, we hope this shows how much his work impacts people."
Driver is notably a private person, with no social media accounts of his own, as fans recognize how heartfelt this thank you was for all of the donations. Joonas Suotamo, who plays Chewbacca in the sequel films, even took to Twitter to share the message and encourage more fans to donate, asking that the fundraising goal be increased to $75,000.
Given the toxic discourse that has become prevalent throughout the fandom, this campaign and Driver's message serve as a reminder of the passion and positivity of fans.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.
Will you be donating to the campaign? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!