Kylo Ren is only considered a "villain" in the sequel trilogy of Star Wars films from a certain point of view, with actor Adam Driver noting that his character isn't in search of "redemption" in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. With Kylo being the grandson of Anakin Skywalker, some audiences are anticipating him going through a similar character trajectory as Darth Vader, who overpowered Emperor Palpatine in his final moments in order to protect his son Luke. Rather than these comments being a reveal of what to expect from the upcoming film, it's more a testament to the ways in which Driver himself humanizes the character.
“What does he have to be redeemed for?” Driver shared with Entertainment Weekly when asked about his character having a change of heart in the new film. "[Kylo Ren] has a different identity, a different definition of what redemption is.”
He continued, "He’s already been redeemed in his story. I don’t think there is a thought of redemption. He doesn’t have an outside lens of the events, you know — you know what I mean? That’s more of an outsider’s view of his world.”
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo was largely acting on behalf of the desires of Supreme Leader Snoke, while the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi saw the character embrace his own desires, killing Snoke and establishing himself as the new Supreme Leader. Also in that film, Kylo attempted to enlist Rey to help him conquer the galaxy, with some fans viewing this connection as a romantic relationship while others think they could potentially be related.
“I don’t think it’s all one thing,” Driver detailed of the connection. “Part of the fun of playing it is the boundaries of it keep changing. At times it’s more intimate, sometimes less intimate. Sometimes it’s codependent. And then it’s, obviously, adversarial.”
Earlier this year, actress Daisy Ridley offered her input on the possible romantic relationship between the characters.
“I do know about Reylo,” Ridley confessed at Star Wars Celebration. “I don’t know how I feel about it, because everyone’s talking about the toxic thing of a relationship when it’s essentially emotional [abuse]. It’s a tricky road. I do feel like, deep down, Kylo thinks what he’s doing is right and he doesn’t think he’s wrong, but he has also killed so many people. So I can’t really get behind it, no, in a personal way.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
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