Fans first saw Kylo Ren's helmet in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, only for the villain to destroy it in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but director of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker J.J. Abrams notes that the helmet has returned for the new film as a way to visually represent the character's internal struggle. When fans first learned that Kylo would be once again using his mask, a number of theories ignited about why he would return to the superficial headwear, with audiences likely learning at least slightly more about the character as we head towards release. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
"Having him be masked, but also fractured, is a very intentional thing," Abrams shared with Empire Magazine [H/T Reddit]. "Like that classic Japanese process of taking ceramics and repairing them, and how the breaks in a way define the beauty of the piece as much as the original itself. As fracted as Ren is, the mask becomes a visual representation of that. There's something about this that tells his history. His mask doesn't ultimately hide him and his behavior is revealed."
Since the debut of the sequel trilogy, fans have been drawn to the complicated nature of Kylo Ren, leaving us to speculate if there is any good left within him or if he's too far gone towards the Dark Side to be beyond redemption. Not only are audiences curious about what The Rise of Skywalker could have in store for the character, but Rey also hopes he can leave his villainous ways behind.
"Some of the most interesting scenes in [Star Wars:] The Last Jedi are the conversations between Rey and Ren," Rise of Skywalker writer Chris Terrio previously explained. "We've tried to pick up that complicated relationship that really has been present ever since the interrogation in Episode VII. When Ren takes off his mask, there's a nakedness about him with Rey that he doesn't express to anyone else. [writer/director] Rian [Johnson] developed that in fascinating ways and we've been able to develop it even further."
The upcoming film won't just be bringing back Kylo's helmet, but it's also set to see the return of Emperor Palpatine for the first time since his "death" in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. With the new film set to conclude the entire Skywalker Saga, audiences will see a number of unexpected elements appear for a fulfilling finale.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
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