Anticipation is building for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is set to bring the franchise's nine-film saga to an end. One of the most intriguing players in that finale is arguably Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who has evolved from a young mentee of Luke Skywalker to the Supreme Leader of the First Order. While we don't know exactly where Kylo's journey is going to head in The Rise of Skywalker, a new promotional photo from the film could tease something explosive. Empire Magazine recently released a new still as part of their The Rise of Skywalker feature story, which shows Kylo holding his newly-repaired mask and bracing himself against something offscreen, as Stormtroopers are blown back behind him.
Granted, there's no telling exactly what the context of this shot is, especially since there's so much of The Rise of Skywalker that still remains a mystery. But given where the saga has taken Kylo's storyline thus far, it sounds like this final film will serve as an interesting chapter for him, especially with regards to his dynamic with Rey (Daisy Ridley).
"Some of the most interesting scenes in The Last Jedi are the conversations between Rey and Ren,” The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio says in Empire's interview. "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. Rian developed that in fascinating ways and we’ve been able to develop it even further.”
It remains to be seen whether or not that means a pure redemption arc for Kylo, something that those with ties to the saga have been coy about.
"That’s hard to say because we’re working toward something in particular with that character," Driver cryptically shared in a previous interview. "I don’t want to give anything away."
"Are you kidding? Vader was worse than Kylo ever was, I think, and Vader got redeemed." The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson said in 2017. "Also, I should just for the record [say] that I’m not involved in the writing of the next movie. I’m an audience member in it, just like you, so when I talk about what’s going to happen next it’s in the context of, as a fan, what I’m thinking of."
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in theaters on December 20th.