As if the movies themselves didn’t make it more than obvious, fans have long come to understand that the Star Wars sequel trilogy changed drastically throughout development. Multiple writers and directors worked on The Force Awakens as well as The Rise of Skywalker, sometimes with radically different results, while The Last Jedi stayed true to itself in between, with even more polarizing results.

The actors involved in the films have at times talked about this—but for the most part, they’ve remained silent. In a new interview though, Kylo Ren himself, Adam Driver, explains that the original arc for his character was different from what ended up playing out on screen. In fact, Ren was never supposed to lose his connection to the Dark Side and find redemption as Ben Solo. That came later.

“I had an overall arc in mind that he wanted to do, which then changed,” Driver said on the Rich Eisen Show, found via X. “His idea was almost the opposite journey of Vader, where Vader starts the most confident, the most committed to the Dark Side, and by the last movie he’s the most vulnerable, and weak—and he wanted to start at the opposite, where this character was the most confused and vulnerable, and by the end of the three movies would be most committed to the Dark Side.”

So who is “he” and when did these changes take place? Well, Driver continued.

“With Rian [Johnson], he took it into a different direction, but still tracked with the character,” Driver said. “Then the last one, it changed into being about [Kylo and Rey] and the dyad and things like that. And evolving into Ben Solo, that was never part of it… Well, Ben Solo, he was Ben Solo from the beginning, but it was never a version where we actually see Ben Solo, when I first signed up for it.”

That second part sure makes it seem like the “he” who had the original, reverse Vader arc in mind for Kylo Ren was director J.J. Abrams, and that it was also Abrams who changed his mind and gave the character not just a redemption, but a link to Rey. Odd then that Driver, over the course of the films, was not thinking of that during his performance, but that’s what happened.

Could that have really changed this, though? If Ren had continued to get more and more evil, only to be ultimately defeated by Rey, would that have been better than his being redeemed? Well… yes. We think so. That version suggests Ren is the ultimate baddie of the trilogy, rather than the awkwardly resurrected Emperor. So, maybe, Ren himself could’ve resurrected the Emperor if they wanted him in there. That could have been better.

Of course, that version wouldn’t have been as rewarding for Reylo shippers as what happened in Rise of Skywalker. And yet, keeping him totally evil may have cut that off at the source.

As you can tell, lots and lots to discuss here. Watch the full clip here and share your thoughts below.


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