Remember how we eventually learned that “Darth” is not a first name, but a kind of title? It appears the surname “Ren” is something similar.
“He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren,” Abrams says. But that’s as far as the writer-director will go. What are the Knights of Ren? You’re going to have to wait until Dec. 18 to find out.
“He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy,” Abrams offers. “He is a little bit more complex than that, and it was a great joy to work with Adam Driver on this role, because he threw himself into it in a deep and remarkable way.”
There are many implications to this piece of Kylo Ren’s history. If he had a different name before aligning with these mysterious knights, maybe we’ve heard it before. Maybe we know… his parents?
We’re definitely going to have to wait for that.
Lawrence Kasdan, screenwriter of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as The Force Awakens and the 2018 young Han Solo movie, says: “I’ve written four Star Wars movies now, and there’s never been a character quite like the one that Adam plays. I think you’re going to see something that’s brand new to the saga.”
What sets him apart? “He’s full of emotion,” Kasdan says. “No matter how we express ourselves in the world, whether we hide it and act very calm or whether we’re very out there and demonstrative, everybody’s roiling with emotion. And you want your characters to be that way, too. Then they have to deal with their emotions as best they can, with what they are.”
Kasdan pauses. “I’d say that is as far as I’d go,” he says.
When it comes to Kylo Ren — whoever he is — it’s best not to get too close.
•12 exclusive EW looks at Star Wars: The Force Awakens
•This Week’s Cover: Exclusive look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens
•How Luke Skywalker lured J.J. Abrams into directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens
To continue reading the cover story on EW’s Fall Movie Preview, and to see more exclusive photos, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday, or buy it here.
WANT MORE EW? Subscribe now to keep up with the latest in movies, television and music.