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J.J. Abrams Just Revealed a Huge Character Detail About Kylo Ren

It’s a funny time for movies now. Instead of being self-contained units, we have franchises that go on and on, and the movies themselves aren’t usually the sole sources of information. With Rogue One being a prequel of sorts, we’re in the off year between Episode VII and Episode VIII of Star Wars, but the story still goes on. In the director’s commentary of the 3D collector’s edition of The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams reveals something about Kylo Ren that definitely changes our expectations for the next two episodes. Oh, and if you haven’t watched The Force Awakens yet and are planning to, spoilers are definitely ahead.

From the movie, we know that Kylo Ren is actually Ben Solo, a one-time pupil of Luke Skywalker and the son of Han Solo and General Leia. We also know Ben ended up killing his classmates, turning to the Dark Side, and becoming disconcertingly infatuated with the memory of his grandfather, Darth Vader. And, finally, we know that after a brief confrontation on Starkiller Base, Ben killed his dad, going past the point of no return and bumming us all out in the process.

But, that scene can easily be interpreted as an example of Kylo Ren’s treachery — he lures his father across the bridge, makes a little small talk, then sucker stabs him. Turns out, that’d be wrong. In the director’s commentary, Abrams says Kylo Ren came into that meeting with a lot of uncertainty, and there was some honesty to his suggestions that he may want to come back to his family after all. His new allegiances won out in the end, with Abrams saying he thinks, “Deep down, he’s gone too far.” After killing Han Solo, we’d say that’s an understatement now.

The revelation seems to better fit Kylo Ren’s character. At no point in The Force Awakens does he seem like a hardened, well-respected leader. General Hux makes the big speeches, Snoke runs the show, and Kylo Ren seems to just be there as a pet project that isn’t going as well as had been hoped. The scene where the Stormtroopers immediately go back from where they came when they stumble upon one of Kylo Ren’s tantrums is funny, but it’s also pretty telling — it’s hard not to compare it with the awe and reverence that was paid to Darth Vader, who Kylo Ren so badly wants to be like. He’s more petulant than dark, at least until he finally gets desperate enough to prove himself that he kills his own father.

The end of that scene was never in doubt, though. As Abrams sagely points out, “Obviously any time two characters in Star Wars go out on an incredibly thin bridge 10 miles above the ground with no railings, it’s not going to end well with one of them.” Hard to argue. You’ll be able to catch more of what Abrams has to say when that 3D collector’s edition of The Force Awakens arrives in the United States on November 15. The set includes the movie in Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, Digital HD, and DVD, and adds more behind-the-scenes features in addition to the director’s commentary.

Via USA Today