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Why J.J. Abrams Made “That” Kylo Ren Choice in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

by  in Movie News Comment
Why J.J. Abrams Made “That” Kylo Ren Choice in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

This article contains major spoilers for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has only been in theaters for a few days, but the internet is already buzzing with a million questions about the characters, the plot, and the reasoning behind some of the film’s most shocking moments.

Over the weekend, director J.J. Abrams and co-writers Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt answered some of the biggest questions of the film at the Writer’s Guild of America, which Entertainment Weekly covered. If you have not seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” yet, do not read any further. This is deep spoiler territory.

The biggest question they addressed was about why Kylo Ren performed that terrifying act toward the end of the film? Of all the lives Kylo could take, of all the ways he could fully give into the dark side, why was killing his father — the beloved Han Solo (Harrison Ford) — the way Abrams, Kasdan and Arndt choose to push Kylo over the edge?

According to Abrams, they needed a way to make Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) even more terrifying than Darth Vader, and killing Han Solo (Harrison Ford) was their solution.

“Star Wars had the greatest villain in cinema history. So, how you bring a new villain into that world is a very tricky thing. We knew we needed to do something f—king bold,” Abrams explained. “The only reason why Kylo Ren has any hope of being a worthy successor is because we lose one of the most beloved characters.”

Arndt said in the interview that killing Han Solo wasn’t always the plan. Originally he wanted Han and Leia to reconcile at the end of film, after spending some time apart. “I had thought Han’s story and Leia’s story was just about them coming back together. At the end of the movie they would have reconciled and gotten over their differences. And you would have said, ‘Okay, bad stuff happened, but at least they’re back together again.'”

But it was Abrams who felt Han Solo’s story needed more push, more danger. “‘What is Han doing in this movie?’ If we’re not going to have something important and irreversible happen to him, then he kind of feels like luggage. He feels like this great, sexy piece of luggage you have in your movie. But he’s not really evolving. He’s not really pushing the story forward.”

So when they finally made the decision to kill Han Solo, it was considered a massive trade off. Abrams said during pre-production he asked, “How can we possibly do that!?” But, according to Abrams,” if we hadn’t done that, the movie wouldn’t have any guts at all. It felt very dangerous.”

It was a dangerous move that left many fans in shock. Han Solo’s death may actually be the most riveting death in the “Star Wars” franchise to date. While Darth Vader killing Obi-Wan Kenobi at the beginning of “Star Wars: A New Hope” was intense, there is a huge difference between a Sith killing his Jedi master, and killing his father. Kylo’s fate is not wrapped up in the death of one of the most beloved characters in “Star Wars” history, which does put him past Vader, in terms of villainy.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is in theaters now.

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