Portrayed by Adam Driver, Kylo Ren is the primary antagonist in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." We know from the trailers that he idolizes Darth Vader, but the film reveals his story is much more complicated than that. In a recent interview with IGN, director J.J. Abrams explained why Kylo Ren went to the Dark Side. Beware, there are major spoilers for fans who have yet to see the film.
Last warning. Major spoilers ahead.
The inherent problem with Kylo Ren seeking to "finish what [Darth Vader] started" is that Vader actually goes back to the Light Side in the end, albeit ever so briefly. So why would a character who is not actually a Sith Lord, someone prone to fits of rage and irrational outbursts, follow in Vader's footsteps?
"Kylo Ren idolizes Darth Vader, not Anakin Skywalker," Abrams explained. "He idolizes what Vader represents and what Vader was trying to do. The idea that Vader didn't succeed, if you look at it from Ren's point of view, he was seduced by the enemy and failed because of that seduction. So the idea is that Ren wants to complete the thing that Vader started."
As for what drove Ren himself away from that enemy (the Light Side) and towards the path his idol took, Abrams called it, "An incredible power. An incredible Force and an incredible potential, that was like with many young people sort of misguided and unclear. The story for him is one of conflict -- not just external conflict, but internal conflict, and it's what makes him, I think, an interesting villain."
Watch video of the interview below.
In theaters now and directed by Abrams, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” stars franchise veterans Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, joined by newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie and Max von Sydow.