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Rian Johnson says Kylo Ren is "not Darth Vader yet" in The Last Jedi

When STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI hits theaters this December it will unveil new details about characters like Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke (Mark Hamill) – further unraveling the mysteries of the former’s past and latter’s sudden disappearance. There’s an equal amount of mystery surrounding the villains too – especially Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) – and in developing these black-clad baddies writer/director Rian Johnson wanted to both adhere to and separate from dynamics we saw in the original trilogy.

While speaking with Empire for the STAR WARS-themed issue hitting stands this October, Johnson discussed the differences between Ren in this new trilogy and Darth Vader in the original trilogy, saying how he wanted to explore the intricate emotions and motivations of Ren, and not just have him be the "bad guy":

Writing Kylo Ren is just so much fun. Star Wars boils down to the transition from adolescence into adulthood. That’s the heart of these films and Rey is most obviously the one that hangs on. But it’s also Kylo. In the originals you project entirely onto Luke, while Vader is the scary other — he’s the minotaur. The fascinating thing about Kylo and Rey is that they’re two sides of something. We can all relate to Kylo: to that anger of being in the turmoil of adolescence and figuring out who he’s going to be as a man; dealing with anger and wanting to separate from his family. He’s not Vader — at least, he’s not Vader yet — and that’s something I really wanted to get into.

While he wants to add more dimension to Ren, Johnson wanted to make Snoke akin to Emperor Palpatine in the original trilogy, treating him like the evil grand master he is rather than exploring his background and origin:

We got the whole story of Palpatine’s rise to power in the prequels, but in the original films, he's exactly what he needs to be, which is just ‘The Emperor’. He's a dark force: the scary thing behind the thing. That was entirely how I approached Snoke. I wasn't interested in explaining where he came from or telling his history, except where it serves this story.

We already know a decent amount about Ren, and JEDI will do more in developing on and adding to that knowledge. However, there are tons of "out there" theories all over the web surrounding the true nature and origin of Snoke, with one theory going as far as to claim that Snoke is really Jar Jar Binks and that the obnoxious character was just playing coy in the prequel films, his true, evil nature remaining hidden.

There are plenty of mysteries to be solved in regards to these characters, and I think it’s one reason fans are so desperately waiting for this new installment. I wonder what Johnson means when he says "yet" in regards to Ren becoming like Vader. Does he mean he will soon completely bury the emotions stemming from his past and become a purely evil figure, doing the bidding of Snoke without question? In a lot of ways he's already at that point, but as we saw in FORCE AWAKENS there are still some hang-ups he has yet to fully let go of. We won't know where his story is leading until this December, but we do know one thing: he wears that facial scar like a champ.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI hits theaters December 15.

Source: Empire

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