- Adam Driver says there was no planned redemption arc for Kylo Ren in Star Wars, and the direction of the character was changed along the way.
- The original idea was for Kylo Ren’s journey to be opposite of Darth Vader’s and have him become more committed to the Dark Side.
- The response to Star Wars: The Last Jedi and its criticisms could have influenced the change in character arc.
Adam Driver revealed an intriguing detail about his character, Kylo Ren, otherwise known as Ben Solo, from the Star Wars series. As it turned out, there was never a planned redemption arc for him in the story. During an appearance on The Roku Channel’s The Rich Eisen Show, Driver said the initial idea was for Kylo Ren’s journey to be the opposite of Darth Vader’s, with him becoming more committed to the Dark Side as the story progressed. However, that didn’t happen as planned.
Driver said, “I had an overall arc in mind that he wanted to do, which then changed. His idea was almost the opposite journey of Vader, where Vader starts the most confident, the most committed to the Dark Side, and by the last movie he’s the most vulnerable, and weak, and he wanted to start at the opposite, where this character was the most confused and vulnerable, and by the end of the three movies would be most committed to the Dark Side.”
Both Driver and possibly the director of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, J.J. Abrams, had envisioned Ben Solo’s journey to be different from Vader’s, which may be why they had him kill his father, Han Solo, in the first movie of the Disney sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, the story took a different turn in The Rise of Skywalker, with Kylo Ren finding redemption and becoming Ben Solo once again after a conversation with his father, Han Solo. He then joins forces with Rey, sacrifices himself to save her, and the two characters share a final kiss before his death.
It is unknown why Kylo Ren’s character arc was changed so drastically, but it is possible that the mixed response to director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi may have played a part. The Last Jedi set Kylo Ren up as the main antagonist, but the character’s development shifted later, possibly because of criticisms towards the movie. This led to changes in story elements such as Rey’s parentage, the origins of Snoke, and the relationship between Rey and Ben. Though Ben Solo did undergo a form of redemption in the original script, Duel of Fates, it was not as significant as what the audience saw in The Rise of Skywalker.
There is debate over whether giving Ben Solo a heroic ending was the right choice, or if Kylo Ren should have remained an antagonist throughout the series. It appears that at least some of these decisions were changed along the way, confirming the suspicions of many fans that there was never a concrete plan in place.