- Adam Driver reveals that Kylo Ren’s story has come to an end in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, leaving fans with a bittersweet farewell.
- Driver admits that portraying Kylo Ren was an exhausting experience due to the massive scale of the Star Wars production and the adjustment it required.
- Despite his success in Star Wars, Driver never saw it as his only job and has gone on to receive critical acclaim and nominations for his work in other projects.
Adam Driver brought some sad news to Star Wars fans this Christmas about the fate of Kylo Ren. With the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga’s sequel trilogy also comes the end of the beloved villain’s story as the actor knows it.
The actor was cast in the first installment of the new trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), in April 2014 by director J.J. Abrams with the belief that he could portray a complex character in conflict between the light and dark side. He reprised his role in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi (2017) and Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker (2019). And showcasing that he has just as strong comedic skills as he does for drama, Driver’s first and third times hosting Saturday Night Live in 2016 and 2020 showed him in Star Wars-themed “Undercover Boss” sketches.
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In Episode 182 of the SmartLess podcast, hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett, Driver officially revealed the antagonist will be absent from the series despite production moving forward with future installments. As an actor who had prior experience with smaller, faster moving projects like Girls and This is Where I Leave You (2014), Star Wars‘ slower pace was a massive adjustment for him. “Star Wars was way more exhausting for me, I made it more exhausting than it should’ve been because I hadn’t figured out the momentum of a set that was that big before,” Driver admitted.
While there are cases of some actors who star in big franchises that don’t get much work beyond that, or end up being typecast for a beloved role, Driver told the three hosts he never thought Star Wars would be the only job he’d get — though he did say some interviewers tend to circle back to asking about the series despite him promoting a different project. “I wasn’t thinking too far ahead like that, what the end result would be, because the end result could also be you’re in a movie that everybody saw and nobody liked, they didn’t like you in it, and they didn’t like the movie,” Driver says. Luckily for him, fans say the best part about Ren was Driver’s nuanced performance. His optimism to get a variety of work post-Kylo Ren proved right, as he went on to become a two-time Academy Award nominee in 2018 and 2019.
The character not returning may not be a surprise for fans of the films, considering Rey kills him during a duel on Kef Bir in The Rise of Skywalker, though he’s physically saved by her Force-healing him. He then sheds his alter ego forever, reclaiming his birth name of Ben Solo on a path of redemption, ultimately dying in a sacrifice of selflessness to save Rey and becoming one with the Force. Driver said that Johnson started taking Ren’s story in a different direction than originally planned by Abrams, saying his would be the opposite of Darth Vader’s. “As opposed to someone who’s the most dark from the beginning and by the end of the series becomes the most vulnerable, [Ren] starts the most vulnerable and becomes little by little more committed to the dark side,” Driver says in the podcast. Despite this premise being scrapped, the actor kept this idea in the back of his mind unconsciously as he portrayed the character.
The redemption arc of Ben Solo left fans divided, either because his death seemingly wasted it or that the character decided himself that he would be redeemed after conversing with a memory of his father, Han. While The Force Awakens had a strong start for the reset of the Star Wars universe and Ren’s character, many believe the plot of the villain seemed to go in too many directions as the sequel saga went on. These kinds of concerns may not be a shock, considering Driver said that when he got the offer for the role, there was no script for him to read, which was a first for the actor. He had to commit to Abrams’ pitch just from him walking through the whole premise.
So while this news may disappoint the fanbase, they can be hopeful about the slew of Star Wars related content Disney has planned and has put out since the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga. And as for Adam Driver fans, they can catch him in the new movie Ferrari, a biopic about the car brand’s founder.
All the Star Wars movies and series can be streamed on Disney Plus.
Star Wars is a multimedia franchise originally created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd with the 1977 motion picture. The science fiction franchise follows the adventures of characters (both humanoid and alien) in outer space including those who can wield a mystical power known as the Force. Since the release of the original trilogy movies, the franchise has expanded to include multiple films and branched out to other mediums like comics, video games, tv shows, theme park attractions, and more. The IP and Lucasfilm were sold to Disney in 2012.