Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, dropped a bombshell on the Star Wars fanbase last week, with his reveal that Kylo Ren’s last name was more a title — like Darth — in a sect called The Knights of Ren. On Monday, The Los Angeles Times published an interview with Abrams, where he discusses the new big-bad of Star Wars, The First Order. When asked why someone would join or want to be associated with an off-chute of the old Galactic Empire, especially since it was run by the Dark Lord of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, the director had this to say:
"“Exactly, these are the questions aren’t they? Yes, I couldn’t agree with you more. I do think the sort of obvious answer is that the Force has a light side and a dark side. It’s not just one thing. It’s not just that the Force is good, the Force is … it can be a very dangerous thing. It can be a very seductive thing. I think that the story clearly requires a conflict of some sort.”"
This is a great point, as the Times pointed out, since we live in a world vastly different than what it was 30 years ago. People no longer view the world in black or white only, there is now, more than ever, a constantly greying outlook. This is a theme that has become prevalent in today’s pop-culture with the rise of the “Anti-hero.” Abrams continued:
"“And so if people were rejecting the dark side somehow entirely it would be a hard thing to figure out what we would be up against. It was part of the, what felt like an authentic and true inevitability of what might of happened in the years post [Return of the] Jedi.”"
The Times went on to ask J.J. if “Empire Deniers” existed, meaning a group that is still around after the fall of the Empire’s core infrastructure, presenting false facts about what actually happened in the war. Abrams’ answer was nothing if not telling, and surprisingly forthcoming from a director known for his secretive ways:
"“So they’re aware of what’s come before. And there are, I would argue, those who feel like what the Empire was doing was righteous and had something not gone wrong, as we all know it did, they probably would have succeeded. And it might be worth trying again.”"
This is an extremely interesting take on the general opinion that the Empire was inherently evil, even without a Dark Lord of the Sith at the helm. It is important to remember — from the Original Trilogy — that the Officer Corps of the Empire considered the Sith and Jedi an antiquated religion, only hung onto by fanatics whom they associated with Darth Vader.
Obviously, with The Knights of Ren hanging around, it’s safe to say that the “religion” of the Force — both Dark Side and the Light — is making a comeback of sorts…and awakening, if you will. Little nuggets of information like this serve to paint a larger image of what is going on in the background of the flagship film of the New Trilogy. December 18, can’t get here fast enough.
H/T – Star Wars 7 News