The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson talks Kylo Ren and Snoke


Rian Johnson sat down with Empire Magazine and talked about the nefarious Supreme Leader Snoke and his apprentice Kylo Ren…

Empire Magazine continues its excellent coverage of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, by interviewing director Rian Johnson. And, according to Johnson, we may not find out anything about Supreme Leader Snoke’s origins when the film hits theaters on December 15.

"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."

That’s an interesting approach to a film that is the sequel to The Force Awakens, where Snoke was much more mysterious. But if Johnson has no plans of visiting Snokes past in the film, then maybe we’ll get a book about him, which would tell of his rise as the Supreme Leader of the First Order, but it would need to start with a younger version of Snoke: The one hiding in the shadows and watching the fall of the Empire.

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Johnson moved onto Kylo Ren, where he said writing for the character was “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."

Who “he’s not Vader yet” has my mind swirling with all sorts of theories and ideas on how Kylo Ren’s story will play out. Will Kylo somehow be redeemed to the Light by the end of Episode IX? While yes, it sounds like re-hashed Return of the Jedi, but maybe Kylo can be turned to the Light without losing his life.

Johnson’s comment on Kylo and Rey being two sides of something also has me thinking about their relationship to each other. We don’t know about Rey’s origins. All we know is that she was dropped off on Jakku where she remained until she and Finn fled the First Order. Since then, she only looked back once, but Maz Kanata set her straight:

"You already know the truth. Whoever you were waiting for on Jakku, they’re never coming back. But there’s someone who still can: Luke."

Next: Empire Magazine’s massive coverage of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

At this point, Maz is the new Yoda, because she gives the cryptic messages that could be interpreted a thousand different ways. Whatever Rey’s lineage is, and if she’ll have a part to play in Kylo Ren’s story, we’ll find out on December 15, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters.