Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi)
Both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi did a phenomenal job with Kylo Ren’s character. The Last Jedi snags the win because it delved further into Kylo’s inner conflict and revealed more of his humanity. A good amount of time passes in The Force Awakens before the audience learns Kylo is actually Ben Solo, son of Han Solo and Leia Organa.
Even more time passes before he takes off his mask for the first time and reveals the face underneath.
These moments were certainly effective plot twists and a proper amount of buildup needed to occur for the moments to resonate. It’s just that while the movie spends all that time portraying him as a masked, powerful, short-tempered villain, we miss out on some of the delicious complexity that truly makes Kylo Ren a compelling character.
Once the mask comes off and Rey sees through the facade, the intricacy of his character becomes clear.
The Last Jedi has Kylo destroy the mask early on, ensuring that the audience is able to better experience the character’s inner torment, expressed so wonderfully through Adam Driver’s brilliant performance. The regret he feels for killing Han, the growing contempt he feels toward Supreme Leader Snoke, the decision to spare Leia’s life, and the close bond he feels with Rey are even more fascinating and complex than what he dealt with in The Force Awakens.
As if all this wasn’t enough, his character only gets more captivating when he decides to kill Snoke and join forces with Rey, which is arguably the most important moment in the entire film. Where his character goes after this, especially with the impact of Rey’s rejection and his promotion to Supreme Leader, The Last Jedi takes Kylo’s character into new and thrilling terrain.