Adam Driver developed his own backstory for Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy
Kylo Ren’s backstory is interesting. How did two of the biggest heroes in the Star Wars universe create one of the vilest villains?
It’s an answer we’d all like and while there have been bits and pieces about his past, including Charles Soule’s miniseries comic, we never got a full answer. What happened to Ben Solo to make him feel as though turning to the Dark Side was the only answer?
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We know it was gradual. There wasn’t one specific moment that made Ben snap, even though his uncle hanging over his bed with his lightsaber ready to kill can take a toll. The path to the dark side started before that moment.
It makes how did Leia and Han Solo drive such a big wedge in their family? Adam Driver, the actor who played Kylo Ren in the sequel trilogy, gave the character his own backstory.
It’s a perfectly normal thing for actors. You’ve heard the silly line, “What is my motivation?”
But it’s true. What is Kylo Ren’s motivation? It’s a question we all wondered and one that Driver had to fill in to perform as Kylo Ren.
According to Lev Grossman, who wrote the Vanity Fair article on The Rise of Skywalker, Driver revealed to him what the backstory was. Grossman told The Inverse in a podcast:
"“He said that both Han Solo and Leia were way too self-absorbed and into this idea of themselves as heroes to really be attentive parents in the way a young and tender Kylo Ren really needed. There wasn’t really that much of it in the movie so I just think we have to assume his childhood sucked.”"
It’s an interesting take for Driver and a reminder that his take isn’t canon. It was a way for Driver to connect to his character. That’s just a technique Driver used in his acting.
Perhaps Driver didn’t have background information that we learned from things such as the novel Bloodline or Soule’s miniseries. Ben Solo has always teetered on the line of light and dark, even while in the womb. He didn’t necessarily have an awful abusive childhood in a sense of how we would envision blatant physical abuse. However, there could have easily been neglect and Ben not getting the attention from his parents that he desired.
That’s doesn’t mean, however, that not hugging your kid enough means he had a right to slaughter innocent people. There’s a large jump from feeling ignored to murder.
But Driver’s backstory for Kylo make sense. Kylo Ren acts out throughout the sequel trilogy, throwing tantrums like a child and constantly seeking the approval from his parental figures.
And while Driver’s backstory may not be exactly what happened, it’s interesting to see where his head was during the filming of these movies.
Stream Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Disney+.