Actors who almost played Kylo Ren in Star Wars

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)..Photo: Film Frames Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)..Photo: Film Frames Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

Adam Driver had a rather large task ahead of him when he was cast in the role of Kylo Ren. Darth Vader has become one of the most iconic characters in all of cinematic history, and the task of playing the next generation of iconic Star wars villain is no small feat. While Driver clearly was up to the tack, turning in a memorable performance of his own, it’s easy to understand why plenty of other actors were considered before the final casting to make sure that the best option of the role was selected. Had things gone differently any of these people might have ended up as the new face of the Dark Side for the sequel trilogy.

First on the list we have Eddie Redmayne. Redmayne has often joked about being up for the same parts as actor Domhnall Gleeson and losing parts to him, so when Redmayne first talked about auditioning for Star Wars, many assumed that he was auditioning for the role of General Hux, a part that did end up going to Domhnall Gleeson. However, when Redmayne was asked for more information, he confirmed that the part he had auditioned for was none other than Kylo Ren. Redmayne recalled that the project was so top secret that he didn’t even get to audition with a scene from the upcoming movie. Instead he was given a scene from Pride and Prejudice and just told he was auditioning for the villain. According to Redmayne, it was that direction that caused him to be knocked out of consideration, as he couldn’t help but put on a voice to try and play with a voice that he said came out ridiculous.

Of course, the character of Kylo Ren wasn’t always designed to be exactly what we ended up seeing in the final product. Before he was fully developed the character was referred to as the Jedi Killer in earlier versions of the story. During this time, several actors were considered for the part including actors such as Christoph Waltz and Hugo Weaving. Both actors have played high profile villains in the past. Weaving famously portrayed Agent Smith in the original Matrix trilogy, and Christoph Waltz won an Oscar for his performance as Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds. Given their past performances, it’s easy to see how either actor would be considered to be a character that was simply known as the Jedi Killer at the time. However, as the story evolved and it was decided that the main villain of the sequel series would be the son of Han and Leia, the character had to be a much younger age than either actor could reasonably play.  The younger age of the eventual character also knocked actor Michael Fassbender from the running. At the time of casting for The Force Awakens, Fassbender was portraying the younger version of the character Magneto in the X-Men films, proving that he would be more than capable of playing a complex and fully fleshed out villain in a big budget action franchise. Still, even though he was younger than the two other actors mentioned, it was still decided that his age still took him out of consideration.

In the end, director JJ Abrams decided that he wanted to go with a relatively unknown actor, or at least one that wasn’t already associated with a different major franchise. While the search was long, we can all agree that at the end of the day, the right choice was made to bring the franchise’s newest galactic threat to the big screen.