Kylo Ren almost had a completely different, darker ending

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)..Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. ..© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)..Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. ..© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

As the sequel trilogy continues to spark debate among Star Wars fans, the redemption arc of Kylo Ren remains one of the more talked-about topics.

In The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, reclaims his identity as Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, and joins Rey against Darth Sidious. Ultimately, a redeemed Solo sacrifices his life to revive Rey and becomes one with the Force.

Solo’s arc in the sequel trilogy reflects that of Anakin Skywalker AND Darth Vader. Initially, however, he was not supposed to end the series on the Light side of the Force. Kylo was supposed to be the “most committed to the Dark Side,” claims Driver.

In an interview with The Roku Channel’s The Rich Eisen Show, Driver revealed that the original plan that J.J. Abrams had for his character did not include him dying as a hero.

"I had an overall arc in mind that he wanted to do, which then changed. His idea was almost the opposite journey of Vader, where Vader starts the most confident, the most committed to the Dark Side, and by the last movie he’s the most vulnerable, and weak, and he wanted to start at the opposite, where this character was the most confused and vulnerable, and by the end of the three movies would be most committed to the Dark Side."

Driver further stated that when Rian Johnson took Solo’s arc in a “different direction” in The Last Jedi, he could still resonate with the character. That changed in the third movie.

"The last one, it changed into being, you know, about them and the dyad, and things like that. And evolving into Ben Solo. That was never a part of it. He was Ben Solo from the beginning, but there was never a version where we’d see Ben Solo when I first signed up for it."

Ben Solo/Kylo Ren wasn’t the only character whose final fate was changed in the trilogy. Daisy Ridley’s Rey was subjected to such treatment as well.

Back in 2020, Ridley revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live that her character started out having a secret connection with Obi-Wan Kenobi, which later changed to her being a “no-one.” She said that she wasn’t sure who Rey would end up being as she was filming for the last movie.

Rey finally ended up being the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, though she later gave herself the Skywalker surname.

While all this might seem like a ding against the sequel trilogy, this is actually very Star Wars. It’s been well documented that the script was constantly changing on set in both the original trilogy and the prequels. George Lucas was famous for carrying a notebook with him to jot things down. The famous “I love you” “I know” was born on set, which actually frustrated Carrie Fisher when Harrison Ford didn’t bring her into the process. It’s normal for scripts to change, oftentimes during filming. This happens all the time, especially with Star Wars.