One of the most significant uncertainties for “Star Wars” fans this past year has been the fate of Kylo Ren. On the one hand, Ren has done terrible things, not least of which the murder of his father and the destruction of entire planets (order those however you see fit as a “Star Wars” fan). On the other hand, the franchise has always been about finding light in the darkness; even Ser Genocide Darth Vader got to have his Good Guy Force Ghost moment at the end of ‘Return of the Jedi.’
The prospects of a Kylo Ren redemption are even further muddied by this trilogy’s uneven relationship with the six movies that preceded it. At times, Kathleen Kennedy and her collaborators have demonstrated a gleeful disregarded for sacred horses, suggesting that Ren’s fate not be tied to the actions of his forebears. Other times? The new trilogy serves as a beat-by-beat reposition of the “Star Wars” mythos for a younger audience.
So will Kylo Ren be redeemed? It depends on who you ask. Adam Driver, for instance, has some pretty strong opinions on the matter. “What does he have to be redeemed for?” Driver recently asked Entertainment Weekly when pressed about his character’s possible redemption arc. This is a bit of a departure from his comments of a few days ago when Driver seemingly hinted at a possible redemption arc to Rolling Stone. Now, he seems less interested in entertaining the question.
“He’s already been redeemed in his story,” Driver continued in the Entertainment Weekly piece. “I don’t think there is a thought of redemption. He doesn’t have an outside lens of the events, you know — you know what I mean? That’s more of an outsider’s view of his world.” From an actor’s standpoint, this makes a bunch of sense. We need Ren to be condemned or redeemed because it fits in the grand narrative of “Star Wars,” but Driver is just trying to do right by his character’s wants and desires. Even if Ren is redeemed to our satisfaction, in the end, odds are it’ll only be in a way that makes sense to the character first, the narrative second.