For all intents and purposes, it appears that Kylo Ren is the Darth Vader of the current Star Wars trilogy, which continues with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Granted, there were quite a few differences between Kylo and his much more famous grandfather in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but he is the bad guy at the forefront, with Snoke lurking somewhere in the background. Some more differences (and similarities) are likely to be revealed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but Lucasfilm was kind enough to give us something to chew on at New York Comic Con. They've finally explained why Kylo Ren wears a helmet.
We know that Kylo Ren is a complete Darth Vader fanboy, which largely explains his choice of clothing and style. But why the helmet? Darth Vader needed his to live, but Kylo Ren can function perfectly fine without it. Well, the folks over at Star Wars News Net are on the ground at New York Comic Con and they shared an image from the Star Wars: The Last Jedi display that goes over some of the helmets from the movie, one of which being Kylo Ren's. And the description offered up a crystal clear, unambiguous explanation. Here's the description.
"Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, protege of Luke Skywalker, and eventual master of the Knights of Ren. He is known as the 'Jedi Killer' among the rank and file of the first order. His helmet was crafted to mask his visage and voice, concealing his identity as he delves further into the power of the Dark Side of the Force."
So there you have it. The fancy helmet that makes Kylo Ren's voice all crazy is simply to disguise his identity. That makes sense, as there are probably many who would recognize him as Ben Solo, as he lived a life before he turned to the Dark Side. Not only that, but it does offer a layer of mystery and intimidation. But there are some other tidbits in that description worth talking about beyond the helmet.
Some very subtle phrasing in here hints at something we may very well see in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we got a glimpse of the Knights of Ren in what many assumed was a flashback in Rey's Force dream. But the phrase "eventual master of the Knights of Ren" implies that he has yet to accomplish that. So maybe Rey had a glimpse into the future and we're going to see the Knights of Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Either way, that phrasing seems intentional and is worth taking note of.
For now, all we can do is speculate until Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out on December 15. But at least Lucasfilm finally let us know why Kylo Ren wears that helmet. At least we know it wasn't a totally pointless fashion statement. You can check out the descriptions of the other helmets, courtesy of Star Wars News Net Twitter, for yourself below.