The recent culmination of the Star Wars Skywalker saga might have left fans with mixed feelings regarding the direction that new filmmaker choose to take George Lucas's original creation in, but there is no doubt that newer characters from the franchise have become a significant part of modern pop culture. One such character is the Jedi/Sith hybrid, Ben Solo aka Kylo Ren. A recent picture on Instagram by John Wilson Film Stills documents the first moments when actor Adam Driver tried on his character's costume:
Documenting the creation of The Force Awakens was a dream job for me, it meant I was able to photograph so many facets of the production. From sets being constructed, props being made and costumes being created for all the cast members. Here we have the incredibly talented Michael Kaplan with Adam Driver fitting the Kylo Ren costume. Being able to record moments like this is what it's all about!
In the image, Driver is standing ramrod straight in the middle of the room, his tall frame covered from neck to toes in Kylo Ren's famous all-black robed ensemble. The only thing missing is his metallic helmet, which was presumably still in the process of getting made. At the time the photo was taken, news of Driver's announcement as the new main villain of the Star Wars universe, handpicked by J.J. Abrams himself, was met with great surprise and confusion by fans.
Until then, Driver's acting credits had consisted mostly of arthouse fare, and he was best known as the hunky love interest of lead character Hannah from Girls, played by Lena Dunham. Many thought the young actor lacked the larger-than-life charisma and gravitas needed to become this generation's Darth Vader.
But Driver proved with his performance as Kylo Ren that he had no interest in being the new Vader. Instead, he carved out a niche for himself within the Star Wars universe as his own separate, truly compelling entity. Ren started out as Ben Solo, the son of Han and Leia, grandson son to Vader, and nephew to Luke Skywalker.
Due to his mixed heritage, Ben grew up with deeply conflicted emotions, the light and dark side of the force engaged in an epic tug-of-war within him to bring him over to their side. At a young age, Ben turned away from his Jedi roots and became the Sith Lord Kylo Ren, seeking to destroy the light side of the force once and for all.
After a lifetime devoted to death and destruction, his confrontation with his parents, and his relationship with Rey helped Ren finally turn away from the dark side and find some measure of redemption.
It was a complex character to bring to the big screen, and Adam Driver drew praise for masterfully portraying the inner complexities which drove Kylo Ren his whole life. Although the character is technically dead, he can still return in future installments of the franchise as a force ghost or in flashbacks, meaning Driver may once again get to wear the iconic robes and helmet at some point in the future.