Luke Owen with a wild fan theory for Star Wars: The Force Awakens…
“There has been an awakening, have you felt it?”
Kylo Ren is the new big baddy of the Star Wars Universe. The leader of the First Order, he’s a man who is obsessed with the work of Darth Vader and will use his new army of Stormtroopers to bring a new way of life to the galaxy. To quote Sideshow Collectable’s description of the character for their 1/6 scale figure: “Kylo Ren, a dark warrior strong with the Force, gains his name from the Knights of Ren; he also commands First Order missions. His unique self-made crossguard lightsaber has been capturing attention since its first reveal.” To quote director J.J. Abrams on the character’s mask, “The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask. [Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film.”
Now, who do we know that is strong with the Force, has the ability to create a new lightsabre from scratch, knows what came before him and would want to create a helmet that is a “nod” to Darth Vader? Vader’s son, of course.
Kylo Ren was first introduced to us in the original teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and even had the first line spoken from this new entry in the Star Wars Saga. His opening line of, “there has been an awakening, have you felt it?” sent shivers down the spines of Star Wars fans everywhere, and his crossguard lightsabre raised even more questions about how those things even work. While there was little of him in the second teaser, there was a lot of him in the latest trailer released yesterday. We now know that he and his First Order army are “looking to finish” what Vader started, and Ren even has the man’s helmet in his possession.
And who was the last person to be seen with Darth Vader’s helmet? The man who burnt it to a crisp on Endor.
A sticking points for fans from all three trailers is that we still haven’t seen Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. We’ve heard from Hamill in the San Diego Comic Con behind-the-scenes video and we know he’s in the movie (and possibly the sequel), but unlike Original Trilogy brothers and sisters Han, Leia and Chewie, Luke hasn’t shown his face in all its beardy glory. In the second teaser, there is a robotic hand that reaches out to R2-D2 (also seen in the latest trailer), which we presume is Luke – but his face is shrouded by a clothed hood. And who else is wearing a clothed hood with a robotic hand in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Kylo Ren.
In the third trailer, Han is asked by Rey about the stories which she’d heard. Stories of Jedis, The Force and The Dark Side – they’re all true according to Han. One man connects all three of those things: Luke Skywalker. Was Han referring to his former friend? Telling our new heroes about the Jedi that saved the galaxy, but has since turned to the Dark Side of The Force? Kylo Ren even mentions “the dark side and the light” in the first teaser, as if battling with himself about which one he should turn to – just as Luke Skywalker had done in the Original Trilogy.
Could it be that in the thirty years since the epic battle of Return of the Jedi, Luke finally gave into his anger? Did the death of his father have a such a negative effect on him that he began to emulate Anakin? Has he become so twisted and evil – like his father before him – that he’s turned to the one thing he fought so hard against, and is now following in his footsteps by leading The First Order? Has the vision he had in The Empire Strikes Back come to fruition? Is the awakening Kylo Ren felt the awakening of the Dark Side within him? Is that The Force that Awakens?
Probably not, because Adam Driver is playing Kylo Ren. Right? Right.
When J.J. Abrams made Star Trek Into Darkness, he tried his best to hide the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch was Khan, to the point of calling him John Harrison in all of the promotional material and denying rumours all the way up until release. This of course backfired on him. Everyone knew that Cumberbatch was Khan from the get go, which meant the audience didn’t go “wow” when it was revealed, and instead gave out a massive groan. So perhaps J.J. learn from his mistake with Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
What if Adam Driver has been a red herring all along? What if Driver was cast in the movie, but in a totally different role? What if he’s taken the Andy Serkis route of just providing Motion Capture for another character, and won’t actually feature on screen as himself?
The original six movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker – his rise, his fall to the Dark Side and his eventual redemption in Return of the Jedi. What if this new trilogy will follow the same story, but with Anakin’s son at the forefront?
What if Luke Skywalker has been in all of the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens all along, and he was just behind a mask this whole time? What if Luke Skywalker IS Kylo Ren?
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and a contributor on The Flickering Myth Movie Show. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.