Star Wars’ most controversial redemption wasn’t the “original plan”

The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy had a bumpy journey, however, Adam Driver has just confirmed that Kylo Ren's redemption wasn't planned.

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren

Star Wars is one of the most popular franchises in existence, and with that in mind, it’s nearly impossible to please everyone. However, most of us agree that when it comes to the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, one of the most eyebrow-raising moments was Kylo Ren’s big redemption arc.

As every Star Wars fan knows, this is the man who killed Han Solo, destroyed the Jedi temple, killed his own allies, murdered innocent villagers, and more. However, despite all the carnage left by this Star Wars character, during the 2019 film The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren became a hero. Many of us thought it was an odd story choice, and it turns out that the reason it may seem so strange is that it was never originally planned to happen in the first place.

During an interview on The Rich Eisen Show, Adam Driver revealed that he was pitched a completely different ending for his character by JJ Abrams back when he signed onto The Force Awakens. According to the star, Kylo Ren was originally meant to have “the opposite journey of Vader.”

In the original Star Wars trilogy, we meet Darth Vader as a confident ally of the dark side, and over time, he becomes vulnerable, questioning his master and ultimately choosing to save his son, Luke Skywalker. On the other hand, Kylo Ren starts out as confused and weak, struggling to form his identity as he continues being manipulated.

But, instead of choosing family, his original journey would have ended with the Star Wars villain being “fully committed to the dark side.” Obviously, we all know now that this initial character journey for Kylo Ren didn’t happen. Instead of having the opposite of Darth Vader’s journey, he had a similar one, where he ultimately left the dark side and got redemption.

In the end, we got to see Kylo Ren turn back into Ben Solo and kind of overshadow the rest of The Rise of Skywalker’s story (sorry to all you Rey and Palpatine fans).

“It changed,” Driver said. “The Rise of Skywalker, changed into being about [Ben and Rey] and the dyad…and evolving into Ben Solo. That was never part [of the original plan].”

That’s right, after Abrams returned to direct The Rise of Skywalker, he decided to chuck the original plans out the window. Honestly, we are kind of sad he did, since Kylo Ren turning into the ultimate new big bad would have been super exciting. Sure, Palpatine is a stellar villain, but seeing him again in The Rise of Skywalker didn’t kick as hard as seeing a fully transformed evil Kylo Ren would have.

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What could have been, right? Well, a few quibbles aside, we still love to watch all the Star Wars movies in order year after year, so we can’t complain too much. For more sci-fi fun, you can check out our guides ranking every Star Wars series and listing the entire Star Wars cast.

We are also keeping track of the new Star Wars movies and shows and have some handy explainers on everything you need to know about Andor season 2 and The Mandalorian season 4.