By George Bate
An all-new hardback deluxe magazine detailing the making of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker is coming soon with Titan Magazines’ Star Wars: Age of Resistance – The Official Collector’s Edition. The new deluxe magazine features exclusive interviews with cast and crew and stunning photography and production art, making it an essential for Star Wars fans.
Included here is an exclusive, early excerpt and spreads from the upcoming magazine:
Impulsive and ruthless, Kylo Ren was lost in anger and hate. Through his veins ran the bloodline of the most powerful Jedi and Sith, for he was once Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, grandson of Darth Vader. A gifted Jedi and student of Luke Skywalker, Ben turned to the dark side of the Force, took a new name, and became the apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke.
Kylo Ren was trying to become one with the dark side of the Force, immune to the light. But his journey was not yet complete. “The character of Kylo Ren was about becoming,” said co-producer Michelle Rejwan. “He’s not fully formed. He was on a journey to discover himself. To discover his full potential. In Star Wars, there’s the light and the dark side of both of those things. Kylo Ren was striving to be some kind of force, and having both the light and the dark in him, was warring on both sides. That’s what made the character so interesting to watch.” Despite the effort to hide it, his inner conflict was evident when he exited his shuttle on Jakku and faced the captive Lor San Tekka — the explorer who was harboring part of a map to Luke Skywalker’s location. As actor Adam Driver explained, that inner conflict, the becoming, showed in the character’s visual presentation. “His lightsaber was not quite finished, and his uniform was not quite perfect.” Lor San Tekka tells Kylo he cannot deny his past, his family, where he came from. As we would soon learn, Kylo’s parents were Leia and Han. Well aware of Kylo’s feelings towards his mother and father, Supreme Leader Snoke exploited his apprentice’s battle with the light and the dark to his own advantage.
FROM THE PAST
Obsessed with Darth Vader, Kylo kept the deformed mask of the fallen Sith Lord in his private quarters aboard the Finalizer — a Resurgent-class Star Destroyer — and talked to it as if it were alive. Kylo emulated Vader, striving to be as strong as he was, even though Snoke believed Vader’s weakness caused the end of the Empire. “It’s very important,” said Lawrence Kasdan, writer of The Force Awakens, “that Snoke, who’s a master manipulator, could frame the moment of Anakin’s redemption as Darth Vader’s biggest failure, and have that argument carry total weight with Kylo Ren, who is now Snoke’s protégée and servant. Someone else telling that story would talk about the great moment when Anakin was redeemed, and Luke did not give up on his father. But for Snoke, it represented Vader’s moment of fatal weakness, when he softened at the end.”
JUST A BOY
While Anakin Skywalker had to wear his mask to breathe, Kylo Ren didn’t. His mask — designed after the battle gear of the Knights of Ren, a new generation devoted to the dark side — served the purpose of intimidating his opponents and hiding his humanity. After taking Rey to Starkiller Base, Kylo Ren was ready to interrogate her. But first, he took off his mask and showed his face. What she saw took Rey by surprise. Kylo Ren was just a boy. “One of the most interesting things was he’s young,” said Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president. “So often, villains in stories are damaged, troubled, older characters. To bring a character into Star Wars as a villain who was only thirty years old was interesting. It took advantage of a troubled, teenage life, and a backstory that we didn’t know much about. We recognized this tension between dark and light, which is prevalent in Star Wars, and we used it as a metaphor for the path from young adulthood to being an adult, to whom you think you’ll be as an adult, what your aspirations might be. That interest in anything on the dark side. Anybody’s capable of that. I think that tension of being drawn into something dangerous is relatable. For audiences today, that’s a new and exciting and appealing character.”
Kylo Ren’s mask was part of his battered combat helmet. Servomotors could drive articulated arms to separate the mask from the helmet, letting Ren show his face to his opponents when needed. Supervising sound editor Matthew Wood and his team used the sound of chains to make Adam Driver’s voice — when he is wearing the mask — as distorted and intimidating as possible: “The mask didn’t function like Vader’s mask to keep him alive. It was for intimidation and to make him very strange to interact with. The juxtaposition when he took the helmet off, his regular voice and face gave a nice yin-yang surprise effect.”
Star Wars: The Age Of Resistance The Official Collector’s Edition Book is released by Titan Comics on March 9 2021, and is available to preorder on Amazon or Forbidden Planet (UK and Europe).