As you can probably gather from that headline, there are massive spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet. So if you’re going to read ahead, you’re doing so at your own risk.
In The Force Awakens, audiences witnessed the birth of one of the most reviled villains in cinematic history. Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, went from being Ben Solo to murdering his father Han Solo. Inevitably, considering that Han was one of the most-loved characters in film history, audiences were left shocked, angered and heartbroken at what they had seen. This instantly solidified Ren as a heinous and ruthless villain, far worse than anyone could have anticipated. Not even Darth Vader could kill his own blood.
At a post-screening Q&A session over this past weekend for Star Wars: Episode VII at the Writers Guild of America, director J.J. Abrams answered questions and offered explanation for why they chose to do what they did.
Talking to EW via Squareeyed, Abrams said: “Star Wars had the greatest villain in cinema history. So, how you bring a new villain into that world is a very tricky thing. We knew we needed to do something f—king bold. The only reason why Kylo Ren has any hope of being a worthy successor is because we lose one of the most beloved characters.”
“Long before we had this title, the idea of The Force Awakens was that this would become the evolution of not just a hero, but a villain. And not a villain who was the finished, ready-made villain, but someone who was in process.”
“All of us bring our own experiences to it. As a father, as a friend to people who have children, I know what it’s like to see struggle, to be part of struggle. I know how painful it can be. I know how real it is. And this is, of course, an insane extrapolated version,” he added with a laugh. “Patricide is not ideal.”
When asked to describe the atmosphere during the scenes filming, Abrams explained:
“It was really chilling, Seeing these two actors, they weren’t chewing up the scenery. They were just doing this thing in a way that, frankly, was disturbing. To see Harrison reach out and touch Adam. I know this sounds stupid, but literally watching it, I forgot — I forgot that he wasn’t his son. He did it so beautifully.”
So there you go. It doesn’t help with pain of having to see Han Solo killed, but at least we know why he did it. Only time will tell what true impact it will have on the rest of the franchise.