Warning: Major Spoilers
We knew going into Star Wars: The Force Awakens that Kylo Ren was a big Darth Vader fanboy, but this particular part of the storyline was only really touched upon in the final cut of the movie.
Of course, the huge, cinema-shattering revelation was that Vader was in fact Ren’s grandfather, but it was striking that Ren focused on Vader’s time with the Dark Side despite being brought back to the Light by Luke in Return of the Jedi, when he brought balance, accepted the good in him and flung Darth Sidious down that massive shaft thing. Why did Ren decide to focus purely on his more evil leanings?
Well, J.J. Abrams offers a pretty good explanation during an interview with IGN via Squareeyed.
“KYLO REN IDOLIZES DARTH VADER, NOT ANAKIN SKYWALKER. HE IDOLIZES WHAT VADER REPRESENTS AND WHAT VADER WAS TRYING TO DO. AND THE IDEA THAT VADER DIDN’T SUCCEED, IF YOU LOOK AT IT FROM REN’S POINT OF VIEW, HE WAS SEDUCED BY THE ENEMY AND FAILED BECAUSE OF THAT SEDUCTION. SO THE IDEA IS THAT REN WANTS TO COMPLETE THE THING THAT VADER STARTED.”
The director also touched on how Ben Solo was manipulated and, ultimately, captured by the Dark Side: “AN INCREDIBLE POWER, AN INCREDIBLE FORCE, AND INCREDIBLE POTENTIAL THAT WAS, LIKE MANY YOUNG PEOPLE, SORT OF MISGUIDED AND UNCLEAR. AND THE STORY FOR HIM IS ONE OF CONFLICT, NOT JUST INTERNAL CONFLICT BUT EXTERNAL CONFLICT. AND IT’S WHAT MAKES HIM A RATHER INTERESTING VILLAIN.”
Synopsis: Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When a defector named Finn crash-lands on a desert planet, he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), a tough scavenger whose droid contains a top-secret map. Together, the young duo joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to make sure the Resistance receives the intelligence concerning the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights.