Adam Driver Had to Fill In the Blanks of Kylo Ren’s Backstory Like the Rest of Us
Funny how, with three whole movies, we still don’t know much of anything about any of the four major characters of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Adam Driver, who played Kylo Ren, ended up making up his own backstory about his character’s childhood that basically paints Han and Leia as narcissistic and negligent parents. Rude.
Lev Grossman, of The Magicians trilogy, shared outtakes from his Vanity Fair preview of The Rise of Skywalker from back in 2019. He spoke to the entire cast for the article and shared that he left out Adam Driver’s backstory for Kylo Ren.
“I think probably the thing that was missing for me, I wanted to see more about Kylo’s childhood,” Grossman shared during an interview with Inverse. ”I thought they would go back to show us more about why he turned to the dark side. [Adam Driver] had a lot of interesting thoughts about Ben Solo’s childhood.”
What did Driver say? As Grossman put it,
“He said that both Han Solo and Leia were way too self-absorbed and into this idea of themselves as heroes to really be attentive parents in the way a young and tender Kylo Ren really needed. There wasn’t really that much of it in the movie so I just think we have to assume his childhood sucked.”
Now, I’m no ride-or-die for Luke or Leia, but this reads really false to who we know them to be as characters, especially after the events of the trilogy. Seeing as Leia grew up in a family where she was literally raised to be a leader and had loving parents, who were murdered along with her planet in front of her, I don’t think she would be so cavalier with neglecting Ben. Han also was a loving person, and I think he would treasure the opportunity to build a family of his own.
As for the question of whether Ben had a tragic backstory or not, we, sadly, have to turn to the books and graphic novels for that information.
According to those sources, even from the womb, Ben was floating between the light and the dark. He was close to both Chewbacca (who taught him how to use a blaster and to fly a speeder) and Lando, both of whom Ben called “Uncle.” Were Han and Leia busy? Yes, but in the way that having two parents with full-time jobs were busy. Ben felt abandoned, but they were far from “self-absorbed.”
The biggest mistake that was made in raising Ben is actually the typical Disney parent thing, keeping the truth about something from the kid “for their own protection.” Ben didn’t know that Vader was his grandfather until he was a grown man, but the desire to keep that truth from him made Ben feel isolated.
It’s interesting how Driver felt like he had to make this really tragic backstory for Ben in order to explain why he became Kylo Ren, when the reality is much simpler. Ben was always someone torn between the light and the dark, and the efforts to protect him only made it worse.
If only you didn’t need to read a bunch of background material to figure that out.
(via IndieWire, image: Lucasfilm/Disney)
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