In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren came off as a bit of a tempestuous teenager who threw tantrums at the drop of a hat (or mask, whichever). However, he was apparently much more evil than that initial read-through may have shown. According to an interview between J.J. Abrams and Entertainment Weekly, Kylo Ren is kind of a really messed up dude.
Case in point: that ashy table that he drops his mask onto during the interrogation scene? Not an incense holder like I originally thought (what don’t judge me). Abrams said that there’s backstory behind the table and its ashes: “That table has the ashes of the enemies he’s killed. That moment was actually shot for, and meant to be used in, the scene where he was talking to the Vader mask.” This lends some really interesting context to that scene to which Abrams is referring. Instead of being a scene centering on the prayer or confession of a seemingly disturbed individual, it becomes a scene in which it’s hammered home just how far down the dark side path Kylo Ren has already gone.
That being said, I think that the removal of this scene served the movie pretty well. Having the ashes there provided a nice, intimidating sound texture to the interrogation scene, but if we were shown so early how… messed up Kylo really was, it would’ve taken something away from his scene with Han Solo on the bridge. While long bridges with no guard rails never spell good news in the Star Wars universe, what made that climactic scene work so well was the small bit of hope that I’m sure more than a few people held onto, that hope that maybe Kylo could be redeemed and led back to the light.
Unfortunately, that didn’t prove to be the case, and we end up minus one roguish smuggler and plus a hell of a lot of heartache.
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