J.J. Abrams Explains THAT Kylo Ren Scene in The Force Awakens (SPOILERS)
***SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS AND OMG HOLY CRAP MORE SPOILERS***
Seriously, though, don’t read this if you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet (and come back when you have!).
So, as those of you who’ve seen the film already know, Han Solo is no more. He is an ex-Han Solo. He has ceased to be. And this is because his son, Kylo Ren (aka Ben Solo), kills him in an attempt to resolve his Daddy Issues and get back in touch with the Dark Side in the way of his role model, Darth Vader. So, when did J.J. Abrams decide he was going to put Han Solo to rest? In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Abrams, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, and screenwriter Michael Arndt (who took the first stab at scripting duties before Abrams and Kasdan took over) explain their thought process behind this big decision.
Kasdan talks about the importance of inheritance as a theme in The Force Awakens:
People always say, ‘Why do you think this saga is so popular? I really do believe the underlying theme is recognizing your potential and understanding what you’re capable of. It doesn’t end. To understand what you’ve inherited, and what you like about that and what you don’t like about that. Have you fulfilled yourself completely — or is it too late. What is dormant? That’s a very real and tangible thing for people every day.
Abrams discusses the fact that The Force Awakens has always been an origin story for Kylo Ren as a new villain as much as it’s about the evolution of Rey and Finn:
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.
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 fucking 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.
Earlier drafts of the script had Han and Leia coming back to each other again, but Abrams thought that this just turned Han into a nostalgia-pandering set piece. Arndt explains:
I had thought Han’s story and Leia’s story was just about them coming back together. At the end of the movie they would have reconciled and gotten over their differences. And you would have said, ‘Okay, bad stuff happened, but at least they’re back together again. J.J. rightly asked, ‘What is Han doing in this movie?’ If we’re not going to have something important and irreversible happen to him, then he kind of feels like luggage. He feels like this great, sexy piece of luggage you have in your movie. But he’s not really evolving. He’s not really pushing the story forward.
Ultimately, Abrams feels like this was the right decision to make for this film, and for the future of the franchise:
[Han Solo’s death is] this massive tradeoff. How can we possible do that!? But… if we hadn’t done that, the movie wouldn’t have any guts at all. It felt very dangerous.
What did you all think of that moment in The Force Awakens? Let’s talk about it! And also about Kylo Ren’s majestic coif.
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