Like many modern movie trailers, the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker gave audiences a handful of tantalizing images and very little context. Because of this, the trailer has inspired numerous fan theories. Usually, fan theories are never confirmed or denied by Disney. However, Forbes says that the studio has now validated a popular fan theory about Kylo Ren.
Kylo Ren idolizes Darth Vader. Not only does he follow the dark side and wear all black like Lord Vader, he also wears a mask so that he resembles his grandfather even though he does not need to wear one. He is, in a sense, the ultimate fan.
Any good fan has merchandise of their favorite characters. The Force Awakens already showed audiences that Kylo Ren has Darth Vader’s mask, which was somehow saved from a fire on Endor. Talk about a collector’s item.
A trailer mystery solved
One of the intriguing images from the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker shows Kylo Ren and Rey fighting together to destroy some sort of black object. There are many fan theories about the identity of the object. Is it a person in a dark costume? Is it a robot? Some believe that the mysterious object is a shrine to Darth Vader, as it vaguely resembles the Sith Lord.
The official Star Wars YouTube channel has confirmed that the object they destroy is a shrine to Darth Vader. This would imply that Kylo Ren will turn to the light side, as he wouldn’t destroy his shrine to Darth Vader for any other reason. The symbolism here is heavy-handed, but it’s not as if there’s never been heavy-handed symbolism in the Star Wars franchise before; after all, George Lucas went out of his way to make Darth Maul look like the devil.
Will Kylo Ren be redeemed?
Kylo Ren’s redemption would work as a conclusion to the sequel trilogy. Previous films in the sequel trilogy feature numerous callbacks to earlier films in the franchise; Kylo Ren becoming a hero would mirror his grandfather’s character arc.
The returned presence of Darth Vader – even in the form of a Darth Vader shrine – would thematically align with the return of other famous Star Wars characters in The Rise of Skywalker. So far, we know that the film will feature performances by Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian; both actors returned to roles that they had in the original trilogy.
Kylo Ren becoming a hero would also be satisfying on an emotional level, as audiences tend to like stories about self-improvement. It would also build on little hints that Kylo Ren is redeemable that are littered throughout the the other two films in the trilogy. Previously, the character talked about feeling the draw of the light side of the force and his regret over his past misdeeds.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that Kylo Ren is destroying the shrine for some other reason. Furthermore, there’s been several cases where scenes and images from Star Wars trailers do not end up in the final film. Fans will just have to wait and see what’s in store for Kylo Ren.