Adam Driver isn’t the type of actor to play anything surface level. Even though he’s worked with prestige filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, and Jim Jarmusch, the Juilliard-trained performer brings as much nuance to a character like Kylo Ren in Star Wars as he might Shakespeare.
That’s why we’re always interested in hearing about his interpretation of the Star Wars sequel trilogy’s villain-turned-sacrificial lamb. The character’s life was a tragic one: born the son of war heroes Han Solo and Leia Organa, he was lured to the dark side in his adolescence for reasons depicted in canon, like Charles Soule’s The Rise of Kylo Ren comics.
But Driver had an even deeper reflection on his character’s past, according to writer Lev Grossman. The author of The Magicians penned an exclusive preview of The Rise of Skywalker for Vanity Fair last year and got to talk to Driver about his character’s backstory, including his relationship with his parents.
“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,” Grossman explained in a new interview with Inverse. “There wasn’t really that much of it in the movie so I just think we have to assume his childhood sucked.”
Now, that’s a statement that’s bound to be controversial in the fandom, but if we’re being honest, it kind of tracks. We know not only from supplemental canon but from the films itself that Han and Leia’s inattentiveness played a role in Ben Solo’s transformation into Kylo Ren. Things get even murkier in The Rise of Skywalker, when we learn that Leia had a premonition before Ben’s birth that her son would turn to the Dark Side.
Was it Han and Leia’s negligence that accidentally fulfilled that prophecy? Star Wars writing can be hard to pin down, especially when you have so many creators weighing in on the “truth,” but it’s nice to know that Adam Driver brought his own perspective and depth to the role. We’d expect nothing less.
Featured Image: Lucasfilm