The masked villain of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has a bit of an obsession, one could say, with the Darth Vader of yesterday. He even uses a voice modulator to make himself sound that much more menacing. Do we see Kylo Ren's face in Star Wars: The Force Awakens ? Adam Driver plays the character, but much is left to the imagination. Spoilers for The Force Awakens ahead.
The answer is... yes. We do ultimately see Driver's face, along with some shampoo-commercial worthy lengths of swooping, silky black hair. I'm gonna need to know his blowout routine, and how he manages to keep it from getting sweaty and matted under that helmet. A few people laughed in my screening when Kylo Ren was finally unmasked. A few sounded taken aback by how pasty pale he looked, though I suspect a vitamin D deficiency is an occupational hazard for someone who works in space and wears a mask. Personally, I was most struck by how young and petulant he was. We can't all be Joffrey — you can tell why this dude thought he needed a mask to look intimidating. It isn't until he has captured and started to interrogate Rey, the film's heroine and main protagonist, that he does so, but it mostly stays off after that point.
I was also struck by how much he resembles Hayden Christensen in this role, which makes sense as Kylo Ren is trying to emulate his grandfather Anakin Skywalker. However, it was still a bit jarring considering how much of the new movie alluded to the original Star Wars films from the 1970s and 1980s rather than the prequels. I even think his natural voice, when we finally heard it from under the mask, sounded a little bit like Anakin, but I may have been imagining things at that point.
That said, be careful what you wish for, Ren. The movie ends with the wannabe Sith Lord trapped on the collapsing Starkiller Base (which was a cute homage to George Lucas' original name for his hero, Luke Starkiller, wasn't it) after getting the tar beaten out of him by Rey in a lightsaber battle. When we next see Kylo Ren, and I feel confident we will, he's not gong to be so porcelain anymore. I'm sure the events of The Force Awakens have left him scarred, disfigured, and with a very different face.
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