Kylo Ren, as played by Adam Driver, has emerged from The Force Awakens' opening weekend as one of the most talked about new character in the Star Wars franchise. Introduced as a Darth Vader-worshiping villain in the trailers, Kylo Ren had people talking from the moment he emerged. Now that fans have actually seen his crossguard lightsaber in action, there's only one question left on everyone's mind: will Kylo Ren be in Star Wars: Episode VIII ?
Spoilers ahead! Odds are pretty good that Kylo Ren and Driver will be back for Episode VIII , which is rumored to start filming any day now. The newest Star Wars villain ended The Force Awakens battered, but still breathing, after an intense fight against Finn and Rey. The only reason he survived the fight was because the Starkiller Base began to crumble underneath their feet, causing Kylo Ren to be separated from Rey just as she could have dealt her final blow. We don't see Kylo Ren escape Starkiller Base before the Resistance destroys it; however, it's pretty safe to assume that Ren isn't going to let some crumbling planet get in his way. His ability to use the Force coupled with the fact that Supreme Leader Snoke instructed General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) to bring Kylo Ren to see him as the Starkiller was caving in suggests that Kylo Ren was able to walk away from that fight.
Of course, just because Kylo Ren survived The Force Awakens , it doesn't mean he'll appear in Episode VIII. It does, however, mean it would be pretty silly if he didn't. Let's look at the facts: Kylo Ren has a fair amount of screentime in The Force Awakens and he is responsible for the biggest plot point in the film — the killing of Han Solo. Ren's pull to the Dark Side and his conflicting attraction to the Light Side was also a major part of the film. He's also pretty crucial to the Star Wars universe, what with him being Han Solo and Leia's son and all. Why spend all that time developing such an interesting character and villain if you're not even going to see him in the sequel? Strictly from a story standpoint, that just doesn't make any sense, and would be disappointing as hell.
Despite all this evidence, Driver has remained pretty quiet on the nature of his Star Wars contract, but Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy all but confirmed Driver's involvement in Episode VIII at a European premiere for The Force Awakens. "There will be a handful of new cast members in Episode VIII but also all the cast members you see here tonight will be in it as well," Kennedy reportedly said, according to The Mary Sue. The original report of Kennedy's statements is a bit unclear, but when put alongside the fact that the Episode VIII IMDB page now contains a list of cast members, it seems pretty solid.
According to the IMDB page, returning cast members include Daisy Ridley (Rey), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Mark Hamill (Luke Sywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), John Boyega (Finn), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo). Furthermore, Driver has no other future projects in pre-production listed on his IMDB page, meaning his schedule should be wide open for filming Episode VIII. Of course, IMDB pages are not known for their complete accuracy, and Harrison Ford's presence on the list indicates that any information on the page should be taken with a grain of salt.
Assuming Kylo Ren returns in Star Wars: Episode VIII, what will he be up to? It's likely he'll be feeling pretty defeated and confused after losing Luke's lightsaber to Rey and, you know, killing his own father. (Evil or not evil, that's gotta hurt.) And, assuming General Hux was able to rescue him and take him to visit Snoke as ordered, it's likely Episode VIII will find Kylo Ren with Snoke, doing whatever the Supreme Leader wants him to do in order to complete his transformation to the Dark Side. With any luck, Episode VIII will shed some light on Kylo Ren's tense relationship with Luke and on his past with the Knights of Ren.
It's also possible that fans will see some of those Kylo Ren isn't evil theories come to fruition in Episode VIII. Some fans believe that Kylo Ren is actually trying to kill Snoke and defeat the Dark Side from within, and it's likely that whatever happens in Episode VIII will either confirm or deny this theory.
Let's also cross our fingers for less of Kylo Ren's creepy mask, more of his glorious hair. Bless.
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