Proceed with caution! Serious TFA spoilers lie just ahead.
There are new bad guys in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” But one of the most evil new characters, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), may not be as bad as you thought.
According to the movie’s novelization (a book Disney/Lucas Films had to sign off on before it was published), Ren has as much light as dark in him, and he felt serious remorse after he killed his father, Han Solo.
To refresh your memory: Ren is a temperamental Darth Vader fanboy who is the son of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and General (Princess) Leia (Carrie Fisher). And he ends up stabbing Solo with a light saber, killing him.
The film touches on how Ren turned to the Dark Side, but the film’s novelization, written by Alan Dean Foster, delves into Ren’s motivations and thoughts even more.
In a conversation with the dark Lord Snoke (Andy Serkis), the Supreme Leader tells Ren that no student before him had shown as much promise, and it’s because of his bloodline.
“It is where you are from. What you are made of. The Dark Side — and the Light,” Snoke explains (Darth Vader is Ren’s grandfather). “The finest sculptor cannot fashion a masterpiece from poor materials. He must have something pure, something strong, something unbreakable, with which to work.”
But as much as Ren believes he is committed to the Dark Side, the novel suggests that Ren’s allegiance wavers. Perhaps the most telling passage is how Ren reacts to murdering his father, which was left out of the movie.
After stabbing Solo, Ren falls to his knees in shock. And he feels pretty icky.
“Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed,” the book states. “Instead, he found himself weakened.”
In another book-only scene, Leia reveals to Solo that their son was borth with “equal potential for good or evil.” So it’s possible, if LucasFilm follows the novelization, we could see Ren turn good, just like Darth Vader did, in episode VIII or IX.