By Travis Martin

Star Wars has always been packed with interesting and iconic characters, such as Luke Skywalker, Han SoloPrincess Leia, and Darth Vader. With the upcoming release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, new characters like Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) have fans wondering what connection there is between them and the old characters. However, neither of these two encapsulates the intreguing mystery behind Episode VII‘s newest villain, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the crucifix lightsaber wielding, supposed Darth Vader fanboy and First Order lackey. Now, thanks to Entertainment Weekly‘s interview with director J.J. Abrams, there is more known about this new villain. 

For starters, Kylo Ren’s mask and lightsaber were both made by him. “The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask,” Abrams told EW. “[Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film. The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character.”

Another bit of news that Abrams revealed was that Kylo Ren is not the character’s birth name. As Abrams states, “He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren.” So, it can be said that ‘Ren’ is Episode VII equivalent of the Sith title of ‘Darth’. But who are the Knights of Ren? Only the movie will tell.

The one interesting theory that EW brought up, one which I find fascinating, is the possibility that Kylo Ren is the anti-Luke Skywalker. Imagine, that a far boy who escapes his meager life to journey out into the galaxy, but instead is attracted to the bad side. I find this is an intriguing reversal of ideology that makes up Luke Skywalker. I also like the idea that Abrams mentioned where Kylo Ren is not a fully defined character like Darth Vader was in the Original Trilogy. And with actor Adam Driver playing this complex character, I am sure that Kylo Ren will become a fan favorite when Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is released December 18, 2015.