Rian Johnson On 'The Last Jedi', Snoke's Mystery, And Kylo Ren's Evolution

Small tidbits of info continue to trickle out from Empire's piece on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Yesterday it was new looks at Rey, Luke, and Poe Dameron's X-Wing fighter, and today director Rian Johnson talks about his approach to Kylo Ren and the mysterious Snoke. And I like the way he talks about the latter by comparing him to Emperor Palpatine, who remained a giant question mark until the prequel films detailed his rise to power...

“We got the whole story of Palpatine’s rise to power in the prequels, but in the original films he’s exactly what he needs to be, which is just ‘The Emperor.  He’s a dark force: the scary thing behind the thing. That was entirely how I approached Snoke. I wasn’t interested in explaining where he came from or telling his history, except where it serves this story.”

I don't know if Johnson is slamming the prequels with that comment, but to me Palpatine's story is one of the few things they got right. It made his latter appearances in the original trilogy mean something more, because we know the strings he pulled to get there.

As for Kylo Ren...

“Writing Kylo Ren is just so much fun. Star Wars boils down to the transition from adolescence into adulthood. That’s the heart of these films and Rey is most obviously the one that hangs on. But it’s also Kylo. In the originals you project entirely onto Luke, while Vader is the scary other — he’s the minotaur. The fascinating thing about Kylo and Rey is that they’re two sides of something. We can all relate to Kylo: to that anger of being in the turmoil of adolescence and figuring out who he’s going to be as a man; dealing with anger and wanting to separate from his family. He’s not Vader — at least, he’s not Vader yet — and that’s something I really wanted to get into.”

I just hope Kylo's story doesn't steer too similar to Luke's or Anakin's, and instead into a direction we can't easily predict.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15th.