What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

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What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by The Summer Lady on Sun 24 Apr - 17:42

(Apologies if this has been asked elsewhere, but I could not find it if so).

I rewatched the movie for the first time last night, and was trying to pin down what precisely it was that gave Kylo Ren his je ne sais quoi. I had not previously been much of a fan of Adam Driver, or Star Wars for that matter, but something about the character just leapt off the screen at me and engaged at so many levels!

Why exactly was this? Was it ADs really emotional face that gave KR such depth? (Would another, more conventionally handsome actor like, say, Chris Pine or Andrew Garfield in the role, have had the same effect?) Was it all in the sizzling chemistry with DR? (Again, trying to imagine another actress playing the same role) or the fact that there's a potential relationship at all (or connection, or whatever you want to call it) that's so exciting?. Was it the script, lighting and great storytelling, or the tragic backstory of a fallen son and hero father that's got us all? Would KR have caught everyone's imagination so much if there was no Rey on the scene?  

As an old romantic i'm a sucker for a bridal carry, but still have no idea how it all came together so compellingly. Am intrigued to find out what has inspired so much creative output from other people on the subject of Reylo - there's so much fabulous stuff out there!
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by vaderito on Sun 24 Apr - 17:59

Well written, well cast, emotional beats land, compelling relationship/interplay with the main heroine - interesting gender reversal, Anakin done right, his lineage, his hair. Very Happy
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Maria Antonietta on Sun 24 Apr - 18:03

I like him because I sympathize with him. I have unresolved issues with my parents, I feel his loneliness and isolation and I want him redeemed, alive and redeemed. I want to see him open up to other people, I know he will free himself from these chains
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Darth Dingbat on Sun 24 Apr - 18:08

Oooohh, Andrew Garfield! I actually think he might have worked in the role. He's handsome, but very nuanced. Although, as it is, I can't imagine anyone other than Adam as Kylo Ren.

@vaderito wrote:Well written, well cast, emotional beats land, compelling relationship/interplay with the main heroine - interesting gender reversal, Anakin done right, his lineage, his hair. Very Happy
@vaderito

All of this Very Happy Also, beautiful nose. Moist eyes. That voice. His loneliness, his otherness...

When I first saw TFA, two things stood out for me most: the anguish in Kylo's voice as he was begging Vader's mask for help (my thoughts at the time: "why is he talking to the mask? is he a bit nuts? why is he so anguished? WHAT'S GOING ON") and the snow fight ("why is he looking at her like that? why is this so compelling? WHAT'S GOING ON").

So I suppose you can boil down my fascination into those two points - Kylo's mysterious anguish and his dynamic with Rey. Together, they're so compelling that I can't quit this stuff.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Darth Dementor on Sun 24 Apr - 19:00

@Darth Dingbat wrote:Oooohh, Andrew Garfield! I actually think he might have worked in the role. He's handsome, but very nuanced. Although, as it is, I can't imagine anyone other than Adam as Kylo Ren.

I agree. Garfield is a brilliant actor but Driver made the role in a way no one else could. There's a reason why he was offered it without having to even audition.


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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Maria Antonietta on Sun 24 Apr - 20:03

The hair flip is so sexy Shocked
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by panki on Sun 24 Apr - 20:16

@Force22 wrote:I think the character is interesting, and the acting was top notch. Even with the mask, even in scenes when he's just walking or standing.

It's a great character!

Also, I noticed that him talking to Vader's mask is almost halfway through TFA. So basically they spend half the movie with him looking like a Vader 2.0. From the mid point forward, the character is further and further deconstructed. It's really interesting.

In scriptwriting, some people talk about the mid-point where things change direction, like this huge turning point. I would say the turning point is in Kylo, and because it's his turning point, TFA is his story. ( I already knew it's his story, but the fact that the turning mid-point refers to Kylo further proves it).

Anyways, this turn is interesting, I think it caught people by surprise. Then there's the unmasking, Again, surprise. His emotion when seeing his father. Surprise. But he kills his father. Surprise. And still, through all those reversals, the character is believable.

Okay, other than that, awesome hair and cool lightsaber skills don't hurt. I became a fan of the character after seeing this:



Nope, can't get enough. I also love, love, love the scene where he walks down the hallway. It's so intense. Pure body language and cinematography.
@Force22

I love this sequence! Doesn't Kylo's fighting style look very similar to the style used in the game Witcher 3?


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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Kyla Ren on Mon 25 Apr - 9:31

What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?  That's a good question.  I guess for me it's a lot of things.  Adam Driver did a great job of portraying him.  I think Kylo is the most fascinating character not just in TFA, but in all the Star Wars movies.  There's something about the aura of power that he exudes.  It's in the way he walks and talks and carries himself.  From the very first moment he appears on the screen he makes a very strong impression.  And then as the movie goes on, as he starts to unravel, it just makes him seem even more interesting, from his temper tantrums to talking to Vader's mask to the final snow fight at the end where one minute he seems completely unhinged and the next he is spinning around and showing off his lightsaber moves, as shown in that gif that @Force22 posted.  And, of course, his interactions with Rey just take things to a whole new level.  Not to mention that he is hot. Smile  Maybe that sounds shallow, but I don’t care.  He totally is. Smile

Okay, I guess I'm just sort of rambling here, but there are just so many reasons why Kylo is such a cool character. Smile
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by reverie on Mon 25 Apr - 20:54

@Force22 wrote:I also love, love, love the scene where he walks down the hallway. It's so intense. Pure body language and cinematography.
@Force22

Yes! The way he walks is soo compelling! His body is a little tight, rigid, but very purposeful all at the same time. Adam is so talented with using his body language. I remember when watching Force Awakens for the first time and seeing Kylo Ren walking off his shuttle. His style of walking just left such a big impact.

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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by MissHarper on Tue 26 Apr - 2:06

i find adam's acting to be incredible. he has a way to embody a role to such an extent he actually looks different in each role he plays. not just hair cuts or facial hair or props, but the way he uses his facial expressions, eyes and physicality.  

his physical presence is incredibly intimidating as KR. just mesmerizing. you can even feel the emotion in the scenes when he's wearing the mask just by his physical actions. his fight scenes were amazing.

i think his portrayal of KR was so nuanced and moving. i felt his conflict, i felt his anger, i felt his pain and i RELATED to him so strongly.

the chemistry with him and DR is incredible.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Kessel on Tue 26 Apr - 2:14

@reverie wrote:
@Force22 wrote:I also love, love, love the scene where he walks down the hallway. It's so intense. Pure body language and cinematography.
@Force22

Yes! The way he walks is soo compelling! His body is a little tight, rigid, but very purposeful all at the same time. Adam is so talented with using his body language. I remember when watching Force Awakens for the first time and seeing Kylo Ren walking off his shuttle. His style of walking just left such a big impact.

@reverie

There's so much about Kylo I found compelling, but yes, his first scene, the way he walks, and his whole body language was really amazing. I could watch him all day long.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by IoJovi on Tue 26 Apr - 2:35

^^^ I call that the Walk Walk Work It Baby scene.^^^^

He's so damn sexy even when masked.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by MoonFyre on Tue 26 Apr - 4:00

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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by panki on Tue 26 Apr - 6:49

The stride, the sardonic humor, the occasional displays of vulnerability, the complexity of his character.....

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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Darth_Awakened on Tue 26 Apr - 11:41

Am I correct to think thatin pre TFA publicity time there was no but ONE publicity photo of AD without a mask?
The one which never made to the final version - in which he looks nothing special.

I am pretty sure that it was pure marketing move of not giving away in advance his looks of interrogation scene and the snow duel.

- agreed on all stated above about the character - nothing to add really.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by The Summer Lady on Thu 28 Apr - 22:34

@Darth Dingbat wrote:Oooohh, Andrew Garfield! I actually think he might have worked in the role. He's handsome, but very nuanced. Although, as it is, I can't imagine anyone other than Adam as Kylo Ren.

@vaderito wrote:Well written, well cast, emotional beats land, compelling relationship/interplay with the main heroine - interesting gender reversal, Anakin done right, his lineage, his hair. Very Happy
@vaderito

All of this Very Happy Also, beautiful nose. Moist eyes. That voice. His loneliness, his otherness...

When I first saw TFA, two things stood out for me most: the anguish in Kylo's voice as he was begging Vader's mask for help (my thoughts at the time: "why is he talking to the mask? is he a bit nuts? why is he so anguished? WHAT'S GOING ON") and the snow fight ("why is he looking at her like that? why is this so compelling? WHAT'S GOING ON").

So I suppose you can boil down my fascination into those two points - Kylo's mysterious anguish and his dynamic with Rey. Together, they're so compelling that I can't quit this stuff.
@Darth Dingbat

Very much this!

I don't think I could quite believe the supposed villain was acting in this way, and thinking about it, it was probably because i've never encountered any other bad guys quite like this. Ernst Blofeld, Hans Gruber, Khan, General Zod: all baddies, none doing, feeling or behaving quite like KR. He's quite a departure from your traditional 2 dimentional bad guy, so I can see why some people weren't happy. Personally I feel it took the movie to a whole new level.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Reynak on Thu 28 Apr - 23:06

I think the character is very interesting but Adam Driver himself is why Kylo is irresistible. I can't believe that I saw those pictures on the snow that you have added above before watching TFA and thought that he was ugly because I got the opposite impression while watching the movie. His performance is the main thing, it felt so real and made him seem so vulnerable and expressive, with so much emotion brimming in his eyes and face. Then his voice, it's a beautiful voice and the range of emotion he manages to convey every single time he speaks is amazing. 

I also agree that he is most attractive and the type that grows on you stealthily,  as he is not the typical pretty boy but is more attractive than most pretty boys. That shiny flowing hair, I love the way it flows when he runs and fights, and his stride and how he keeps his arms separated from his body, his fists clenched, slouching a bit, wow. I also like his face, specially how expressive it is and how much emotion we can see on it. This is shallow as f... but I also like his mouth, his skin, his eyes and his frame, so lean but shredded, LOL. In fact, what is not compelling about Kylo Ren? 

As a character he is extremely complex and original and his portrayal is perfection, everything about KR is compelling.


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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Xylo Ren on Fri 29 Apr - 1:15

You can tell Adam Driver was a total nerd and studied the heck out of all his acting classes at Julliard. He aced the body language and facial expressions tests for sure.

He's absolutely mastered the art of nuance. Every slight detail is intentional and speaks more than any words would. A blink here. A lip twitch here. Roving eyes that rest on certain places. Tensed muscles, gritted teeth. Clenched fists. Heavy strides. Pouting lips, slight frown. He can do it all.

He knows exactly how to use any part of his body to convey what his character is all about. And I think that's beautiful.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Darth_Awakened on Fri 29 Apr - 11:06

@Xylo Ren wrote:You can tell Adam Driver was a total nerd and studied the heck out of all his acting classes at Julliard. He aced the body language and facial expressions tests for sure.

He's absolutely mastered the art of nuance. Every slight detail is intentional and speaks more than any words would. A blink here. A lip twitch here. Roving eyes that rest on certain places. Tensed muscles, gritted teeth. Clenched fists. Heavy strides. Pouting lips, slight frown. He can do it all.

He knows exactly how to use any part of his body to convey what his character is all about. And I think that's beautiful.
@Xylo Ren

Definitely. I think that was the "thing" JJ saw in Girls. Adam s acting with the whole body at once (No, I do not talk about the naughty scenes in Girls, at least this time around Wink ).
Many crtics pointed out his performance with mask on. It was brilliant.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Saracene on Fri 29 Apr - 12:07

I think what stands out the most about Kylo to me is the sheer attention to detail on the part of everyone involved with the creation of the character - from costume designer to Adam Driver himself, whose grasp of body language and vocal inflections is just phenomenal. Everything about Kylo is distinctive and striking. He's a beguiling mix of contradictions: awkward and elegant, ruthless and vulnerable, arrogant and insecure, both a monster and a lost little boy.

Personally, I always had a thing for characters who are not particularly likeable yet fascinating and have a streak of (sometimes brutal) honesty to them.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by guardienne on Sun 1 May - 21:35

i'm not quite sure what compels me. the initial compelling thing was the discrepancy between his age and maturity. i didn't understand that at all.

and the posing as this bad*** villain and the character being deconstructed through the film. i had not seen something like that... ever.

the enormous smoothness in the bridal carry scene. but it being coupled with this unhinged kid. it all really messes with my mind.

like, personally, i think he looks the most beautiful (for lack of a better word) when he kills his father. that scene would be compelling as it is, but there is this beautiful man with his beautiful hair and he is crying and i don't know what to think, what the hell are you doing, abrams??

i think abrams wanted the sexiest villain he could buy for money but he also really breaks him.

like, the villain in deadpool is pretty hot and i liked him (didn't like the movie) but he's nowhere near as messed-up and vulnerable.

so, i guess it's vulnerability and coming across as this lost child and i'm thinking, you have just murdered someone, how am i feeling that it is you who is suffering??!!

i had never seen adam driver act before so there was a surprise with his intensity and honesty.
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