“Star Wars” fans were prepared to see planets and stars, but no one seemed ready for Kylo Ren’s heavenly body.
In “The Last Jedi,” First Order wunderkind Kylo (Adam Driver) and scavenger-turned-rebel Rey (Daisy Ridley) experience a telepathic connection fueled, it seems, by the Force. The connection appears suddenly, allowing the pair to communicate across great distances as if they’re in a room together. There’s no fancy-schmancy CGI during these scenes; the shots just get quiet, featuring Rey in one place, and Kylo in another, as they carry on a conversation with each other.
During one of the more unexpected moments of connection, Rey links with Kylo’s mind, while Kylo is shirtless. (Spoiler: This is not the beefcake she was looking for.)
Upon noticing his lack of shirt, an uncomfortable-looking Rey admits she’d “rather not do this right now,” and asks Kylo to put something on. He doesn’t.
And fans were flustered.
Pretty soon, jokes were coming in about the “SNL” sketch featuring Kylo Ren on “Undercover Boss.” I hear that dude is ripped:
The ever-popular Emo Kylo Ren Twitter account even chimed in:
People have since been trying to determine the reason for Kylo’s shirtlessness.
Was it meant to bring sexual tension to a scene between Kylo and Rey? Was it a throwback reference to when Kylo’s grandfather, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), was shirtless in the “Star Wars” prequels? Was it just meant to show off his “Sith-pack” abs?
(Adaaaaamn Driver, everyone.)
Sure, all of these are plausible explanations, but co-sound supervisors Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce told HuffPost there’s a deeper meaning behind the shirtless scene. It’s all about that Force connection.
“The way in which [director Rian Johnson] decided to create the Force connection by just simply doing vertical cuts without using any CG ... it’s pure simplicity in terms of filmmaking with visual cuts. We cut to her side; we cut to Kylo Ren; we cut to her; and back and forth,” Klyce explained.
Simply put, the sound supervisor explained that Kylo appears sans shirt in order to show that Rey could see him while the two were Force-connected.
“That was important to establish what she was actually seeing,” Klyce said. “Was she hearing his voice or seeing his face or just his eyes? And so that [shirtless scene] is to inform the audience, ‘Oh, she can see his body.’”
Klyce added: “It’s also good humor.”
“Last Jedi” editor Bob Ducsay further explained the Force connection to HuffPost, reiterating that it was intended to be handled “as if they were in the same room together, even though they’re not.”
Ducsay said Klyce’s explanation was “exactly right”: Kylo was shirtless to show what Rey could see during the Force connection.
“Over the course of those sequences, you come to understand all the rules of” the Force connection, Ducsay said. “Ultimately, it’s just good storytelling if the audience is learning things the same time the characters they’re following are, instead of ahead or behind.”
So, that random topless scene wasn’t so random after all. Of course, you can never rule out Kylo’s potential influence on the moment, possibly to clear up those pesky rumors:
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and Kylo Ren’s naked torso are in theaters now.