Following the release of “Star Wars: Episode VII,” there was a great disturbance in the Force. It was as though millions of voices suddenly cried out in glee watching Adam Driver’s emotional portrayal of Kylo Ren.
The Emo Kylo Ren Twitter account was born.
The account, which satirized the villain, quickly went viral. Currently, it has just under 800,000 followers who read the latest angsty musings of Ben Solo, erm ― sorry ― Kylo.
But all of that attention was accompanied by a peculiar silence. What did Adam Driver think of Emo Kylo Ren?
In an email interview not too a long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, I asked Driver for his thoughts on the Twitter account. Though he answered the other inquiries I sent him, both “Star Wars”–related and not (sans a question about the viral cat, Catam Driver), he avoided my Emo Kylo Ren probe.
Now we know why.
In a new piece from Rolling Stone, reporter Brian Hiatt describes a telling question Driver asks him at one point. It’s a question that sheds light on more than just Driver’s music history blindspots.
“What,” he asks, “is emo?”
The moment, which Uproxx highlighted, probably explains Driver’s unwillingness to answer my query about Emo Kylo Ren. He didn’t know what emo meant.
Despite the knowledge gap, the remainder of Rolling Stone anecdote only makes Kylo sound even more emo:
Between training for the Marines and training at Juilliard to become one of his generation’s most extraordinary actors, Driver missed some stuff, including entire music genres. But the rest of the world (including an amusing parody Twitter account) decided there’s something distinctly emo about his character, with his luxuriant hair, black outfits and periodic temper tantrums. “You have someone who’s being told that he’s special his whole life,” Driver says of his character, “and he can feel it. And he feels everything probably more intensely than the people around him, you know?”
It all makes sense. Kylo doesn’t know he’s emo, which, as we all know, is a sign of a true emo.
Just think about it: In “The Sixth Sense,” the ghosts didn’t realize they were dead. Likewise, I can’t remember emo kids in high school ever having had any awareness that they were emo. They just hung out at Hot Topic and blasted My Chemical Romance because it was cool, OK? You just don’t get it, Mom!
I, too, listened to my share of Dashboard Confessional back in the day. But it’s only looking back now that I realize, “Oh, yeah. What was I doing?” (“Vindicated” is still a great song, though. Shoutout to the “Spider-Man 2” soundtrack.)
Now, let’s look at Driver’s explanation of his character again:
“He feels everything probably more intensely than the people around him, you know?”
Oh, we know, dude. We know.