If you’ve seen the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi, you might have noticed one bizarre moment: Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, appears shirtless in one scene. It’s a seemingly random choice (and a somewhat gratuitous way for Driver to show off his abs) that doesn’t really fit in with the general concept of the Star Wars universe, where people generally are fully clothed in futuristic style outfits for pretty much the entire time (metal bikinis aside, of course.)
literally my reaction after seeing kylo ren shirtless pic.twitter.com/nF9xMf72lQ— Angela (@maryelanjela) December 13, 2017
Shirtless Kylo Ren is the metal bikini Leia of our time.— malaysia was a mistake sukarno shouldve nuked us (@kuihsepotong) December 21, 2017
Disney when they filmed the unnecessary (but appreciated) Kylo Ren shirtless scene: pic.twitter.com/vZ8oQC7ZZa— Adrian (@adrian201392) December 19, 2017
But two Last Jedi co-sound supervisors, Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce, revealed to the Huff Post that there was indeed a very good reason for Kylo Ren to suddenly appear half naked onscreen and leave everyone flustered. (What follows next may contain spoilers so if you’re the kind of person who would yell at me on Twitter for spoiling the movie then please just stop reading right now.)
One of the main discoveries of The Last Jedi is that Kylo Ren and Rey (Daisy Ridley) share a kind of telepathic bond made possible by the Force. As a result, they can communicate without being in the same room together, and it turns out director Rian Johnson decided to illustrate this bond in a more organic way.
“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,” Klyce told the Huff Post. “We cut to her side; we cut to Kylo Ren; we cut to her; and back and forth.”
But the connection isn’t very easy to understand; can Rey see Kylo, or just hear him, or just feel his presence? It’s unclear until Kylo appears shirtless.
“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.’”
Bob Ducsay, editor of the movie, backed up Klyce’s explanation and added that the shirtless scene was meant to convey that Kylo and Rey’s connection works “as if they were in the same room together, even though they’re not.”
“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.”
i’ve been working out— Emo Kylo Ren (@KyloR3n) December 15, 2017