Director J.J. Abrams has been playing every teaser for the upcoming film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” very close to the vest. However, no “Star Wars” movie would be complete without a whole mess of toys for kids to collect, some of which feature potential plot spoilers.
The latest glimpse into the film comes from the film’s merchandise. According to IGN, the unhooded helmet of the villain Kylo Ren gives audiences a small understanding of what motivates the villain. As previously reported, Lucasfilm is promoting the release of the movie’s toys with an 18-hour unboxing marathon taking place all across the world. The Tokyo, Japan segment of the event included the unboxing of a 31-inch Kylo Ren figurine. The character, played by “Girls” star Adam Driver, has only been seen in teasers for the movie wearing a trademark “bad guy” black hood. However, when the toy arrived, the unboxers were able to remove the hood and see the back of the helmet, which looks very familiar. The outlet, which has a still of the toy in question here, was quick to note the striking similarity between the back of Ren’s helmet and that of another iconic villain from the early days of the franchise - none other than Darth Vader.
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Although the character has been dead since the 1983 film “Return of the Jedi,” his presence looms large over the series. The first teaser trailer for the film shows his infamous helm a melted artifact in some kind of cave, proving that he’s gone but not forgotten in the new franchise. So, with the villainous leader of the Sith clearly still having an impact on this universe after all these decades, one wonders if Ren’s home-made-looking bit of headgear is meant as an homage. While the answer isn’t yet clear, there’s evidence to support the idea that the upcoming villain is a little obsessed with baddie that came before him.
As previously reported, Abrams revealed some key details about Ren, his relationship to the Empire and his influence on the dark side of the force, which Vader was a pretty big figurehead of. Ren isn’t a member of the Empire, which is presumably still dead after Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) made short work of it… Twice. Ren instead follows The First Order, which is a group of people that is allegedly trying to follow in the footsteps of the Empire. If this ends up being true, it’s possible that the character’s resemblance to Vader isn’t a coincidence.
While the design of the toy will likely reflect the design of the movie’s costume, it’s simply too early to tell what will inspire the broadsword-wielding villain to take steps down the path of evil. Fans will just have to wait until “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hits theaters on Dec. 18, 2015 to have all their burning questions answered.