9:14am PT by Graeme McMillan
What If Darth Vader Became a Martyr in 'Star Wars: Force Awakens'?
Sure, he might be a masked figure shrouded in a black cloak with a red lightsaber, but one important thing separates Kylo Ren, Star Wars: The Force Awakens's mysterious villain, from the original trilogy's Darth Vader, according to director J.J. Abrams
"Kylo Ren is not a Sith," Abrams told Empire. But that doesn't mean that the director is willing to spill the beans on what he is, other than saying that he "works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force."
Snoke, who has gone unseen in the trailers and promotional images from the movie to date (although not unheard; a CGI-animated character voiced by Andy Serkis, his is the voiceover heard during the first Force Awakens trailer), remains an enigma; it's not even definite that he's part of the First Order at this point.
Abrams did open up about that organization, however, explaining that the organization isn't necessarily made up of former Imperial officers as many had guessed. The origins, he said, "all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again." (The question is now, where in the Star Wars universe is Argentina? The desert planet of Jakku, where we know Rey and Finn meet up?)
"Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire?" Abrams went on. "Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?"
Those are all questions likely to remain unanswered before Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters Dec. 18. Until then, may the Force guide your speculation.