Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Title Actually Had A Double Meaning

Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

"There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?" Those were the first words uttered in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens' teaser trailer, and once the movie was released, we saw Supreme Leader Snoke direct that query to his apprentice, Kylo Ren. Besides being a not-so-subtle reference to how the 2015 Star Wars movie marked the "reawakening" of this film series after a decade away (not including The Clone Wars animated movie), the title was generally considered to be referring to Rey, as her Force abilities bubbled up to the surface as the story progressed. However, Adam Driver has now confirmed that the Force Awakens title was also referring to Kylo Ren, because unlike his famous grandfather, he didn't start out being fully committed to the dark side. Driver said:

We find Darth Vader already completely committed; I was curious about starting with someone who was less together, who was starting in a place of self-doubt. The title of The Force Awakens wasn't just referring to the light side, it was the dark side as well.

Adam Driver's comment to Empire does make sense. Although the Star Wars prequels showed Anakin Skywalker's progression from the light to the dark, when we met Darth Vader in A New Hope, he was already all in on being a Sith Lord. Losing your wife, being encased in armor and enforcing Emperor Palpatine's will for nearly two decades can make one fully committed to the dark side. In contrast, while Kylo Ren had already been serving Supreme Leader Snoke for some time at the start of The Force Awakens, he hadn't made the full jump yet, as he was conflicted about whether or not he should continue down this path. It was only after killing his father, Han Solo, that he appeared to have resolved this emotional struggle, hence the awakening of the dark side.

With Han Solo dead, you would think that Kylo Ren's journey towards the dark side is complete, right? Not necessarily. Although the October trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi framed Kylo as considering destroying the ship carrying his mother, Leia Organa, Adam Driver has also previously said that the character may experience second thoughts about committing patricide. Even with The Last Jedi only a few weeks away, there's still a lot we don't know about what's in store for Kylo Ren. Maybe he somehow is pushed back into the light and begins working towards redemption. Maybe he submerges himself further into the dark side, and Episode IX will mark his downfall. Whatever his ultimate fate will be, at least The Force Awakens set him on an intriguing personal arc.

The saga set in a galaxy far, far away continues when Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released on December 15. Don't forget to look through our 2017 premiere guide to see when the year's other remaining movies come out.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.