Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi! Read ahead at your own risk!
Many fans have spent the last month dissecting Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which should tell you how dense the film truly is. However, there's one specific aspect of the film that has generated a notable amount of discussion: the bizarre, shirtless Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) scene. The high-waisted pants worn by the Dark Side user have caused some confusion among audiences, but it seems that the point of them is to hammer home the idea that the Star Wars galaxy has very different standards and tastes than our own. The Last Jedi costume designer Michael Kaplan explained:
The world of Star Wars is not our world. Kylo Ren is not some hipster in hip-hugging jeans. Think Errol Flynn swashbuckling coolness as a point of departure. Hide that navel!
If Kylo Ren were to wear those high-waisted pants walking down the street in the real world, he might receive a few confused looks from people who passed him. However, in the Star Wars universe, it's merely a fashion trend that exists in that specific corner of the galaxy. It is no different from blue milk or autonomous droids with unique personalities; it exists merely as a way to signify that this indeed is a galaxy far, far away.
Beyond that, however, the scene is also vital from a narrative point of view because of how Star Wars: The Last Jedi changes The Force. We have never seen the mystical ability used to allow two characters to communicate in the way that Kylo and Rey (Daisy Ridley) do in this film, so having Kylo shirtless (and having Rey see him shirtless) helped serve as a proper shorthand to help signify the nature of their connection, as well as make for one of the film's funnier moments.
Despite the fact that the Star Wars universe has decidedly different fashion sensibilities than our own, fans who have seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi have already taken to copying Kylo Ren's bizarre style of dress on social media. Even John Mayer recently got in on the action with a high-waisted photo of his own. Check it out, below.
Thinking more broadly about the history of the Star Wars franchise, Michael Kaplan's rationale of the costuming in Star Wars: The Last Jedi to The Wall Street Journal arguably shouldn't be too surprising. After all, this is also the franchise in which a hardened guy anti-hero wears a stylish vest and a badass princess has two hair buns on both sides of her head. Neither of those things are the most common styles in the real world, but each helps add an exotic sensibility to Star Wars.