“The Last Jedi” features many surprising scenes, few of them more attuned to the meme-loving segment of online fandom than one that finds Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren without his shirt. There’s no apparent reason for it, beyond fan service — even his scene partner, Daisy Ridley’s Rey, asks if he can cover up — but director Rian Johnson says there’s more to the moment than meets the eye.
“It’s all about those Force connection scenes,” Johnson tells People in a new interview. “The keyword being intimacy. And the idea that this was a way to just, why not step that up? The idea that, what’s even more uncomfortable having a conversation face to face with a person you don’t want to, is if they’re half-naked during it, while you’re having to do it. And so it was just another way of kind of disrobing Kylo literally and figuratively a little bit more, and pushing that sense of these conversations becoming increasingly more intimate.”
There’s much tension between Kylo and Rey in the latest “Star Wars” movie, much of it implicitly sexual, as they try to turn one another toward their respective sides of the Force. Asked whether Driver was shy about the scene, Johnson says the actor “knew he looked good.”