There was a lot of things fans expected of Star Wars: The Last Jedi...and some they didn’t see coming at all. According to someone who worked on the Rian Johnson-directed film, that shirtless scene had a canon reason to exist. We’re skeptical.
Ok, so you’ve seen The Last Jedi by now, or you don’t mind spoilers. This particular scene wouldn’t have been considered a plot point on its own but some of the Star Wars crew are trying to make it one. I’m talking about shirtless Kylo Ren.
In the film, we find out Kylo and Rey can communicate through the Force, sharing a series of conversations while in two different locations. After a few, Kylo just happened to show up to the party wearing no shirt. It was... sure something. And it caused a lot of waves in fandom.
And it reminded us of that classic Saturday Night Live sketch starring Adam Driver himself.
While most of us just assumed the shirtless scene was included to fuel epic amounts of fanfic (like they needed any help in that area), The Last Jedi co-sound supervisor Ren Klyce tried to convince HuffPost there’s a legitimate reason for it.
“The way in which [director Rian Johnson] decided to create the Force connection by just simply doing vertical cuts without using any CG ... it’s pure simplicity in terms of filmmaking with visual cuts. We cut to her side; we cut to Kylo Ren; we cut to her; and back and forth,” Klyce explained.
Simply put, the sound supervisor explained that Kylo appears sans shirt in order to show that Rey could see him while the two were Force-connected.
“That was important to establish what she was actually seeing,” Klyce said. “Was she hearing his voice or seeing his face or just his eyes? And so that [shirtless scene] is to inform the audience, ‘Oh, she can see his body.’”
I mean, honestly. The first time Kylo and Rey ForceTime, they discuss whether or not they can see each other’s surroundings or just each other, so this is a seriously loose excuse for beefcake. Especially when you consider Johnson previously explained it this way to the L.A. Times:
At the premiere I heard somebody in the balcony say, “Yesssss!” You can see Adam was training hardcore throughout the whole process. It’s fun but it also has a specific purpose, which is the increasing feeling of uncomfortable intimacy. That was sticking with the theme of trying to give Rey the hardest thing you could possibly give her, which would be unavoidable intimate conversation with this person that she wants to just hate. This was just one more way of upping that ante.
At least Klyce also admitted to HuffPost the scene was “also good humor,” which, yeah.