Why is The Rise Of Kylo Ren comic writer bracing for backlash already?
Backstories have never worked in Star Wars' favour - just ask any Warsie (aka a bonafide Star Wars fanatic) when you have time for a long, one-sided conversation about the cult franchise's history. Brooklyn-based comic book writer Charles Soule is one man who is very aware of the fate of origin tales in the Star Wars universe. Soule is also tasked with writing the upcoming four-part comic series The Rise of Kylo Ren, which will feature the origin story of Ren, and he is already quite anxious about how fans would perceive his work.
In Star Wars, Kylo Ren is the chosen name for Ben Solo who is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia; though he is trained to be a Jedi by his uncle Luke Skywalker, Solo pursues the dark side and eventually becomes the Supreme Leader of the autocratic military dictatorship First Order. Soule's comic will elaborate on Solo's earlier training with dark leader Snoke and will also reveal how the Knights of Ren came along (interestingly, the Knights of Ren have been largely absent from the series).
Historically speaking, Star Wars has had a hard time with prequels, more so, on the screen. You know this already if you have read any of the tie-in novels or have watched the prequel trilogy (1999- 2005), which is a series of insightful but tiring films elaborating on the origins of the big bad antagonist, the Sith Lord, Darth Vader, earlier known as Anakin Skywalker.
At a recent fan expo in Toronto, Soule expressed his anxieties about working on a prequel story this crucial. "You know, sometimes Star Wars stories are like telling a great story and having a great time playing in this sandbox. And other times, Star Wars jobs are like 'OK, we'll give you an incredibly key piece of the overall mythology that you have to nail.' You guys would not be very happy with me if I screw this up. And everyone here might not be very happy with the choices that I made," revealed Soule, who has also written for a number of Marvel comics like She-Hulk, Daredevil and Death of Wolverine.
In the last few years, with the booming advent of social media, fandoms have become more and more crucial to the makers, especially when it comes to legitimising a prequel or a chronology. From Game of Thrones to Fantastic Beasts - almost every fantasy adaptation has been affected enormously by how the fans cope with the unravelling of a character's narrative.
"Any significant change in Star Wars, that isn't just a little shade of a character that we know really well, it's vetted to make sure that it feels like Star Wars, that it fits within the Star Wars Universe, that it balances within the story universe, and that isn't in conflict with the story group. So you're in this weird game of chess with invisible chess players, you can't see the moves, and the only people who have a sense of the board, are not really playing it with the story," Soule added.
The Rise of Kylo Ren is set to release this December.