Star Wars: The Last Jedi was full of surprises. One of the biggest surprises was during one of the ForceTime sequences between Kylo Ren and Rey, in which Kylo was shown without a shirt on. It was a moment that has SW fans everywhere going nuts. So, was this an intentional moment, of was it something that wasn’t a big deal on-set and with the production?
With Kylo and Rey being to see each other in these moments, it reinforces the idea that there is no privacy during the ForceTime sessions. It is a peculiar addition to SW canon. Although neither can see the other’s surroundings, it is still interesting to see the Force manifest in this way. According to Last Jedi co-sound supervisor Ren Klyce in an interview with HuffPost, there is actually a 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.’”
It is a bit redundant, because Kylo and Rey discuss their ability not to see each other’s surroundings before this moment, it does ad some weight to the lack of privacy with this bond. Director Rian Johnson recently addressed The Last Jedi scene in an interview with 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.
The crew doesn’t seem bothered by the scene, so we all should just accept this shirtless scene and drive on. Will we see more shirtless Kylo Ren in Episode IX? The jury is still out on that.