Kylo Ren Darth Vader helmet

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened earlier this month, it answered a lot of questions we had in the run-up to the film, like “What’s Leia been up to?” and “Is BB-8 somehow even cuter than R2-D2?” (answers: being a general, and yes). But it also raised a whole lot more. Such as: how exactly did Darth Vader’s helmet, last seen burning in a funeral pyre in The Return of the Jedi, wind up in the hands of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)?

The film doesn’t spell it out, but Star Wars fans have constructed plenty of theories. And now it looks like one of them may have hit upon a definitive answer. (Warning: Massive spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens ahead.) Get the Kylo Ren Darth Vader helmet explanation after the jump.

Star Wars Minute spells out the Kylo Ren Darth Vader helmet explanation. Despite the name of the channel, the story actually takes about two and a half minutes to explain. But it’s well worth those extra 90 seconds if you’ve been hungry for more Kylo Ren backstory.

According to Star Wars Minute, the Kylo Ren Darth Vader helmet explanation is buried in Delilah S. Dawson‘s short story The Perfect Weapon, published in November as one of those “Journey to The Force Awakens” tie-ins. (As Peter correctly predicted.) It hinges on Bazine Netal (Anna Brewster), the character who rats out Finn and Rey to the First Order at Maz Kanata’s fortress. She’s the humanoid one on the right, below.

forceawakens-dowutin-lady-cantina

In The Perfect Weapon, Bazine is hired by a mysterious client to retrieve a mysterious package from the room of a former stormtrooper who fought at the Battle of Endor (depicted in Return of the Jedi). The theory goes that the mysterious package is actually Darth Vader’s charred helmet, and that the mysterious client is Kylo Ren. Mind you, those last two details are not confirmed. The Perfect Weapon never actually specifies who Bazine was working for or what she was hired to get. Still, it’s as plausible an explanation as any we’ve heard so far.

It also fits with what we know of Kylo Ren. He’s definitely obsessed with Darth Vader — some have described him as sort of a Vader fanboy — and he’s certainly powerful enough to hire a mercenary to do his bidding. It’s not at all difficult to imagine him going to great lengths to retrieve this artifact, the way a Star Wars superfan might scour auctions for original trilogy memorabilia. I mean, just look at this guy.

The added explanation doesn’t really change that much about our understanding of Kylo Ren or The Force Awakens, but it’s a fun bit of trivia and a great use of Star Wars‘ multimedia canon. The Perfect Weapon sounds like an entertaining story that fleshes out a very minor character from the movie, but The Force Awakens would’ve ground to a halt if it needed to include a step-by-step explanation of how Darth Vader’s helmet got into Kylo Ren’s hands. This way, the story still gets out there for anyone who cares to find it, but it doesn’t drag down the larger movie arc.

Do you buy this Kylo Ren Darth Vader helmet explanation, or would you like to put forth a theory of your own?

 

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