“Kylo Ren, son of darkness, heir apparent to Lord Vader. Where there was conflict, I now sense resolve. Where there was weakness, only strength.[…]Complete your training, and fulfil your destiny!”
-Supreme Leader Snoke, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
In just two films, the dark side-wielding Kylo Ren has cemented his place in the Star Wars canon, and become a household name alongside the likes of Han Solo, Darth Vader, and Luke Skywalker. His story is one of personal tragedy, corruption, a thirst for power, but also a potential for redemption, though that last sentiment doesn’t make him any less fearsome in battle against the Resistance.
Before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, we at Bright Bricks were tasked with building several of the characters from the new film: the spherical android BB-8, junkyard scavenger Rey, and of course, Kylo Ren himself. The new film’s antagonist casts a striking image, very much akin to that of legendary villain Darth Vader, with his long black robes, a face concealed by a menacing helmet, and a blazing red lightsaber at his side.
Standing 1.7m tall, this life-size Kylo Ren is a fearsome presence, instantly recognisable, and assuming a battle stance as if he were about to leap into a fray. At a short distance, the lines and contours left by the connections between bricks begin to fade away into the dark folds of his cloak, and it becomes easy to forget that he is made from LEGO bricks; this is Kylo Ren.
Kylo Ren is in many ways quite different from our normal, human-sized sculptures, in that even the finest details are done in 2×4 or 2×2 bricks, as opposed to our usual use of plate and SNOT (studs-not-on-top) techniques. Though his costume from The Last Jedi was, while still black, more richly texture, with a crisscrossing lace of thin lines, the costume we were to produce was very simple, and our equally simple approach to sculpting his robes from pure brick worked in the model’s favour. The features of his mask are also evenly blended from light grey into black brick, so that they recede into the shadows under his hood, giving him the enigmatic, shadowed aura of a true master of the Dark Side.
We know Kylo Ren’s journey through the Star Wars universe is only just beginning, and given the reaction we have had to him from the general public, we hare glad to have been a part of that journey. Between Kylo, Rey, BB-8, and the Porgs, we’re accumulating quite the Star Wars collection, so who knows where in the Star Wars universe we will travel next?
Words and photos by Bright Bricks. Photos by Bright Bricks. Photo of Duncan and Kylo Ren by Anna Huix