Star Wars: The Force Awakens - JJ Abrams Confirms Kylo Ren Is Not A Sith

And teases the Nazi inspiration for the villainous First Order.

The mystery swirling around Star Wars: The Force Awakens' bad guy Kylo Ren has been constant since he appeared in the teaser trailer last December. Fans have long speculated that Ren isn't a Sith, and in discussion with Empire, JJ Abrams confirmed the suspicion:
"Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.€
Snoke is the sinister voice - provided by Andy Serkis - from the teaser trailer. He's who Ren's reporting to - under the banner of The First Order - and it's here that Abrams let slip something really interesting. Apparently the villains in Force Awakens were inspired by the Nazis who fled to Argentina rather than face trial for their crimes. Abrams and co-writer Kasdan wondered what might happen if the Nazis had tried to regroup, which is exactly what it sounds like Snoke and Ren are attempting to do regarding the Empire. Abrams continued to tease their motivation:
"Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn€™t get done?€
That's a really bold approach to preserving the essence of the Sith, whilst evolving them for the next installment of the saga. It also squares nicely with the frazzled Vader helmet sighted in the teaser. Maybe it's being kept as a trophy, or maybe it's a symbol central to the First Order's manifesto? Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens worldwide on 18th December 2015.

Writer, cinephile and owner of Vampire's Kiss on DVD. Take from that what you will.