We all know that shirtless Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is probably a slick callback to Anakin Skywalker being shirtless in the prequels, but what if it’s more than that? Beyond fulfilling the Reylo fantasies of fans who ship Rey/Kylo, is bod shot of the Jedi Knight formerly known as Ben Solo, actually an Easter Egg for shirtless Adam Driver in the first season of the HBO comedy Girls? Let’s dig in.
Without a doubt, Adam Driver’s fame predates Star Wars by several, several years. Throughout all six seasons of the Lena Dunham-produced series Girls, Driver played “Adam Sackler,” the foil and sometimes love interest of the primary character, Hannah Horvath (Dunham). Notably, in the entire first season, Adam is shirtless in virtually every scene. He’s also presented to the audience as a jerk. We think he is totally bad for Hannah. Mostly, he seems to use her only for sex, while working out creepy anger issues. Until…the story changes.
Like Kylo Ren/Ben Solo, Adam on Girls goes from being a bad guy to a more sympathetic guy over the course of the first two seasons. Which, is exactly like what is happening with Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi. We thought he was an anger-filled monster, but now, it seems like he has a pretty good reason to think Luke Skywalker is an asshole. In Girls we find out that Adam is a recovering alcoholic. In Star Wars, we find out one of his teachers — his uncle in fact — tried to murder him while he was sleeping.
Which is where the shirtless motif comes in. With Adam on Girls, he was shirtless mostly when we weren’t sure about how we were supposed to feel about him. Was going to be a good boyfriend or what? In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren’s shirtlessness is the reverse. This is when we start to think of him as a human being or…something.
In Girls, Hannah is partly responsible for Adam’s leg being broken. In Star Wars, Rey wounds Kylo Ren, permanently scarring him for life. Both characters are played by Adam Driver, and both have shirtless scenes that define (pun intended) the character. Which means, without Adam Driver’s work on Girls we would have never had shirtless Kylo.
Thanks here go to Lena Dunham, the true master of the Dark side.