Mild spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi below.
Whether you’ve seen it or not, you are probably aware that there are some wild-ass surprises in Rian Johnson’s triumphant and somehow controversial The Last Jedi. Narrative threads are derailed, beloved characters are transformed, surprise twists double back on themselves: It is, for the first time in decades, a genuinely surprising Star Wars movie, revealing new sides of The Force and of characters we thought we had figured out.
Take, for example, Kylo Ren, who reveals an extremely new side in the film: namely, his front side, while not wearing a shirt. During one of the film-defining conversations between the former Ben Solo and the mononymous Rey, Ren is captured in mid-undress, and reader, he is swole. They play it for a quick laugh in the movie, but ... reader, Kylo Ren is swole.
Hamilton scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda, who had previously sworn off Twitter so as to avoid Last Jedi spoilers, even had one magically appear on his phone:
Whoever accidentally sent this picture of swole, shirtless Kylo Ren to Pulitzer-, Grammy-, Tony-, and Emmy-winning icon Miranda eventually realized their good fortune, and chose to play it extremely cool:
This was merely one of the most visible instances of shirtless Kylo Ren musing online, which ranged from mild criticism:
To inevitable self-aggrandizing thirst tweets:
Also there’s this:
There’s even an explainer video on the subject, which helpfully quotes director Rian Johnson as he explains that, while providing a quick bit of banter between Ren and Rey, the shirtless scene also served to illustrate that the nature of their mental connection also included seeing the other person’s body—smoldering and chiseled as it may be, in Ren’s case.
While you certainly don’t have to go far to find examples of sci-fi character thirst on the internet in 2017, Ren’s scene is another of The Last Jedi’s slight provocations within the greater Star Wars canon. The only real example of gratuitous flesh prior to this scene is Leia’s slave outfit from Return Of The Jedi. Han Solo was = incongruously frozen in carbonite fully clothed, and Luke only really got the guns out while training with Yoda. An internal poll of A.V. Club staffers only dredged up the Rancor keeper as a fully shirtless male precedent, which:
Yeah, he may not count.