The Star Wars sequel trilogy introduces Kylo Ren a man who is absolutely unhinged by his anger. By the end, however, he has moved on from that darkness. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland is technically set in between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and one now has to wonder if the moment that set the villain back on the path of righteousness was an adorable child Stormtrooper.
A TikTok going viral shows an adorable moment at Disneyland Resort that sees a small child, dressed as a Stormtrooper, come up to Kylo Ren. The kid just gives him a look, and Kylo Ren immediately puts out a hand, like the kid just pulled a Jedi mind trick, and the two begin to walk together. You can hear people in the crowd audibly reacting to the beautiful moment, and it will likely melt your heart as well.
Generally speaking, these characters in the parks have a role to play, and they play them. The Stormtroopers and Kylo Ren don’t speak with their own voices, instead reacting with several preprogrammed options that the performers can access. As you might expect, the majority of statements that Stormtroopers or Kylo Ren can say are not exactly friendly. The dialogue here, despite being preprogrammed, is perfect. The first Stormtrooper tries to warn the kid off, but then Kylo Ren says everything is “fine” and then the Troopers visibly stand down.
It’s a somewhat delicate balancing act to have characters who are supposed to be the bad guys, but not in a way that they will be entirely off-putting to small children. The fact that these performers don’t break character is part of the fun for all ages. And hey, we never see Kylo Ren with small children in the sequel trilogy, maybe he’s always like this with trainees.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Walt Disney World are still some of the most impressive achievements we’ve seen from Disney Parks. As a construction project, it transports you to another world. When you walk into it feels like you’ve left Disneyland and become part of the galaxy far, far away. Over the years we’ve seen the land’s original concept, as a location in both space and time, begin to falter, with Disneyland especially adding characters from all over the Star Wars timeline to visit Batuu. But I’m not sure anybody is too worried about the details when they see their favorite character, whoever that might be.
But that’s the magic of places like Disneyland. The suspension of disbelief, to be able to see a person in a Kylo Ren costume as the character, and not the performer, is a kind of magic that we just don’t see elsewhere. People can have real emotional reactions to hugging Mickey Mouse or holding hands with Kylo Ren.