Minor spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
In one of the more surprising scenes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kylo-Ren destroys his iconic helmet in a fit of rage after being talked down to by Snoke. Considering how popular the helmet was after The Force Awakens, it was a huge marketing risk to have him destroy it. Turns out that director Rian Johnson felt the same, revealing that he was afraid to change up Kylo-Ren's look, yet acknowledged that it was needed.
According to The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (via Screen Rant), Johnson admitted that he was terrified to do away with the character's seemingly iconic look. He pointed out how many children would wear the mask versions of Ren's helmet during Halloween, so it was a really big risk. Despite that, Johnson argues that the change was needed to further Ren's development in the film.
"That was the big design choice with Kylo: losing the mask. It was a little terrifying because, by the time we were making the movie, the first film had come out and every kid was wearing Kylo Ren masks on Halloween. It was the symbol of the movie on packaging. And I love the helmet. But the whole premise of this film is that you're getting inside this guy a bit more. More than that, Rey is seeing there's more to him than she though. And Adam Driver is one of my favorite actors working today. The notion of getting the mask off of him so we don't have to deal with it and can look into his eyes seemed really important."
Some fans would argue that this isn't much of a spoiler since we see Ren smash the helmet through the elevator in the film's trailer. Granted, we don't see it become scrap metal like in the film but the foreshadowing was there. It's still a major change to the character's look though it's not like his face was a mystery. Ren unmasked in front of Rey in The Force Awakens after all.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is showing now.