6

In episode VII,

When Kylo Ren is interrogating Rey, he removes his helmet and places it in what looks like a tray of dirt or ash, similar to the platform that holds Darth Vader's helmet.

Assuming the platform is similar to the one that held Vader's destroyed helmet, then it could possibly symbolize

how Kylo Ren tries to emulate Darth Vader. Placing his helmet on a similar "altar" could be a statement of power. This might be another reason why he was greatly disturbed when Rey spoke his fear of failing to become as powerful as Darth Vader.

My question is, what does the platform, or his placing of the helmet on the platform, mean?

It could have a literal, practical interpretation, or a symbolic explanation.

  • 6
    I'm going with "cat litter" – Valorum Jan 2 '16 at 20:22
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    Reading just the title, I opened this expecting to see an answer of "his head" :) +1 for very masterful combination of "attractive" title and unexpected body – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 20:26
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    @Richard - you're gonna have to first produce canon evidence that cats exist in TGFFA – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 20:26
  • @DVK Haha, I didn't even consider that, being so fixated on my question! – Josh B. Jan 2 '16 at 20:27
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    Q. Where does General Hux keep his armies? A. Up his sleevies – Valorum Jan 2 '16 at 20:27
8

Canon Update 2016/04/05

According to J.J.Abrams interview with EW:

“The backstory is, that that table has the ashes of the enemies he’s killed,” Abrams says. “That moment was actually shot for, and meant to be used in, the scene where he was talking to the Vader mask.”

In other words, that table of ash was originally in Ren’s private quarters. And the fact that he incinerates and preserves the remains of his foes adds a new, eerie dimension to his Dark Side nostalgia — and hoarding tendencies.


Canon update 2016/02/06

As per Pablo Hidalgo's tweet:

That dust that Kylo puts his helmet into? Litter box for Hux's cat, Millicent.
#canon
10:29 AM - 6 Feb 2016


Original answer:

  1. Foster Novelization doesn't state where he put the mask.

    Her true self got the better of her and she replied tactlessly, despite the danger. “That happens when you’re being hunted by a creature in a mask.” She had a moment to ponder his possible reaction and to fear it. But he did not do what she expected. Instead, he reached up, unlatched and removed his mask. She just stared at him in silence.
    In itself the narrow face that looked back at her was not remarkable. It was almost sensitive. If not for the intensity of his gaze, Ren could have passed for someone she might have met on the dusty streets of Niima Outpost. But there was—that gaze. That, and what lay simmering behind it.
    “Is it true?” he finally asked.

    ...

    The restraints that had held her wrists snapped back into place, once again securing her to the inclined platform. Then he once again donned his mask and was gone.

  2. Leaked WGA script doesn't state where he put the mask

    Kylo Ren stops, considers her... then reaches up, unlatches and REMOVES HIS MASK. Rey reacts, stunned. It takes a moment before she regains her own mask of defiance.
    KYLO REN
    Tell me about the droid.

    ...

  3. In the film, we see that the mask, when placed on this hexagonal??? "cat litter" as someone inelegantly put it in the comment, lands on an uneven surface of what looks like dust or ashes, and when plonked down, throws some of them up in the air.

Without any canon indication I was able to find, all we are left with are theories.

The possibilities I can come up with are:

  1. She is in a torture room. This may be coal/ashes left off from prior torture (e.g. Poe). Having fire/coal and heated metal implements is a rather common (or rather, stereotypical in our culture, not sure if it really was as common as people think) method of not just torture.

    More importantly, it also could aid the interrogation by inducing a fear of the implement in the person being interrogated, which can be even more effective than torture itself.

    As such, it could either have simply been left there as it always is, OR deliberately put there to rattle and frighten Rey.

    Admittedly, Galactic Empire had torture droids we saw when Vader interrogated Leia (and a commenter said they had one for Poe).

    HOWEVER, the Visual Dictionary shows sinister looking METAL interrogation tools, right next to the image of the torture chair!!!

    enter image description here

  2. Ashes from Darth Vader's fire.

    This is extremely unlikely, as they would instead have been kept in his private room, with the Vader's mask. And THAT had no ashes on the bottom.

  3. Decorative item. Feng-shui, Empire style.

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    I like the idea that it's a conversation piece. Presumably on the other side of the torture chamber are a set of artfully chosen coffee-table books. – Valorum Jan 2 '16 at 20:39
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    @Richard - I'm NEVER hiring you to decorate. Especially a torture chamber. Books are SOOOO last century! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 20:40
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    @DVK Gotcha, Ren was lucky he didn't accidentally heat his helmet before putting it back on :P – Josh B. Jan 2 '16 at 20:56
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    I do wonder whether it gets a little sweaty in the mask, and whether the grey stuff is therefore space talc. – Paul D. Waite Jan 2 '16 at 23:00
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    @PaulD.Waite - I considered adding that as one of the theories and ewwwwed out – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 23:06

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