Annlyel explores the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren and asks whether the resolution to their star-crossed romance was warranted in The Rise Of Skywalker
Rey and Kylo Ren; two star-crossed lovers bound by the power of the Force and torn apart by the Light and the Dark. In 2015, the idea of a romance between the characters was slim indeed. Yeah, he was breathing down her neck as she found herself locked to an interrogation chair but that didn’t entirely seem like a love-at-first-sight scenario. If anything, it came off as creepy. And then their battle only solidified their disdain for one another while Rey’s kissing Finn on the forehead seemed to hint very bluntly that they would be a primary couple of this trilogy.
But things would not be set in stone because Rian Johnson had other ideas. Instead of furthering the conflict between the two Force-wielders he noticed a subtle but apparent spark between the two. A spark he wanted to pursue and boy was it juicy.
Perfectly swinging their relationship from bitter and ugly to conflicted and downright romantic, Rey and Kylo‘s relationship in The Last Jedi would spark the infamous Reylos into full throttle. Suddenly, romance seemed possible, in fact, not just possible, wanted. Things didn’t help matters when Johnson teased a team-up between Rey and Kylo that was legitimately off the chain and only got people salivating for more neutrality between them.
But then, what did Johnson do? He yanked us back to reality by reminding us that Kylo was evil and made him and Rey enemies again. Everyone was calling for #Bendemption and the Reylos were yearning for the two Force-wielders to find love and kick more butt together. So, that’s what J.J Abrams gave everybody, but it led not to satisfaction and happiness but rather a consensual outrage from many. In fact, one of the most common criticisms I’ve heard from some fans about the film (other than the fact that it’s a nightmare of a Star Wars movie) is that the kiss between Rey and Kylo was horrible. Absolutely, 100% uncalled for and puke-worthy. And I echo that sentiment.
You see, I was someone who wasn’t opposed to the idea of Rey and Kylo becoming a couple. In fact, it was one of the most interesting things about the trilogy. A love story between two Force-wielders on opposing sides of the Force? Sign me up for that drama. Unfortunately, J.J Abrams didn’t know how to bring that storyline to life. For three-fourths of The Rise of Skywalker, Rey and Kylo are constantly battling each other. He’s asking for her hand, she’s constantly defying him until it boils down to an epic fight between them in the roaring tempest of a powerful ocean that leads to him nearly killing her and then her actually killing him before healing him. Cut to the next scene that features both of them; he’s turned good, they fight Palpatine, she dies, he brings her to life, and they kiss…oh, and then he permanently dies.
Too fast Abrams!
You see, Johnson established a romantic connection between them rather early into The Last Jedi which led to her having feelings for him in an understandable fashion. The brevity for which Rey garners feelings for Kylo in The Last Jedi is the equivalent of Rey falling for Kylo in the throne room after he saved her life if their previous scenes had them at one another’s throats. That would’ve been weird, huh? We get it, in the romance department, besides the FinnPoe community (sorry FinnPoe folks, Abrams didn’t answer your wishes), the Reylo idea was the most popular thing about the Sequel Trilogy. That doesn’t make it the go-to romance though.
Han and Leia‘s romance wasn’t iconic because it’s what people wanted. Han and Leia’s romance was iconic because it was well-written and well-established in the middle of the rest of the drama in The Empire Strikes Back. If anything, Rey shouldn’t have had a romance in the first place. They should’ve stuck with Finn and Rose as the trilogy’s main couple and refrain from causing any more ridiculousness to the trilogy.
Alas, we are stuck with having to watch the awkward Rey/Ben smooch for eternity.
Why am I finding so much sadness surrounding the decisions in this movie?
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Annlyel James is a prolific Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her own blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter @annlyeljames where she channels the Force frequently!
Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely that of the author and do reflect the overall opinion of thefutureoftheforce.com, it’s writers or affiliates.