After The Force Awakens came out I decided that I didn’t like Kylo Ren. His mask, his constant whining, and his laughable devotion to Darth Vader were comical at best and made it very hard to take him seriously. His only redeeming quality was that he was Han and Leia’s kid and if they still had hope in their son, then I was going to have hope too.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to like a character who murders his own father, who also happens to be Han Solo. I thought well, if Leia can survive this, I can too.
After The Last Jedi came out, I started referring to Kylo Ren as Ben Solo, and decided that Luke and Leia may have lost hope, but Rey didn’t and I wasn’t going to either. This brings me to a very controversial topic in the Star Wars fandom currently- Reylo. It is the desired relationship of Kylo/Ben and Rey. There were quite a few who supported the ship immediately after TFA and I’ll admit that I was not a fan. I even went as far as to unfollow a few Reylo supporters on tumblr and was sort of disgusted with people who thought the relationship was even plausible. To me, post TFA Rey would never in a million years consider Kylo Ren as a love interest or even a human being. He kidnaps her, forcefully tries to extract information from her mind, keeps her as a hostage, murders her only father figure, and attempts to murder her only friend.
Yup, Ben Solo #1 Boyfriend.
On Friday I decided to start a thread on twitter about Reylo to try and gather my thoughts on the topic. If you’re interested in viewing the whole thread visit me on twitter @JediLore.
After The Last Jedi, I now like Ben Solo… a lot. I think he’s a very complicated character and one that we needed in the Star Wars universe. I like that we watch him struggle between light and dark. I actually sympathize with him now. He’s more human than I wanted to admit two years ago. Throughout the film, Rey has moments with Ben where they talk and gain a better understanding of each other. It starts out exactly like I wanted. She hates him, insults him, and is generally disgusted with him. Then they start talking and she begins to confide in him. Once they see each other’s future, Rey is convinced Ben will come back to the light.
The moment that I became okay with Rey and Ben being together was when they team up to fight the praetorian guards because well, it’s fucking great.
After TLJ, Reylo supporters came out in full force. I started coming to terms with Rey and Ben’s interactions in the film. While, they weren’t overtly romantic, Rey does have moments where she trusts Ben and wants him to go with her. Ben also has moments where he basically looks at Rey with sad puppy dog eyes, it’s like he wants her to just take him away. The more I think about it, the more I’m okay with this possible relationship. No, I don’t think they “love” each other, at least not yet, but I do think they care about each other. After their team up, Ben realizing Snoke is dead reverts back to his old ways and Rey with tears in her eyes tells him to not do this. He tries to get her to break by telling her she’s nothing and that her parents were nobody. It’s heartbreaking and makes me want to punch Ben in the face.
One very important reason I’m okay with Reylo is because I don’t want the Skywalker line to end. I especially don’t want it to end with Ben Solo. To clarify, I don’t just ship Rey and Ben because Rey is the only other female that he talks to or that she’s the only other force user (that we know about). I think they still have a connection without Snoke. I think they have a unique force bond that might be later explained in Episode IX and I think that as uncomfortable as it made me during the film, they learned to understand and care for each other in TLJ. Their last interaction with Rey closing the door of the Millennium Falcon and seeing Ben’s face made me feel as though she’s done giving Ben chances. Ben on the other hand has seemingly made his choice, whether or not that choice is temporary is up for discussion until 2019.
The more I think about it, the more I write about it, the more I become okay with Rey and Ben getting together. I think that while there are significantly better love interests out there (Finn, Poe, yes, even Rose) I never felt quite strongly about any of those ships. I always belonged to the “Rey doesn’t need a love interest” group until recently. And yes, I do think it’s going to take one hell of a redemption to make me feel Ben Solo is worth Rey’s time and love or anyone’s for that matter. He is a terrible person and I will not apologize for his actions. Anakin/Darth Vader was also terrible, but because of Luke’s love and hope for his father he was able to bring him back to the light. If I can forgive Anakin, I can forgive Ben.
To conclude, I can only hope that the next film will end in a way that will allow for at least one more trilogy in the future. If the Skywalker saga ends with Ben Solo sacrificing himself, I am going to be so disappointed, but I have faith in Kathy, Rian, JJ, and the Story Group to close out these character’s stories with justice and a classic Star Wars ending.
Don’t @ me.