'Star Wars': What's going on with Kylo Ren and Rey in 'The Last Jedi'?

Kelly Lawler

Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Romance is in the air. Or at least in the galaxy. 

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver, left) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) throw down in a lightsaber battle in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'

One of the most intriguing, and potentially controversial, parts of director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the simmering sexual and romantic tension between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Whether it's their intimate "Force-Skype" sessions or the pair taking on Snoke's guard as a united front, the implication is that Reylo (the portmanteau online fans who "ship" the pair use for them) is definitely a thing, even if the only kiss in the movie was between Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran). 

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But, is it actually a good idea for these two crazy kids to get together? That they had sexual tension at all may be a shocking development for fans who theorized Rey may secretly be a Skywalker after The Force Awakens, thus making them related. But for those who have been shipping Reylo since 2015, The Last Jedi may be exactly what they're looking for. We weigh the pros and cons of the pairing. 

The case for Reylo

Adam Driver's Kylo Ren as seen in the first teaser for 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.'

The strongest  argument for the relationship? All that sexual energy between them.

There's no denying that Ridley and Driver have fantastic chemistry. We saw a brief hint of that in The Force Awakens, but the vibe between them in The Last Jedi is decidedly more sexual. In fact, all of the scenes between them, which contain no outright dialogue about romance or sex, are way more charged than anything in the prequel Attack of the Clones, an overt love story. 

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How sexual do things get? Well, they may be light-years apart when they're talking via the Force, but the intimacy between them is immediate and electric, and not just when Kylo is shirtless and oiled up or when they touch hands. The scene in Snoke's throne room is overflowing with innuendo and meaning, and there's something undeniably sexual in the fight when the two pair up against Snoke's red-suited guards. The flawless way they work together, trading weapons and movements, makes them feel like a romantic unit. And when Kylo asks Rey to join him in ruling the galaxy, we don't think he's just talking about her as a business partner. 

The case against Reylo

Rey (Daisy Ridley) in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.'

OK, we're just going to say it: What if they are indeed related? 

Yes, yes, Kylo said that Rey's parents were nobody, drunks who sold her off as a child. But where's the proof? It is in the middle of a scene in which Kylo is trying to manipulate Rey into turning to the Dark Side and ruling the galaxy with him. He would say anything, and he knows this is her biggest emotional button to push. How do we know that this parental "reveal" won't be totally undone in Episode IX? And speaking of Episode IX, the final installment is being directed by J.J. Abrams, who directed the much less sexy Force Awakens. Abrams is great, but Johnson is the one who nailed the chemistry between them and never let their relationship become toxic. 

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And that's the real problem. Rey and Kylo work as an idea more than as a couple. It wouldn't be a healthy relationship for Star Wars to portray. Kylo is emotionally manipulative and abusive. His and Rey's connection is based on violence and they became closer because the snivellingly evil Snoke put them together. They're volatile and traumatized and they each need to sort out their own lives. (Well, Kylo needs to not try to destroy the galaxy and Rey just needs to, you know, continue her soul-searching, so maybe just a little more work for Kylo.) 

Inevitably, The Last Jedi gets it just right with them. It allows the relationship between them to evolve, capitalizes on their chemistry, but it never goes any further. It adds layers to their enmity rather than setting up problematic wedding bells. And when they inevitably clash one last time in Episode IX, it will be just that much better.