Of all of the theories about the future of Star Wars, the one that has quickly taken over the fandom is what’s known as “Reylo,” the idea that Kylo Ren and Rey will end up together as a romantic couple. The theory goes that Kylo will be redeemed either in The Last Jedi or Episode IX, and it will be Rey who brings him back to the light. Kylo and Rey will then fall in love in a sort of Beauty and the Beast type scene. Their coupling will be the main romance of the new trilogy, the equivalent of Anakin and Padme in the prequel trilogy and Han and Leia in the original trilogy.
The first reaction a lot of people have to this theory is laughter. But the more one delves into the evidence, the less ridiculous it sounds. Reylo shippers have been picking apart The Force Awakens and analyzing interviews and merchandise for the past two years looking for clues. While sometimes fans read into things too much, there really is quite a bit to back up this idea.
Here are the most compelling pieces of evidence that Kylo and Rey will end up as a romantic couple by the end of the new Star Wars trilogy.
1. The novelization of The Force Awakens suggests Kylo has compassion for Rey
We get a better idea of how Kylo Ren might be feeling about Rey in the novelization of The Force Awakens. During a scene in which Kylo is talking to Snoke, the latter says that Kylo is being hindered by his feelings towards Rey, saying “You have compassion for her.”
Kylo seems defensive in response, saying, “No — never. Compassion? For an enemy of the Order?” Clearly, we’re meant to take away that he really does have compassion for her as Snoke suggests. Fans may recall that compassion is described in Attack of the Clones as being “unconditional love” and “essential to a Jedi’s life.”
In general, Reylo supporters have really picked apart the way Kylo treats Rey during The Force Awakens, especially during the interrogation scene. As they point out, it’s radically different from the scene where Poe is interrogated earlier in the movie. While that latter sequence was dark and aggressive, Kylo is kinder to Rey, picking her up and escorting her away like a bride rather than having her dragged to the ship by stormtroopers.
In the novelization, Rey observes that Kylo has a sensitive face. We get the sense that there’s much more here than just a standard confrontation between hero and villain.
2. J.J. Abrams has compared Rey to a princess and Kylo Ren to a prince
On the Blu-Ray commentary for The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams provides some insights into the relationship between Kylo Ren and Rey. He mostly tries to be vague about what’s next for them, but interestingly, he describes Rey as a princess and Kylo Ren as a prince. While speaking about Maz’s Castle, Abrams says that Rey is “drawn to this place, almost like Cinderella.” Abrams later says that when Kylo takes off his mask, he looks “like a sort of prince.”
These are not just two random, unrelated comparisons. In another scene, Abrams says that Star Wars is a fairytale, which means that “you’re probably going to want to have a castle, and a prince and a princess.” He’s obviously implying that there are a prince and a princess within The Force Awakens. Kylo and Rey are the only characters who he talks about using these terms. If there is a prince to Rey’s princess, Kylo seems like the only possibility. John Boyega has repeatedly said that Finn and Rey are just friends, and Rey and Poe don’t even meet in the movie.
Perhaps most importantly, Abrams also says on this Blu-Ray commentary that Kylo is someone who Rey is going to “have a very interesting relationship with moving forward.” And finally, during the scene where Kylo is trying to get the map out of Rey, Abrams observes that Kylo could just take it whenever he wants to, and so “you get a sense that there might be something else going on here.”
3. There’s a ‘mysterious connection’ between them
The novelization of The Force Awakens states that there’s a “mysterious connection” between Kylo Ren and Rey, and the official Star Wars website has really hammered this point home. On the Star Wars Databank, the official canon database of characters, it’s stated that Kylo Ren is someone with whom Rey “shared a strange connection.”
Another section states that “a mysterious connection seemed to link the two.” The Databank makes mention of this connection a third time, at one point stating, “Kylo confronted the young woman who’d escaped from Jakku with BB-8-and felt himself puzzled by a strange connection he felt with her.”
Yet another section states that during the battle of Starkiller Base, Kylo “sensed his destiny and Rey’s were somehow intertwined, but how?” This could refer to a familial connection, which would make sense if Rey is really the daughter of Luke Skywalker and she’s therefore Kylo’s cousin. But it could also point to a romantic connection and the fact that they’re destined to be together like the prince and the princess in a fairy tale.
4. Someone, possibly Kylo, calls Rey ‘sweetheart’ in the novelization
Another piece of evidence we can take from the books is some additional dialogue during Rey’s vision sequence at Maz’s castle. In the novelization, she hears a voice during the flashback telling her, “I’ll come back sweetheart. I promise.” She clearly has some emotional attachment to the person saying it, as she refers to this as “that voice.” Right after this mysterious voice tells her that he’ll come back for her, Kylo Ren pops out from behind a tree, and the flashback ends with Rey falling backward just like in the movie. She had also heard his voice earlier in the novel.
A common fan theory is that this is actually Kylo Ren. At another point in the novelization, it’s stated that Rey recognized Kylo because “she had seen this man before, in a daydream. In a nightmare.” Pablo Hidalgo, member of the Lucasfilm Story Group, confirmed that the original script identifies this as a man’s voice.
It’s also been stated that Rey does not remember her parents but yet she recognizes this voice. So it doesn’t really make sense for it to be her father. The word “sweetheart” certainly calls to mind the relationship between Leia and Han Solo. Han was always calling Leia sweetheart in the original trilogy, so perhaps Ben Solo picked up more from his dad than we thought.
But Abrams says in The Force Awakens’ commentary that Rey and Kylo had never met until their encounter on Takodana. This suggests that if the voice is Kylo, it was actually a vision of the future and not a memory of the past. That points towards Reylo even more than before. After all, why else would Kylo refer to Rey as “sweetheart” in the future unless they have a romantic connection?
5. Maz says Rey is where she needs to be as she meets Kylo
Maz Kanata seems to have a pretty good sense of the characters’ destinies. There are a few lines of hers that point in the Reylo direction. In The Force Awakens, Maz tells Rey that the belonging she seeks is not behind her but is ahead. Right after this scene, Rey runs out of the castle and meets Ben for the first time.
She also tells Rey that her parents aren’t coming back but that there’s someone else who still could. Rey says “Luke,” but Maz doesn’t actually confirm that this is the right answer. She may have been referring to Ben, who could “come back” as in be redeemed.
Plus, in the novelization, not long after Rey leaves, Finn asks Maz where she is. Maz replies that she’s where she needs to be. That’s a weird thing to say considering Rey is about to be kidnapped by the main villain of the movie, but it makes sense if Rey’s destiny is with Kylo Ren.
6. They’re paired together in the Forces of Destiny toy line
Earlier this year, Disney began releasing a new series of toys in a line called Forces of Destiny. One of these toy sets pairs Rey and Kylo together in one package.
That stood out to a lot of fans since it’s not as if there’s a toy package of Leia being paired with Darth Vader or Obi-Wan being paired with Palpatine. None of the other Forces of Destiny toys pair two humans together, let alone the main character with the main villain, although there are some where a human is paired with a droid or an alien.
The toy set also looks quite a bit like similar Disney packages of princes and princesses together, i.e. Cinderella and Prince Charming, Snow White and Prince Florian, and Tiana and Prince Naveen. Granted, there’s always a chance it means nothing and that Disney just wanted to sell the two main characters of the new trilogy together. But it’s certainly interesting — especially after Abrams himself compared the characters to a princess and a prince.
7. Rian Johnson says Rey and Kylo are two halves of one protagonist
Rian Johnson, the director of The Last Jedi, has given quite a few interesting quotes about Rey and Kylo Ren that have gotten Reylo shippers excited. While speaking to The New York Times in September, for instance, Johnson said that Kylo and Rey are like “two halves of our protagonist.”
This fits in with the idea that Kylo and Rey represent the dark side and the light. With The Last Jedi, we’ve been getting a lot of hints throughout the marketing that the movie might come to the conclusion that having all light with no dark and vice versa is actually not a good thing. Rey suggests this by talking in the teaser about “light” “darkness” and “a balance” and Luke saying that “it’s so much bigger.”
What better way to show a true balance between dark and light than by having the characters who represent dark and light, and who are two halves, come together to create something entirely new together?
8. The new trailer ends on Kylo reaching out to Rey
For a lot of fans, Reylo seemed like a crazy conspiracy theory until the most recent trailer. That trailer ends, of course, with Rey saying that she needs “someone to show me my place in all this.” Kylo Ren reaches out to Rey. This calls to mind Kylo offering to be Rey’s teacher and show her “the ways of the Force” in The Force Awakens.
On the one hand, this could be Lucasfilm’s way of making the audience worried that Rey is going to fall to the dark side in the movie. On the other hand, it could also be Lucasfilm’s way of preparing audiences for the fact that there’s going to be a relationship between Rey and Kylo in the movie that isn’t entirely hero-against-villain. This might come as a shock to some viewers who haven’t been keeping up with the Reylo Tumblrs, so the theatrical trailer would ease them into it.
And speaking of being eased into it, the entire cast and crew of the movie has emphasized for the past six months that The Last Jedi is unexpected and shocking. The main protagonist and the main antagonist of the last movie beginning a romantic relationship would certainly qualify.
9. Daisy Ridley’s comments about Rey’s relationship with Kylo
Daisy Ridley recently gave an interview with Yahoo Japan in which she talks about Rey’s relationship with Kylo Ren. One of her quotes made Reylo subscribers everywhere giddy.
The article is in Japanese, but a rough translation of it reads, “What you should pay attention to is that The Last Jedi is putting out the message that things might not always be so clearly black-and-white. The dividing line between good and evil is becoming more and more ambiguous, and you could say that the relationship between Rey and Kylo symbolizes that.”
What she means there is open to interpretation, but one reading of it is that Rey realizes in the movie that Kylo Ren is not all bad and that fans may see two people who are both struggling with their powers come together. Speaking of interviews, Ridley and Adam Driver recently did an interview together in which they constantly talk about becoming best friends on The Last Jedi. They barely did any interviews together prior to The Force Awakens. But here they are being paired together and talking about getting along well on set, almost as if their relationship is a lot different in this movie.
10. Nobody involved in the movies has debunked it
As one fan pointed out on Reddit, a final piece of evidence suggesting that Reylo might really happen: Nobody related to Star Wars has explicitly denied it. If the idea of Kylo and Rey getting together is as ridiculous as some claim, why haven’t Ridley, Driver, Johnson, or anyone else just said that?
It’s not as if as a general rule, they never debunk fan theories. After all, Ridley once explicitly stated that Rey is not Han Solo’s daughter, even though that was a popular theory. In addition, even though thousands of fans ship Rey and Finn together, Boyega has repeatedly said that the two are just friends.
One would assume that if Rey and Kylo Ren never have any sort of a romance, some member of the cast or crew would make a similar comment. But that has never happened. On the contrary, Ridley brought it up in an interview, saying that it’s the questions he gets asked the most after who Rey’s parents are. She also said that she found it “amazing” and “really cool.” That sounds an awful lot like what actors say about fan theories that are true when they don’t want to give anything away.
At the very least, Ridley did not debunk the idea as ridiculous, in the way she debunked the idea of Rey being Han Solo’s daughter. So heading into The Last Jedi, the fan theory remains a possibility.
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