Daisy Ridley says Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will address Rey and Kylo Ren's strange relationship with each other. The two young Force users have been intertwined since the beginning of the sequel trilogy, essentially operating as co-protagonists of the story. In addition to representing the conflicting ideologies of the Force, the two have developed quite the fascinating dynamic across the sequel trilogy installments released to date. The Last Jedi deepened their connection, with the pair even forming a brief alliance to defeat Supreme Leader Snoke and the praetorian guards.
Rey and Kylo's onscreen chemistry is so electric, it didn't take fans long to 'ship the pair as "Reylo," and the term's only gained steam since December 2015. As much as some viewers want to see the two end up together, others have pointed out the very serious issues present in Rey and Kylo's interactions, with the latter being incredibly deceptive and manipulative to take advantage of the good-natured Rey. Fortunately, the Star Wars filmmakers are aware of those concerns and won't skirt around them in the upcoming trilogy finale.
Speaking with EW, Ridley touched on how The Rise of Skywalker delves into Rey and Kylo's dynamic, promising an exploration into what can only be described as a "complex issue":
“J.J. does deal with [it]. It’s a very complex issue. People talk about toxic relationships and whatever it is. It’s no joke and I think it’s dealt with really well because it’s not skimmed over.”
These comments are similar to what Star Wars 9 co-writer Chris Terrio said back in late September, when he detailed how Rey and Kylo's relationship evolves in the new movie. It's good to hear Abrams is tackling this topic head on and isn't taking the easy way out. That arguably would have been very difficult to do, since Rey and Kylo's conflict is an integral part of the sequels. Since this is the final chapter (not just of the trilogy, but also the entire Skywalker saga), there needs to be a proper resolution to their collective arc. It's similar to how the original trilogy continued to add to Luke Skywalker's relationship with Darth Vader. It'll be interesting to see what kind of payoff Abrams delivers in this instance, after two full movies of tense buildup.
Whatever he does, it's bound to be a hot talking point in the Rise of Skywalker discourse, and Abrams has already admitted he knows his latest film isn't going to please everyone. Abrams has to walk a fine line and be cognizant of any message he's sending (intentionally or not) with how the story concludes. It's fun for people to fantasize about Rey and Kylo starting a romantic relationship, but it's important to keep in mind Kylo has tortured Rey, murdered her father figure in front of her, and told her she was "nothing." When Rey closed the Millennium Falcon ramp at the end of The Last Jedi, it was symbolic of her severing whatever attachment she had to Kylo (or, Ben Solo) and taking her place in a makeshift family. Abrams can't discard any of that, and from the sound of things, he thankfully didn't.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019