Many pairings and relationships in Star Wars have emerged over the years thanks to the franchise’s wide array of characters, each different from the last. Enduring friendships and alliances have blossoms, as well as iconic romances like Han and Leia and awkward courtships like Anakin and Padmé. As the sequel trilogy picks up steam, fans have been trying to pinpoint the core romance of this new set of movies. Some point to Finn and Poe, hoping for a queer couple of color, while others have latched onto Rey and Kylo, arguably the two core characters in the sequels.
No matter your opinion on the nature of Kylo and Rey’s relationship, you’ve got to admit that it's fraught with complicated twists and turns that keep it from falling flat. One moment they’re at each other’s throats, and in the next, they’re reaching out in the hopes of converting the other person to their side. Plus, their enigmatic backgrounds add a lot of uncertainties and wild cards into the mix, keeping audiences hooked.
Despite the relative lack of information about Rey and Kylo’s pasts, we’ve scavenged some juicy details about their relationship that might’ve gone unnoticed under your radar. As always, the list below contains spoilers from the sequel trilogy, and draws particularly heavily from The Last Jedi and its tie-ins, where Rey and Kylo’s relationship is explored even further. There are also some mentions of details from other books, so if you’re absolutely against spoilers, it’s time to binge-read before scrolling down.
Here are 20 Weird Revelations About Kylo Ren And Rey’s Relationship.
20 Their Force-Bond is stronger than Luke and Leia's
One of the most crucial elements of The Last Jedi is Rey and Kylo Ren’ Force-bond. It’s one of many decisions that have prompted arguments, with fans of the decision praising director Rian Johnson for the creative addition, and others decrying that it’s not how the Force works.
The Force-bond is a newly uncovered way to use the Force, allowing two people to communicate over a long distance.
Luke and Leia are seen communicating telepathically a bit towards the end of Empire Strikes Back, but the Force-bond is a lot more powerful. The bond is so strong that Rey and Kylo see each other and talk as if they were in person side by side.
19 Rey Probed Kylo's Mind, But Didn't Know Han Was His Dad
In The Force Awakens, Rey tries to distract the stormtroopers on Takodana so that BB-8 can escape, and Kylo soon begins to hunt her down as well. He ends up probing her mind against her will and realizes that she has seen the map to Luke. The second time he invades her privacy is on Starkiller Base as she’s strapped to an interrogation table. He forces his way into her memories, but luckily, Rey’s able to reverse the process and see into Kylo’s mind as well.
Oddly enough, she sees his deep dark secret-- that he’s afraid he’ll never be as strong as Darth Vader-- but doesn’t see that Vader is Kylo’s grandpa and that Han is his dad.
18 Kylo Immediately Takes Off His Mask After Rey's insult
When Rey wakes up on Starkiller Base after having been attacked by Kylo, she’s justifiably upset. Kylo even notes that she wants to end his life, and Rey explains as a natural reaction to being hunted down by a “creature in a mask.” In response, Kylo promptly takes off his helmet. It’s a peculiar thing to do, given the lengths to which Kylo tries to hide his past life as Ben Solo and to maintain an air of mystery to ramp up his authority among the ranks of the First Order.
The mask primarily serves a symbolic purpose.
Kylo doesn’t need it to survive, but he wears it as a tribute to his Grandpa Vader. Taking it off is a pretty big deal.
17 They Can Access Each Other's Memories Through Their Force-Bond
Neither Rey nor Kylo really know how their unexpected Force-bond works at the beginning, but they soon begin to understand its powers and limitations. In one of the most pivotal scenes in The Last Jedi, it’s revealed that they can access each other’s memories through their Force-bond.
Rey hears about Ben Solo’s downfall from Luke, and pretty much believes every single word. However, Kylo uses their enigmatic bond to show Rey the event at the Jedi Temple from his perspective in a Rashomon-esque sequences. In fact, the memories are so vivid that Rey experiences them as if she were there in person when Ben woke up thinking his uncle was about to end his life.
16 Rey Wanted To End Kylo's Life
Part of what makes Luke Skywalker such a compelling hero is his empathy. Instead of fighting Vader in his anger, the young Jedi finds compassion deep in his heart, helping his father redeem himself. Although The Last Jedi has steered the sequel trilogy away from the original movies, it still keeps the theme of empathy alive in Rey. In The Force Awakens, Rey initially wants to take Kylo’s life after witnessing his brutality and all the pain he’s caused to her newfound friends. During The Last Jedi, she begins to realize his complexity as a human being.
He doesn’t see himself as a villain.
Considering there’s no time jump between Episodes VII and VIII, that’s an extraordinary display of empathy from Rey.
15 Rey Is Ten Years Younger Than Kylo
Not a lot is known about Rey’s past based on the movies, but thanks to the extensive tie-in materials in the Star Wars franchise, we actually know some of her basic information. According to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, Rey was born 15 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin).
She was 19 in the first movie, which is set in 34 ABY.
On the other hand, Aftermath: Empire's End says Kylo was born in 5 ABY in Hanna City on the planet Chandrila, making him a solid decade older than the young scavenger, at 29 years old. The age gap makes Rey’s abilities all the more impressive, since she’s holding her own against someone with far more experience.
14 Rey as Han and Leia's replacement daughter
Leia and Han actually had strong relationships with their son Ben at first. In Aftermath: Empire’s End, Leia could sense baby Ben in her womb, and the novelization of The Last Jedi reveals that Ben would follow Han around and play with his gold dice. However, things clearly did not work out as Ben grew older.
Funnily enough, Rey is able to forge strong relationships to the two icons in a short amount of time. Sure, Han is pretty much grumpy old Han for their entire relationship, but he grows to care about Rey in his own gruff way. Leia doesn’t hesitate to give Rey a giant hug at the end of The Force Awakens. It really goes to show that biological family doesn’t always mean more than chosen family.
13 Kylo's Offers to train Rey like they are Sith
The creative team behind the sequel trilogy has repeated time and time again that Kylo Ren is not a Sith despite his worship of Darth Vader. Not even Snoke is a Sith Lord. The master-apprentice relationships are reminiscent of the old Sith Order, and even seem to follow a similar trajectory. Darth Sidious was Darth Plagueis’ apprentice, and ultimately betrayed his master. Darth Vader also betrayed his master, Darth Sidious. Similarly, Kylo Ren is Snoke’s apprentice, but ends his master’s life to quench his own thirst for power. He then asks Rey to join him in his quest to conquer the galaxy.
Either he’s super confident in his abilities, or he needs to read a history book ASAP.
Maybe Rey rejecting his offer to join him is actually a good thing for Kylo.
12 Rey Might Be Strong With The Force Than Kylo
Rey has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with. Despite lacking formal training, she grows up in the cut-throat world of Jakku and learns to fend for herself and survive. Her upbringing makes her triumph over Kylo at the end of The Force Awakens all the more astonishing.
While some call Rey a Mary Sue, her aptitude might actually be a hint to her raw strength with the Force.
Kylo is ten years older and has had far more training, yet Rey is able to defeat him, suggesting that she’s more Force-sensitive than Kylo is. It’s certainly not a far-fetched possibility. Luke also had relatively little training, yet he still manages to do pretty well against the dark side.
11 Kylo Feels Compassion For Rey
It’s been pretty obvious that Kylo is a major antagonist in the sequel trilogy ever since his first appearance in The Force Awakens. He ends the life of Lor San Tekka without so much as a blink of an eye, and ordered the extermination of the entire village of Tuanul on Jakku.
According to Snoke, Kylo isn’t as ruthless as he seems to be.
Snoke seemed to think that, in addition to feeling torn over taking Han Solo’s life, Kylo might habor some compassion for Rey as well. Sure, Kylo has done her tremendous harm, literally chasing her around Takodana in an attempt on her life and invading her mind twice, but he hasn’t actually ended her life yet, maybe because his subconscious compassion gets in the way.
10 They Were Both Confused By The Force-Bond
When the Force-bond makes its first appearance in The Last Jedi, neither Rey nor Kylo are expecting it. Kylo’s facial expression is as stoic as ever when he first meets Rey over ForceTime, betraying none of his surprise at this sudden development. He is is confused, asking why the Force is connecting the two. Clearly, neither of the have any say in the matter, and aren’t in full control of the Force-bond.
Rey, on the other hand, is understandably distraught at the idea of being bonded against her will with someone who hurt Finn and ended Han’s life. However, they both quickly acclimate to their Force-bond despite not knowing its origins or the way it works.
9 Kylo Inherited Anakin's "Charm"
Kylo practically worships Darth Vader; that much has been clear ever since the very first trailer for The Force Awakens dropped back in 2015. According to the Episode VII novelization, both he and Snoke considered Vader to be Anakin’s true identity. They believed his redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi was a giant mistake.
Maybe Kylo has even more in common with Anakin that he’d thought.
He seems to have inherited his grandfather’s charm with girls. Anakin’s courtship of Padmé is fraught with the most awkward lines, while Kylo repeatedly belittles Rey, even making attempts on her life and undermining her autonomy, yet expects her to be totally chill with ruling the galaxy by his side.
8 Kylo Changes His Mind About Rey A Lot
After chasing Rey around on Takodana, invading her mind twice, physically attacking her, and ending her almost-father figure’s life, Kylo promptly implores her to join forces with him twice. First he offers to take her on as an apprentice in The Force Awakens, and then asks her to rule the galaxy as equals with him in The Last Jedi. Rey, kind and good as she is, rejects his offers. Kylo does the reasonable thing and immediately decides he’s going to end her life instead.
When Rey and Chewie join the Battle of Crait aboard the Millennium Falcon, Kylo doesn’t hesitate to order every TIE fighter to destroy the iconic freighter and all those aboard.
7 Their Force-Bond Doesn't Fully Show Their Surroundings
The Force-bond between Rey and Kylo is incredibly strong, manifesting itself as a series of vivid and lifelike Force visions that connect the two Force-sensitive characters. However, even though the strength of Rey and Kylo’s Force connection is unheard of, they are unable to see each other’s surroundings.
Kylo knows that she’s training with Luke somewhere, but can’t see the exact environment she’s surrounded by.
Perhaps as the individuals involved grow stronger with the Force, the Force-bond would also become more powerful, allowing even more insight into the users’ surroundings. That said, the Force-bond is shut at the end of The Last Jedi, so maybe we’ll never know for sure if users can locate each other.
6 Kylo's Claims About Rey's Parents Might Not be True
The Force-bond primarily takes the form of visual and auditory Force visions, and both Rey and Kylo can sense each other’s emotions as their bond grows. They even seem to physically speak out loud in order converse using the Force over such a long distance. However, contrary to expectations, it turns out that they can have physical contact as well, as revealed when they grasp hands.
Kylo claims to have seen the truth about Rey’s parentage at that moment, which is rather extraordinary considering he does see her parents when he intentionally probes her mind prior to the incident. Of course, he could just be bluffing in order to break her down emotional and convince her to join him.
5 Rey Sees Kylo Turning Back To The Light
Rey, on the other hand, sees a vision of her own when she touches hands with Kylo. Instead of seeing his past, she sees his future, much like how past Jedi have been able to foresee possible futures. In her vision, Kylo turns his back on Snoke, returning to the light and reclaiming his identity as Ben Solo. As it turns out, Rey’s not entirely wrong about Kylo’s fate.
He does betray Snoke and fight his Elite Praetorian Guard, but not for the reasons as Rey hoped.
He ends Snoke’s life only out of his own selfish ambitions to replace Snoke as Supreme Leader and rule the galaxy, much to Rey’s disappointment.
4 Rey Turns off the Force-bond
For the bulk of The Last Jedi, it seems as though neither Rey nor Kylo can fully control their Force-bond. Sure, they do learn more about each other and find comfort in a way, but their Force connection isn’t something deliberate on their parts.
That said, Rey is able to switch off the Force-bond at the end of Episode VIII, cutting Kylo off after he chooses once and for all to commit to the dark side. An in-universe explanation could be their growing familiarity with the way Force-bonds work, their increasing skills with the Force, and the demise of Snoke, who is the mastermind behind their link. They might’ve simply learned to harness the powers of their Force-bond as time went on, and perhaps Rey is able to turn it off without Snoke around to exert his influence anymore.
3 Rey Willingly Cuts Her Training Short To Find Kylo
Rey undergoes tremendous growth during the events of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. At first, she runs away from the truth of her Force sensitivity, declaring to Maz that she wants nothing to do with Luke’s lightsaber. Then she picks it up and kicks Kylo’s butt, deciding that she wants to train with Luke after all. Despite Luke’s refusal to her request, Rey sticks around anyway, and finally convinces him to teach her the ways of the Jedi.
It’s a hard-won battle for Rey.
Then, she doesn’t hesitate to cut her training short as soon as she senses Kylo’s potential to return to the light. Luke’s warnings go unheeded as Rey chooses to believe the good in Kylo like Luke had once done for Vader.
2 She Considers Ending Kylo's Life Again
Rey is so convinced of the deeply buried kindness in Kylo that she is quick to cut her Jedi training short even though she spends a lot of time and energy convincing Luke to train her in the first place. That’s a huge development from Rey’s first impression of Kylo, which had led her to want to end his life.
Still, Rey and Kylo’s relationship is full of twists and turns on both sides, and Rey considers ending Kylo’s life once again in The Last Jedi. When Kylo reaches out his hand, asking Rey to join him, she reaches for Luke’s lightsaber once again and tries to pull it towards her with the Force. She’s prepared to attack him once again after he’s chosen the dark side.
1 Rey Reverses Kylo's Mind Probe On Just The Second Go
Another testament to Rey’s strong connection to the Force is the way she’s able to reverse Kylo’s mind probe on just the second try. In a blatant display of disrespect, Kylo invades Rey’s mind, poking and prodding for information even though she clearly doesn’t consent. The first time, she’s pretty much powerless as she’s frozen on Takodana. The second time, however, Rey not only begins to resist Kylo’s mental attack, but also reverses the process, allowing her to give him a taste of his own medicine.
It’s such an incredibly display of strength from Rey that it marks a turning point for Kylo, who begins to consider Rey’s potential to become a Dark Side Force user.
What are some other secrets about Kylo Ren and Rey's relationship in Star Wars? Share them in the comments!