A passage from the Star Wars: The Last Jedi novelization reveals Rey considered murdering an unconscious Kylo Ren following their altercation in Supreme Leader Snoke's throne room. For one glorious moment, the two young Force users teamed up and took out the praetorian guards, but their alliance was short-lived. Shortly after the set piece concluded, Kylo revealed his true intention was to let the past die and start a new galactic order he himself would rule. In traditional Star Wars fashion, he offered Rey a place by his side, but she refused and they fought for control over Luke's lightsaber before breaking it in two.
In the film, this storyline picks up when Kylo awakes and explains to General Hux what just happened. Rey had been long gone by this point, but the book by Jason Fry elaborates a little more on the throne room, painting a fuller picture. Based on it, this could have serious ramifications on Episode IX.
The novelization includes an additional scene taking place after Rey escapes the Supremacy. As she waits for Chewbacca to rejoin her in the Falcon, she thinks back to the moment where she almost took Kylo Ren's life:
"Rey had learned that the Force was not her instrument - that, in fact, it was the other way around. Just as Kylo was its instrument, despite his determination to bend it to his will. He would learn that one day, she sensed - the Force wasn't finished with him. And that meant Kylo's life was not hers to take, whatever future she saw ahead of him. Rey would wait, however difficult that would be to do as First Order warships descended on Crait. She would wait, and the future would unfold as the Force willed."
With this decision, Rey was avoiding the same error Luke made in thinking Kylo's future was already set in stone. As the text says, the Force shows people many possible futures, and it's up to the individual to not put too much belief in the one that "dominates your hopes or dreams." This isn't to suggest Rey thinks Kylo is redeemable (his actions seem to prove otherwise). She is simply keeping Luke's first lesson on Ahch-To in mind. The Force does not belong to the Jedi, Rey, or anyone else who uses its power. It's so much bigger. When Rey saw Kylo was still alive after the lightsaber split, she realized he still had a part to play in this story. The Force could have taken him in that moment, but apparently the former Ben Solo has some molding left.
It will be interesting to see what Kylo's ultimate fate is at the end of the trilogy. Based on his final words to Luke, he seems hellbent on destroying Rey and the Resistance, so a return to the light doesn't sound like it's in the cards. What's fascinating about Rey's mindset is that it sounds like she has no interest in killing her sworn enemy (at least for now), so Kylo could be the instrument of his own destruction as the Force carries out its will. It's easy to draw parallels between this passage and how Gandalf talks about Gollum to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring, painting Kylo as a tortured soul we should pity - even if he is an antagonist.
Source - Star Wars: The Last Jedi Novelization
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019