So let’s talk about “Reylo”.
Reylo, of course, refers to the perceived romantic relationship between Kylo/Ben and Rey. Many, many fans insist that the connection between these two characters translates into romantic love.
On the other hand, many others insist that there’s no proof of that in the films, and their relationship must and should remain platonic. They are a “dyad” in the Force, but that doesn’t mean lovers.
Where do I stand on this burning question?
Before I answer that, let’s consider the true meaning of a “dyad”. Again, we’ll get out our trusty dictionary (because I’m a stickler like that):
a group of two; couple; pair.
- two persons involved in an ongoing relationship or interaction.
- the relationship or interaction itself.
Okay, that doesn’t tell us very much.
Let’s assume that this definition precludes any notion of romance or sex. From the context of the movie, I think it infers a balance between two opposites: good/bad, light/dark, perhaps even male/female. There’s a lot of referencing “bringing balance to the Force”, and a dyad is the highest representation of this.
We might also go so far as to say that they need each other, that one cannot exist without the other. That they are two halves of one soul. That’s why I believe Ben’s soul lives within Rey now; without his own body, there’s only one place to go–within hers.
So yes, they’re inextricably linked, body and soul. But does that mean they must fulfill our fantasies of romantic love? Not necessarily.
But the question remains: are they in love?
In my opinion, Kylo/Ben is most definitely in love with Rey. It’s written all over the guy, in his fascination with her, and his desire to have her join him in the Dark Side (since he feels he can’t go back to the Light). Just the way he looks at her makes it obvious, both as Kylo and as Ben. The man’s got it bad.
But does Rey love him? I don’t think so. How can any woman be in love with a man like Kylo Ren? Perhaps “Dark Rey” could, if you could call it love. But not Light Rey. I think she’s fascinated by him in her turn, as the other half of the dyad they make, and in Ben, Han and Leia’s son. She holds out hope for Ben Solo suffocating under the evil veneer of Kylo.
And perhaps there’s even a sexual attraction (though Disney, of course, would never hint at such a thing), but we can surmise for ourselves. After all, Kylo Ren is the epitome of the tall, dark, and dangerous man of sexual fantasy (take it from us women, guys). Shirtless scene aside, I get the feeling that their lightsaber duels can be construed on some level as an acting out of sexual frustration. Just sayin’.
I do believe that, if given the chance, Rey probably would have fallen in love with Ben Solo. She just didn’t get that chance. I think she was happy and gratified that he prevailed over Kylo, that his soul turned back to the Light; but it’s premature to call it romantic love on her part.
So what about that kiss?
Is it me, or was it kind of weird? I like that they kissed, but it wasn’t exactly a kiss of passion. In all honesty, they looked like two 14-year-olds locking lips for the first, tentative time (and it can be argued that these characters are both virgins, but again, that’s non-Disney territory). It was sweet, but just…weird.
In the novelization of TROS, the kiss was referred to as a “kiss of gratitude”. Um, okay. She’s thanking him for bringing her back from the dead. I guess that warrants a kiss.
Also in the novelization, after Ben dies Rey hears his voice in her head saying, “I will always be with you.” And Rey thinking, No one is ever really gone...
I do like that idea, that he’s not really gone for her. But still maddeningly vague on the romance question, to those who want a definitive answer. Can we be satisfied with a chaste love? An eternal love that goes beyond the physical?
I can live with that. But only because I have to.
What are your thoughts on Reylo? Are they or aren’t they? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
2 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Reylo-Yes or No?”
Whoops a bit late for this party lol almost a year late, but anyway, LOL, To begin with, I was definitely in the anti-reylo camp, to begin with. That was mostly to do with my dissatisfaction with Disney storytelling pushing two characters together because they need the enemies to lovers trope to work.
It just felt weird that this was happening initially because I was over the whole “we must make them love each other and be together because all the fans want it”. I kinda feel like J J Abrams was veering away from this at first, but then Rian came in and well, full-on almost Reylo moments smothered me. There are so many in TLJ – the scene when she arrives like she was sent to Kylo as a princess finding her prince. Then the lift scene … yeah, where she addresses him as Ben, and he is visibly aroused by this (I think). Then the two of them ganging up on Snoke, I mean, he practically turned on Snoke to save her. If he hadn’t, I am pretty sure Rey would have died there. And then the throne room clash… he is basically offering himself to her. He may have had ulterior motives, and that’s pretty obvious that it worked out extremely well. To save Rey, he had to kill Snoke the way he did. But I think there was a little selfishness there on the dark side, which was definitely Kylo.
But yeah, I think J J had no other choice but to satisfy the whims of all the Reylo lovers who wanted this bond to mean something more than just a bond in the force. I never saw it that way until I saw the way Kylo was changing and moving more towards the light. I think he did that solely for her, and I agree that his love for her was pretty obvious. But she didn’t seem all that teared-up about Ben dying. And I hated that scene because of that 😦
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I think you’re right about the two different directors having different visions for these characters. And it kind of muddled it up, you know? And I agree that the end scene with Ben dying wasn’t all that it could have been, whether they’re romantic or not. I think the book did a better job.