*Spoilers ahead for ‘The Force Awakens’
So, I’ll be the first to admit that my knee-jerk reaction for quite some time was “Rey-oh-hell-no.” Like, seriously, I wondered what the actual hell people were seeing and thinking. And let me explain why I was so solidly in that camp.
Y’all, I’m an old school Star Wars fan. My favorite movie was the first one. Now, I’m not quite old enough to remember having seen A New Hope in the theater, but I was actually on the planet for it. I was cut up by the prequels (as I mentioned a couple of days ago), but I maintained my love for Episodes 4, 5, and 6. And who was the embodiment of evil? Darth Vader, of course. Even more than the Emperor, Darth Vader personified evil. From the Force chokes to killing Obi-Wan in front of Luke Skywalker, this creature was evil. And Vader, Anakin Skywalker, was born to bring balance to the Force. But more on that later.
I adored Princess Leia (what little girl didn’t want to be her?) with her fancy hair and mad blaster skills. Plus, she helped save the universe with a bit of assistance from her brother, Luke Skywalker, (that was quite the last minute plot twist, but okay) and the dashing smuggler, Han Solo. They persevered through swamps, cloud planets, mechanical problems, murderous Hutts, carnivorous pits in the desert, and two Death Stars. And they pulled it off. They saved the galaxy. In the end, she married her handsome and unexpected prince, Han Solo. And at the end of the perfect fairy tale, they lived happily ever after. Except, they didn’t. But more on that later too.
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” is another way of saying “Upon a time….” Yes, Star Wars is a fairy tale. I read it somewhere, and I wish I knew who to credit, but it’s true.
So, with all that being said, when I watched Kylo Ren, Ben Solo, the son of my perfect couple, murder his father on a bridge at Starkiller Base, I hated him with a blind passion. I remember telling a friend of mine in the days following my first viewing that he could not come back from that. Patricide – it was unforgivable. And the thought that he might have some sort of happy ending? Oh hell no.
Oh, and I was 99% sure that Rey was Luke’s daughter, so that means they are first cousins. So, there’s that. Or, she might have been Leia and Han’s daughter, in that case, they would be siblings. That’s just gross. And it’s Disney – the likelihood that they would go to a place that dark is nil. So, in my mind, Reylo wasn’t happening. Period.
And then along came J.J. Abrams, and he said that Rey’s parents weren’t in TFA. What? If that’s the case, then she’s not a Skywalker. So, I was forced to accept that Kylo Ren was indeed the only Skywalker of his generation. Of course, Abrams almost immediately retracted the statement, saying that he just meant her parents weren’t her orbit, not that they weren’t necessarily in the movie. Frankly, I don’t think he misspoke. I think he meant what he said the night before, that Rey’s parents weren’t in TFA.
Well, crap. She’s (probably) not Luke’s daughter. And according to what has been said about The Last Jedi, Luke legitimately doesn’t know who the hell she is. She’s just this girl holding out a lightsaber guaranteed to bring back some fairly traumatic memories. Seems like Luke of all people would recognize his daughter if he had one. But if she’s not a Skywalker, then there goes one reason I’m objecting to Reylo. And if she turns out to be a Skywalker, I’m out. No Relyo, no way.
So, for argument’s sake, let’s say she’s not. She’s a Kenobi or maybe she’s no one at all. As long as she’s not a Skywalker, it’s irrelevant to this discussion.
Well, I was against it because I hated him, hated how he treated her, and thought they were related. How could I even consider shipping that? Then, I watched Vincent Vendetta’s Reylo video. And while I didn’t quite buy everything, I think he might be on to something. Then, I watched this, this, and these. Oh, and I read the novelization of TFA. I also rewatched the movie with Reylo in mind. Research. Let’s call it research, okay? Obsession is such an ugly word.
I’ll recap some their arguments for you. Ren is much gentler with her than Poe (both captured and interrogated); she always starts the violence; he says: “Don’t be afraid; I feel it too.” He doesn’t kill her when he has the chance (several times.) And in the novelization, Snoke says to him: “You feel compassion for her.” Compassion, in the Star Wars universe, according to Anakin, is unconditional love. Whoa.
And for the record, novelizations are considered canon.
Also, and this is compelling for me – Ren says to his grandfather’s mask – “I’ll finish what you started.” I thought, and kind of still do, that he means bringing order to the galaxy and bringing the Dark Side to prominence. But what if he means Anakin’s destiny? To bring balance to the Force? Let’s think about it. Does Anakin bring balance to the Force? I’d say no. The Dark wins in Episodes 1-3, the Light wins in Episodes 4-6. They are tied, but now the Dark is on the rise again. What is true balance? Yeah, the gray, the middle. And in the trailer for The Last Jedi, Luke says that the Jedi must end. So, the Light can’t win, but neither can the dark. What would be more symbolic than the Light and Dark combining to produce Gray?
Plus – if Darth Vader, the embodiment of evil, can come back from all he did for twenty years in service to the Emperor, could Ren not come back from what he’s done? I think he could. Star Wars, after all, is about redemption and coming back from evil. What if he needed to kill Han to get close to Snoke to end his reign of terror?
Oh, and there’s that whole chemistry thing that seems to sizzle between the characters on screen. It’s a thing.
So – how do you feel? Where are you on the Reylo theory? Personally, this isn’t a ship I’m going to go down with (that would be Harmony), but it’s definitely not a ship that I still hate the thought of. I may even be a bit of a Reylo shipper. Honestly, it’s probably one good fanfiction before I’m completely on board.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.