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Daisy Ridley Talked Reylo But Didn’t Give Much Away

There's...hope?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens sees Daisy Ridley's Rey locked in combat with Adam Driver's Kylo Ren

Daisy Ridley knows you have theories about her Star Wars character Rey and Kylo Ren. She knows those theories can be pretty romantical and she’s totally okay with that. According to Entertainment Weekly, Ridley was recently asked about the complicated relationship between heroic Rey and pissy Dark Side edge lord Kylo Ren.

It does not bother me, people writing theories. It’s really fun hearing them. Plus, because I know what’s sort of going to happen, I think it’ll be really interesting to see people’s reaction to [the final film]. Obviously, there’s this whole Reylo thing and some people are very passionate about it, some aren’t.

That’s an understatement, Daisy. I can’t think of a ship in recent memory that gets people more upset (pr more excited) than Reylo. We’ve talked in the past how what you ship doesn’t make you a bad person, so we’re not here to judge. Rey and Kylo do have a pretty screwed up dynamic, which some folks love and some folks consider abusive. I think we can all agree that it’s complex and there’s no denying that there is something there.

The prevailing theory, as far as I can tell from afar, is that the Reylo relationship will be a sort of inverse of the Padme-Anakin dynamic; whereas Anakin’s love for Padme in part drove him to the Dark Side – or at least his deisre to save her – Kylo will feel some sort of love for Rey that will bring him back to the light.

This … has problems, sure, but it’s a pretty typical trope so I can totally see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker going there. It’s in part because it’s such a predictable arc that I’d prefer they did something different, but if it happens, fine. Obviously the idea that some kind of love for Rey might lead to Ben Solo’s redemption (what I believe is called the Bendemption theory) causes a lot of controversy, as does the very idea of Rey reciprocating any such affections mainly because Kylo Ren is a really bad person … but so was Anakin Skywalker. It sounds like J.J. Abrams is well aware of all of these factors. According to Ridley:

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 quote are getting a lot of Reylo fans excited, and I don’t blame them but I’d also urge some caution. No one could argue in good faith that Rey and Kylo don’t have a connection and relationship of some kind. They’re the main hero and villain of this new saga, of course their relationship (and the awkward sexual tension of it all) will continue to be central to the story, it’s only a question of if it will be revealed as explicitly romantic.

And if that happens, prepare yourself for a long, angry winter of debate about Reylo and whether it’s appropriate to redeem Kylo Ren. My take: it all depends on how it’s done. After all, Star Wars the franchise is built on the fall and redemption of many a hero – especially Darth Vader.  Marrying the redemption narrative to a new kind of love story kind of seems inevitable, but, again, inevitable and predictable are close neighbors.

We’ll hopefully get more hints when the next trailer drops on Monday, until then…may the force be with you.

(image: Disney/LucasFilm, via EW)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.