Two of the standout stars of the new Star Wars saga have sparked some of the most intriguing fan theories to date. The most fascinating of these theories centers around dark side warrior Kylo Ren and Jedi-in-training Rey becoming a romantic couple. If they did, they would join the ranks of the high profile love stories that anchored both the prequels and the original trilogy, and give the final chapter of the saga its greatest pairing. While both Rey and Kylo Ren come from vastly different origins, their connection over feelings of loss, abandonment, and betrayal cannot be denied. They have palpable on-screen chemistry, and the scenes involving just the two of them crackle with dramatic tension.
The notion that opposites attract has been explored in several Star Wars films, providing much needed passion and emotional depth. Both the pairings of the smuggler Han Solo and the willful Princess Leia, as well as the distinguished Senator Padme Amidala and the wildcard Jedi Anakin Skywalker, sought to showcase the risk involved in partnering with someone that altered the landscape of the film narrative. That risk provided meaning to the characters’ sacrifice, and highlights the core themes of the Star Wars films; your destiny is your own.
17 THEY HAVE A POWERFUL FORCE BOND
In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren and Rey are able to communicate with each other across the galaxy, indicating a Force bond unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. In Rey’s case, her attunement with the Force allows her to see Kylo Ren’s surroundings, and at one point while she is on Ahch-To, it’s implied she could very well reach out and touch him.
There have been several notable Force connections throughout the Star Wars films, all of them centered around the Skywalker family.
As twins, Luke and Leia had something akin to a Force bond, and Darth Vader had a Force connection with his son, but like bad cell reception, seemed to drop bars the further away from each other they were. The fact that Ren and Rey’s can transcend the physical realm indicates a bond that is more intimate than any a Sith or Jedi have experienced.
16 THEY HAVE A LOT OF CHEMISTRY
So far, every Star Wars episode has been influenced by a romantic subplot. Even Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featured two main protagonists falling in love. And while the pithy banter exchanged between Han Solo and Leia, or Padme and Anakin may pass for “chemistry”, it’s nothing compared to what Kylo Ren and Rey have together (even if Anakin was shirtless in a few scenes).
Take for instance on Takodana in The Force Awakens, where he uses the Force to make her swoon into his waiting arms, before carrying her bridal-style to his ship. Or during their intimate interrogation scene, when he wanted to get to find out Resistance intel. Or when he has his shirt off during one of their Force bonding moments in The Last Jedi, quite sure she’ll be able to see him. Their chemistry is palpable, intimate, and more intense than any other couple.
15 THEY BRING “BALANCE TO THE FORCE”
It was once prophesied in the Jedi Order that a Chosen One would bring “Balance to the Force”. At one time they believed that person to be Anakin Skywalker, a young boy from Tatooine created by the midichlorians themselves inside a slave woman. Anakin fell to the Dark Side, and so it was hoped that it was in fact his son, Luke Skywalker, that would bring about the balance. But was it?
Luke failed in the teaching of Ben Solo, his nephew and a quarter Skywalker, and so the galaxy saw the rise of potentially its greatest Dark Side warrior since Darth Vader.
The prophecy may in fact not be on the shoulders of one Jedi, but in the pairing of them with the greatest potential Sith. Ony through these two opposites can the fabled balance be achieved. Kylo Ren and Rey may hold the key to its enduring success.
14 THEY’RE THE ULTIMATE ‘POWER COUPLE’ IN THE GALAXY
Though their backgrounds couldn’t be more different, Rey and Kylo Ren have forged their own unique paths to potentially becoming one of Star Wars’ greatest power couples. Rey comes from humble beginnings as the daughter of junkers on Jakku, and Kylo Ren comes from Star Wars royalty, aka being the son of Resistance General Leia Organa as well as the infamous smuggler and Resistance leader Han Solo. Being brought up on different sides of the galaxy didn’t change how powerful they were in the Force.
Rey has become a symbol of the Resistance, an impressive pilot, and well on her way to becoming a mighty Jedi. Kylo Ren has become a symbol of the First Order, a maverick with a lightsaber, and could be a more powerful Sith than Darth Vader. Together, their influence would be unstoppable.
13 THEY VALUE DEEP CONVERSATION
In The Last Jedi, during intense moments of their Force bond, Kylo Ren and Rey have a number of conversations focused on deep topics, including loss, grief, their futures, and what it means to fight on opposite sides of a galactic war.
“You’re not alone” he tells her at one point, indicating compassion. “Neither are you” she responds, indicating empathy.
When they are in Snoke’s throne room, at the conclusion of a furious battle, he confronts her with an illuminating point, “The Empire, your parents, the Resistance, the Sith, the Jedi...let the past die.” He is interested in finding out who she is without the trappings of her surroundings and her allies, and surprisingly includes himself in this revelation. Together, they can be more for each other than for anyone else they have served or fought alongside.
12 THEY COMBINE A HERO AND A VILLAIN
While Han Solo may have never thought of himself as a hero, his pairing with Princess Leia wasn’t exactly shocking in Return of the Jedi because he’d proved himself loyal and valiant. While Star Wars Legends presented the marriage of Luke Skywalker to the Emperor’s Hand Mara Jade (who would have just as soon seen him dead once upon a time), she was never the monster her master was. And Padme recoiled from Anakin Skywalker the moment he turned to the Dark Side.
Kylo Ren is as villainous as they come in the Star Wars Universe. He ordered the destruction of entire villages of people on Jakku, Takodana, and murdered his own father. Rey being with him would be monumental, because she would be looking past his “destiny”, choosing him for who he is, not for who he has become, while simultaneously offering redemption.
11 THEY BOTH GO TO EXTREMES TO REACH THEIR GOALS
Determination and commitment are both words to describe Kylo Ren and Rey, who director Rian Johnson of The Last Jedi has been quoted as saying are “two sides of the same protagonist”. This makes a certain amount of sense when you figure that they share the same goals (to locate Luke Skywalker, to “show their true nature” to one another), and will do just about anything to attain them.
Kylo Ren will kill anyone in his path, and Rey will join anyone in her path.
Kylo Ren might kill his own father to spite his mentor Luke Skywalker, yet Rey will trust an ex-stormtrooper and a smuggler to try to protect him. If they both focused their energies for the same purpose, their goals wouldn’t matter.
10 THEY’RE BOTH EAGER TO GET OVER THEIR PASTS
One of the most striking similarities between Kylo Ren and Rey is their desire to forget their pasts and forge their own destinies. Kylo Ren decided his parents were holding him back from realizing his full potential as a Jedi, and that Snoke was holding him back from realizing his full potential as a Sith. Rey, while very much invested in her past and the mysterious origins of her parents, is held captive by it and prevented from turning her thoughts to her future pursuits.
In Snoke’s throne room, Kylo gives her a choice to leave her past behind and not let it define her. “Kill it if you have to” he declares, executing his mentor Snoke so that he can be free to make his own choices. She is intrigued by his offer, acknowledging the freedom of forging their own paths, with each other for support.
9 KYLO REN CAN HELP REY DISCOVER HER TRUE FORCE POTENTIAL
While some fans were busy complaining that Rey had too many Force abilities too fast in The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren was busy eyeballing the meaning behind her raw strength. Like Darth Vader did with Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren correctly deduced that if Rey could be turned to the Dark Side, she would be a powerful ally for him and the regime he served.
Luke finally agreed to teach her once she found him on Ach-To, but he was afraid of her gifts.
There was much he didn’t teach her, for fear that she would end up like his former pupil, Ben Solo. Kylo Ren, while occasionally a wild card with his own Force use, could help Rey realize her true potential by relating to her and coaching her in the ways that worked best for him.
8 THEY BOTH BOND OVER FEELING BROKEN
Kylo Ren and Rey both know that perfection is a myth, and that people are inherently flawed. Rey just happens to believe that people are ultimately good, while Kylo believes they are ultimately bad. Most people tend to fall somewhere in the middle, their actions derived from the experiences in their lives that make them who they are.
Both Kylo and Rey feel like their position in the galaxy is unsure, and that their parents do not ultimately care about what happens to them. They know they’ve also hurt people with their actions. They accept this and ultimately are able to see the strengths in each other’s characters where others see weaknesses. Rey may not know who her family is, but it frees her from the expectations of living up to a famous family name, for instance.
7 REY CAN HELP KYLO REN FIND REDEMPTION
Even after Darth Vader brought Luke Skywalker before the Emperor in Return of the Jedi in an attempt to persuade him to join the Dark Side, Luke stated “I feel the conflict within you”. Since the intimate torture scenes in which Kylo Ren attempted to glean Luke’s whereabouts from Rey, he offered her a window into his own inner workings. Rey sensed a conflict in the young Dark Side user.
Feeling betrayed by both his mentor and his family, Kylo Ren nevertheless cannot completely sever the link to them.
Even though he is now an agent of Supreme Leader Snoke’s in the First Order, he is emotionally pulled from his duties whenever the small part of him that values the light side is active. Rey never stops searching to exploit that side, and pull it further forward so he will see he doesn’t have to be a monster.
6 THEY’RE EMOTIONALLY HONEST WITH EACH OTHER
Luke and Vader had a tendency to probe each other’s minds, often detecting the secrets that dwelled in the innermost corners. It is often a tactic of the Sith to reach out and expose weakness in an opponent, and Vader’s grandson was no stranger to this practice, often preying on Rey’s greatest insecurities. He never anticipated she would counter his methods, and probe his mind in return, causing him to question the very foundation of Supreme Leader Snoke’s teachings.
From The Force Awakens to The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren and Rey become more emotionally honest with one another. They go from trying to expose each other’s insecurities to discussing each other’s strengths. Rey believes Kylo Ren would make a powerful ally of the light, while he feels that the Dark Side could give her access to even more power than she has ever experienced under Luke’s tutelage.
5 THEY’RE VERY PASSIONATE PEOPLE
Though Rey may have began her journey in The Force Awakens as an isolated, emotionless loner out in the desert wastelands of Jakku, her passion and verve blossomed when she encountered the young ex-stormtrooper Finn. His posing as a member of the Resistance sucked her into an altruistic battle that gave her life a purpose and a new mission: to find Luke Skywalker and learn the true nature of her innate Force powers.
From the very first moment we see Kylo Ren becoming frustrated with a subordinate, taking his lightsaber to a console bay, we know how impassioned he can become.
His barely contained rage, fueled by feelings of betrayal and remorse, feed the Sith doctrine of encouraging emotional release. If he became romantically involved with Rey, it would be a fiery love affair not seen in any Star Wars film.
4 THEY BOTH KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO FEEL ABANDONED
Experiencing feelings of loss and abandonment leave an indelible mark on a person’s psyche. Never knowing her parents and feeling abjured on a remote and hostile world rendered Rey almost incapable of forming close attachments to any other person. Feeling abandoned by both his parents to their causes, and his Jedi Master turning on him, scarred a young Ben Solo. It threw him into the waiting arms of Supreme Leader Snoke, where the merciless Kylo Ren could be reborn.
Though the reasons for their abandonment issues are vastly different, they both carry a great amount of resentment and anger towards their parents. For one reason or another, they felt neglected and cast aside, which means they can find great solace in one another life experiences.
3 THEY DON’T HAVE A GIANT AGE GAP
The great romance of the Star Wars prequels involved Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. When they first meet, Anakin is nine and Padme is 14 which, while not seeming like a large age gap, makes for some truly awkward moments when the seeds of romance are supposed to be sown. Later, when he is a mewling teenager, she is a respectable senator with little time for flirtations.
When Han Solo first encounters Princess Leia, she is barely into her 20s, and he is at least a decade older, if not more.
Kylo Ren and Rey meet when they are of an appropriate age, with appropriate chemistry, as young adults both discovering their self worth as they find their self reliance. This allows them to grow comfortably together, without any of the awkwardness of a large age gap.
2 THEY MEAN SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO EACH OTHER
Though Rey may have felt that Kylo Ren was a “monster”, by The Last Jedi she has begun to view him differently. Though she still refers to him as such in certain moments, she also claims to have seen a future where his villainy does not take precedent. It doesn’t have complete clarity, but it is a future that can be changed if he wills it. She begins to understand that their destinies will most likely be intertwined, depending on the choice he makes, and the conflict within him.
When Kylo Ren later mocks her for the fact that her parents were junk traders on Jakku, who most likely sold her for “drinking money”, he calls her “nothing”. “You’re nothing” he admits, “But not to me.” It is then that he admits she is as important to him as he is becoming to her and her destiny with the Force.
1 THEY UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER’S PERSPECTIVES
Through the begrudging tutelage of Luke Skywalker, Rey learned a great deal about Kylo Ren when he was known to his family as Ben Solo. A powerful Force user, she learned that from her mentor’s perspective, he was lustful for power and could become even more formidable than Darth Vader. Kylo Ren counters the story, informing her that he was betrayed by his mentor and almost killed for a destiny of evil that wasn’t certain.
Rey’s destiny on Jakku would have been sealed had she not been swept up with the Resistance, but it was allowed to evolve, especially under Luke’s guidance. Kylo Ren learned he needed to end Snoke’s control of him if he was to ever forge his own destiny. They both know the necessity of breaking free from the chains of their fate and make their own will a reality.