STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Director Rian Johnson Always Viewed Rey And Kylo Ren's Relationship As A Romantic One

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Director Rian Johnson Always Viewed Rey And Kylo Ren's Relationship As A Romantic One

Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson has revealed that his plan for the movie was indeed to depict the relationship between Kylo Ren and Rey as romantic. Find out more here...

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a divisive movie, but it did a great job exploring the bond between Kylo Ren and Rey. While they should have been enemies, the connection they formed made for fascinating viewing, and hinted that the Light and Dark Sides of the Force could actually work together. 

The Rise of Skywalker built on that, revealing that the two were a "Dyad" in the Force (a poorly explained concept which might have worked had it been explored in greater depth). 

Regardless, by the time all was said and done, it was clear there was actual love between Rey "Skywalker" and Ben Solo. Their bond was sealed with a kiss before the latter died, and The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson has now confirmed that he always viewed their dynamic in a romantic light.

There's really no reason why fans should have an issue with this, as a tragic love story being at the heart of the sequel trilogy feels very Star Wars-esque. It's just a shame Lucasfilm didn't plan things out in advance, as the movies now have a disjointed, somewhat messy feel to them. 

We don't have the exact quotes yet, but here's what USA Today's Sariah Wilson had to say about her interview with the filmmaker (which we're assuming will be shared online in the coming weeks).
 


Click on the "Next" button below to see what did and
didn't work in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!

Didn't Work: Luke Skywalker's Final Message

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As expected, Luke returns in The Rise of Skywalker as a Force Ghost and while he's a lot more optimistic these days (it's certainly somewhat satisfying to see him admit to being wrong in reference to The Last Jedi), his return doesn't feel anywhere near as important or inspirational as it should. 

Yes, it's cool to see him lift that X-Wing out of the ocean and it's great that he's finally serving as a mentor to Rey, but his scant few minutes of screentime don't leave a lasting impact and it's hard to imagine that those who have been upset with his portrayal in this trilogy thus far will feel any better after watching him in The Rise of Skywalker
 

Did Work: A Fitting Send Off For Carrie Fisher

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Working with only a handful of deleted scenes from The Force Awakens, Abrams successfully manages to give Carrie Fisher's General Leia the goodbye she deserved as the former Princess is able to offer some key advice to Rey while she trains her to become a Jedi.

The character's death is a tad underwhelming, but it works nicely in the context of the story and an effective flashback sequence and final appearance as a Force Ghost in the closing few minutes ensures that you'll walk away satisfied with how Leia is handled here. 
 

Didn't Work: The Supporting Cast

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Are you excited to see the likes of Jannah, Zorri Bliss, and Beaumont Kin in action? Well, don't be, because they're total non-factors in The Rise of Skywalker, and both forgettable and paper thin (the same could be said about D-O and the Sith Troopers, who exist only to sell toys).

Jannah is an ex-Stormtrooper but that's pretty much all we ever get to know about her, while Bliss has a storied past with Poe Dameron that's mentioned in passing and quickly forgotten. Both characters also disappear for huge chunks of the movie and return only when it's convenient for the plot, something which proves to be in equal parts ridiculous and baffling in the case of Bliss. 
 

Did Work: Goodbye Kylo Ren, Hello Ben Solo

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After sensing the death of his mother, Kylo Ren hesitates and is struck down by Rey. She uses the Force to heal him, and it seems that a combination of Leia reaching out to him one final time and the fact that his mind has been cleansed of all that hate is what finally helps him return to the Light. 

What really pushes him away from the Dark Side, though, is a conversation with his father, Han Solo. It's a beautiful moment and a poignant return for Harrison Ford which serves as perhaps one of the best scenes in the entire film, as Ben goes to tell his father that he loves him but is interrupted with the smuggler's trademark "I know."
 

Didn't Work: The Emperor's Dumb Plan

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Visually, Emperor Palpatine looks really cool, and while we never find out how he survived that fall in the Death Star, it appears as if his body - whether it's real or cloned - is rotting away (it's almost as if he's inhabiting his own corpse with the use of the Force). Alas, what he has planned for Rey is not good and lets down The Rise of Skywalker in a major way. 

You see, the Sith live within him so he wants Rey to strike him down so he can become her and rule the Galaxy once again. it all sounds a bit silly, and why he would be so willing to die is hard to say when he's already successfully created The Final Order. His desire to restore the Empire to its former glory makes sense, though, even if it makes him just another one-dimensional baddie.
 

Didn't Work: Rey's Old (And New) Name

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As the movie unfolds, it's revealed that Rey is actually Rey Palpatine, the grandaughter of The Emperor. It's a cool revelation in some ways but also one that feels contrived and not entirely necessary. You see, Rey's parents were nobodies (her father was Palpatine's son) and they sold her because they thought she would be safer that way as they knew the villain wanted her. 

It never really sticks the landing, but even worse than that is the movie's final scene. After burying Luke and Leia's lightsabers at the Lars Homestead, an old woman - who clearly doesn't have much in the way of acting experience - asks Rey what her name is and she responds, "Rey Skywalker." It may keep the family name alive, but it's also a cringe worthy and very silly moment.
 

Did Work: A Thrilling Lightsaber Battle 

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Say what you will about The Rise of Skywalker (and, as you can see, there are a lot of negatives), but the action never disappoints and whether it's thrilling aerial battles of fights on the ground, you'll definitely find yourselves getting invested in these sequences. 

A highlight, though, has to be Rey's duel with Kylo Ren on top of the Death Star's remains as the ocean rages around them. It's a tense and exciting fight which isn't quite as flashy as what we saw in the prequels, but similar enough to make fans happy.
 

Didn't Work: General Hux's Betrayal

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One of the movie's biggest issues is how many baffling creative decisions are made just for the sake of convenience. Take, for example, the reveal that General Hux is the First Order spy who has been leaking information to the Resistance. This comes out of nowhere, is poorly explained (he just wants Kylo Ren to lose!), and has no impact on the movie whatsoever.

He's revealed as a traitor and is gunned down in short order, but his actions only helped our heroes escape, something they probably could have done without his assistance based on past experience!
 

Did Work: Leia's Jedi Training

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We mentioned a cool flashback a little earlier in this post and what we were referring to was seeing a young Luke training Leia once upon a time (it turns out that she gave up her lightsaber because she had a vision of her son's death...something which happens anyway when all is said and done). 

It's something fans have been anxious to see for a while, and her lightsaber is bound to be a must-have for many when replicas finally start hitting stores. It's just a shame that we never got some similar flashbacks to shed a little more light on The Emperor's return to the land of the living. 
 

Didn't Work: Character "Deaths"

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There's one character death that works really well and that's Ben Solo. The way he sacrifices himself to save Rey is both touching and heartbreaking, and the kiss they share shows us what could have been between them had things worked out a little differently. Palpatine's lightning reflecting back on him and turning him to dust is also a nice touch, and a fitting demise for the villain. 

What doesn't work are the endless fake outs. Thought Chewbacca died when Rey inadvertently unleashed Force lightning? Nope, he was just on another ship. Did you tear up when Threepio sacrificed his memory for the mission? It's okay, R2-D2 had a handy backup! Oh, and what a shame Zorri Bliss died at the hands of The Finale Order, eh? Nah, she survived with zero explanation! 
 

Didn't Work: Forgetting The Last Jedi

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There's no denying that Rian Johnson made some big mistakes in The Last Jedi, but much of what he did - both good and bad - set the stage for a far more exciting finale than this one. His movie is referenced in many ways but also forgotten in a lot of others, and while many fans will be happy with that, it makes The Rise of Skywalker feel like a sequel only to The Force Awakens

Kelly Marie Tran's Rose may not have been well received by a certain sect of fans, but her character becomes little more than a background player here and any romance with Finn is quickly forgotten. Instead, he's back to pining over Rey and, no, there's never any resolution to that either! 
 

Didn't Work: The Knights Of Ren

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There are MacGuffins galore in The Rise of Skywalker, but rather than devoting so much time to meaningless objects (but, hey, they sell them in Galaxy's Edge now, remember!), it would have benefited the movie to make The Knights of Ren more than mere background players. 

What did Ben Solo do to become known as Kylo Ren? Who are these mysterious warriors and why did they so easily turn on their leader? These are questions currently being addressed in a tie-in comic book series when they should have been answered on the big screen, and these bad guys fail to make any sort of impact on the film and aren't even cool to watch in action. 

Have you guys seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker yet? Do you agree or disagree with this look at the things that did and didn't work in the movie? Let us know your thoughts below!
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