Well, I went to go see The Last Jedi (TLJ) for the fourth time today (which was not a good decision seeing as I was on my period and cried at four separate scenes). But, I am finally ready to discuss all my Rey and Kylo thoughts. They will probably be incomplete since I would feel like a twerp if I brought my laptop to the theater to clickety-clackety type notes on. So, here’s a summary of my thoughts. Enjoy!
*Some notes before I start: I refer to Ben Solo/Kylo Ren as Kylo because I think it’s a cooler name than Ben. Once Benlo ditches the First Order, he should still go by Kylo because it’s SO MUCH BETTER than Ben.
Kylo and Snoke in the throne room
This scene breaks my heart. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times: Kylo desperately needs a hug (and a therapist, but particularly a hug in this scene). This is where we get a taste of the abuse that Kylo has suffered for a very long time. I read a thing about why Kylo wears a cape – to protect himself from Snoke’s Force-zapping. And that breaks my heart. When we see Kylo Force-zapped, he takes it with such nonchalance that you can tell that it’s not the first time, or even the tenth time that this has happened. We also see the mental manipulation that Snoke utilizes to keep Kylo under his thumb.
One of the things that I got from Tumblr as well is that when Snoke says “hope still lives in the galaxy” (may be paraphrased) in reference to Luke, Kylo pops up into the frame. Coincidence?
Right after this, we see Kylo destroy his helmet. Again, I think this reinforces the control that Snoke has over Kylo. Snoke can manipulate Kylo with a few words to get him feeling like he’s worthless. And it makes me sad. I think it also represents Kylo almost “shedding” a role that he was meant to play.
Kylo in his ship
Can we just appreciate the fact that Adam Driver definitely wanted to say “fuck” but remembered that it was a Disney movie and you can’t exactly do that?
Here we have an example of how Kylo is still really conflicted before all the ForceTime stuff goes down. He very obviously chooses to not shoot the bridge. However, I’m still confused on who blew up the other ships with him. Is it Kylo? I feel like there were no one else around who could have taken them out, so it seems like it was Kylo.
I love this part in the movie because this is when I start screaming it’s happening! It’s happening, people! Here Rey immediately goes for her blaster when she sees Kylo, which is a very (impulsive) Rey thing to do. And then there’s the slide. If you have not noticed, Kylo does a slide, as one might do in socks on their kitchen floor, when he goes to look for Rey. I’m very here for it. Additionally, I love how Kylo is like what???? ForceTime, huh? But why?? And Rey’s just like you’re a monster and I hate you! Whatta start to their ForceTime escapades.
I think this is an important turning point in Kylo and Rey’s relationship. TBH I could say that about any time they interact, but shhhhhh. This is where the iconic “you’re a monster,” “yes I am” exchange happens. After Kylo says that he is a monster, Rey’s expression shows how she’s a bit shocked that he would admit that, but it is after this that Rey can be like “okay, we’ve established he’s a monster. Let’s move past name-calling and ask some different questions.”
Also, I have to mention the water. That was so sexual. Someone (probably Rian Johnson, bless him) even confirmed that it was sexual.
Rey reaches for the Force
I just want to appreciate Luke bringing a leaf to Rey’s first lesson, so he obviously thinks she’s going to pull some stupid thing like reaching literally. And can we imagine how cute it would’ve been if there had been a sudden ForceTime at that moment? And Kylo watched Rey be an adorable idiot? MY HEART.
If this was a Friends episode, it would be called “The One With The Pants and the Bonding,” because OH MY GOD. First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room that is Kylo’s space titties.
We get it. Adam Driver is hot. BUT, I think having Kylo shirtless has a bit more meaning other than DAMN and making you want to invest in some high-waisted leather pants (which is very Ross Gellar, I must say). Other than giving Rey a good shake-up, we see Kylo when he is more vulnerable. Kylo isn’t expecting anyone to come prancing into his room(? I’m not sure where he is) and see him half-naked. And yet, here’s Rey. Additionally, the vulnerability that Kylo expresses when he tells Rey about what happened when Luke attacked him is really deep and powerful. We get to see Kylo in a new light, just like Rey begins to see him in a new light.
Rey goes down a scary hole.
I must admit, I was a little freaked out when I saw her go down the hole (and I’m not talking the Reylo hole that I fell down shortly after seeing TLJ for the first time). The whole mirror thing was kind of freaky, and I SWEAR she sees a reflection of Kylo right after her “parents” merge into one person. And her voiceover was really interesting. Star Wars doesn’t really have voiceovers…
…and that’s because it WASN’T A VOICEOVER. SHE WAS TALKING TO KYLO. This is where I start screaming because I’m so happy. “You’re not alone.” “Neither are you.” is the new “I love you.” “I know.” The whole hand-touching is such a nice connection-moment for both Kylo and Rey. Both of them seem pretty starved for human contact, and here they are, contacting each other from across the galaxy! Gah!
Rey attacking Luke in defense of Kylo
No one has defended Kylo in how long? A long time. And here we have Rey standing up for her boy. She finally understands that it was Luke who pushed Kylo over the edge to the dark side. What else was Kylo supposed to do besides defend himself when his uncle comes to murder him? My poor lil baby.
Rey ships herself to Kylo
This part cracks me up every time. Rey got a freaking makeover to go see her boy. She fixed her hair, got a new (and noticeably darker) outfit, and put on an extra coat of mascara. Oh my god.
Rey and Kylo practically make out in an elevator
Alright, Kylo was definitely 100% looking at Rey’s lips, which is movie-code for “I wanna kiss you.” And Kylo looks so serious and like he’s trying to mask all his emotions, and then Rey says “Ben?” and the mask just crumbles.
Additionally, there is so much yin-yang symbolism in the elevator. At one point, Rey is framed by a mostly white with some black sections part of the elevator, while Kylo is framed by a mostly black with some white sections part of the elevator. This exactly who they are- a mixture of the light side and dark side.
Kylo makes faces when Snoke talks
I don’t know how Adam Driver can convey so much with a single expression, but you can see all the hurt, pain and resolve of Kylo in this scene purely based on facial expressions.
Kylo kills Snoke
This is when my screaming reaches a crescendo. The set-up for this whole thing is so cool. The entire time Snoke is narrating his own death, I’m just going “Is it going to happen? Is it actually going to happen?” And then it happens. And Snoke is dead. And Kylo chose Rey over Snoke.
Rey and Kylo fighting the guards (aka the best movie scene to ever grace the screen)
This is my favorite part of the movie. I love the turning their backs to each other to fight. They trust each other so much! And then Rey grabs Kylo’s thigh. And I die.
The best moment comes at the very end when Rey throws her lightsaber to Kylo, and Kylo ignites it in the guard’s face, all while maintaining intense eye contact with Rey. Wow.
“You’re nothing. But not to me.” is the new “You’re not alone.” “Neither are you.” Confirmed. This whole scene breaks me heart. First of all, we have Rey running over and yelling about saving the Resistance ships (which is very important), but we have to understand that Kylo just killed his long-term abuser. It makes sense that he’s shocked and doesn’t really care about the Resistance. He also chose Rey, not the Resistance.
But goddamn. This sends me back to Revenge of the Sith with Anakin and Padme. There’s definitely a part of me that’s like “REY! TAKE HIS HAND! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO BE TOGETHER!” But I also understand that at this point, Kylo still needs to figure himself out, and Rey can’t accept. Here is where my screaming turns into tears of sadness because I just want them to work it out!!! Ahhhh!!!!!
One last point: the lightsaber broke in half. I think this echoes The Force Awakens when Kylo tries to call the lightsaber, but it goes to Rey. Here, they are both part-light and part-dark, so the lightsaber can’t choose one or the other. (This sounds like Harry Potter. The lightsaber choses the Force user, Harry.)
Hux low-key preparing to murder Kylo
Hux is 110% going to try to kill Kylo in Episode 9. You can tell he was going to do it, but Kylo (thankfully) woke up. I’m so stressed because I don’t think Kylo gets any sleep because everyone wants to kill him. My poor lil baby.
I think this is another instance where Kylo is forced to do something he doesn’t really want to do, which is take over as Supreme Leader.
This doesn’t totally fit under here, but I love Hux repeating everything that Kylo says, and then Kylo being like WTF bro.
The whole Luke thing
I really want to get Kylo a therapist. I’m just saying that boy has some severe anger management issues. Kylo is feeling extremely hurt because Rey ran away (although she did not kill him! Even though he was vulnerable and she definitely could have!), and he does not know what to do with that. He takes a lot of his anger out on Luke, although I think there’s quite a bit of anger towards Luke as well mixed in. I mean, Luke did try to kill him.
One thing that I want to point out in this scene is how Luke calls him kid. The most famous person who called Luke kid was always Han, and it was always in a loving, brotherly sort of way. So, I think Luke does believe that Kylo can be saved (he also said that no one is ever really gone, as in Kylo can be saved).
Here is where I turn into a sobbing, weeping mess because GOODNESS GRACIOUS. Here we have Kylo realizing that Snoke did not bridge their minds, so he just manipulated Kylo (big surprise) and now Kylo knows he fucked up. He fucked up bad. Rey knows that he fucked up bad, and she looks decently upset that she’s leaving him behind.
I think it’s interesting that the last shot we see of Kylo is kneeling, grasping at the dice from the Millennium Falcon, realizing that everything he wants (family, acceptance, etc.) slipped further from his grasp. He has everything (i.e. a freaking galaxy), but at the same time he has nothing.
Hopes for Episode 9
So, for the last Star Wars movie in this trilogy, I want Kylo to be redeemed. And I want him to be alive. None of this Darth Vader stuff where he is redeemed and dies two minutes later. I want happy Kylo, because these Skywalkers have had enough sadness since Episode 1. Kylo needs to redeem himself, though. He can do it for Rey, but Rey can’t do it for him. I also want Kylo and Rey to get together to get rid of the whole Jedi/Sith stuff, and just have the Force.
Wow. This was a lot. If you made it this far, I’m very impressed. I’m sure there’s a lot of stuff that I forgot, but that’s all I’m going to talk about at the moment. Let me know what your Rey and Kylo in The Last Jedi thoughts are down below in the comments or over on Twitter!