Kylo Ren and Rey didn't come face to face until halfway through Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but in that remaining time, they developed quite the adversarial relationship. Following their climactic duel on the slowly-collapsing Starkiller Base, it's almost guaranteed that these two will meet again in Star Wars: Episode VIII, with both being more powerful. In the meantime, a new special feature from The Force Awakens has us asking a specific question: how much did Kylo Ren know about Rey before finally meeting her?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens' 3D Collector's Edition is about to hit shelves in the United States, and it will include an audio commentary from director J.J. Abrams. During the scene when Kylo Ren is outside Maz Kanata's palace (around an hour and 13 minutes in), Abrams touched on how the Knight of Ren was already interested in the former resident of Jakku before then. In his words:
One of the new relationships that we were focusing on was between Kylo Ren and Rey. They've never met but he's heard of this girl. And so, now comes a moment when their meeting is inevitable. [...] And now we're back to our heroine. And this moment where she is about to, for the first time, be confronted by Kylo Ren, a character who she's going to have a very interesting relationship with moving forward.
The first time there was a connection formed between Kylo Ren and Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is after she, Finn and BB-8 escape Jakku aboard the Millennium Falcon. A First Order officer broke the bad news that the droid they were searching for is gone, leading to Kylo's infamous temper tantrum. However, when the officer also mentioned a girl was with them, Kylo pulled the unfortunate man towards him with the Force and asked, "What, girl?" It almost seemed like there was a tone of familiarity in his voice. When they later did meet, he did all he could to get inside her head, from trying to pry through her mind with the Force or sway her to the dark side during their lightsaber duel.
So what's the deal here? Was Kylo Ren merely interested in Rey because of what his officers told him ahead of time and because he eventually learned she could tap into the Force? Or is it possible he knew about Rey before the main events of this movie? There are still many unanswered secrets about Rey's past, but many fans have speculated that she had previous ties to Luke Skywalker before she found the Jedi Master on Ahch-To, such as being his daughter. If that's the case, maybe Kylo learned about her when he was still training under Luke as Ben Solo. As another possibility, maybe he glimpsed Rey in a Force vision, and knew right away this was someone important. It will be interesting to see whether or not Star Wars: Episode VIII elaborates on if Kylo had any prior knowledge of Rey, but regardless, their fates are now intertwined.
We'll see the next chapter of Kylo Ren and Rey's conflict with one another unfold when Star Wars: Episode VIII is released on December 15, 2017. You can also preorder Star Wars: The Force Awakens' 3D Collector's Edition now before its November 15 release date.