SPOILERS from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.
There was a point in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when I thought "At least the Reylo fans are getting what they want." But that moment did NOT last. And now many of those Reylo fans are heartbroken and furious.
Reylo fans or "shippers" wanted Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to be together, building on the tense connection forged in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and shirtless connection of The Last Jedi. Since Rey's true parents were meant to be revealed in Rise of Skywalker, there was always the potential that she could've been directly related to Kylo Ren/Ben Solo as another biological Skywalker, and the whole Reylo thing would've had a Lannister edge to it. Instead, we found out Rey is Palpatine's granddaughter (and J.J. Abrams explained why he made that choice).
Rey and Kylo fought several times in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but Kylo also tried to get Rey to join him again. She said she had wanted to take his hand when he put it out the last time. Ultimately, the connection between them was explained as a Force dyad. Their powers helped to take down the Emperor, aka Grandpa Paps. Rey's big I Am Iron Man (ok not that, but sorta) speech ended in her death, but Kylo was able to revive her. They shared a kiss. It was a big moment for Reylo fans.
And then ... he died. Saving her life ended his own. A lot of Kylo fans are not willing to accept that.
Reylo fans aren't happy, although some did consider Rey and Kylo's kiss as acknowledging their love for each other. To have something be official in Star Wars canon as opposed to just fanfiction is a big deal. But it wasn't enough.
To others, it wasn't even a half-win, it was a total cop-out.
Reylo fans, and all groups considered "shippers," are rarely taken seriously by the rest of the fandom, even though everyone watching is getting deeply invested in a fictional story. But the Reylo fans aren't just upset at Ben's death or the fact that Rey and Ben didn't get a happy ending together. They wanted more for the characters as human beings:
So even though it looked like Reylo fans got what they wanted, the victories were hollow:
It was only a matter of time before someone gave Rey and Kylo the Titanic treatment, and it took [checks calendar] two days?
Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver is also in the new Netflix movie Marriage Story -- (he'll host Saturday Night Live next month, talking about both films) -- so many Reylo fans used his emotional scenes from that movie and others as memes to describe pain over Kylo/Ben's death.
At the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Reylo fans got another little nod when Rey chose to take the name Skywalker, in honor of Luke, Leia, and Ben. It felt like Rey choosing to be part of Ben's family, but ... without Ben. (Like Rose calling herself Rose Dawson, sorry I had to.)
J.J. Abrams is already responding to criticism for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It was clear he and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson weren't on the same page on several topics. While a lot of fans did seem to love Rise of Skywalker, certainly more than critics, there's still grumbling about various story choices from sidelined characters to WTF moments.
What did you think of the ending to Rey and Kylo's stories? What would you have preferred happen?
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Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.