Warning! The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. Read at your own risk!
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker had its fair share of critics, though it's safe to say few were as sore about the movie as the Reylo people. The fandom, which is named after their love and support of a romantic relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren, found itself divided in its feelings following the movie, which finally saw Rey and Ben Solo share a kiss. Soon after that though, Ben died, and many felt Disney ruined the character's chance for true love and redemption.
I believe Reylo fans have a right to be upset, though I also maintain that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker made the right call in killing off Ben. Letting him survive after all that happened in the movie would've been a terrible mistake, and not one Disney should ever consider changing. When it comes to future Star Wars stories, Ben Solo is better off dead.
Wait, Ben Solo Could Come Back?
Indeed. While a majority of deaths (save one very big one) in Star Wars are final, there is a way for Ben Solo to return even though he looked about as dead as one can be. Exegol is a planet that exists in the World Between Worlds. In this zone, the Force is at its strongest, and the rules of how it works are weird and not entirely concrete.
All we know is that Anakin Skywalker once brought Ahsoka Tano back to life in one of these zones in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, so that's a thing that can happen. Take that and pair it with the fact that Ben's Force Ghost did not appear alongside Luke and Leia at the end of The Rise of Skywalker, and there's a legitimate and canon friendly theory that Ben Solo could be brought back to life. So yes, this is a thing that can actually happen, even if it shouldn't.
Ben Solo Received About As Much Redemption As He Could Realistically Get
Ben Solo may not have gotten the redemption some wanted, but he got redemption nontheless. He managed to reconcile his guilt for killing his father, headed to Exegol to help Rey, and played a key role in ensuring her survival in the final battle. If killing the Emperor was all it took for Darth Vader's redemption, then Ben Solo was redeemed.
Say Ben survived following the Emperor's destruction; do he and Rey live happily ever after? Absolutely not. Ben may be redeemed and loved in the eyes of Rey, but to a bulk of the galaxy far, far away, he's the Hitler-like figure responsible for most of the destruction caused by the First Order. Supporters of the Resistance would absolutely want Kylo Ren tried for his war crimes, regardless of whether or not he was the child of Han Solo and Leia Organa. Rey supporting him would not be a good look and would likely turn others against her as well.
Even if Rey turned her back on the Resistance to be with Ben, the two could not live a life of peace. Both would forever be an enemy to what remains of the First Order and Sith Loyal, which means a life of being on the run and looking over ones shoulder. That's not a life many people would wish on others, so I'm inclined to think a reformed Ben would abandon all hope of a real life with Rey post-The Rise of Skywalker.
We Really Have No Guarantee Rey And Ben Could've Had An Actual Relationship
There's no denying the sexual tension between Rey and Ben that began in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and continued in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. There's something there, yet in the end, Ben dies shortly after the two share their first kiss. This is part of the complaint some Reylo shippers have, as they were robbed of the relationship just as it seemed to get going.
That's assuming there was a real relationship to be had though. Sure, the two kissed and shared a moment of passion, but they also nearly killed each other a handful of times. Let's not forget Rey would've killed Ben earlier in the movie had she not been able to heal his wounds using the Force. Yes, she healed the physical scars, but being stabbed by someone you kiss later really has to mess with your emotions.
Let's be honest, Rey and Ben had a toxic relationship above any romance. Bringing Ben back would force the two to work through all of that, and I doubt all it took was Ben to talk to an imaginary manifestation of his father to be completely cleansed of some of his First Order ideals. There are just too many unknowns and a lot of rough patches between these two to assume everything would've worked out okay in the end, and Ben living, I'd hope, would've confirmed that.
Keeping Ben Alive Wouldn't Conclude The Skywalker Saga
Reylo love aside, would Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker be a conclusive end to the Skywalker Saga if a living descendant of the Skywalker family was around at the end of things? Leaving Ben Solo alive would've encouraged fans to ask for more adventures, which would in turn keep the Skywalker Saga ongoing.
Granted, this isn't the easiest argument to sell considering Rey named herself a Skywalker at the end of the movie, but the audience knows where she really comes from. Leaving Ben alive leaves that familial connection to the Skywalkers and make it very hard to, as Kylo Ren would say, "let the past die." Star Wars movies need to move on past the Skywalkers, and it'd be really hard to do that with the son of Leia and Han still out there in the world. For that reason alone, this is a bad idea.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is still out in theaters, just in case anyone wants to dissect that Ben Solo exit again. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on the movie and for the latest on what's happening in movies and television.
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