Spoilers from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker came out one month ago and many, if not most, fans already seem to have moved on. You know who still cares? Still deeply cares about everything that happened? The Reylo fans and all others in the campaign to #BringBenSoloBack. The Force of justice is strong with these fans and they want more for Adam Driver's character than THAT ending. They're tweeting #BringBenSoloBack to the official Star Wars account and anyone else who will listen.
Everyone else seems to mostly feel numb about the end of Star Wars' Skywalker Saga. I don't want to speak for too many people here, but the declining box office tells its own story. Besides, we've picked apart as much as we can from what happened in Rise of Skywalker, discussed various cameos, and heard from The Powers That Be about Rey's heritage, the Snoke twist, that kiss, why Palpatine returned and yet not how Palpatine returned, etc.
But not Ben Solo's fans. The "Ben Solo Challenge" was a trend for a while, but wanting justice for Ben Solo/Kylo Ren after his death in Rise of Skywalker isn't a passing fad for his fans. The charge does seem to be led by so-called "Reylos," the fans who want Rey and Kylo together as a couple. John Boyega got into a fight with some Reylo fans, but overall they might be the fans with the deepest investments in these characters.
I don't really see how they'll get Ben Solo to come back -- and there are arguments for why he shouldn't come back -- but I would've said the same about Palpatine after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Logic can be Force-choked away at the wave of a hand. Not that Adam Driver would really return, since he seems to have shut the door on that front.
But I don't even know if Ben Solo's fans really do think they can get him to return or they just want to make their points -- like the million-plus people who petitioned to re-write the Game of Thrones ending. No one actually thought that would happen, they just wanted HBO to see how many people WISHED it would happen.
So fans are making their arguments, in some cases bringing in Ben's father Han Solo:
And in other cases hitting me in the feels with both Mom Leia and dad Han:
Quite a few fans brought up the idea of Rey and Ben deserving happiness together, but -- surprisingly or not -- many fans didn't add the romance element. Not everyone came at this from the Reylo perspective. It was about Ben's journey and potential future and also Han and Leia's sacrifice.
Some fans argued Ben Solo's lifetime of pain and death let his "abuser" Palpatine win:
Other fans are arguing there are natural next steps Star Wars could take for Rey and Ben's story:
Some Star Wars fans added #BenSoloDeservesBetter along with asking for his return, arguing "redemption shouldn't equal death":
The fans even set up January 12 as a special day to tweet at Star Wars as a group. They didn't stop after that, though, since a week later they are still tweeting -- and replying to a new official Star Wars promo:
Putting Ben Solo in promos backfired on Star Wars shortly after the movie opened when a teaser basically poured salt in the wound of his death. Some fans still feel that way about the new promo calling Rise of Skywalker "the final word":
As of now, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is indeed the final word for the Skywalker Saga. Granted, there are still spinoffs, like the Obi-Wan Kenobi prequel series that was not cancelled after all. But I don't see how they can bring Ben Solo back from here. And how? Mention him in some future movie or Disney+ series set after Rise of Skywalker? I don't think Adam Driver would return himself.
But at least these fans still care. Just like the angry fans after Star Wars: The Last Jedi cared. And the fans upset after The Phantom Menace cared. And the fans who never liked the Ewoks cared! It all shows that, however you feel now, the Star Wars saga did one thing very right -- it created a galaxy that still inspires incredible passion after 40 years.
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.
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