Rey and Ben in The Last Jedi

It's almost hard to believe, but the Star Wars franchise as we know it has come to an end. The nine-film Skywalker Saga reached its conclusion with J.J. Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker, which told a massive story that acknowledged the property's decades of filmmaking. But considering how much Abrams had to stuff into the movie's 143-minute runtime, there were plenty of moments that ended up on the cutting room floor. Luckily, the upcoming novelization of The Rise of Skywalker is helping to further expand the story, and answer some lingering fan questions. Said book revealed Rey and Kylo Ren's final words to each other, and they're enough to get the fandom sniffling and reaching for their tissues.

Rey and Kylo Ren's relationship was one of the most fascinating throughlines of the sequel trilogy. The two started as enemies in The Force Awakens, but were bonded through The Force in The Last Jedi. It all came to a head in The Rise of Skywalker, and the two shared a brief kiss before Ben Solo's death. And it turns out that they were able to share their last words through The Force, as the book reads:

A voice came to her through the Force, clear and strong. I will always be with you, Ben said. She smiled. Let the truth of it wash over her. 'No one's ever really gone,' she whispered.

I'm not crying, you're crying. This line of dialogue might not have actually made it into the theatrical cut of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but it's still a serious gut punch on the page. And it should also excite all those Reylo shippers out there.

This excerpt from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's novel (via Comic Book) helps to give even more meaning behind Ben Solo's tragic death in Episode IX. Adam Driver's character and his possible redemption has been a central theme to the sequel trilogy, a mission that Han Solo, Leia, and Rey all strove for. It also helps highlight how deep Ben and Rey's connection truly was.

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"No one's ever really gone" has become a credo of the Star Wars franchise, especially in the wake of Carrie Fisher's unexpected death. This line was uttered by Luke to his sister Leia in the third act of The Last Jedi, before he sacrificed himself to ensure The Resistance's survival. Given the timeline of Fisher's real-life passing, the scene also carries an extra emotional weight for the fans. Hearing it echoed for Rey and Ben is a tear-inducing moment for that reason, in addition to the characters' story onscreen.

This famous line of dialogue is a touching comment on death, and how those we've lost live on with us. The Star Wars franchise might be over the top colorful romp in the theaters, but once in an while the galaxy far, far away has the ability to say something profound. I'm interested to see if "no one's ever really gone" continues to pop up in future installments in the property, either on Disney+'s series or the big screen.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released on Digital HD on March 17 and DVD/ Blu-ray on March 31. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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