There is nothing “wrong” with Reylo. But if Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker doesn’t go that way, your reaction very well could be.
The Star Wars fan community — both online and off — is no stranger to negativity. You could probably say the same for any fandom of a major franchise.
Star Wars just spans so many generations and decades that it’s bound to spark differing opinions, disagreements and unnecessary levels of hate.
At this point, those of us who have put a lot of work into actively avoiding leaks and spoilers don’t know much about The Rise of Skywalker. We also have no way of knowing how fans are going to react to it, especially online.
This goes for every area of the Star Wars fandom. Not just the infamously toxic ones.
Yes — even some Reylos have the potential to turn toxic. I hope it doesn’t happen. But it could.
For anyone who isn’t on Star Wars Twitter or aware of “Reylo,” the short synopsis is that there is a specific subset of the Star Wars fandom who want Rey and Kylo Ren to be lovers. It’s a little more than that: They’re convinced their love is part of the overarching story that will complete the saga.
That’s a general overview and doesn’t even begin to describe what all this means. But it’s a start.
And for all we know, they could be spot-on with their theories.
Even though I personally don’t “ship” Kylo and Rey as lovers — of the Anidala variety, anyway — I understand why people do. I appreciate the analysis and predictions that go into the various theories surrounding Reylo. It’s fascinating, really. You all are wonderful.
I just have one question for Reylos.
If this doesn’t go the way you want — if the movie ends and Kylo and Rey don’t end up together or get their happily ever after, if there’s no on-screen kiss, if they remain friends or enemies but are never lovers — will you be OK?
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Will you still love Star Wars? Will you still appreciate it for what it is — a story, a fantasy, one that is about love but doesn’t necessarily have to include a traditional romantic storyline?
While I don’t have anything against Reylo as an idea, and most members of the Reylo community that I’ve interacted with have been wonderful and accepting and “positive,” I think we forget that toxicity can exist in any corner of the random. Even in this one.
My biggest concern about Reylo, and the people who “ship” Kylo and Rey, is the potential for their obsession to turn toxic if JJ Abrams doesn’t give them exactly what they want.
You might think, “Reylos are great! That could never happen!” But from what I’ve seen, Reylo as an idea has a range of extremes. And some fans take it as far as to say Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver are or should be together — just one example of fantasy bleeding a little too much into real life.
The same way those opposed to The Last Jedi started hate-campaigns against Rian Johnson and Kelly Marie Tran — and the list goes on — who’s to say the same thing won’t happen in this community? There are bad eggs in every basket, no matter how fun and lighthearted Reylo might seem on the surface.
The major thing that has always turned me off to this idea and to calling myself a member of the Reylo community — even if I’m a supporter, though not a believer — is there seem to be those who are so convinced they’re “right” that I get the feeling they’re going to have a hard time accepting it if they end up being wrong.
Reylo is still just a theory, mind you. There is nothing we have seen thus far in the Skywalker saga that “proves” Reylo is “definitely” happening.
If you didn’t write the script, if you’re not JJ Abrams, if you’re not involved in bringing this movie to the big screen in any way, the truth is, you don’t know how this story is going to end. You cannot be 100% certain.
You might think you are. You might even have all the evidence available that seemingly proves your hypothesis. And trust me, I am amazed at how many people have put in the time and effort to go on all these deep dives and explore literary theory and go so far into the lore that it’s more than enough to convince even those against the idea that it could really happen.
And it might! There’s no evidence that definitively proves it won’t, either.
So it also might not. And my only hope is that anyone who calls themself a Reylo accepts that.
Don’t go into this expecting to be right or to already have all the answers. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment before you even set foot in the theater.
You deserve to love and enjoy this movie regardless of how it ends no matter who you are or what you believe. I want that for every Star Wars fan.
And I will say the same thing to Reylos, to hardcore Original Trilogy fans, to anyone as psyched for this movie as all of us here at Dork Side of the Force are: Don’t write the whole story in your head and then complain when it’s not the story Abrams tells.
If it doesn’t go the way you thought it would, it’s because it’s not the story you wrote. It’s a story that has been made for you to enjoy.
So enjoy it.
Of course there are going to be parts that aren’t your favorite. There might even be things about the movie you don’t like. Star Wars is made for the fandom as a whole, for all audiences who are going to see the same movies and shows and read the same books and comics. Some of it isn’t going to appeal to you. That’s okay. That is how stories work.
We don’t need TLJ-level toxicity all over again. I think we can all agree on that. We don’t want it.
If Reylo doesn’t happen and that “ruins” the movie for you, I’m sorry. But don’t set out on a mission to “ruin” the Star Wars fandom for the rest of us.
We love Star Wars. But in the end, this is just a movie. If Kylo and Rey don’t end up together, life will go on. Let it go on.
And if it does happen? You can make “we were right” jokes. I’ll laugh at them. Good on you for keeping Star Wars fun. But this is not a competition. Don’t divide the fandom any further than it already seems to be divided just because you were right and others weren’t.
Most importantly: Don’t assume you know the whole story when you don’t. If you’re secretly a time-traveler and have been to the future and you’ve seen the movie, then I guess I can accept that. Please don’t tell me what happens though, I don’t want to know.
Otherwise, let’s all just wait and see how this plays out.
Who knows? The movie might even convince me Kylo and Rey really do belong together after all. I’m open to the possibility, at least.
Do you ship Reylo? Do you think it’s an essential piece of this puzzle? Do you ship just for fun, or do you need this to happen in order for you to enjoy the movie?