The Star Wars sequel trilogy is almost over—but it feels like it’s just getting started. That’s because, in a way, it is; Star Wars canon will go on, and these new characters will continue to exist in comics, cartoons, novels, games, and probably future films, too. “No one is ever really gone,” Luke Skywalker reminded us in The Last Jedi. And yet we can’t help but feel a little emotional that the epic Skywalker saga will soon come to a cinematic close—and a little nervous, considering how much is riding on the upcoming final chapter, The Rise of Skywalker. What will become of classic characters like Lando Calrissian and Leia Organa? And what’s going on between Leia’s son, Kylo Ren, and our mysterious heroine, Rey? The new trailer for the film implies that the Skywalker legacy will live on through one or both of these characters, and also heavily hints that their relationship is more than just some typical Force bond. Is this a love story, after all?
The Reylo fan community dates back to the first film of this new saga, The Force Awakens. Even though Rey’s lineage was shrouded in secrecy—leaving room for her and Kylo to possibly be relatives—their intense chemistry and clear Force connection hinted at something deeper, something like soulmates. Then came The Last Jedi, where their Force bond was made explicit, and the romance aspect became almost undeniable. Even director Rian Johnson said the scene where the two touch hands through their bond is “the closest thing we’ll get to a sex scene in a Star Wars movie.” Now that it’s pretty clear they aren’t related, where does that leave their fractured relationship in The Rise of Skywalker?
There are a few major clues in the trailer that imply the Rey and Kylo thing might come to fruition (in some shape or form) in the film. The biggest one is actually sensed through a line that Emperor Palpatine delivers:
“Long have I waited, and now your coming together is your undoing.”
He’s clearly referring to Rey and Kylo here, but what does he mean? Well, if you recall, Palpatine was there in the prequel trilogy for the fall of Anakin Skywalker. What was Anakin’s undoing? His love for his wife, Padme Amidala. Is Palpatine implying that after all this time, he’s about to once again witness a Skywalker man lose everything he’s built for the woman he loves? If that’s the case, this would be the inverse of Anakin and Padme’s love story. Instead of falling to the dark side, Kylo’s love for Rey could turn him back towards the light. (Kylo and Rey as an inverse of Anakin and Padme is a popular fan theory in the Reylo community, and is referred to as “Reverse Anidala.”)
Kylo’s possible return to grace is also telegraphed in the final moment of the trailer. We see Rey look at the camera with a smile, clutching the Skywalker legacy lightsaber. Who is she smiling at? The background could be a major clue. Notice that there’s blue smoke and a flash of lightning.
That matches up pretty perfectly with another shot from the trailer, of what looks like Kylo arriving in the giant room where Rey confronts Palpatine. Is he coming to rescue her? Are they about to work together? Either way, her smile and hopeful face—along wit that little nod—indicate that something is making her happy in that moment. And those matching backgrounds really imply that it’s Kylo. Will he become Ben Solo once again?
There’s a lot to unpack and we won’t know for sure until Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20.
Featured Image: Disney/Lucasfilm