Vanity Fair came through on Wednesday, May 22 with their June cover story, which features art for the upcoming Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker. The article was loaded with photos of new characters and locations, but it also gave us updates on returning players, namely Rey and Kylo. Yes, the Vanity Fair article is a goldmine for Reylos, and we’re here to break down all of the new information we learned, and speculate a little more about what it means.
Rey and Kylo have a “deeper” connection in this film than ever before
In the Vanity Fair article, writer Lev Grossman notes that a source told him the connection between Rey and Kylo is “deeper than we thought. They’re uniquely suited to understand each other, but at the same time they are in every way each other’s inverse.” Whereas Kylo grew up with a loving family, but under the burden of immense expectation, Rey grew up an orphan on the desert planet of Jakku. Both realities were isolating experiences, which is part of the draw the two feel towards one another. Both powerful Force users, with no one to talk to about what’s going on inside.
In The Last Jedi, we saw their connection manifest quite literally. The two were able to communicate in their minds, projecting themselves across the galaxy to the point that they could physically touch. Snoke took credit for this connection, but was he telling the truth? It’s possible he opened the pathway a little wider, but it was hinted at even before that. In The Force Awakens, Kylo seems acutely aware of a “girl” Force user before he even meets Rey, and likewise we see that she dreams of Force-related topics. Were these two always calling out to one another?
They have an epic, rain-drenched lightsaber battle in the film
Anyone else think Rey and Kylo are fighting together here? Looks like they’re near the Death Star remains.
Rey & Kylo vs Palpatine’s spirit? #TheRiseofSkywalker pic.twitter.com/aU7VMmKoGA
— Star Wars Stuff (@starwarstuff) May 22, 2019
In a stunning new photo from Annie Leibowitz, we see Rey and Kylo in what looks like the drowned remnants of the second Death Star—seen briefly in the film’s first teaser trailer—with rain or crashing waves enveloping them. At first glance, it looks like the two are dueling. But given their positioning, and the fact that neither is looking at the other, it’s also possible this is a team-up. We’ve been speculating since that teaser that the two are in cahoots in this film (that TIE silencer flip Rey performs looks more like a training exercise than a duel) and if this is indeed the Death Star, it’s possible this is for the film’s climax, which would run parallel with Return of the Jedi.
It also recalls Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount, something Joseph Campbell has worked into his own philosophies on myth. (Campbell’s teachings were a major influence on Star Wars.)
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven, for he makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”
Regardless of whether or not this is a fight, it’s still reflective of just how powerful and elemental their bond is. In The Force Awakens, Rey and Kylo fought with their lightsabers in the snow, in The Last Jedi they teamed up for a battle among fire, and now here they are—sabers ignited—in the rain.
The article describes them as “star-crossed” lovers
The Vanity Fair piece refers to Rey and Kylo’s relationship as “the closest thing the new trilogy has to a star-crossed love story on the order of Han and Leia.” This might be editorializing by Grossman, but it’s not the first time the pair has been described as such. As Vanity Fair‘s Joanna Robinson noted in a separate post, director J.J. Abrams previously referred to the new saga as a “fairy tale” with Kylo as the “prince.” Would Rey be the princess in this equation?
There’s actually a pretty clever hidden meaning behind our matching Kylo and Rey covers and I’ll be so curious to know if any of you figure it out before #TheRiseOfSkywalker opens. #StarWars https://t.co/qlbKamph4b pic.twitter.com/SBmvAK4DuM
— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) May 22, 2019
Robinson also hinted that there is a clue in the joint covers, which feature Kylo and Rey on the same Jordanian planet. There’s a lot to infer her, but one noticeable factor is that both are looking in opposite directions, their gazes literally crossing.
Another is that Kylo’s features a sunset and Rey’s a sunrise. Because the two come together to create one larger image, the inclusion of both suns (in addition to being a possible Tatooine hint) could symbolize a blending of the Force. “The darkness rises and light to meet it.” Were these two always on a collision course that was meant to restore balance to the Force? Were they, in fact, the chosen ones all along?
But theirs is more than “just” a love story
Adam Driver is quoted in the piece saying that Kylo’s relationship with Rey—which was possibly closed off when she slammed the door on him at the end of The Last Jedi—is more complicated than pure romantic love. Some are still convinced the two are related, although that would make certain tensions in the previous two films a little strange. (Not that Star Wars is immune to strange sibling stuff.) No, it seems likely that he’s referring to the immense Force bond they share, and how its meaning transcends traditional classification. “I don’t think it’s one thing,” Driver said.
Images: Disney, Lucasfilm