by LS Harteveld
– Spoiler filled, but most of all this is probably an incomprehensible piece unless you ve seen The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi –
Star Wars is a movie franchise currently on its eight episode. And what “The Thing” is?
Okay you know what The Thing is right?
One of the Reylo accounts I follow on Twitter (shoot! now I have another word to explain!) had put out a poll on what we viewed as signs of the collapse of civilization, and she additionally tweeted;
“I wanted to add “Telling women they shouldn’t enjoy The Thing” but that’s been happening for eons.”
That’s where I got the idea.
Reylos are a community who support the story line in the latest Star Wars trilogy that Rey, a good girl from the deserted planet Jakku, will fall in love with dark side warrior Kylo Ren or with “Ben Solo” his original name- before he passed over to the dark side.
Rey’s official Star Wars bio says, and to me (a Reylo) every word in this sentence is hot;
“She was captured by the dark side warrior Kylo Ren.”
See picture, above.
The interrogation scene between Kylo Ren and Rey is important for the story. As soon as Kylo Ren takes off his mask, she can’t take her eyes off him. Then he invades her mind, using The Force, and he says;
“Don’t be afraid, I feel it too.”
He is referring to The Force – which he uses for supernatural powers. But right now he can feel The Force between the two of them. Connecting them. She has always known “something” was inside of her, and she had Han and Maz briefly explaining what “the Force” was – just the general idea. But she hasn’t connected their explanations to what she feels inside of her.
“But now it’s awake,” she says about the power inside of her, in episode 8.
During the interrogation scene, due to Kylo Ren interrogating her with the Force, she learns how to use it for the very first time.
And intrudes his mind in return.
He leaves the room immediately, reporting to his Master, Snoke. Before capturing Rey, and before the interrogation scene, Snoke has already asked Kylo;
“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?”
And Kylo answered: “Yes”.
The interrogation scene is the first time Rey learns how to use the force, yet both Kylo and Snoke have sensed Rey’s awakening days before. You know what happened, days before? And what (most likely) caused the awakening?
Kylo was on Jakku. Just for a brief moment, but his presence there was powerful enough to awaken the Force in Rey.
She sensed it. She sensed him. And suddenly this thing called “the Force” was awake in her. The first female lead character in a Star Wars movie, who uses Force powers, had them awakened by a tall warrior, covered in flowing black robes, setting foot on her planet.
And she learned to use them, not by receiving any formal education like all the Jedis before her, but just by being tied to an interrogation chair by Kylo Ren and having him kneeling before her saying in his sultry voice;
“You’re my guest.”
That’s how this girl learns.
Those scenes tell you that the Force, for this trilogy, is connected to the dynamics between Rey and Kylo. Not to the relationship of an apprentice with his Master.
Ever since The Force Awakens came out in 2015 there has been much debate over the fact if Reylos are right, if there even is a romantic story line between the two, but that’s another discussion and one I m not particularly interested in. For me it’s blatantly obvious that Rey and Kylo Ren are in love with each other. And judging by how gorgeous Kylo Ren looks, I m convinced Disney feels exactly the same way.
So that’s not what this piece is about.
This article is about what makes the story line so compelling. What makes this Star Wars saga entirely different from its predecessors, and especially the use of The Force.
And again, I m not talking about if you can fly through space using the force, or bi-locate yourself using it. Which were things that have been speculated on if this was realistic (???) and if they should have been in the movies. No, I m talking about the fact that if you watch the two movies The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, you can see something entirely new added to the equation.
And not to make babies.
The “romantic tension” between Rey and Kylo Ren, as Mark Hamill the actor who plays Luke Skywalker put it, is only half of it. The other half, is sexual tension. And it’s precisely this sexual tension that is going to glue the entire thirty year old saga together.
Traditionally, so that means the first six episodes of the saga, The Force was used by the good guys, the spiritual warriors called the Jedi, and by the dark side, The Sith. But the latest trilogy is said to take an entirely different approach.
That of the middle, of gray.
It’s based on the notion that there can never be peace (balance) if we keep thinking in terms of good and bad. We have to accept the dark side of life, in each other, but also in ourselves. It is just as disturbing to believe you’re entirely good and clean, as it is disturbing to believe you’re a power driven monster who doesn’t need love.
That is the story of the third trilogy.
Back to Rey and Kylo Ren.
In the light of the theme of the third trilogy, their romantic story line represents the merging of the good (Rey) and the bad (Kylo Ren). We also get to know Kylo Ren’s soft side in The Last Jedi (the light within the dark) and we get to learn a bit about the aggression that resides in Rey.
Although for someone who watches the roaring rampage of revenge Kill Bill about twenty times a year, as I do, it is not that obvious.
But I m taking other people’s word for it, that her fighting skills are rooted in aggression and that she seems to take pleasure in knocking people in the head.
So within light Rey, we have a hint of her darkness.
And within dark Kylo we can see the light shining through.
Rey and Kylo Ren are like yin and yang; each possesses a part of the other.
This new and improved vision on balance between the light and the dark, is also symbolized in the first Jedi temple on the island of Ahch-to. This temple holds the old Jedi texts – which will prove that the original Force users were gray, not good or bad. And the temple itself also contains the light; a tree above the ground containing the books.
And the darkness – a cold dark hole in the ground and sucks you into its waters and then scares the shit out of you with a mirrored cave where you are all alone with your greatest fear.
The tree, representing the “safe” cerebral wisdom of the Jedi, can be destroyed.
But the cave is inscrutable, and way more solid, being made from the sea and the rock that makes the island.
Luke is training Rey, and he’s instructing her how to meditate on the Force.
In her vision, she sees the big (dare we say “hairy”? Because it is!) hole in the ground, the cave under the island. It is calling her. She moves towards it, ignoring Luke shouting her not to. The hole erupts into a giant fountain, as if it comes from underneath her. From the rock on which she is sitting. A giant fountain, entering at her pelvis, and squirting up high into the sky.
She is knocked down by the strength of it, flings her eyes open, and wakes up lying down. Soaked.
But not as much as Luke, who looks at her, appalled.
“I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. In Ben Solo.”
A “raw strength”, that Ben Solo possesses? And that was awakened in Rey, by Ben Solo’s presence? That sweeps her off her feet, leaves her wet and exhausted, and uncle Luke appalled?
And then Luke basically explaining what just happened to her, by attributing the power she just experienced to his nephew Ben?
But let’s not jump to conclusions.
Let’s just, for a minute more, assume that Uncle Luke was referring to the dark side of the Force as it was portrayed in episodes 1-6; as a desire for universal domination, a possessive kind of love and the use of supernatural powers for your own personal hunger to control life and the people around you.
Uncle Luke was just concerned about Rey becoming Darth Rey and plunging the world into darkness and despair.
It is nighttime on Ahch-to.
Rey has given in to her desire to explore what’s in the hole, and she has gone out to see what answers the cave could give her. She’s disappointed with its cryptic answers, and feels terribly lonely.
By now she and Kylo Ren, or Ben Solo, are being connected by the Force regularly. It’s like Skype, just that the other person can actually be seen and experienced in the flesh with you. And also – they don’t control it. They can’t dial each other up if they want to. The Force seems to connect them unintentionally. Although that too, is not true. If you look closer.
Before their first ever Force bond, Kylo was sitting in the medical wing and had his wounds attended to by a droid. Wounds that she inflicted. So he was probably already thinking about her.
In the scene above, she had just risked her life going straight into the darkness of the cave well only to be terribly disappointed and lonely. And there you go:
* Forcebond pops up*
“You are not alone,” Kylo says to the disappointed Rey.
“Neither are you,” she says.
And slowly she reaches her hand towards him.
Kylo Ren takes off his thick leather glove. Slowly. His master Snoke has been invading his mind from before he was born. Even when he was physically still with his parents, he already had this evil abuser inside his own head, corrupting him. Demeaning him. Switching over to the dark side was probably a relief for Kylo; at least his surroundings now matched his inner world.
But it was a world without love.
Kylo has never felt love in his life.
He reaches his bare hand to her. It is trembling. Her hand is steady, but his.. yes. There is a tremble. Their fingertips meet. The Force theme from John Williams sets in.
Watch it for yourself.
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Because The Last Jedi has not been released on dvd, all videos on YouTube are bad quality. (sorry!) But you get the idea right?
And do you know what Luke does when he barges in on the two?
HE BLOWS UP THE HUT!
Now does that seem to you like he would do that because;
a. Kylo is raping and beating Rey and about to kill her?
b. because Luke is a jealous old hermit who can’t stand the idea of Rey having sex, and especially not with his evil nephew Kylo Ren who by the way he, Luke, was supposed to train and make a good man of, but failed miserably?
Cock blocker Luke, we Reylos call him.
Or at least I do.
But not without acknowledging that Mark Hamill is both the nicest celebrity on Twitter, as well as the most heroic and epic character in The Last Jedi.
So no hard feelings.
But keeping Rey from her first night of experiencing making love, and Kylo from his first experience of being loved – that was a horrible thing to do. Even more unforgivable as betraying Ben Solo and giving him up to the dark side.
THIS WAS YOUR CHANCE TO SET THINGS RIGHT
Okay, I ll stop yelling at Luke.
Because there was actually a point in bringing this up. Aside from the point that the force bond between Kylo and Rey is absolutely not just a romantic one, but a sexual one.
Because Rey represents the light sight of the force – love.
But the thing that sparked it, that ignited The Force in her, was not love. Because Rey was a loving person all throughout her life. And although the Force has been there, inside of her, it was only sparked when someone who she would become sexually interested in set foot on Jakku.
And it is this aspect of the Force that Luke is afraid of.
He’s not afraid Rey will plunge the world into darkness. He’s afraid she’ll become sexually active with Kylo Ren. That is the dark side, Luke is warning her for. That is the “raw strength” that is connecting the two.
Raw strength is a referral to sex. Not to love.
A lot of people think the new Star Wars trilogy will be about Love conquering all. I can understand that, but
a. there has always been a lot of love between light side users. And this has never conquered anything. Yes, love has brought Darth Vader to the light, but that story has already been told.
b. Love being the key clearly doesn’t support the Gray Jedi idea, and the merging of dark and light. In my opinion they can only make Love conquer all the moral of the saga if they see Love as being the light dot, in the dark half of the Yin and Yang symbol.
But it doesn’t explain the dark dot in the white half of the Yin and Yang symbol.
Because that dot? That’s sex.
c. And the third reason I feel there is way more behind the Rey-Kylo Ren story line than a simple Romeo and Juliet theme is that Love is not a power that would scare the shit out of Luke Skywalker. Love is not the “raw strength”, about which he says;
“It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.”
That is sex.
Rey is the first character in the Star Wars movies, with whom the dark side of the Force is (to me at least) only apparent in her sexual power. Like I said, I can’t see her going on a rampage of revenge, nor do I see her becoming a cruel empress of the galaxy.
Which leaves only one option – her raw strength, is a sexual one.
The key that awaked the Force in her.
For Kylo though, things are a bit different.
He has not known love, which is why his hand was trembling touching Rey, and he’s very familiar with the dark side of the force in terms of being mentally abused (by Snoke) and inevitably turning cold hearted and cruel himself.
Kylo is probably not a virgin.
He’s ten years older than Rey and his whole body language – especially in The Force Awakens – radiates that he’s highly comfortable in his own body. The way he fights Finn at the end of The Force Awakens – swinging his light saber, showing his physical dominance in a cocky, totally non-functional manner that is clearly connected to him being jealous of Finn.
Not to using the most effective way to take out an opponent.
That fighting style just tells that he enjoys being in his body, and that he knows how to move it. Especially when he wants to show his sexual superiority.
Just watch the clip. And also; watch how Rey, on the other hand, fights clumsily because she’s holding a light saber (!!) for the first time in her life.
And don’t forget the ending.
Where Kylo, sparing her life and not playing at his full strength because he knows it’s her first time and he fancies her, offers Rey the opportunity to learn from him how to use the Force and the saber.
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“You need a teacher! I can show you the ways of the Force!”
Kylo shouts to Rey.
As Luke would say;
“Amazing. Every word in that sentence, was wrong.”
Because as soon as Kylo mentions the Force, Rey suddenly remembers everything Han and Maz told her about the Force, and what she experienced with Kylo in the interrogation chair.
The strength between them that Kylo referred to as;
“Don’t be afraid. I feel it too.”
She murmurs; “The Force?” Suddenly remembering all of it. She meditates there, right in the middle of wrestling Kylo. She taps into the strength, swings out from underneath him, and rocks that light saber like a pro.
Soon the mighty Kylo Ren is on his back, covered in wounds she inflicted.
“Beaten by a girl who never held a light saber in her life,” as Snoke would remind Kylo, in the next movie Last Jedi.
From what Star Wars has shown us so far we can conclude that Kylo Ren represents the dark side of the yin and yang symbol. And the light dot within him, within the dark half of life, is love. Represented by his romantic love for Rey.
And Rey is the light side of the yin and yang symbol. She represents all people who like being good, loyal, clean, and reminds us that we can be more than that.
That there is a Force within us, that has always been there.
And not so much what, or how, but who will awaken that Force.
The Force will be impossible to miss, if it is taken out of its dormant state.
Don’t worry, we’ll feel it too.
And that it will be so fascinating, and calling us, that the only thing that makes sense is to answer the call and to jump into the cave of the unknown, to explore it.
And yes, you must be prepared to come out disappointed.
There will be no easy answers.
But the person who sparked your Force, whose presence you felt from half a planet away. The one who “felt it too” and who told you not to be afraid?
That person will be waiting for you, when you come out.
To complete your own saga.
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living