We're finally unraveling the secrets of The Last Jedi and one thing in particular fans are excited to see is the relationship between Kylo Ren and Rey. As audiences ponder how their opposition will develop, new comments from director Rian Johnson and actor Daisy Ridley give us insight into Kylo Ren and Rey's deepening relationship. It seems that, of all people, Han Solo will still affect them long after his death in The Force Awakens. These new comments indicate that their opposition will only get more layered and complex thanks to their respective relationships to Han Solo.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Last Jedi helmer, Johnson, made the surprising revelation that Han Solo's "ghost" will be present throughout the film:
Han, the ghost of — well, not literally... I don't want to misguide. I have to be very careful with my words here. But a figurative ghost of Han had to be present throughout this entire film.
The character will make his presence felt through the repercussions of his death, and he'll inadvertently be instrumental in the growing rivalry between Kylo Ren and Rey. This will undoubtedly make for a more interesting Star Wars film than we could have ever expected.
Han Solo's Death Had A Deep Impact On Rey
During the aforementioned EW interview, Ridley revealed that Rey has a serious problem with Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi since she can't come to terms with the fact that he murdered Han:
She just doesn't understand Kylo. When all she wanted was parents, why would a person who has parents do that? It's so beyond comprehension, it's ridiculous. So she has grief for the loss and then there’s anger. To be honest, she couldn’t understand doing something like that – let alone to your parents.
That makes complete sense. Rey was abandoned in a desert planet when she was just a little girl, and was forced to endure incredibly difficult situations all on her own. Now, she's directly opposed to a guy who had everything she longed for, yet he seemingly didn't appreciate it to the point that he actually murdered his own father.
This inability to comprehend Kylo Ren's treatment of his parents is further informed by Ridley's comments about how Rey grew to see Han as a father figure of sorts, which sounds like it's a far cry from how she will get along with Luke Skywalker.
Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.
A New Kind Of Opposition Is Forming
Rey may hate Kylo, but he despises her more than she can imagine. Johnson revealed that this young villain sees his defeat — and matching facial scar — from their intense lightsaber duel in The Force Awakens as a total humiliation. It's a sentiment that's made ten times worse by the impact of his father's death:
He's definitely been knocked off base. The defeat that he had at the end of 'The Force Awakens,' but even bigger than that, his huge defining act which [...] is the murder of his father… that's the more interesting thing to dive into. How has he dealt with that in his head? Where is he at in terms of that act and what does that mean for him?
Think about the psychology behind that: Kylo Ren is scarred by his father's death and that will most likely be made worse by the fact that Rey (his new nemesis) forged a father-daughter bond with Han Solo that Kylo Ren was apparently never able to forge; it's a breeding ground for deep animosity. This can only serve to make Kylo Ren a more layered, emotionally-complex character than we were expecting to see.
That could create a really interesting dynamic between the two characters, because a future duel between them wouldn't be about sheer survival; it would be personal. Kylo Ren is damaged by his own actions and his defeat while Rey would be hurting from the death of her mentor. They would be fighting to take out their respective emotional frustrations on the other, which would make the moment more brutal and visceral.
Overall, it's really clever how Han's being used as the common factor between Rey and Kylo Ren's animosity. I can't wait to see the result of that play out on screen. We'll see more of Kylo Ren and Rey's relationship develop when The Last Jedi flies into theaters on December 15, 2017.