Hello, my fellow Star Wars fans!
In this post I’m going to dive into the Force Connection scenes between Rey and Kylo Ren and share my interpretation of what is going on, this will be a highly analytical post breaking the scenes down step by step and of course major spoilers for the Last Jedi movie. When I refer to Kylo in this psot I may switch between Kylo Ren and Ben Solo depending on the scene. Since there is not a lot of film footage available to use for reference I will be reading what I remember from each Force Connection and at the end I will give my final thoughts.
Force Connection One.
The sun is rising and Rey is waking up, Kylo’s wound is being addressed by a droid on the Supremacy. Suddenly they both simultaneously sense something in the force and they turn to look at each other. Rey grabs her blaster and fires off a round as soon as she realizes it’s Kylo Ren. He physically reacts to the shot then immediately gets out of his chair searching around the room for her, Rey heads out of the hut, Kylo runs out into the hallway and then they turn to see each other Kylo reaches out to grab Rey and says “You’ll bring Luke Skywalker to me”, he then realizes that she’s a projection. Kylo then says” You’re not doing this, the effort would kill you”. Rey looks disgusted and angry Kylo says “Can you see my surroundings” Rey replies “You’re going to pay for what you did”, Kylo says “I can’t see yours… Just you…”.
Luke comes outside and Rey looks really concerned and protective of Luke then Kylo says “Luke” and the connection breaks. Rey heads off with Luke to begin her first lesson and this is when we learn that Luke has disconnected himself from the Force. So the expressions on Kylo Ren and Rey’s faces when their eyes first meet is amazing, it felt like they just picked up where they left off after the Force Awakens fight in the forest. That moment when they were coming to the realization that they aren’t dreaming they appear to be shaken by the sight of each other. Also the music is silenced and there’s an immediate focus on their breath, I found it interesting that Kylo could react physically to the blaster shot, that was foreshadowing some of the other connection scenes and projections. I love how they continued to interact with each other in the same manner as the Force Awakens, where Kylo is always so calm with her and Rey is fiery towards him with good reason of course.
Kylo realizes that he’s not making the connection to her and she’s not making it to him because as he said the effort would kill her and no, this is something else. The key words here are something else, I’ll get back to that in a few minutes.
Force Connection Two.
It’s raining and Rey is standing outside the Millennium Falcon, we see Kylo standing in what appears to be a meditative state looking over the armory. He begins to hear waves crashing, she looks up and he turns to face her. He says Why is the Force connecting us? You and I? Rey is visually disgusted and calls him a Murderous Snake, the camera pans back to Kylo and his facial expression is one of sadness or hurt but he just lets her keep going at him as usual. You’re too late, you lost, I found Skywalker, Kylo steps forward and asks “Did he tell you what happened, the night I destroyed his temple, did he tell you why?” Rey visually upset, angry says I know everything I need to know about you Kylo stepping closer again replies “You do? Ahh you do”.
You have that look in your eyes from the forest, when you called me a monster. Rey replies You are a monster He says Yes I am and his expression is one of regret, his lip shakes as if he is holding back his emotions, his voice cracks as he says this. Rey still upset looks confused by his response, I think that wasn’t what she expected to hear him admitting to her that yes, he’s a monster and you can see she feels the conflict within him in that moment. I’m sure she’s wondering by now how is this murdering snake is so calm with me and questions why he would be so cruel. As the camera pans away, she appears to be contemplating what just transpired between them I got a good sense of heartbreak from Rey, her grieving Han in these moments and going through the process with anger and sadness. When the connection ends Kylo wipes water from his face as if he was there near the ocean with her, more evidence building on how this connection works Force.
Force Connection Three.
Some time has passed now, Rey and Luke have had their second training session where Rey learns from Luke’s point of view what happened to Ben Solo, Luke tells Rey that after sensing the darkness rising in him it was too late, he went to confront him and Ben turned on him destroying the temple and vanishing with a handful of students.
Rey declares that Luke didn’t fail Kylo, Kylo failed him and she won’t. The next day we see Rey is practicing her lightsaber skills, it’s unknown how many days have passed now. Night falls and Luke has allowed himself to reconnect to the Force he reaches out to Leia and she responds. It’s nighttime and we find Rey walking around the island suddenly her and Kylo connect.
I’d rather not do this now she says Kylo Replies Yea me too. She turns to say Why did you hate your faaattheerrr ..realizing he has no shirt on she says do you have something, a cowl or something you can put on, he steps closer to her, Why did you hate your father give me an honest answer. You had a father who loved you, he gave a damn about you, ..Rey is upset she’s crying. Kylo replies I didn’t hate him Then why Rey asks, Kylo says, Why what? Say it, Rey replies, Why did you kill him, I don’t understand. Kylo replies Your parents threw you away like garbage. “They didn’t”, Kylo continues, They did, but you can’t stop needing them, its’ your greatest weakness, looking for them everywhere. In Han Solo, now in Skywalker. Did he tell you what happened that night? Yes says, Rey. Kylo replies No. He had sensed my power, as he senses yours, and he feared it.
There is a flashback and we see Ben Solo waking up to find Luke standing over him his lightsaber drawn, Ben reacts by igniting his lightsaber and blocking the attack then uses his force powers to destroy the hut they were in. Rey replies Liar, she looks unsure about him lying, Kylo steps closer says to Rey, Let the past die, kill it if you have to, it’s the only way to become what you were meant to be. The connection ends Rey appears sad but also has an expression of clarity and determination, she heads down to the dark cave beneath the island where she seeks answers about her parents There is a lot going on with this connection first we have the in your face intimacy, there is no way for Rey to avoid it, she see’s Kylo as a man instead of the monster she keeps calling him.
In an interview with Rian Johnson he said the shirtless scene has a specific purpose, which is the increasing feeling of uncomfortable intimacy. That was sticking with the theme of trying to give Rey the hardest thing you could possibly give her, which would be an unavoidable intimate conversation with this person that she wants to just hate. Rey is receiving a lot of information in this scene she wants to know why Kylo killed his father Han Solo, and while it doesn’t appear that he gives her an answer, he actually does. When he says No? in a questioning tone to her “I don’t understand”, he then answers her with your parents threw you away like garbage and continues by saying but you can’t stop needing them it’s your greatest weakness.
So here we basically learn that Kylo Rens weakness is his family and how much he wanted their attention but to him they threw him away like garbage. Not only is he telling Rey what he feels about what happened to himself but he sees the same thing, that same weakness in her and by presenting her with this very brash line of let the past die he’s getting Rey to deal with her past something she keeps clinging onto while be in denial about her parents, what they did to her, how they abandoned her Kylo asks Rey did Luke tell her what happened that night at the temple? and Rey says Yes but Kylo sense that’s not the truth and says No. We see what happened to him from his point of view, the betrayal he felt and again this goes back to his reply to her that his family threw him away like garbage. He’s deeply resentful and hurt by what happened with Luke. Even though later we the audience learn it was a misunderstanding Kylo Ren doesn’t know that.
But he very calmly wants Rey to know what happened from his point of view and by opening up to her this has allowed himself to grow emotionally, to get that off his chest, and in the next scene notice he is not Kylo Ren he’s Ben Solo What I love about this force connection is how brutally honest it is from both characters perspectives Force Connection Four When we next hear Rey speak she is talking to Ben referring to her experience in the cave but she’s inside the hut I should have felt trapped or panicked but I didn’t, this didn’t go on forever I knew it was leading somewhere and at the end it would show me what I came to see.
I thought I would find answers here, I was wrong, I’ve never felt so alone Ben replies You’re not alone (he has tears in his eyes he sounds choked up) Neither are you Rey says … Luke outside yells out Rey and looks towards her hut, Rey tells Ben It isn’t too late and the camera pans to Ben where we see this expression from him that is one of hope, I think her saying that to him was something he really wanted to hear She reaches her hand out to Ben, he removes his glove and reaches to her, they touch hands and have a vision, tears stream down her face Luke walks into the hut sees the two of them holding hands and yells stop, he destroys the hut, the connection ends and Ben disappears So in this scene Rey has started to finally let go of the need for her parents, or to replace her parents with someone else, she is also letting her guard down with Ben because what he has told her has been true.
Her hair is now partially let down from the three buns she’s worn since she was a child, and when she says I have never felt so alone, Ben replies that she’s not alone this is the first time Rey realizes that the longing she seeks is ahead of her not behind, she reaches to Ben with her hand and he reaches to her When they touch hands it’s really beautiful they have in that moment a little piece of the loneliness they have been feeling for years fulfilled but not only that they experience visions through the force, whatever Rey sees is emotional to her and I didn’t take that expression and her tears as those of sadness I felt that it was a moment of feeling overwhelming emotion, that type of feeling when you just can’t contain your emotions anymore and you cry, that was what I felt from her crying The most intimate part of this scene is how they are looking into each other’s eyes, to be able to look into another person’s eyes like they are is like looking into each other’s souls it isn’t easy for people to do and for that long of a period of time this moment is actually more personal and intimate than any sexual tension or kiss could be, it was the perfect way to show them falling in love with each other and speaks volumes to their future in this trilogy Rey Confronts Luke Rising from the chair Rey demands to know Is it true? Did you try to murder him? Luke tells her to Leave this island now Following after Luke Rey yells Stop, Did you do it? Did you create Kylo Ren? ..they fight with their staffs, she grabs the lightsaber, and knocks Luke back but Luke braces his fall with the force Tell me the truth Rey asks As we see another flashback Luke explains …I saw darkness, I sensed it building in him, I’d seen it in moments during his training, but then I looked inside and it was beyond what I ever imagined, Snoke had already turned his heart, he would bring destruction and pain and death and the end of everything I loved because of what he would become, for the briefest moment of pure instinct I thought I could stop it.
(Luke ignites his lightsaber standing over Ben while he’s sleeping.) It passed like a fleeting shadow and I was left with shame and with consequence and the last thing I saw were the eyes of a frightened boy whose master had failed him. Rey says You failed him by thinking his choice was made, it wasn’t, there is still conflict in him if he could turn from the darkside that could shift the tide.
This could be how we win. Luke replies This is not going to go the way you think. Rey determined says It is, just now, when we touched hands I saw his future as solid as I’m seeing you. If I go to him, Ben Solo will turn. (It’s important to note here that the expression on Luke’s face when she tells him this is one of surprise or shock) Luke says Rey don’t do this. …Rey offers the lightsaber to Luke and he doesn’t accept. Then he’s our last hope says Rey and she leaves the island. So Rey now has confirmation that Ben was not lying to her (which I think she already felt that through the force) and that Luke actually held back the truth out of his shame and fear. But Rey sees something in Ben’s future that she is certain he will turn. What this is telling me, and I’ve also talked about this in my Force Visions video, is though she thinks he’s going to turn and she thinks this is going to happen right now when she goes to the Supremacy she fails to realize that it’s not about him turning for her or to her side, what she has seen is most likely the two of them in the future and that he is not with Snoke or evil, and because she said it was solid and clear I interpret that as its good, its solid, it’s harmonious possibly.
Otherwise I don’t think she would have been so propelled to go to him. She feels very confident in her vision of him and their connection and she’s definitely developed feelings for him and though it may seem kind of fast for some people their physical attraction was already established in the Force Awakens, and it continued in the Last Jedi so that part is already underlying everything else that has happened with them, and when they had these very intimate conversations and scenes together, it was for me, it was their bonding moments, now we are getting into a deeper emotional place with them Force Connection Five At the end of the movie when we see Ben is kneeling inside the Resistance base and looks up to see Rey, their eyes meet, I believe in that moment that Rey feels disappointment in him but her closing the door on him is not forever.
In some ways I feel like it’s showing a difference in their maturity level and how Rey has become more balanced and mature but Ben is still getting there. ben looking up to her I think he is full of regret and is alone now more than ever. he’s definitely in love with Rey. While this scene is sad and feels like a break on what was building up as a relationship, remember back to Han and Leia being separated in Empire Strikes Back? We can think of things like that, how there is this uncertainty we are left with but from here there can only be a path to the light, at least that is how I see it.
I just don’t see Ben Solo becoming the big bad in episode 9 with the way the last Jedi ended, of course that is just my interpretation and I may end up being wrong. In the first connection when Kylo says to Rey you aren’t doing this the effort would kill you and this is something else, we later learn that Snoke declares he bridged their minds and when Snoke says this in the throne room Kylo Ren looks up as if he knew that Snoke was being manipulative when he created the connection, he may have even thought Snoke was lying, that remains unclear. If we look at it from the perspective of Snoke this actually played out exactly as he had planned that Rey would take the bait and come to Ben Solo’s aid, what Snoke didn’t realize is that his plan to present Rey as Kylo Ren’s final training to kill her and fall to the darkside would backfire. Snoke’s meddling actually created the resolve in Ben Solo, when he says “I know what I have to do” his mind was no longer conflicted, but Snoke had no idea that he was going to choose the girl over him .
We could also speculate that Snoke was lying and that the Force created the connection so they could find each other and find balance together. I do believe that Snoke is right about the darkness rising and light to meet it meaning that these two were destined to be 2 halves of something. Ben does put himself out there emotionally for Rey and tells her that she’s not alone and Rey does go to Ben’s aid and ultimately they are brought together, and they are also presented with visions through the Force of their future. Whether the mental connection was made by Snoke or the Force doesn’t really matter to me, what is important is how it’s used and in a way that makes sense to further the characters story. It is permanent, that is just my feeling.
I’ve seen a lot of comments about Snoke made it or no I don’t think Snoke made it and I can already see this is going to be something debated about for the next two years. For me the Force Connection and their relationship bond are like two separate things, I see the connection as some way to communicate, it’s a force ability. I see their being two sides of something, light and darkness, yin and yang, balance as something separate they are soulmates. Hopefully the novel gives us more information about it but ultimately, I feel like this is the least of my worries about where the story is going One thing that is a mystery for me right now is how the Force connection actually works….
It doesn’t appear that one or the other is making the connection, even Kylo Ren suspects that the connection is not happening because of him or Rey, it seems that it just happens at random and without any control. My initial thought about this is that it’s possible that one of them is thinking about the other, like maybe Rey was thinking about Kylo and then the connection happens or vice versa. so the uncontrolled part of it makes me think that they haven’t understood how to use the connection yet and that they may learn to use it in Episode 9 when and how they want to.
Whatever the case may be it seems flexible to me and the way it was filmed works for the story, it could actually be built upon even more in episode 9, which is really exciting. According to director Rian Johnson, Ren and Rey’s connection in The Last Jedi was a storytelling device to get the two of them talking to each other. He said It was always through the demands of the story. With the Force connections between Rey and Kylo I thought, “OK, I need to get these two talking. But if I put them face to face they’re going to either fight, or one of them has to be tied up When we think about these two in a romantic light they have been put through some very seriously intimate conversations and situations, these elements of the story are not about them becoming enemies or friends, it’s about them falling in love and growing together.
Looking over all these scenes we see a continuation of more close up shots of their faces which is meant to convey a sense of emotion and intimacy and help the audience to connect with their humanity. Every time Kylo Ren and Rey have been on the screen together in both movies they have had these extreme closeups, this is done on purpose of course to show the emotion and build on the romantic tensions. Also in many of Kylo Ren and Rey’s scenes there is a focus on their breathe, their breathing, this started in the Force Awakens and it continues in the Last Jedi and there are no other character interactions that have this same level of intimacy. As far as the timing, I’ve given up on trying to make sense of time in the Star Wars universe. I know some of you have brought up the short amount of time that Rey and Kylo have before she arrives on the Supremacy.
From what I could tell Rey has been on the island for several days at least, possibly longer, she was able to observe Luke’s daily routine and follow him around, her scenes were not all in one day, we had multiple day and night sequences. I notice the time urgency happened in the Force Awakens, where everything that was taking place on Starkillerbase was supposed to have been within like a 15 minute window from the time that Han and Finn arrived to the time the weapon was supposed to fire on the Resistance base and that is not realistic. In The Last Jedi we are presented with an urgency of the fuel running out on the Raddus in a matter of something like 18 hours and all these other very intense scenes are going on and it just makes no sense to me, so yea I give up trying to decipher the time span.
I’m not sure that it really matters so long as what the characters are doing makes sense. These are my initial thoughts on the Force Connection based on just watching the movie.