The Rise of Skywalker novelization removes the romance from that Reylo kiss, but why?

Daisy Ridley is Rey and Adam Driver is Kylo Ren in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
Daisy Ridley is Rey and Adam Driver is Kylo Ren in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER /

Reylo is one of the most hotly debated aspects of the most recent Star Wars movies, and The Rise of Skywalker’s novelization suggests there’s no romantic connection between the two.

The Rise of Skywalker — and the most recent set of Star Wars films in general — have sparked some of the biggest debates in the fanbase, something anyone who has been on Twitter since December can likely attest to. Among the controversial topics is the Reylo ship, which some fans love and some fans hate, but which seemed to have been resolved during the final installment of the Skywalker Saga.

At the end of the movie, Ben Solo and Rey kiss once before the former dies, seemingly confirming that the two have romantic feelings for one another. Apparently, however, that’s not the case.

According to the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker, which hits shelves March 17, the Reylo kiss wasn’t intended as romantic. You may be wondering just how that works — but those receiving ARCs of Rae Carson’s novel have confirmed the kiss is described as an act of “gratitude.” As you might imagine, those who have been rooting for these two since the beginning were not pleased.

And whether you were happy with seeing Rey and Ben kiss or not, you have to admit, not many people partake in makeout sessions to say thank you these days. Although many have argued that their relationship with one another is a bit toxic, it’s strange to hear that their connection doesn’t have a hint of romantic tension in it (even if it’s the unhealthy kind). After all, the characters certainly have chemistry — and they seem to understand one another better than anyone else in the Star Wars universe.

It also begs the question of what sort of relationship Rey and Ben have then. They’re not exactly friends — not the way Rey and Finn or Rey and Poe are, anyway. They’re also not full-blown enemies; they see the best in one another, even when it’s buried beneath darkness. And please, please don’t assert that they’re like family — Star Wars already has one too many incestual kisses on its record, and we just don’t need anymore of that.

With those things in mind, it will be interesting to see how Carson portrays these two in her new book, with all the time to expand upon their relationship — and play with the dynamics of it. We’re not totally sold on the lack of romance between the two, but it’s a different perspective … though we might have preferred exploring the nuances of the romantic feelings they supposedly do not have.

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What do you think of Reylo? Does their relationship seem romantic to you, or is it something else altogether?