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There’s Something About Kylo Ren and Rey

What exactly does a “strange” and “mysterious” connection mean?

(Disney/Ringer illustration)
(Disney/Ringer illustration)

The quest for newer and more substantial morsels of information in the lead-up to a new Star Wars film builds an addictive downhill speed until wanderers find themselves in the treacherously dark and scraggly forest of fan theory, unable to see past the very conspicuous fact that both Mace Windu and Supreme Leader Snoke are bald (lol nawl, bruh). Nonetheless we, meaning those of us with Wi-Fi and too much free time, beat ceaselessly on, undeterred by how much of our asses we might be showing. Speculating is half the fun.

And now, new character details have emerged that may turn out to be plot details for the upcoming installment, The Last Jedi. It’s also possible they’re not much of anything, but a peculiar change in the wording of Rey’s and Kylo Ren’s character bios on the data bank was made sometime between when Force Awakens hit theaters in December 2015 and now. The updates have to do with the connection between Kylo and Rey, which is referred to as "strange" and "mysterious," where before there’d been no acknowledgement of any bond between the two force-wielders at all. With everything happening so much all around the extended Star Wars universe all the time, these kinds of changes are common. And as changes go, this one is pretty granular. But we’re going to speculate about it anyway, because in the novelization of the film, Kylo whispers, "It is you," after Rey force-grabs the lightsaber to subsequently whoop his ass, which makes speculating irresistible.

"Strange" and "mysterious" are both adjectives that could precede "romantic," which isn’t the worst thing that could happen, although it might be just short of the silliest. Imagine another fierce lightsaber duel between Kylo Ren and Rey but in different woods — maybe during the spring this time. The two have their heels dug in, nearly foaming at the mouth from gritting their teeth in mutual disgust. Suddenly, the seething hatred bubbling at the surface abates to reveal plain-old, boring-ass tension. And then they kiss. Would that be a surprising twist? No. But would it be a welcome change from suffering long bouts of uninterrupted eye contact between Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor without so much as a peck in Rogue One? Also no.

"Strange" and "mysterious" seem pretty on the square for a fraternal relationship between the two, though, which is fine. Of course, brother and sister don’t exactly qualify as strange, mysterious, or even uncommon. And those descriptors don’t leave much room for this new development to be shocking. The "Rey and Kylo are siblings" fan theory has been around since the Episode VII premiere.

Heroic Hollywood writer Michael Mistroff, who combed the data banks to find this distracting little nugget in the first place, thinks a different connection is likely. Consider this: What if, when Kylo Ren slaughtered Luke’s school of would-be Jedi years before Episode VII, Rey was the lone pupil who got away? It would explain how she was able to master the force in an afternoon and beat the breaks off of a (diet, unsweetened) Sith(-y) lord (deacon). And most importantly, it would explain the "strange," "mysterious" connection. It’s logical, sufficient, and juuust salacious enough to satisfy both the fans looking for continuity and those who’d appreciate a shake-up from the familiar but soapy YO, THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE UNIVERSE ARE ACTUALLY BLOOD twist.

My preferred theory? That would be whatever allows Finn to be the one holding the lightsaber as the Last Jedi at the end of the movie, and I don’t really care how many plot holes we have to rumble over to get there. But let’s be real, they’re probably gonna just do the brother-and-sister thing.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Kylo Ren as whispering, "It is you," to Rey in The Force Awakens. This occurred in the novelization of the movie, not the movie itself.