Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s Many Romances Explained

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Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Here’s a breakdown of all the romances (both explicit and potential) in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While romance is hardly the focus of the Star Wars films, that doesn’t stop fans from supporting and debating the saga’s many potential pairings. From the iconic Han (Harrison Ford) and Leia (Carrie Fisher) to the more-complicated Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Padmé (Natalie Portman), the previous trilogies had their share of epic love stories. However, as Star Wars entered the 2010s, fans began to respond differently to the franchise’s various relationships.

From the very start of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, a good portion of the conversations surrounding the new movies were fervent debates over which couples would become canon. For example, fans were quick to throw their support behind Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac), who would have been the movies’ first LGBT couple.

Related: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’s Lesbian Kiss (& Why It’s Not Enough)

Sadly, that turned out not to be the case, with The Rise of Skywalker keeping the two men apart. Despite “Stormpilot” not becoming canon, The Rise of Skywalker still featured many pairings with romantic undertones, including one that even shared a kiss.

The duo that began the sequel trilogy, Finn and Rey (Daisy Ridley) have had a tight bond ever since they first crossed paths on Jakku. They were both each other’s first chance at family, with Rey having been orphaned on Jakku since she was a child and Finn being a Stormtrooper for most of his life. Despite being separated for the majority of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, their connection remained true; Finn was concerned for Rey’s safety while she went in search of Luke (Mark Hamill), and the two shared a sweet hug when they were finally reunited on Crait.

During The Rise of Skywalker, it seems like Finn’s feelings for Rey have grown to the point of romance. While sinking into quicksand on Pasaana, Finn has something he wants to tell Rey, but never gets the chance to. This is referenced a few more times, but the film never answers the question of exactly what that secret was. Director J.J. Abrams later told fans Finn merely wanted to tell Rey that he’s Force-sensitive, since Rey is one of the most powerful Force-users currently found in the galaxy. The pair remains platonic until the end, when they hug each other (and Poe) following Palpatine’s (Ian McDiarmid) defeat.

Upon their meeting on Kef Bir, Finn and newcomer Jannah (Naomi Ackie) form an instant connection. The two have something in common: Both were taken from their families as children by the First Order and trained to be Stormtroopers. Finn defected from the First Order back in Star Wars: The Force Awakens but seemed like the first to do so. It turns out, however, that a whole group of former Stormtroopers escaped after nearly being forced to murder civilians. Jannah lives with that group on Kef Bir, and she and Finn bond over their shared experience. Later, they fight side-by-side on Exegol during the final battle against Palpatine’s Final Order. Had this not been the final film in the trilogy, there’s a chance the connection between Finn and Jannah could have been explored further.

Related: Star Wars 9: Is Jannah Lando’s Daughter In The Rise of Skywalker?

Arguably the most controversial couple within the sequel trilogy, Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), have some big developments in The Rise of Skywalker. The Force Awakens saw them as enemies, and The Last Jedi connected them through the Force. Their bond has always been a fascinating one, with both making up two sides of the same coin: Rey represents the light, and Kylo the dark. Everything comes to a head in The Rise of Skywalker after Palpatine tasks Kylo with finding and killing Rey. Kylo follows her from planet to planet (leading to several battles between the two), but instead of killing her, he offers a different scenario: The two kill Palpatine and rule the galaxy together. Rey refuses and even mortally wounds Kylo atop the destroyed Death Star on Kef Bir, but she quickly Force-heals him and flees.

The two next cross paths on Exegol to confront Palpatine as he launches his Final Order. Kylo, finding redemption through his mother Leia’s sacrifice and one last conversation with the memory of his father Han, joins Rey on the light side as Ben Solo. The final showdown drains them both, but once all is said and done, Rey dies from the effort. In his truest heroic act, Ben gives his life force to Rey, reviving her. Rey kisses him just before he dies, having given his life for hers.

With a relationship with Finn out of the question, Poe is available for romance in The Rise of Skywalker, and he almost seems like he’s going to get it in the form of Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell). After traveling to Kijimi in search of someone who can break through C-3PO’s (Anthony Daniels) translator restrictions, Poe crosses paths with old acquaintance Zorii, and it’s clear right from the start that the two did not part on good terms. Poe and Zorii were spice runners together, only Poe left the business behind to fight for the Resistance.

This leads to a lot of friction between the two, though the ice between them thaws after a conversation on the rooftop. Zorii even gives Poe her ticket off Kijimi to save him from the First Order soldiers closing in on him and the others. Before he goes, he asks if he can kiss her, but she turns him down. Later, during the celebration after the final battle, Poe gives her a suggestive look that she again brushes off.

Related: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Returning Cast & New Character Guide

While far less defined than the others, Poe and Rey share a certain amount of chemistry in their scenes together. Since first meeting at the end of The Last Jedi, Poe and Rey have grown closer to the point of freely arguing with each other over the state of the Millennium Falcon. Their bickering almost feels reminiscent of Han and Leia’s from the original trilogy, which makes sense since Poe can be seen as a parallel of Han. (Rey isn’t Leia’s parallel, though, so that falls a bit flat.) The two hug each other tightly following the Final Order’s defeat, though Finn is there too, making it more of a sweet moment between friends.

Finn may have gotten a kiss from Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) in The Last Jedi, but whatever romance that existed between them has fizzled out by the time The Rise of Skywalker begins. Due to Rose’s limited role within the film, the two of them don’t get much screen time together. Rose remains at the Resistance base while Finn jets off with Rey and Poe for the film’s main mission. She later gets to join the final battle on Exegol, but she and Finn don’t have any significant moments together. Considering how much time they spent together during The Last Jedi, it feels strange to have them separate for basically all of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalkerwhich is really a result of Rose’s diminished screen time.

Next: What To Expect From Star Wars Episode 10


2019-12-24 05:12:51

Rachel Labonte

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