“Super Divisive” ’Star Wars’ Sequel Trilogy Almost Didn’t Include Reylo Kiss Scene

in Entertainment, Star Wars

Rey wielding a blue lightsaber as she listens to Jedi spirits star wars

Credit: Lucasfilm

It’s been nearly five years since Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) arrived in theaters, irreversibly dividing the fandom forever. Now, on the cusp of her franchise return, Rey actress Daisy Ridley is getting candid about her experience filming the “super divisive” Sequel Trilogy, sharing some never-before-revealed insights into its production — specifically, that controversial “Reylo” kiss scene.

Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Daisy Ridley Reveals Anxiety Over Rey Role, “I Thought I Ruined Star Wars”

While it might be a bit dramatic to say things have never been the same in the galaxy far, far away since the Disney-helmed Star Wars Sequel Trilogy premiered in 2015 with J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, it’s not too far from the truth — especially for the series’ main protagonist, Daisy Ridley, who played scavenger-turned-Jedi Rey.

Despite the first entry faring generally well with audiences, its direct follow-up, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), went down in film history as one of the most controversial sequels of all time. And instead of turning things around for the third and final installment, The Rise of Skywalker, most would agree that the movie actively made things worse, with filmmakers seemingly rushing to the finish line in an attempt to get it out.

Characters from Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: 48 Years Later, Iconic Piece of ‘Star Wars’ Memorabilia Hits the Auction Block

Sadly, much of the blame was placed on the actors, including John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren/Ben Solo), and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico). But Ridley, being the face of the trilogy, took the brunt of audiences’ criticisms — something she recently admitted is “still upsetting” to her all these years later.

Speaking with Josh Horowitz while doing press for her latest movie, Sometimes I Think About Dying (2024), Ridley reflected on her Star Wars experience when she was asked to share her thoughts on the mixed responses to its finale.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) in TROS
Credit: Lucasfilm

The actress said, “Was I surprised? Uh, I think it’s still upsetting because you don’t want people to feel like you’ve not served the thing that they’re a fan of,” before adding, “Rian’s one was so divisive. It really felt like the first one…everyone was responsive in a similar way. And then Rian’s one was super divisive and the last one was super divisive. It didn’t change how I felt about it.”

Although Ridley’s response was something of a non-answer, she went on to add that multiple fans had approached her last year to ask if she was considering reprising her role — a much different sentiment than viewers’ perhaps more hostile reactions just years prior. She explained, “In the six months before that, the way in which I’d been greeted by people’s responses was quite different to the way I had been. I think time had passed, and it didn’t feel so immediate.”

Daisy Ridley as Rey Skywalker in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

One of the most controversial elements of The Rise of Skywalker was by far the shared kiss between Kylo Ren and Rey that occurred in the final moments of the film as the former Supreme Leader lay dying after sacrificing himself to help defeat Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). The scene sparked intense backlash online, severing the fanbase, as some were rooting for “Reylo,” while others thought the romance was unnecessary.

And interestingly enough, even filmmakers seem to have had their doubts about the ever-divisive kiss scene. In the same interview, Ridley revealed that she shot a version of the scene without the infamous smooch, saying, “I felt like we all…it felt earned. What’s interesting again is intentionality. My feeling in that moment was that it was a goodbye, so that felt earned. You could call a kiss a thousand things, but I felt like it was a goodbye, and that whole scene felt so emotional.”

Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Adam Driver) kiss
Credit: Lucasfilm

In her eyes, it sounds like the kiss between Rey and Kylo wasn’t exactly romantic but rather an emotional climax for the characters, who had been mysteriously connected via the Force since the first movie. However, many reputable Star Wars scoopers have claimed that Lucasfilm briefly considered ending The Rise of Skywalker with a big reveal that Rey was, in fact, pregnant with Kylo’s child. Suffice it to say, this probably wouldn’t have gone over too well with Sequel Trilogy naysayers.

Although viewers may never fully appreciate the Sequel Trilogy, Ridley will get her chance at redemption in director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s yet-untitled “New Jedi Order” film, which will pick up on Rey’s story years after the fall of the First Order. The movie was announced at April’s Star Wars Celebration Europe and has already sparked its fair share of backlash, largely thanks to its director.

Here’s hoping Daisy Ridley can escape all the controversy someday.

Are you looking forward to seeing Rey back in action? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments Off on “Super Divisive” ’Star Wars’ Sequel Trilogy Almost Didn’t Include Reylo Kiss Scene