Chris Terrio, co-writer of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, details one of the greatest gifts he and J.J. Abrams received from The Last Jedi. Spoilers lie ahead.
What has arguably been the major criticism of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is that it largely ignores the plot threads established by its predecessor, The Last Jedi. Yet one aspect of the trilogy capper that was carried over from Rian Johnson’s sequel is the connection between Rey and Kylo Ren. Co-writer Chris Terrio would even go as far as to call it “a great gift.”
Terrio recently had an in-depth discussion with IndieWire about the biggest choices made for the film and, unsurprisingly, The Last Jedi found its way into the chat. Although Terrio and J.J. Abrams sought to forge their own path, they were happy with what The Last Jedi gave them, the Force link between Rey and Ren being one of them:
“That was a great gift of ‘The Last Jedi,’ in that their relationship seems very intimate and specific. There’s a way in which, in ‘The Last Jedi,’ Rey and Kylo Ren interact, and they just seem like they’re part of the same whole, that spiritually, they’re really one person. That really helped us in thinking about Rey and Kylo Ren, which is to say that we wanted to elaborate on the idea that Snoke bridged their minds in ‘The Last Jedi.’”
Nevertheless, the pair wanted to take things a step further by creating the concept of a Dyad in the Force, in which the two characters could actually be viewed as one:
“But what we wanted to say is that there’s something deeper there, and leave it to debate about at which point they became this dyad in the Force, where they were really two, or were they one… But regardless, their relationship is extremely interesting and complicated, and it was one of the things that J.J. and I loved about ‘The Last Jedi’ that we luckily inherited and could build.”
This connection also evolved from a visual standpoint, as both could not only see each other from far distances but also move objects from their respective locations. At one point in the film, Ren removes a necklace from Rey’s neck to find her on the planet Pasaana. And in one of the key moments of the third act, Rey uses the link to hand off a lightsaber to Ren.
Regardless of how you feel about The Rise of Skywalker, it’s difficult to deny that Abrams and his crew expanded upon Rey and Ben Solo’s complex relationship. Johnson planted the seeds for a deep bond between the young Force-users, while Abrams followed suit in the Sequel Trilogy’s finale.