The novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, written by Rae Carson and released for the first time this past weekend at C2E2, confirms that the kiss between Rey and Ben was not romantic.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker brought the sequel trilogy to a conclusion, ending the character arcs of both Rey and Kylo Ren. Although Ben Solo was redeemed, he sacrificed his life for Rey, and the two shared one brief kiss before he died in her arms.
The mysterious relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren lies at the core of the sequel trilogy. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealed they are both part of a Force Dyad, something very uncommon in the Star Wars galaxy. This occurs when two powerful Force-users are connected on a mystical level, their power bleeding into one another. The bond was presumably deepened when Kylo Ren attempted to penetrate Rey’s mind in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and has been growing as each became stronger in the Force. It’s not quite the connection many viewers wanted to see; many fans had hoped for a romance between Rey and Kylo Ren. The kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker felt like Lucasfilm tossing them a bone.
In a surprising twist, Rae Carson’s novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker subtly attempts to walk back on that. Advance copies of the novelization have been released at C2E2 in Chicago, and readers have been taken aback at the description of the kiss. For context, this scene happens just after Ben Solo used his new Force Heal power to transfer his own life into Rey, resurrecting her – at the cost of his own life.
“His heart was full as Rey reached for his face, let her fingers linger against his cheek. And then, wonder of wonders, she leaned forward and kissed him. A kiss of gratitude, acknowledgement of their connection, celebration that they’d found each other at last.
But then she drew back, concern on her face. She could feel him growing cold.
Ben smiled at her.
He had given Rey back to the galaxy. It wouldn’t atone for the darkness he’d wrought, but it was what he could do.”
We look forward to reading the novelization ourselves when it is released for all later this month.