Emma’s Random (Reylo) Thoughts Part 2

So, I return to the idea of the Reylo ship (see part 1 for more details) and this one will detail both what Reylo devotees see as evidence that Reylo is canon (a part of the film) and the criticisms of this interpretation of the film.

1 Many people who support the idea of Reylo point, first of all, to the scene where Kylo Ren and Rey meet.  For reasons that I talked about in the prior post, it is strange.  Think about it.  Imagine, for a second, that Rey and Kylo Ren are nothing more than protagonist/antagonist.  The screenwriter, director, composer, and many others all decide, the following.  “Ok, now this is the scene where the heroine and the villain meet.  We need to set up that dynamic for the rest of the movies.  The best way to do that is to have the villain sweep the heroine off her feet, hold her in his arms, and carry her over the threshold of his ship.  Oh!  And the music should swell!”

Really?

Imagine this scene another way.  Imagine that Kylo Ren, instead of using the force to knock her out and swoops her up in his arms, hits her over head with his lightsaber to knock her out.  He then allows her to fall to the ground and forces the stormtroopers to drag her back to his ship.

2 Then there is the interrogation scene.  As I said prior, the interrogation scene is deliberately set up to mirror the first scene with Poe.

sw-force-awakens-movie-screencaps-com-1798

Look at this image.  Notice how dark the scene is, with only a little light on Poe.  Notice how Kylo Ren is entirely in shadow, reminiscent of the Grim Reaper.  I also almost feel as though their is a bit of forced perspective at play.  While Adam Driver is tall, they seem to emphasizing his size in this shot, and making Poe look diminished.  This adds to the menace.

Now look at this image in the scene where Kylo Ren interrogates Rey.

rey-interrogation

It is a very similar shot, but in important ways, they are opposites.  The room is brightly lit; there is no “horror movie” vibe.  Second of all, Kylo Ren is kneeling before her; he is no menacing presence.

Once again, this is the scene where the director is trying to set up the protagonist and antagonist.  In the theater, they talk a lot about the stakes of the scene.  Normally, when protagonists and antagonists meet, they want to establish the antagonist as a threat.  The audience should feel that the antagonist is a threat to the protagonist, and the audience must doubt, at least for a moment, that the protagonist will triumph.  And yet, in this scene, they do exactly the opposite.  The scene mitigates the threat that Kylo Ren poses to Rey.  Indeed, she even “defeats” him, resisting his efforts to probe her mind and eventually reading his own mind.

Put it this way.  Imagine, for example, that this scene had begun by showing Rey’s face.  It is beaten and bloody, as Poe’s face was.  Kylo Ren towers over Rey , masked, and begins reading her mind.  The reading is painful and she screams with pain, just as Poe did.  That is a very different scene than what we have.

I could go on, but I briefly want to get to the controversy.

Many people online are opposed to Reylo because they feel that it glorifies an abusive relationship.  They point to the kidnapping, the mind reading, and the fact that he threw her against a tree. All of these events are true.  For anti’s, this dynamic is not adversarial, but abusive.  Even if they do not hold it as abusive, they feel that Disney successfully established the protagonist/antagonist dynamic in the film and there is no alternate interpretation.

Many others criticize Reylo as racism.  Rey and Finn, as I have said before, are good friends and have a cute, puppy love chemistry in moments in the film.  To many, the fact that fans would rather see Rey end up with Kylo Ren (who is white) than with Finn (who is black) smacks of racism.

Others accuse Reylo if sexism.  They point out that if Rey redeems Kylo Ren in some way and marries him, or joins the dark side and works with him, then the story ultimately becomes about Kylo Ren, not Rey.  They also point out that it is not a woman’s job to fix a man.

I should also point out the men who may not be aware of Reylo, but who feel that Kylo Ren is irredeemable after killing Han Solo.  Many men who grew up watching the original trilogy feel a strong kinship with Han, and for them, Kylo Ren murdering his father sealed his fate and his path to the darkside.

Ok, I gave a brief summary of a bit of the evidence that Reylo supporters cite when they talk about Reylo as well as sum of the arguments about it.

Up next, will be my views on the subject and what I think Disney should do next.

 

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2 Responses to Emma’s Random (Reylo) Thoughts Part 2

  1. Or we could buck all the trends and not have her hook up with anyone. It’s ok for a male character to not have a love interest, why not a female character?

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