The Rise of Skywalker is an outright mess. There are a lot of fun moments, and also a lot of goofy and bad things. The film also contains the best kiss of the decade, one of the best kisses in the Star Wars franchise, and—DARE I SAY—one of the best kisses in all of cinema.
The Reylo kiss is so powerful and good that I am willing to give the rest of the movie a pass for being borderline unintelligible.
I will now describe the kiss in detail, as well as my physical/emotional responses to it as I was seeing it in real-time. Future enemies turned suitors, please take copious notes:
Rey’s eyes are open and unblinking. Ben was cast off a cliff. I am staring straight ahead, my heart is pounding so fast.
But: Ben is alive! I gasp and hit my friends Meg and Marissa in their respective arms. Ben climbs out of the pit and cradles Rey in his arms. He hugs her tightly and looks at her lovingly. I am now grabbing for Meg and Marissa’s hands.
Ben then puts his hand on her waist and uses his (I’m yelling) FORCE HEALING POWER to bring Rey back to life. She wakes up and puts her hand on his hand. Then Rey touches Ben’s face. She says, “Ben” and smiles. They look at each other for such a long time.
I worry maybe it won’t happen. Maybe we won’t get a kiss. J.J. Abrams, don’t let me down, bro! I am clutching Meg and Marissa so hard right now. The people behind us definitely hate me.
They smooch for a LONG TIME, at least as long as Tom Brady and his son kiss on the mouth, if not longer. I am furiously fist-pumping. Then Ben smiles. I have basically passed out. I am euphoric. Then he dies. I also die.
Like Hall and Oates famously penned, “your kiss is on my list of the best things in life.”
What makes this the best kiss of the decade is the intense build up over the course of 4 years and three films. Rey and then-Kylo begin as enemies. Kylo is such a dick to her in 2015’s The Force Awakens, you might think he was getting advice from The Pickup Artist. But there’s certainly a connection between the two, and their sexual tension is off the charts. Fast forward to 2017’s The Last Jedi, where the pair is long distance Force-calling, confessing their deepest fears and secrets, and even picking up the call while shirtless. TLJ director, and all-around good person who makes great movies, Rian Johnson said their hand touch was the Star Wars equivalent of sex.
The elevator scene in The Last Jedi is one of the horniest moments in Star Wars, not including Darth Maul, and I was low key disappointed they didn’t kiss right then and there. So when we arrived at this year’s The Rise of Skywalker, I knew the stakes had to be raised.
However, while TROS has many issues, it stuck the landing in terms of Ben’s redemption, also known as “Bendemption” by the teens who run Reylo meme accounts on Instagram that I definitely don’t follow, because I am 26.
In TROS, Rey and Kylo shared a few forcetimes, a few lightsaber fights, and a few key moments where it was very clear that they lOoOoVe each other. So in the final moments of the movie, when Ben has cast off his dark side alter ego to save his Space Bae, it feels triumphant when they finally get around to the tonsil hockey. It was transcendent. I will truly never be over it. Star Wars was everywhere this decade, and I’m glad the decade closed out with Reylo TRULY becoming canon.