To say the Star Wars prequels were divisive is putting it mildly. While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was broadly embraced, largely by simply being a return to the franchise, both The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker have become movies that fans have very passionate feelings about. If there's a movie that rivals the levels of The Last Jedi hate, it may only be the Rise of Skywalker hate. If you’re a Star Wars fan there’s a pretty good chance that you really love one of them, and dislike the other, but which one is brilliant and which one is terrible is a topic of much debate.
One of the particular moments that tends to get a strong response from fans is the kiss shared between Rey and Ben Solo at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Since the day the movie was released, this has been a topic of contention, with fans feeling passionately, whether they loved it or hated it. Though Daisy Ridley now has a unique take on it.
How Fans Feel About The Rise Of Skywalker Kiss
If you care about The Rise of Skywalker at all, and if you’re reading this I’m guessing that you do, then you probably feel strongly about the kiss. For many, who had hoped to see Rey and Kylo Ren get together, the kiss was exactly the moment they had been waiting for.
For others, however, the kiss was something else. For some, the fact that the “shipping” community had gotten their kiss was exactly the problem. There was a feeling that movie had pandered to a particular fanbase. And there were some that felt the moment was imply a shock for shock’s sake that just didn’t make sense.
There’s a feeling from some the kiss hadn’t been earned. While Rey and Kylo Ren certainly had a unique relationship, it hadn’t been indicated to be romantic in the film itself. Up until the moment of Ben Solo’s redemption, the character had killed his father, who had been a friend to Rey, and tried to kill her more than once.
The moment certainly looks like the movie’s hero and villain sharing a romantic moment, and fans either love the kiss or hate it for exactly that reason. However, Daisy Ridley has a bit of a different take on all of it.
What Daisy Ridley Says About The Kiss Today
In a recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Daisy Ridley implies that the kiss was earned, but not because it was romantic. Instead, she sees the kiss as a farewell moment between Rey and Ben. It works because it’s the end of the story. Ridley said…
I felt like we all… It felt earned. And what was interesting, again I think it’s like, intentionality. My feeling, in that moment, was it was a goodbye, so that felt earned. Because, I mean, you could call a kiss a thousand things, but I felt like it was a goodbye. And that whole scene felt so emotional, and I felt like I was saying goodbye to the job.
It's certainly true that Rey and Kylo Ren have been through a great deal up to that point. And in the moment of the kiss, the story is coming to an end, and Ben Solo is dying. It is a moment of ending, that would be emotional for the two, and and as Daisy Ridley says, you can call a kiss a thousand things, and this is certainly one of them. While it seems unlikely this explanation will change anybody’s opinion of the moment, it is a different way to look at the story that is worth considering.
With an upcoming Star Wars movie planned around Daisy Ridley's Rey, perhaps the story will include a reference to the kiss, giving it more context. If it does, it will almost certainly result in strong reactions from fans.