The various changes behind the scenes in regards to the development of the Star Wars sequel trilogy has resulted in some fans speculating about the various intentions of each filmmaker, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson confirming that he always meant the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren to be romantic. With that film keeping that specific issue somewhat ambiguous, allowing some fans to think they were connected by blood in some capacity, it was unknown if it was Johnson's intention to put these characters on the path we saw completed in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as that film saw the two kiss before Ben Solo's death.
"If anybody questions whether or not Reylo were meant to be romantic, you can stop speculating. Rian absolutely saw them as a romance," Sariah Wilson shared on Twitter after a lengthy interview with Johnson.
If anybody questions whether or not Reylo were meant to be romantic, you can stop speculating. Rian absolutely saw them as a romance. 😍— Sariah Wilson (@sariahwilson) February 16, 2021
While the original trilogy of Star Wars films were each directed by a different filmmaker, as well as featuring various writers, they all ultimately aligned with series creator George Lucas' ideas. The sequel trilogy, on the other hand, also saw different directors, who often discussed how they were given the freedom to chart whatever course they wanted with their narratives. This excited some fans, as it meant the filmmakers seemingly weren't forced down any specific paths, though some fans were frustrated by what they felt was a lack of overall vision for the trilogy.
Some fans were so frustrated by the final installment in the trilogy, they believed J.J. Abrams set out to retcon the events of The Last Jedi. Actor Greg Gunberg, however, detailed how much respect Abrams had for what Johnson accomplished.
"I was shocked. This is part of Star Wars, which is finding conflict," Grunberg shared with The Hollywood Reporter of fans thinking Abrams actively attempted to contradict The Last Jedi. "People are going to make things up. I never heard one disparaging thing from J.J. about Rian. Rian is a brilliant storyteller and filmmaker. It's one of those things where if you pay attention to the film and engage with it, all it does is keep that story going. But, I'm glad you're asking me because I would absolutely tell you if there were moments here and there. And there weren't. There just absolutely weren't."
He added, "If anybody was going to try and dig that out of J.J., it'd be me. I wanted to work with Rian so badly, and it just didn't happen. So, I would be looking for any reason to go, 'Oh yeah, well,' but J.J. loves that guy. He loves how creative and how brilliant he is."
Rian Johnson is currently slated to develop a trilogy of Star Wars films for Lucasfilm.