The Last Jedi saw immense personal growth for both Rey and Kylo Ren, as they both confronted their masters to reveal how much power they themselves possessed. Surprisingly, the film also explored the unexplained connection between them, resulting in some of the film's most powerful scenes. Writer/director Rian Johnson recently shared not only how integral these scenes were to the overall film, but also the logistics they required to resonate so deeply with the audience.
"For those force connections, I needed them to talk. And I thought that the hardest thing that Rey could possibly be faced with is being forced to talk to this person that she completely despises," Johnson confessed. "And also the audience, we hate him coming into it. She had to be our proxy and so that's why in those first few conversations, she is just spitting in his face."
The unexplained nature of this connection makes the film all the more interesting, with some audiences looking towards the familial connection between Luke, Leia and Darth Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back to deduce that Kylo and Rey were connected by blood. With Kylo's parents being Leia and Han and Rey discovering that her parents were "nobodies," this disproves that theory.
Another theory is that there is a potential romantic connection between the two characters, yet, given Rey's loathing of Kylo, this seems unlikely.
What made these sequences so compelling is that, while actors Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver appeared to be talking to themselves, the audience truly felt the presence of the other half of the conversation. Johnson pointed out exactly why viewers felt that way.
"Every single time we shot one of their sides, the other person was off camera. Even to the point where Adam flew to Ireland just to be off camera for Daisy's stuff, which was essential because they're such intimate conversations," Johnson divulged. "And that also meant we had to shoot each of those scenes twice basically, which meant the rehearsal time was really important. And my editor Bob Ducsay did an amazing job then of making it feel kind of seamless after the fact."
Audiences will learn more about Kylo and Rey's connection when Episode IX comes to theaters on December 20, 2019.
The Last Jedi is in theaters now.