so yeah the ‘you’re nothing’ line is awful and abusive and manipulative and should disqualify kylo ren from any positive relationship with rey ever and the fact that people are romanticising it is frankly disgusting but let’s also remind ourselves of some other moments in tlj:
rey’s first instinct on seeing ren was to shoot him
ren’s first instinct on seeing rey was to attempt to force her to bring luke to him, his motives are clear from the start
she spends their first three interactions insulting him, rebuffing him and generally telling him to fuck off
the force “”bond”” is non consensual. rey never consented to it. ren never consented either but when he realised what it was, he instantly began using it to manipulate rey for his own purposes.
the true force bond (which this is not) is not inherently romantic. previous force bonds include erza and darth maul as well as luke and leia. claiming that this bond is romantic is similar to claiming the connection between harry and voldemort in order of the phoenix is romantic when it’s sole narrative purpose is to manipulate the hero and for the hero to eventually overcome it
she is extremely uncomfortable in his presence for their first interactions
ren manipulates rey into putting herself into a situation that would make her more emotionally vulnerable and feel completely and utterly alone because he wanted something from her aka luke’s location and her power
she didn’t want to turn him because she cared about him, she wanted to turn him for strategic value for the resistance
they don’t care about each other, just what the other person can bring to their side
they only get along for five minutes before realising that their goals are completely incompatible with one another and the immediate reaction of ren is to begin insulting, manipulating and degrading rey.
rey turned ren down, cementing their places on opposing sides
rey left ren for dead on a ship that was about to blow up. this is literally the second time that she has done this in five days.
ren ordered the falcon blown out of the sky with a high probability that rey was on it
seriously, he sent his entire air support to shoot down his father’s ship. the ship he knew rey had arrived on and that chewbacca was definitely on.
one of ren’s final lines in the movie is a promise to ‘destroy her [rey], and you and all of it’. sounds pretty comprehensive to me when you consider he attempted to murder luke moments later
when ren attempted to reconnect with rey through the bond, she rejected him metaophorically and physically
rey looked happier hugging finn and talking to poe for a combined 25 seconds than she has talking to ren. ever. full stop. period. end of.
speaking of the scene with poe, this is a direct response to the ‘you’re nothing’ line. it’s there to show rey and the audience that ren was wrong and she’s not nothing. that she is both someone and important.
in conclusion, romanticising any of this is romanticising the emotional abuse and manipulation of a 19 year old girl who has gone through a lot emotionally in the past five or so days we’ve known her and have been following her journey. r*ylo is nothing but a shocking case study in how we as a society are conditioned to believe that a woman’s abuse, discomfort and pain is sexy if there’s a mildly attractive white man involved. thank you for coming to my ted talk.
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