Many of the character arcs and developments in the Star Wars sequel trilogy were inconsistent, and often baffling, but one thing remained true throughout the messy run - the heart of the story was the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren. The importance of supporting cast members and legacy characters varied from film to film, but the bond between the heroine and villain remained the focal point of the entire trilogy.
The Force Awakens set up interesting possibilities for the pair, ranging from Ren's seeming recognition of a girl on Jakku to Rey's vision of the fallen Jedi. While those pieces of the story were never touched again, The Last Jedi worked to build on the similarities the two characters had by generating intimacy through their newly-introduced Force bond. The two convinced themselves that they could turn the other to their respective side, but things ultimately ended with a slammed door in the face.
Come The Rise of Skywalker, the bond between the pair is suddenly back after a year, Kylo has re-forged his helmet, and Rey once again has questions about her lineage. Any goodwill built between them in Episode VIII is seemingly out the window, however; when they interact, they trade brutal insults about the things that haunt one another, and Rey goes on multiple unhinged tirades to try and kill her Dyad in the Force.
The way the first interaction in Episode IX is structured, audiences are left to believe it's the first time Rey and Ren have seen each other since The Last Jedi. However, the year between the films offers the possibility for other events to transpire - and Disney's Star Wars hotel turns out to be a place where the duo come into contact again.
Rey & Kylo Ren Meet on Galactic Starcruiser
The Disney Parks Twitter account recently shared a new ad for the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel. In the footage, Lucasfilm Story Group member explains pieces of the narrative, noting that there's a "love story" during the experience and Rey and Kylo Ren "meet up again" at some point:
"There's a love story on board... and we'll get to see some of the characters that we know and love from the films, including Rey and Kylo, who will actually meet up again for probably the first, and maybe the only, time between [The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker]."
Also, worth noting is that the monologue for cast members auditioning to play Rey at the hotel appears to be directed specifically toward Kylo Ren:
The full preview for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser can be seen below:
Chaos on the Halcyon
It appears that the storyline transpiring during Galactic Starcruiser is going to be a big deal. Rey and Kylo Ren treated each other as bitter enemies until Ben Solo returned to the light, so whatever happens during their encounter on the Halcyon will have to be significant enough to make them even more bitter and spiteful towards each other than the rejections in The Last Jedi did.
Mention of a love story taking place during guests' stay is interesting, but that doesn't seem like something that will be happening between Rey and Kylo. There's an intimate relationship between them, but it was only ever expressed in isolation - so $6,000 won't be enough for people to see their bond grow. The love story is likely unrelated, and Rey will make a vain attempt to turn Kylo again before fleeing the scene.
Should Lucasfilm opt for the love story to be between the two for whatever reason, it wouldn't be the first time the ship has seen such an affair. Kylo's parents, Han Solo and Princess Leia, are set to honeymoon on the Halcyon in a new novel coming in August, which could make that extensive marketing piece the start of a family tradition. Maybe the Jedi and Supreme Leader will take time off from the galactic conflict to cash in their Disney bucks for a room?
Martin noted that the story aboard the vessel has been in the plans for years which, if development began around the same time as Galaxy's Edge, would be well before The Last Jedi released in theaters. One can only hope that the planning session was extensive and develops Rey and Kylo's relationship significantly, as Lucasfilm has proven that they're also capable of making franchise-altering decisions in the span of 30 seconds... see "Somehow, Palpatine returned" for more on that.
How the interaction between Rey and Kylo plays out will be interesting to see. Unfortunately, people visiting the Galactic Starcruiser won't get to actually use the special lightsaber crafted for the experience, but perhaps it will be used by Rey during the confrontation instead. It shouldn't be long until a fan posts a video of the encounter on social media, which will give everyone else an opportunity to see how the story of the connected hero and villain continues.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser begins launching into hyperspace on March 1, 2022.