Broom Kid said:
I also think Finn/Rey made more sense than Rey/Kylo (I don’t see a lot of romance on Rey’s part towards Kylo. I see some going the other direction, but she never really seems too into the idea on her part in either TFA or TLJ) but again, I think the best possible romantic pairing in the sequel trilogy was Finn/Poe. The only thing really going for Rey/Finn however is the stray hints at it in TFA that didn’t really get picked up on in TLJ - although the hug when Finn and Rey reunite definitely has more going for it on an emotional level than Rose kissing Finn. But then again - Poe introducing himself to Rey basically signals that Finn/Rey is out of the question going forward if they stick with Trevorrow, and it’s only possible in TROS if JJ remembers what he was kind of trying to do in TFA with those two… and he apparently didn’t.
The biggest problem with any Rey pairing is that there’s not really enough work put into any of the movies to suggest she even needs the romantic aspect to be addressed, much less addressed the way it was in TROS. And even in that movie - it only happens very, very late in the movie (she spends most of TROS exceedingly angry with Kylo, tries to kill him twice before ACTUALLY KILLING HIM but healing him before he can die), and that romance is taken off the board by his death almost immediately afterwards anyway.
Finn/Rey, like most things in TFA, was set up so that it could go either way. The introduction of Rose in TLJ seemed to imply that the direction for the pair would be “just friends,” but I think it still was way open enough that you could do a romance in IX and it’d feel natural (even though the pair are separated in TLJ, they’re constantly talking about the other, with their reunion being a big beat).
I agree Rey didn’t need a romance. But credit where it’s due, Trevorrow at least gives a reason for it (tying back into the “Jedi code” and rejecting it as part of her path forward).
When it comes to Kylo, personally I think they were intentionally playing for romance in TLJ. There was no pressing need to go through with it in IX, but I did find it a very interesting added ripple to their relationship that complicated the typical arch nemesis set up going into the finale. To that extent I’m glad they made it explicit, although Abrams clearly wanted to leave the kiss as a twist at the end, so all we’re left with in the lead up is subtext, which isn’t quite as interesting as what could have been done with it. But I think Rey stabbing him is a great beat. She lets her anger get the better of her and immediately regrets it. She wants to be with Ben, but not on the dark side. The issue with the scene is really there’s no great explanation for why Rey is fighting him in the first place.