Yo I'm pretty new to the fandom, so I'm not coming from a strong place of anti hate or anything, but: what's stopping me from shipping Reylo is that I just don't understand what Rey gets out of this? I really don't want to see the most prominent female Jedi/protagonist reduced to a device for male redemption (I do support his redemption tho) -- I guess I get why he might need her, but why does she need him, based on what we know from TFA at least? Asking sincerely, I'm genuinely curious here
First off, love/romance/relationships aren’t a financial balance sheet and while I kind of understand the premise of it, I don’t agree with the argument on a fundamental level - where someone has to ‘get something’.
That being said, I think aside from all the speculation, the trailer has really clarified that point. Rey is going to be a bit lost in a world that is very foreign to her, she’s looking for someone to help her - Luke tries, but freaks out (presumably). Kylo isn’t - and hasn’t - ever looked at her in fear or been freaked out - when she escaped, he was basically ‘okay well let’s find her’, not ‘shit not another force user they’re dangerous’ - he even offered to be her teacher and help her as they fought. That’s a really powerful thing - to be accepted for who you are. Rey is really big into family, having a home, because she never had one - she has serious abandonment issues and Kylo shares a lot of her same issues (though for different reasons).
I cannot stress enough how empowering it is to have someone truly understand you and your fears, and I think for Rey that’s going to be a tipping point for accepting Kylo as a partner (romantic or not). Sometimes you just need someone who gets it and doesn’t fear you. Sometimes that’s all it takes to love them. I’m talking romantic Reylo on the last point, btw.
And I think that this whole ‘device for a man’s redemption’ argument is just an excuse to not like the pairing and in some respects it’s total bullshit in this context.
It was made very clear throughout TFA - before and after he meets Rey - that Kylo had some serious conflict and serious issues with being drawn towards the Light, etc. I don’t care what anyone says, he was torn up about Han and almost didn’t do it. He felt trapped, like he had already gone too far - and then he killed Han, and it messed him up. Bad. We see the aftermath in TLJ trailer - it’s clearly VERY soon after TFA when he’s in the TIE against Leia and he’s all messed up.
At this point, it’s not tied at all to Rey. He’s already waffling - he’s on shaky ground as it is. If Leia is the turning point for him, then would you also say that Leia is just a ‘device for a man’s redemption’?
No, you wouldn’t - because Leia is a character that is not defined by who she loves and who she helps. She’s a wonderful character that has flaws, strengths, passions, and is human. Some could say that Han’s decision to come back at the end of ANH was caused by Leia - do you still make the same argument? No.
So why would you see Rey any differently? She has her own story, flaws, strengths, passions, insecurities. The fact that her path may be intertwined with Kylo’s doesn’t detract from her story, it strengthens it.
I hope that helps.