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Are You, Or Are You Dating, Darth Vader?

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

What your love life and Star Wars have in common.

*Spoiler Alert*

Every man has a little Darth Vader in him, or I should say, Kylo Ren, when it comes to dating. I realized this after watching Disney’s last two Star Wars movies, Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015) and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017). As a professional Matchmaker, the pseudo love story between heroine Rey, a fiercely smart and beautiful orphan, and anti-hero, dark and smoldering Ben Solo, fascinates me. For those who have yet to dive into Star Wars and #Reylo fandom, Ben Solo, the son of Princess Leia and Han Solo, crosses over to the dark side to follow Darth Vader’s legacy. He gets a new bad boy name, Kylo Ren.

Confession: my husband had to convince me to watch the movies, but with a little coaxing, and the fact that they just made #GalaxysEdge @Disneyland, I gave them a try and thoroughly enjoyed them! A bit of a #litsnob, I wrote this article for everyone, regardless of their views on Star Wars. However, I felt surprised with the applicability of the relationships to today’s dating world.

The movies reveal why every woman has a Kylo Ren in her past dating life, but I will call him Ben for this article. Women infamously tend to have a soft spot for bad boys, and Star Wars discloses the reason why: everyone wants to save someone. Women have maternal instincts to nurture and cultivate virtue in others, whereas men have a hero complex. Men want to protect and come to the rescue of the beautiful. In The Force Awakens, Maz, an old and wise character, reveals to Rey that her parents are “‘never coming back. But…there’s someone who still could.’” I love the ambiguity of that line; it could mean Luke Skywalker, who has exiled himself on an unknown planet, or Ben!

During this movie, Rey and Ben meet for the first time, and he takes her prisoner. She escapes as a result of her gift of ‘the force.’ When they meet again, she almost kills him, but the second that she pauses, an earthquake prevents her. In the next movie, the force brings Rey and Ben together in an alternate reality giving them a strange bond. At this point, she finds Luke Skywalker in his hiding planet and convinces him to come out of his hermetical existence to refine her as a Jedi. However, greater power gives her more temptation.

Luke attempts to repel Rey with his rudeness and obstinacy; he knows that those who wield the force can more easily use it for evil. During their time together, Ben reveals to her that during his own Jedi training, Luke had tried to slay him in his sleep. This combined with Luke’s behavior towards her causes her to feel empathy for Ben and resent Luke. Yet, later Luke explains to her that he had feared the darkness brewing in Ben. Luke recognizes his failure; instead of giving Ben a chance, he tried to murder him to expel the evil. Luke realizes that ends fail to justify the means. His attempt to murder Ben immediately propels Ben to the dark side. Ashamed, Luke escapes to a planet, vowing to relinquish his power and refuse to teach anyone the dangerous ways of the Jedi.

In the climax of The Last Jedi, Ben helps Rey to kill the evil ‘Supreme Leader,’ but rather than joining the good force (the Resistance), he tries to convince Rey to rule with him as the next Leader. Instead of a sign that he had reformed, he had killed for selfish aims. I felt nervous that the movie would end with Ben converting and confirming every woman’s unrealistic dream come true, but bad boys rarely change. The heartbreak and disappointment that women feel after attempting to reform one stays the same in all places, times, and, as evidenced in Star Wars, galaxies. Rey learns that everyone needs to choose light or darkness for himself.

How does this apply to today’s dating culture? People can get into trouble trying to reform suitors. You may intensely connect with certain people, but they would lead you on a path away from truth if you had stayed with them. You may wonder why you felt this connection, but maybe it was meant to attract them to goodness. The most attractive quality in anyone is goodness. A wise man once told me that just as a lamp attracts bugs, a smart woman needs to protect herself from falling for men with less-than-honorable intentions.

Who are the Kylo Ren men in the dating world? All men have the temptation to take the easy way out. There are those who want power without the hard work, and others who want emotional or physical intimacy without the commitment. Some men want love without the responsibility. Every man has the propensity to take as much as he can with as little commitment as possible. If a man truly loves you, he will choose goodness and give you the commitment that you deserve. If he chooses the dark side, anything that you could or would do would fail to change him.

Now back to Rey. She meets Resistance hero Poe Dameron at end of The Last Jedi who seems like a potential contender for her heart. Yet in a last scene, she sees Ben in an altered reality, and their eyes meet. They clearly have chemistry, but who will she choose?

One of the Bachelorettes who I date coach remarked that a man who she dated asked questions about her faith journey and listened intently, but when she looked back at him, she saw eyes filled with fear.

We discussed that you find your soul mate when you both choose goodness and each other every day. However, you may form a soul connection with someone who you meet briefly or on a date in order to show them goodness, truth, and beauty. You are brought together to help inspire goodness in each other, but if that fails, refuse to get dragged down into their miry world.

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