Some ships, like Stormpilot, are wonderful and pure and wholesome. They represent everything that’s good in the world. I hope that they could become canon someday.
Other ships… are not. Other ships are dark and perverted and problematic. They pair together the most horrible of villains and represent our most secret, shameful desires.
Kylux is one of those ships. It belongs in the trash can and I probably belong in the trash can for loving it but I love it all the same.
Who Are The Characters?
Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) is already becoming an iconic Star Wars villain after his debut in The Force Awakens. The child of Han Solo and Leia Organa, Ren was training to be a Jedi with his uncle Luke until he betrayed him and the other padawans and defected to the dark side.
You may also remember General Hux (played by Domhnall Gleeson) from his smaller role in the Force Awakens as the angry ginger in the First Order uniform. While Hux didn’t get a lot of screentime, his most memorable scene was the impassioned speech he gave on the surface of Starkiller Base right before the destruction of the Hosnian system. (“ALL REMAINING SYSTEMS WILL BOW TO THE FIRST ORDER!”)
Why They Work Well Together (In My Mind)
Villains are hot and spite hookups are fun! The only trope better than “friends to lovers” is “rivals to angry lovers” and Kylux is a goddamn power couple when it comes to that.
I like the dynamic of the purely physical relationship, two extremely motivated people needing to relieve tension in a military environment. I like the sense of potential scandal – what if the stormtroopers found out? BDSM is a popular subculture and there’s a lot of great potential for interesting power dynamics in Kylux.
And let’s face it, there’s also something kind of endearing about imagining two people who are hard and angry and evil genuinely having a soft spot for each other. I also like the dynamic of them slowly and accidentally developing actual feelings for each other, but being annoyed about it. (“Of all the people I could fall for, why did it have to be you?”) Both of them are inherently lonely people and there’s something comforting about them finding a sense of solace in each other.
Why They Don’t Work Together (In Real Life)
Every actual conceivable reason.
Let’s get this straight right now. Despite everything I just said, Ren and Hux are still actually terrible for each other. The only emotion they ever canonically display towards one another is contempt. They would sell each other to Satan for one corn chip. Their relationship would be a dumpster fire.
I just like shipping people who hate each other. I know it will never be canon. I don’t even want it to be canon. I just can’t look away from this train wreck.
Is It a Standard/Popular Ship? Are There Alternate Ships Involving the Characters?
I know what you’re thinking. Kylux sounds like a niche ship. To be completely honest, most non-Kylux fans probably barely remember General Hux from the movie. I understand this.
But somehow Kylux is the most popular Kylo Ren ship out there. It’s a very active ship with a pretty tight knit community! Probably because we all belong in the trash can together.
Reylo is the other noteworthy ship involving Kylo Ren, this time paired with Rey, but even though it features a much more major character, it just doesn’t pull the same weight. (Compare 2,637 Kylux fanfictions on Archive of Our Own to only 1,604 Reylo ones.)
It makes sense to me. Ren and Hux are both awful and deserve each other, but Rey is my precious daughter who deserves better than getting mixed up in their garbage nonsense. Also, let’s be honest with ourselves: they’re almost certainly related. (Fool me once, George Lucas!) I’m actually super curious what’s going to happen to the Reylo fandom if I’m right about that truth bomb dropping during The Last Jedi later this week.
Dream Fantasy (Kept PG!)
I think the ideal for most ships is to see the people involved happy with each other, but there is no happy, domestic ending for Ren and Hux. The Kylux ideal, in my mind, is to see them powerful with each other.
I can imagine it now. Hux has recently become the new Emperor. He’s sitting on his throne, dressed all in white with a long robe and a gold laurel in his red hair, entertaining bizarrely beautiful alien dignitaries from all over the galaxy. Ren stands beside him, dressed in medieval style black leather armor with a grey fur lining, scanning the room for potential threats, Hux’s protector and his enforcer. Nobody dares cross the Emperor while he has his savage Hound by his side. Together, the two of them are unstoppable.
Of course, it goes without saying that this would be awful news for the rest of the galaxy, but it’s fun to think about!
So, no, I will not be walking into The Last Jedi later this week with any illusions about a tender Kylux moment. Just being in the same room and being mouthy at each other, as they are wont to do, will surely be enough to satisfy me and the Kylux fandom for the next two years leading up to Episode IX.