Let the past die.
The way the movie really should have ended.
Star Wars: Last Jedi
Later, Rey would say it was that single word that changed everything. But at the time all she could think of was the look in his eyes, the raw emotion and vulnerability she saw there. This time, he held out his hand to her—and she considered it, struggling to decide.
Because on the one hand, she had sworn she would not fall like Kylo Ren. She was not dark, would never be like the Sith, cared too much about her friends, the rebellion, Skywalker and could not just let the past die… And yet, she knew she would never persuade Kylo Ren to abandon all and join her instead. He couldn’t. He had murdered Snoak yes, but if the destruction of Empire and creation of The First Order proved anything, it was that someone else would just continue the fight and it might as well be him.
Her options were thus: Decline, and continue to fight against the New Order with their dwindling forces as they had done for years now to no avail—or, join and act as a positive influence.
Rey took a deep breath. “They may be a part of your past,” she began, slowly, carefully, because he needed to know she wasn’t saying no. “But they are my present. I came from nothing,” she said echoing his words from before, “I had no one—until I had them.”
She could see him considering this, a slight frown creasing his brow, a twist as he bit the inside of his cheek. But he made no move to speak, so she continued. “If we were to destroy them, we would need to destroy the First Order as well. They are a part of the past too.”
“With Snoak dead, we can change the First Order—”
“Then why don’t we change the Alliance, as well?” Rey countered, and Kylo fell silent again. “Even if you were to snuff this band of fighters out, eventually, another would rise from some desolate corner of the system. It’s just as Snoak said—dark rises, and light to meet it. Balance requires both.”
Rey swallowed. “Letting the past die is also moving past it—in spite of it, letting go of the grudges and feeling associated with it. If we work together, we can bring both sides together. If you take away their reason to fight, it destroys them just the same.” Rey extended a quivering hand, but did not bridge the gap between them. “Can you save my friends?”
Kylo regarded her for a long moment, doubt clear upon his face. “They won’t accept this.”
“So we make them. We make them all accept it.”
Still, Kylo hesitated, and she could feel the indecision within him.
“Can you let the past die?” she asked, in a soft whisper. She felt resolve form, but for what she didn’t know. He met her eyes, and she found herself holding her breath. Then, he closed the distance and firmly grasped her hand.