The Force Awakens hit theaters only a week ago, and if you have even passing knowledge of the internet you won’t be surprised to hear that hundreds of authors and illustrators in the fan-fiction community are already hard at work asking tough questions, like, “Yo, what if these two (or three) characters kissed?” But in a Star Wars universe with at least four major new roles, the key question is: Who are we most excited to read about boning? (Shockingly underrepresented: BB-8.)
Since the dawn of Kirk-Spock slashfic (slash being, the more cultured among you already know, the genre of fan fiction focused on queer sexual and romantic relationships), no higher praise has been available to science fiction than an army of devoted fans eagerly imagining characters falling in love, engaging in cute domestic tasks, and screwing each other’s brains out.
The Force Awakens is no exception. The movie might seem to be setting up a relationship between beautiful scavenger Rey and handsome ex-conscript Finn. But maybe you thought Finn and the dashing pilot Poe Dameron shared a moment in the TIE fighter? Or possibly you felt like it was more than just workplace tension simmering underneath the arguments between masked sith Kylo Ren and galactic fascist General Hux? Why stop there? Wouldn’t Rey, Finn, and Poe make for a beautiful nontraditional Jedi wedding?
The question, of course, is which of these many possibilities is setting the internet’s pants on fire. Lucky for our scientific inquiry, the major fan-fiction site Archive of Our Own categorizes its submissions by coupling, allowing us to create the Official Force Awakens Shipping Power Rankings, from least-shipped to most.
Leia-Han (18 stories)
It’s a new generation of characters, and the old ones are less fun to write about. From “Hope Is the Only Thing I Have Left”:
Leia sighed running her hand through his hair like she used to do. He often liked that, it was a sense of comfort for him when nightmares of the rebellion plagued him. She thought maybe doing something so familiar would wake him up. Maybe she had too much hope … but with all she looked forward to now that he was back in her life, maybe optimism would shift the force in a positive direction … they could go back to the way they used to be.
Poe-Finn-Rey (34 stories)
Insisting that a galaxy far, far away adhere to rigid Western customs of two-person monogamous couples is cultural imperialism. From “About Damn Time”:
“Rey?” he said, rolling out from under the fighter where he was doing repairs. He was a little grease-stained, but that didn’t stop her from reaching for him as he stood up. “What’s up?”
She was practically rocking on her heels, and she couldn’t help but blurt it out. “I’m pregnant!”
Poe broke out into a grin, and reached for her immediately, pulling her into his arms, and spinning her around. “About damn time! This is wonderful, Rey,” he said setting her back down on the ground. She giggled, a little bit dizzy. He kissed her, and then reached for Finn, pulling him in, and then kissing him too.
Kylo Ren–General Hux (39 stories)
Also known as “Kylux.” From “Test Fire”:
Kylo doesn’t remember the last time he kissed someone. He doesn’t remember if he even has, because remembering the before, the light-polluted times of his childhood, pains him like a knife in the gut. He relies on instinct instead, so the kiss is hard and rough and teeth and tongue.
But Hux pulls at Kylo’s robe and fights for control of the kiss, pressing forward until he can catch his teeth on Kylo’s lip. That earns a growl from Kylo, and his power rolls out in every direction, sweeping cups, silverware, plates, platters, and bottles up the long table or off the side with a circus of shattering glass and clattering metal.
Finn-Rey (48 stories)
This is the obvious, but no less exciting, pair. From “You Are Stellar“:
Rey wouldn’t be surprised this seat had been fucked upon by Millenimum Falcoln’s original owner thousands of times. It wasn’t like it mattered that it was christened before. From the stories Rey had heard from legends, intense and passionate gestures of love and affection had been displayed in this very spot.
Kylo Ren–Rey (73 stories)
Also known as “Reylo.” Nothing gets a devoted fanfiction community going like the frisson of possible incest. From “That Which Lies Beneath”:
Her hips stopping their rocking — Kylo Ren grits his teeth against the noise that tries to escape him. “No!” Rey growls. “You will be honest with me.”
And he cannot disobey her. It is not the Force commanding him, but instead the force of her presence.
Kylo Ren may wish to stand over her, but Ben Solo wants to fall to his knees at her feet.
Poe-Finn (103 stories)
The undeniable, undisputed ship champion. From “Late Nights”:
According to Finn, it was just as perfect as always, the way the pilot’s lips felt against his, the way his tongue coiled against his. His hand went to behind the older man’s neck, lightly grabbing the curls that collected there. He felt a hand slide down his side and stay at his hips, holding on. Then, Poe pulled on Finn’s hips and moved his own forwards at the same time, grinding them together, causing Finn to gasp and break the kiss.