Kylo Ren/Hux

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Pairing
Pairing: Kylo Ren (Ben Solo) / General Hux
Alternative name(s): Kylux
Gender category: M/M, Slash
Fandom: Star Wars, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: popular
Archives:
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Kylo Ren/Hux aka Kylux is a slash relationship from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens of Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) and General Hux (played by Domhnall Gleeson).

Fandom

AO3 ship popularity after TFA came out; fans continued to produce Kylux fanworks during a period when interest in other TFA ships dropped precipitously.

For a time, Kyluc was the most popular ship in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy fandom on Archive Of Our Own. It was surpassed only by Reylo in 2019 following Reylo's increased growth after The Last Jedi.. There are over 12,000 fanworks in the Armitage Hux/Ben Solo | Kylo Ren tag on Archive of Our Own as of August 2019. [1] It's also the second most popular ship in all Star Wars media on the site[2].

On Tumblr, Kylux was 9th on the list of the most reblogged/discussed ships in 2016 [3] and 35th in 2018 [4].

History

The earliest mention of the ship name "Kylux" was made on AO3 by user ImperialRemnant in a comment on their fic on November 21, 2015:

A friend helped me name this ship Kylux (although I call it that privately and if that doesn't end up being the ship name, well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). Just if you want something to call it :P[5]

In the early phases of the fandom there were much discontent with how fanworks were recommended and what types of fan fiction gained popularity. New arrivals felt they were being upstaged. By May 2016, fans began blogging their concerns that many fiction rec lists kept sharing the the same ten works over and over.

I’ve also seen that there are generally a very small group of fictions recommended over and over by the same people, in a sort of circle. I have friends I’ve talked to that are so discouraged by the attention only to “popular” fictions with obsessive artwork that they’ve stopped writing. This makes me sad. There are a lot of really talented people out there that no one ever draws a picture for, and no one ever reblogs their stories.

I considered deleting this a few times before I hit post, but honestly, my point is the stories with 4000 kudos and 400 pieces of art don’t define this fandom. There are nearly 3000 works of fiction and hundreds of artists, and when “rec” posts go around that invariably list the same ten, over and over and over, it diminishes everyone else. I’ve talked with folks that are very discouraged by this.

I suppose I might have negative feedback from this, but that’s ok. It’s not about me. I just wish we could branch out and love more folks and give them encouragement and pride. [6].

Others expressed concern that the limited number of poplar works would result in overly derivative fanon:

Also can I add something? I don’t want there to be a small group of people in the kylux fandom that everyone looks up to. Why? Because then so much work is going to end up derivative of their ideas instead of standing out on its own. Already, I’ve noticed that people characterize Hux and Kylo in ways that seem to crop up over and over but aren’t necessarily supported by canon – it just was used in a popular fanfic. I understand the community taking inspiration from each other but seriously you all should come up with your own ideas based on the canon presentations of these characters! Don’t just write fanfic that makes Hux and Kylo act like they do in every other fanfic. Interpret them your own way. It makes for far better work.[7]

This led to a few suggestions: a 'small fic’ fic rec list: "it’s Friday. I’m going to put together a Fic Rec Friday list of…idk, a dozen one-shots that I really enjoy, and I’m going to make an effort to make sure none of them are big name fics." Another fan wrote: "an art/fic exchange pool for smaller fics that have no artwork? Not like a big-bang. It would be only for fics that have no art at all. Maybe have artists list the type of stuff they like to draw and try to match them to people who have fics like that??? Would anyone be interested in trying to organize that???"[8] It is unclear if any of these ideas took off.

In later years, one fan participant attempted to recap her recollection of the early turmoil:

"When kylux began it quickly begame huge, because quality was very high and it was very kinky, and the early quality fics was all written by a group of experienced fandom peeps in their 30s most of whom already knew each other or became quickly friendly because, again, the fandom was really small. There was a few weeks were almost every fic would get hundreds upon hundreds of kudos, posts would get dozen of notes, people would make headcanon posts about fic the popular writers were writing. The intensity was really overwhelming, and popular folks would get a lot of attention. Some of them interacted with their followers (for example, reserve's headcanon fridays) but the followers also latched on the friends of those people and basically raised up the entire circle to BNF-hood just by going into a frenzy. When instead they didn't interact enough with the general fandom they were resented.

To give you an example, I remember when like in spring 2016 reserve made a few posts about hanging out in NYC with some of her kylux fandom friends, most of which she'd already known and had become fandom popular in part because of association with her. I remember people going 'oooh' and 'awww' and #squad goals, why can't I be friends with them, why can't I be them. It was weird. Like, posting about a 'kylux NYC club' definitely felt cliquey, but the response was random weirdos coming into her askbox and ask her if they could organize meet up IRL for the next time they were in New York. It was really A Lot.

Or, don't even let me get started to the obsession hollyhark's Children, Wake Up caused. It was really crazy intense, more than I thought could happen in tumblr fandom in 2016, because it's a level of obsession I'd usually have associated with LJ-era fandom since now it's a lot rarer for a fic or a writer to get that massively popular.

Anyway. A lot of writers who arrived later felt upstaged, which is understandable: they were younger, less experienced and didn't really know that this is how fandom always goes. As usual, they found that the fanon and headcanons prompted by the 'popular circle' had been adopted by the overwhelming majority of canon, found the same five fics in every rec list, the same people reblogged everywhere in their dashes, who kept mostly promoting their friends. I think what really set off all and jealousy is the speed at which it happened: kylux began really picking up steam in earnes in mid-January/early February 2016 and I'd say that creators joining the fandom in April had already missed the boat and found that whatever they did they could never achieve the same level of popularity and readership as those super early writers. There's also the fact that kylux fandom just wouldn't touch WIPs (I know this is not uncommon, but it happened a lot a lot in that fandom) unless they were CWU or got recced left and right. There was definitely the feel that if someone went for a larger effort it would largely be ignored. I remember when all the kylux big bangs fics dropped and they went largely ignored because all people wanted was to see what a handful of popular people had written, then nothing else. (And you can definitely tell the 'less popular writers' were less experienced in how to fandom because half of them didn't redate their Big Bang fics, so.) − That's around the time when the fandom fragmented - there was the Pink Hux thing, the soft kylux thing, the bottom/top discourse - so it largely blew over because the enormous kylux fandom was no longer a thing after splitting up in many sub circles that largely didn't interact with each other. −" -Anonymous [9]

Despite all the discourse and fragmentation, as illustrated above, by 2018, it seems as though the fandom has become more connected. There are numerous subgroups for people with varying interests, so it can be easy to find and befriend of those who share the same interests. [10]

From another fan in 2018:
".....about 2017 there was a change where the big BNFs weren't the writer's, but the artist's. Jeusus is wanky, but still super popular and inspires AUs. Slowly old BNF's like reserve were overtake by other writers. Flyboys is huge right now. So much so that reserve has complained about the lack of art her fic gets. There's been a lot of moaning about BNF's lately, from BNFs. But unlike the earlier day's it's mostly friends talking to one another and no mass writers meet up of the earlier fandom. It's less cliquey now."[11]

There have also been numerous fandom events that promote the creation of creative content and allow users to come together to encourage and share each other's work. Some of these events include the Kylux Big Bang/Mini Bang and Huxloween.

Controversy

Kylux has been a controversial ship in SWA fandom. Some fans did not approve of shipping evil characters and thought that its fans were expressing approval for the characters' actions by shipping the characters. Some fans also claim that the ship disregards the Nazi imagery applied to the First Order[12]. Others also criticize shippers who embrace the parallels with the First Order and Nazism.[13] Kylux fans are aware that these characters are villains; alternate terms for the ship include "Evil Space Boyfriends" and "Nazi Space Boyfriends"[14]. Hux is sometimes referred to as "Ginger Space Nazi"[15].

Furthermore, Kylux's popularity is attributed to the fact that it is a Two White Guys ship. In fandom, TWG ships have a history of being disproportionately popular, even when there is greater canon evidence or support for an interracial or heterosexual romance. Critics point out that Hux is a minor character in a film that has diverse protagonists such as Poe Dameron and Finn, but ships including people of color are still sidelined by the fandom.

This ties into the criticism that Hux is a minor character with a relatively small speaking role, and that most of his characterization and the basis for Kylux is fanon and headcanons. Hux is the third most tagged character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens works on AO3, following Rey and Kylo Ren, and surpassing Poe and Finn. This relates to the discussion of racism in Star Wars fandom.

Adjacent Ships

Adjacent ships are pairings of characters other than Armitage Hux and Kylo Ren played by Domhnall Gleeson and Adam Driver. The two biggest adjacent ships are Techienician and Clydeland. Techniecian is the pairing of Clan Techie, from the 2012 film Dredd [16], played by Domhnall Gleeson, and Matt from Saturday Night Live's 2016 "Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base" skit [17], played by Adam Driver. Clydeland is the pairing of Stensland, played by Gleeson in the 2017 film "Crash Pad" [18], and Clyde Logan, from the film "Logan Lucky" [19] of the same year, played by Driver. There are dozens of smaller adjacent ships, such as Thillip, the pairing of Thomas McGregor from the 2018 film adaption of Peter Rabbit[20], played by Gleeson, and Phillip Altman, played by Driver in "This is Where I Leave You", a film from 2014.[21]

The term "Adjacent Ships" seems to be primarily used in the Kylux fandom. If you search "adjacent ships" on AO3, only Kylux adjacent pairings show up, and they are tagged as both Kylux and the relevant pairing name. It also appears on other sites used by the Kylux fandom and one early example still remaining on Tumblr is dated Jan 26, 2018.[22] It appears to be cropping up in the Dr Who fandom in 2018 [23] [24] based on Tumblr blogs and rec posts but it doesn't appear to be in widespread use. The term also appears in One Direction fandom in 2017 [25]

Fanworks

Fanfiction

The Kylux Big Bang challenge is active in Spring 2016 and in Reverse Bang format in Spring 2017.

Notable Works

Fanart

Much of the Kylux fanart appears on Tumblr. Prominent fan art blogs include

[list some more]

Sadly, as a result of the Tumblr Dec 2018 Purge, most of the adult fan art on Tumblr was lost.

Other sources of fan art

[need to provide a screencap as the pages cannot be archived]

DeviantArt

Pinterest :

Sample galleries

Fanmix

kylux tracks on 8tracks.com over 250 available

Fanvids

Meta

Archives & Fannish Links

Tumblr

Additional Reading

References

  1. [1], Archive of Our Own Armitage Hux/Ben Solo | Kylo Ren tag.
  2. [2]
  3. 2016’s Top Ships
  4. 2018's Top Ships
  5. comment by ImperialRemnant
  6. solohux's reblog of kyluxtrashcompactor's May 2016 post [3], Archived version By December 2018, it had gained 242 notes.
  7. [4], Archived version
  8. [5], Archived version
  9. Anon post on on fail-fandomanon[6]
  10. kylux fandom – saltandlimes, Archived version
  11. |Anon responding to the original "Star Wars - kylux vs reylo"post in fail-fandomanon dated March 10, 2018 ; |archive link.
  12. The Force Awakens: Naxism and Holocaust Imagery, a case study by attackfish
  13. "So this just showed up on my dash..." by fozmeadows
  14. "nazi space boyfriends" search on Tumblr
  15. "ginger space nazi" search on Tumblr
  16. [7]
  17. [8]
  18. [9]
  19. [10]
  20. [11]
  21. [12]
  22. [13], Archived version
  23. Skyler's Fic and Ships, Archived version dated Dec 8, 2018
  24. https://legendslikestardust.tumblr.com/
  25. quote2, Archived version
  26. WayBack Link/