According to Johnson Rey’s Parentage Is Still Technically Open for Debate
Spoilers will be present for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so please proceed with caution.
One of the biggest questions fans had coming out of The Force Awakens dealt with Rey’s heritage. Many believed she’d be revealed to be a Skywalker, Solo (I went full in on the Solo connection), or Kenobi, with others going as far as saying she could be a Palpatine. Thanks to Rian Johnson and his The Last Jedi script we were given more insights into Rey’s parentage, but it wasn’t the reveal many fans were hoping for. During the climactic throne room scene Kylo all but confirms to Rey that her parents were nobody losers who traded her away for booze and passage off a Jakku, which he had hoped would win Rey over to his side. His play on her weakness backfired and she renewed her resolve to battle all things evil and returned to the Resistance.
I for one was fine with the reveal that Rey’s parents were nobodies, because in the end that was the point of The Last Jedi in general. It was meant to show that the Skywalker DNA isn’t the end all be all gene pool for powerful Force users in the galaxy. The Force can manifest itself in anyone, and it will always opt for balance, which is why Rey is a foil for Kylo. Her light rose to meet his growing darkness, and the Force didn’t care if she had DNA that came from one of the galaxy’s iconic Force users. So while Kylo’s reveal was a bit lackluster, it made sense for the film’s direction.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Rian Johnson opened up a bit more on Rey’s parents, and offered up the notion that Kylo’s reveal isn’t necessarily set in stone, and the question of who Rey’s parents really are could be re-opened for debate. “Anything’s still open, and I’m not writing the next film,” he told The Huffington Post. “[Abrams and Terrio] are doing it.” Technically Rian is saying that his version of Rey’s parents could definitely be washed away by Abrams and Terrio, who are writing the Episode IX script. “With all of these movies, Obi-Wan’s whole speech about a certain point of view always applies,” he said, “so I think that you have to always think about the context of how information is given. But for me, dramatically, that’s why that reveal at that moment made sense.” Now here he’s opening the door again for Abrams to flesh out Rey’s parentage more if he wants to, because again he’s implying that Kylo may have told Rey what he wanted her to hear at that moment thinking it would benefit him, so there is a chance that he was full of porg shit.
During our The Last Jedi recap podcast I had mentioned that Rey’s parentage could still be up for debate, because like Rian implied, who knows what Kylo was trying to do in that moment. He very well could have been trying to break her by telling her that her parents were bums, when in reality he had no idea who they were either. What I’m interested in finding out is if Abrams will alter Rey’s parentage in Episode IX, and if he does I also want to know if it came from Disney and Lucasfilm pressuring him to do so in reaction to some of the negative comments about The Last Jedi. Let’s face it, the movie is making tons of cash, but it is still a very polarizing Star Wars film thanks to some of the plot choices Rian ran with, so I could definitely see the powers-at-be trying to placate some of the fan backlash in IX by giving Rey a deeper backstory through a more meaningful parentage reveal.
Do you want Rey’s parentage to be changed moving forward, or are you happy with how the reveal went down in The Last Jedi? Leave a comment below if you feel like sharing your two cents.
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