Rey’s Parents Will be Revealed in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The reveal that Rey (Daisy Ridley)’s parents were nobodies in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi was astonishing. Some fans were apocalyptic (for muddled reasons, if you ask me), while we found the twist satisfying in all the right ways. It meant that her uniqueness and abilities weren’t born from some royal, Jedi lineage. The film positioned her strength of character and emerging abilities as a product of who she was, not where she came from. Johnson’s interpretation of the Force was egalitarian—you could tap into it if you were the daughter of nobodies. You could access it if you were a simple broom boy.
George Lucas was leaning towards a different interpretation in his prequels. Those films introduced the term Midi-chlorians. These are intelligent microscopic life forms that live inside the cells of all living things. If a person has enough of them, they are capable of detecting the ambient, invisible energy field that is the Force. Annakin had a remarkable amount, as did his son, Luke. This was Force by way of lineage and blood, you could also argue patrimony, whereas Johnson’s was Force by way of character.
Many Star Wars fans were shocked when Kylo-Ren (Adam Driver) told Rey that her parents were lowlife junk traders who sold her for booze. “They were filthy junk traders,” Ren said. “Sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert. You come from nothing. You’re nothing, but not to me.” Many fans were aghast. But how could it be? How could a potent, clearly gifted potential Jedi come from…that?
In a new interview conducted by ABC News, Abrams talked about Rey’s parentage and how it will be addressed in The Rise of Skywalker. What’s interesting here is it doesn’t sound like Abrams plans on retconning Johnson’s take on Rey’s parents, but rather that they’re going to dive deeper into their history:
“I will say that we knew, going into this, that this movie, it had to be a satisfying conclusion. And we were well aware that that’s one of the things that’s been out there. I don’t want to say that what happens in Episode 8 [didn’t happen]. We have honored that. But I will say that there’s more to the story than you’ve seen.”
Here’s the video from Good Morning America:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 14, 2017
The internet is absolutely flush with theories of who Rey’s parents might turn out to be. The fact that the final film in the Skywalker saga is enigmatically titled The Rise of Skywalker has lots of people assuming the new Skywalker is Rey. What will be satisfying for many is that it sounds like Abrams and his co-writer Chris Terrio will be exploring Rey’s parents more in-depth. What we’re hoping is that, even if it turns out Kylo Ren was lying, Rey’s parents weren’t some shining beacons of prosperity or Jedis, or even monstrously powerful figures who were lured to the dark side. Their very normalcy, and especially their potential failures as parents, will make her rise all the more remarkable.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20, 2019.
Featured image: Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX. Courtesy Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Studios