This time last year, everyone was obsessed with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the question of who Rey’s parents were. Then, we got an answer: they were descendants of Emperor Palpatine, making Rey the Sith Lord’s granddaughter.
It nearly didn’t turn out that way, as Daisy Ridley reveals on Jimmy Kimmel Live with Josh Gad that there was another plan being floated with another iconic character in the series.
“At the beginning, there was toying with an Obi-Wan connection. There were different versions – and then it really went to she was no one [in Star Wars: The Last Jedi],” Ridley explained.
That all changed when director J.J. Abrams stepped in and changed direction: “Then it came to Episode 9 and J.J. pitched me the film and was like ‘Oh yeah, Palpatine’s granddaddy’ and I said ‘Awesome’ and two weeks later he was like ‘Ooh, we’re not sure.’ So it kept changing and we kept filming and I wasn’t sure what the answer was going to be.”
Lucasfilm eventually settling on an answer so late in the day – while filming, no less – could be another stick for Star Wars fans to beat certain aspects of the sequel with. Would the Obi-Wan lineage have been a better one?
Rey’s rejection of the Palpatine name during the Rise of Skywalker ending is a significant moment – but part of me wishes the Story Group had kept to its original vision.
For more from a galaxy far, far away, check out the new Star Wars movies and shows on the horizon.