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Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker writer talks Rey's parents reveal, calling it the "more interesting" story

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

It’s one of the biggest talking points to come out of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The question of Rey’s parents (and her lineage) was answered in Episode 9 – and now The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio has revealed why they chose to go that way instead of the “nobody” route set up by Rian Johnson in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker follow.

“We had a post-it in our room: ‘You don’t discover who you are, you create it,’” Terrio said at a recent Rise Of Skywalker Q&A session when asked about Rey’s parents. “If act two – the middle act – was Rian discovering who you are [in The Last Jedi], we felt we needed to take on the idea of Rey recreating who she is.”

Terrio then focused on what he calls a “present-tense dramatic problem,” saying that Rey’s reveal as Palpatine’s granddaughter contains a “deep, dark secret” that is “more interesting for Daisy [Ridley] to play and, for us, a more interesting story.”

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker director (and co-writer with Terrio) J.J. Abrams doubled down on the idea that the Palpatine connection was a strong driving force for Rey’s story: “I completely understand that you’re ‘nobody’ is a devastating thing [but] to me, the more painful, the more shocking thing was the idea that you’re from the worst possible place.”

You may not agree with it, but there’s a steadfast reasoning in place. Rey is able to break free of her destiny – and her grandfather’s influence – and bring balance to the Force. It was never about who Rey’s parents were – it was about Rey defining herself on her own terms.

Get up to date with all things in a galaxy far, far away with our updated Star Wars timeline and get some of your biggest questions answered with our look at the Rise of Skywalker ending.

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).