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.”
Chris Terrio explains that they thought it was more interesting to be related to someone evil than to come from nowhere #TROSSpoilers pic.twitter.com/z77GD5FqLwDecember 21, 2019
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.”
J.J. talks about why Palpatine lineage is important thematically #TROSSpoilers pic.twitter.com/WREQPI3IbHDecember 21, 2019
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.