Going into Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a lot of people had a lot of questions about Rey: where was she from, who were her parents, would she turn to the Dark Side? Rian Johnson saw fit to answer one of the character’s biggest mysteries – and he’s opened up on why it was so frustrating for Rey and audiences alike. Warning: this article contains BIG spoilers for The Last Jedi…
So, have the three people who haven’t seen The Last Jedi gone? Good. Now, then: Rey’s parents. What was the deal with that? According to Kylo Ren, they were nobodies, anonymous junk traders who sold her for drinking money, and Rey confirms, deep down, she always knew this. After everything that happened in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, how did Rian Johnson get to the point where that was the answer?
“I was thinking, what’s the most powerful answer to that question? Powerful meaning: what’s the hardest thing that Rey could hear? That’s what you’re after with challenging your characters,” Johnson reveals to EW.
Johnson continues: “The easiest thing for Rey and the audience to hear is, ‘Oh yeah, you’re so-and-so’s daughter.’ That would be wish fulfilment and instantly hand her a place in this story on a silver platter. The hardest thing for her is to hear she’s not going to get that easy answer. Not only that, but Kylo is going to use the fact that you don’t get that answer to try and weaken you so you have to lean on him.”
No Obi-Wan connection. No Skywalker parentage. Just a plain ol’ nobody from nowhere becoming a Jedi. In many ways, it works. For all of the complains – rightly or wrongly – people have with the movie, Rey’s parent reveal was one of the most well-handled moments, complete with real growth for Rey.
That might not be the end, though. Star Wars 9 could significantly alter the plans laid down by Johnson. For example, Luke and Leia were eventually siblings. Before that, it got all weird. Things (and plans) change in a galaxy far, far away. Johnson confirms that by saying that he “can’t speak to what [writers J.J Abrams and Chris Terrio] are going to do.”