The Last Jedi director teases importance of Rey's backstory

One of the biggest unanswered questions raised during Star Wars: The Force Awakens was about Rey's (Daisy Ridley) parentage. While we know that Rey was left as a child on Jakku, forcing her to basically raise herself, we don't know anything about the family she once had. While director Rian Johnson obviously wouldn't make the big reveal, he did say in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly that his Last Jedi will delve further into the answer of Rey's parentage, as well as examining what, exactly, the question means to her.

"To me, it's important insofar as it's important to her," Johnson said of examining Rey's family history. "And I think it's important to her in terms of what is her place in all of this? What's going to define her in this story? She was told in the last movie that the answer's not in the past; it's looking forward."

However, despite that warning, Rey still looks to the past, seeking out Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) at the end of The Force Awakens. While the two will not have the best relationship right away in The Last Jedi, Johnson says that Rey still holds a "lingering hope" that by going backwards she'll find something that makes it clear that that is where she belongs. "I think she still holds onto the thought that where she comes from will help define where she's going," he said.

According to Ridley, even if Rey does eventually find out the truth, it may not end up mattering all that much. "You can always look for answers and that doesn't mean that the rest of your life is so easy," she said. "It's not like, oh, I know who my parents are so now everything falls into shape, especially in the Star Wars world." The actress says that she thinks that Rey's parentage may be less important than she realizes, saying that, while it could potentially change her mind about some things, "ultimately what's coming is coming, and whatever abilities she has are there." 

"What's wonderful is it's not so cut and dry, who's good and who's bad and that's not me saying, 'Oh, my God, some people are gonna go bad,'" she teased. "There's always room for bad people to make good decisions and vice versa. Again, that could be nothing to do with your parents and it could be everything to do with your parents."

The Last Jedi hits theaters on Dec. 15.