The Last Jedi director reveals Rey's parentage is 'still open'
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
J.J. Abrams might need to phone up Maury for Episode IX. Or Ancestry.com. Or both.
Star Wars fans waited two long years to learn the truth about Rey's (Daisy Ridley) parents, a mystery introduced in 2015's The Force Awakens. Considering Rey's newbie status in the franchise's character canon, which made her initially appear as nothing more than a scavenger from the desert wastes of Jakku, it was consensus that there was perhaps more to her than met the eye. The most intriguing aspect of her backstory, however, was (and still is) her parents, as many believed that Rey could be a secret Skywalker or a descendant of the Kenobi bloodline due to her innate skills with the Force. The Last Jedi was, for countless viewers, supposed to be the answer to that burning question: Who are Rey's real parents?
Writer-director Rian Johnson addressed that inquiry in The Last Jedi by having Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) reveal that Rey's dear ol' mom and dad were two junkers who sold her for drinking money, and who are now dead in a pauper's grave. But now, in an interview with Huffington Post, Johnson explained that the truth about Rey's origins isn't entirely set in stone. "Anything's still open, and I'm not writing the next film," said Johnson. "[J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio] are doing it."
The filmmaker also reflected on the reveal, stating that learning the truth, or at least what Kylo tells her is the truth, is "the most difficult thing dramatically for Rey in this movie to hear." Johnson likened it to the famous moment from The Empire Strikes Back. "What's going to make life hardest on her? It would be the big 'I am your father' twist," he said, referring to the scene in which Darth Vader (David Prowse) unveils Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) real parentage, which was "the hardest thing the character could possibly hear in that moment."
He added that the same thing goes for Rey in The Last Jedi when she doesn't get the answer she might have been hoping for. "The easy thing would be, 'Yes, your parents are so and so and here's your place in the world. There you go.' The hardest thing she could hear would be… 'No, you're not going to get the answer. This is not going to define you. You're going to have to find your own place in this world. Kylo is going to use that even as leverage to try and make you feel insecure, and you're going to have to stand on your own two feet,'" said Johnson.
And while the director has previously been explicit in stating that Kylo was genuine in his statement about Rey's junker parents, truth has always been pretty complicated in the galaxy far, far away, so it wouldn't be too surprising if the narrative flips in the next episode installment. "With all of these movies, Obi-Wan's whole speech about a certain point of view always applies, so I think that you have to always think about the context of how information is given," Johnson noted. "But for me, dramatically, that's why that reveal at that moment made sense."
Sounds like we have a lot of theory-crafting to do while we wait for Episode IX to premiere in 2019.