Rey's Big Revelation In The Last Jedi Wasn't A Fake-Out, But It Could Become One Later

Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

There are a lot of questions coming out of Star Wars: The Last Jedi — like, a lot of them — but one of the biggest stems from a discovery about Rey's mysterious past. Was it genuine, or a devious con to get Rey to turn to the Dark Side? Technically, it was real... but it could become fake later.

The Last Jedi answered one of the biggest mysteries to come out of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Who are Rey's parents? Theories included her being the secret daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi, or possibly Luke's child that he cruelly abandoned and then, I don't know, forgot about, I guess. There was even the belief that she could be Kylo Ren's twin, and that Han and Leia were pretending they didn't recognise her to protect her from... things. Evil space things.

After Rey's foray into Dark Side Vision Land turned up diddly squat, Kylo Ren told her the truth as a way to try and convince her to team up with him as co-Supreme Leader.

Turns out, Rey isn't part of some secret Jedi lineage that dates back to the origins of Star Wars. She's nobody. Her parents were nobodies. They sold her off.

"They were filthy junk traders," Kylo Ren told her. "Sold you off for drinking money. They're dead in a pauper's grave in the Jakku desert. You come from nothing. You're nothing, but not to me."

This revelation sent some Star Wars fans reeling (though I personally loved it), and others insist it's not actually true, that Kylo Ren was tricking her in order to secure her support.

Surely, there's something else he knows, right, something he's keeping hidden from her so she doesn't learn the truth about who she really is? According to The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, nope.

"For me, in that moment, Kylo believes it's the truth," Johnson told Entertainment Weekly. "I don't think he's purely playing chess. I think that's what he saw when they touched fingers and that's what he believes. And when he tells her that in that moment, she believes it."

There are a lot of reasons why, at least for me, having Rey's parents not matter works better than if she had been part of some iconic Star Wars lineage. Mainly, it works with The Last Jedi's theme of greatness coming from anywhere — for example, the little boy from Canto Bight, Force-grabbing his broom in the final shot.

The main franchise has depended so much on the Skywalker legacy that little wiggle room has been made for the future of the series, at least before now. For Johnson, specifically, he wanted the reveal both to reflect and subvert Luke and Vader's in The Empire Strikes Back, calling back to how much it devastated Luke while also not giving Rey an automatic place in the Star Wars universe based on hereditary. She's earned it on her own.

"The easiest thing for Rey and the audience to hear is, 'Oh yeah, you're so-and-so's daughter.' That would be wish fulfillment and instantly hand her a place in this story on a silver platter," Johnson said. "The hardest thing for her is to hear she's not going to get that easy answer."

That said, when Johnson was asked whether Rey's parentage could be changed in the future, he said it's not up to him anymore. Surprisingly, Rey's parental reveal wasn't pre-determined by Disney executives before handing the series to Johnson, at least according to the director.

He was given creative freedom to do what he wished with the reveal first teased in The Force Awakens. In the same vein, J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio, who are taking over Episode IX, also have the freedom to retcon Rey's parents if they want to — though I hope they don't.

"I can't speak to what they're going to do. And there's always, in these movies, a question of 'a certain point of view,'" Johnson said.

[Entertainment Weekly]


Comments

    For me, I am glad my hunch about her at the end of Force Awakens paid out. And what i thought when I heard the title the Last Jedi. the idea that the force was no longer going to be dictated to by Jedi or Sith 'religions' but every day people who slowly see the force not as folklore but a real thing, not something governed and controlled by a religious order.

    her parent reveal was one of my favourite moments in the film. Especially after the cave part, she goes in screaming for her parents but finding only herself to guide the way. There is something fundamentally more interesting about someone being special by their actions not their bloodline. Just like the bomber girl at the beginning, and the kid at the end.

    "For Johnson, specifically, he wanted the reveal both to reflect and subvert Luke and Vader's in The Empire Strikes Back, calling back to how much it devastated Luke while also not giving Rey an automatic place in the Star Wars universe based on hereditary. She's earned it on her own."

    Luke lost his sense of self, the man he's been seeking to kill in the name of righteousness and revenge, both for himself and the rebellion has been his father all along. He loses his hand, a great dishonour in the swordfighting world and loses his father's lightsaber, his symbolic pledge to upholding the honour of the Jedi, and one of if not the only memento he had of Obi Wan. He gives in to hope, and the Force, throwing himself off the supports into the pits of Cloud City, where helpless he calls for his sister, showing that he's not truly alone and that he has to depend on other people to truly win, putting him on the path to saving his father, not defeating him, that togetherness, with people and the Force is the right way.

    Rey goes through none of that, she had every moment go her way, just by virtue of being the protagonist, she's never lost, never suffered. Her moment in the dark cave scene, that "reflected ESB"? She just realises she's alone, but the audience gets a reveal fake-out.

    In ESB, Luke witnesses his inner demons, the folly and futility of the path he's heading down , he goes face to face with what he believes to be his greatest foe in that cave, he's a man haunted.

    Yes, there's a lot of setup for Rey, her missing pieces inside of her self that I'm sure she dreads, like having no parents, which fuels her companionship in the father figure of Han, it's why she's so driven upon his death but that's just let go because of her connection with Kylo, so why is her parentage important? It doesn't seem like it does to her, in my opinion. She even attacks Luke, taking a Lightsaber to him, her own master, yet it's just not really dealt with. Everyone just moves on and it's swept under the rug, despite being pretty big questions and situations.

    She leaves, with a new parental figure in Leia, a companion in Poe and Finn, with the Jedi texts and the remains of Luke's lightsaber. Why. Because she's "light-side"? Kylo Ren on the other hand is a lot more compelling. Sent away because of his darkness, ignored and abandoned, controlled due to something he can't deal with, not by himself, dark to the point where his own master for a moment thinks to end him, the master he was sent to in hopes of getting that help he needed, he loses everything, every step of the way he's torn down, made to be the bottom, he has the stronger beliefs, stronger ideals and convictions, but still loses because the dichotomy said so.

    I'm probably only going to see episode 9 in hopes that he becomes the good guy, that he redeems and becomes the true successor to the legacy of his ancestors.

    Ben Solo has more claim to the legacy of the Jedi and Star Wars than Rey does, yet he's now the main villain, he's the only worthwhile antagonist the movie has and people spent the years following the last movie saying he's pathetic and whiny, he's still petulant and untrained, immature and reckless, not really painting the worthy villain that episode 9 deserves, considering it's capping a trilogy not just of it's own, but it's the third in a set of trilogies, and the final episode as well. This is basically what all of Star Wars has built up to and it's concerning at least.

      So what you're telling us is that you don't understand what it is like to be an orphan and you think your accident of birth somehow determines your ability as a human being as opposed to your own efforts.

    This is such an odd way to make a trilogy.

    It’s like a very expensive improv warm-up exercise; where one person starts and sentence and another finishes it.

    Telling a cohesive story this way was always going to be a challenge.

    JJ has his work cut out for him.

      Yeah, it just isn't good.

      I kind of feel JJ was there to do the first one. He's good at establishing characters ect. This was the film that really needed to kick everything up a notch and Rian didn't have an idea or lacked the balls to do it.

      This whole, "i coul make Rey's parents whoever I want, everyone expected it to be something and despite all the focus and hint. I'll make it no one to subvert expectations." I don't really think that's the best way to twist Star Wars into being something new.

    I haven't read this article or seen the movie but please remove that Rey joins the darkside from the synopsis/ opening statement of this article on the front page. Sucks scrolling down the page and having this massive twist ruined for you.

    Na. She's a Kenobi. I take the whole "You're a nobody" as an attempt to turn her to the DS.

    And I don't care what a director says. That could change tomorrow if Disney wills it.

    She was conceived by the force just like Anikan and abandoned by her single parent. Anikan was conceived when the Jedi dominated the galaxy and now that the sith dominate, Rey is here to bring back balance.

    Anyway I think this director did a fair job with the mess Abrams created with episode VII. Good luck to the next guy. Maybe in episode IX the new order can build a base inside a star that can blow up half the galaxy and Rey and the resistance can blow it up. Then in the next trilogy we will discover that a new organization called the New (new) order has consolidated power and built a base in a supernova that can blow up the entire galaxy and some new bland hero who is good at everything can blow that up. Disney can just keep this going forever.

    A gender swapped clone (hence the many copies of herself in the mirror), created from the hand which was formally attached to the lightsaber which called out to her as Maz Kanata said. Once it was Anakin's, then it was Luke's, now it's Rey's.

    OK probably not, but it would work.

    Last edited 20/12/17 8:14 am

    I feel like this is the movie Rian Johnson wanted to make, and that Disney could see a way to let him make it. The next film will revert to a formula that is familiar. We'll see that while her parents are nobodies, she's actually a Kenobi.

    For her to be a daughter of Obi-Wan wouldn't make sense age-wise. She'll be a niece or something there abouts.

    But that said, I wouldn't mind if we continued with the whole theme of subverting expectations. I enjoyed the film even if it did shatter my expectations of what a Star Wars movie is.

    Am I the only one that doesn't want her to be a Kenobi or Skywalker? The Star Wars story isn't "Skywalker Lineage Through the Ages". It's about a galaxy far, far away and a long time ago. Wanting everything to be tied back to Episodes 4-6 no matter how tenuous the connection is how we ended up with Episodes 1-3.

    I don't hate the idea that she's a nobody, but it needed to be revealed much more conclusively. The fact that 95% of the audience assumed it was a fakeout indicates it was badly written.

    I like that her parents were nothing special.
    I don't understand why people wanted some big reveal about her parents. Does that not just seem boring and predictable?
    I mean isn't that what some viewers were pissing and moaning about when The Force Awakens was released - that it essentially was a retread of Ep IV.
    So The Last Jedi goes and does something different, and turns out that's just not good enough either.
    I mean there were certain parts that I didn't enjoy, but I overall felt it was a stronger film.
    Snoke's death only bothered me cos I thought he was pretty cool. I'm not too bothered that we didn't know that much about him. It's just my opinion but I still enjoy that era of mystery when not all details are given to us in films, not just Star Wars though, I mean in general.

    I think Kylo Ren has proven himself rather adept at misconstruing what he sees by taking it at face value - his relationship with Luke being the best example of that, but also his conviction that Rey would turn. It's entirely possible that what he told Rey is exactly what he has seen, and that he beleives every word of it to be perfectly true. But given his track record, it's also likely that he hasn't seen the whole picture.

    I don't really mind either way if it turns out Rey really is a nobody - the whole "Who are you?" scene with Ray/Luke ("Where are you from?"/"Nowhere"/"Everyone's from somewhere"/"Jakku"/"Okay, that is pretty much nowhere") makes for a great setup for Ren's final reveal, and it's not like she'd be the first super-powerful Jedi to pop out of seemingly nowhere. I like the sentiment it evokes, and how it fits with the running theme of the film, but that doesn't mean I'm going to just take Ren's words as be-all and end-all, when he has been so often wrong.

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