(Warning! “Last Jedi” spoilers below!)
We’ve been waiting two years, and the Maury results for Rey are finally in.
In “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) goes all Ancestry.com and reveals the truth about Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) parents.
Apparently, he found out who her parents were when he was telepathically connected to Rey courtesy of the Force. And in an effort to persuade her to join the dark side rather than the rebels, he tells Rey what she knew all along: Her mom and dad were just some junk-trading bums who sold her and are now dead in a ditch.
And that’s it. There’s no fancy history. No birthright. No need for in-depth analysis of fan theories. Rey is just plain old Rey.
In an interview with HuffPost, director Rian Johnson reflected on the reveal, explaining that it was “the most difficult thing dramatically for Rey in this movie to hear.”
“What’s going to make life hardest on her? It would be the big ‘I am your father’ twist [from ‘The Empire Strikes Back’],” Johnson said, referring to the scene in Episode V when Darth Vader spills the beans on Luke Skywalker’s parentage. The director explained that Luke (Mark Hamill) learning Vader is his father is “the hardest thing the character could possibly hear in that moment.”
“And same thing with Rey and her parentage,” he said. “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.’”
The answer, even if she knew it deep down, isn’t what Rey wanted to hear, and it’s definitely not what a lot of fans wanted to hear after all their speculation. But it may not be the final say. Johnson told us the truth is still “open.”
“Anything’s still open, and I’m not writing the next film. [J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio] are doing it,” he said.
Following the reveal, some fans are still questioning Rey’s parentage, especially since the news was delivered via Kylo Ren. Like Johnson said, it’s possible that Kylo is looking for any information, true or not, he can use as “leverage” against Rey. The director previously told Collider that Kylo was sincere in his remarks, but he elaborated to HuffPost that the truth might depend on how you look at things.
“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. But for me, dramatically, that’s why that reveal at that moment made sense,” Johnson said.
The Obi-Wan speech happens in “Return of the Jedi,” when Luke confronts his mentor about saying Darth Vader killed Luke’s father when in fact they were the same person.
Your father ... was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So, what I told you was true ... from a certain point of view.
Perhaps Rey’s parents were junk traders. After all, the idea of Rey starting from the bottom fits with themes in “The Last Jedi."
Or maybe her parents were something more ...
Either way, it’s probably going to come down to how you look at things.