Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams has said that the upcoming saga conclusion will be less like his 2015 feature The Force Awakens in that it will stray from the original Star Wars trilogy. Now, based on recent comments from sequel trilogy star Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, it sounds as if The Rise of Skywalker could also stray from Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi.
In Johnson’s 2017 feature, it was revealed that Rey’s parents—a great source of speculation ever since the first details of Disney’s sequel trilogy were revealed years ago—were “nobody.” Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) nonchalantly explained they were just junk traders that died on Jakku long ago. While this serves as a thematically potent reminder that past lineages don’t define our present, that answer didn’t sit well with certain segments of the fandom that were hoping Rey was related to a famous character such as Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi.
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But, according to Ridley herself, The Rise of Skywalker will further address her parentage. “(Director J.J. Abrams) did say the question is answered. So at the end of the film, you do know what the dealio is,” she told USA Today. After The Last Jedi, it was believed that mystery had been solved. But if Ridley is saying that Abrams plans to answer that question (again), it seems likely he’s prepared to retcon Johnson’s decision.
This isn’t the first suggestion that a redux was in the works. In April, Abrams said “there’s more to the story than you’ve seen” when discussing Rey’s parents in an interview with ABC News. He and co-writer Chris Terrio (Argo, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) have apparently discussed new ideas for Rey’s backstory.
On the surface, a potential retcon runs the risk of counteracting Rey’s very characterization. The reveal that her parents were nobodies doubled as a key step forward for the film series. It propelled Star Wars beyond the destiny-riddled Skywalker family so that its expansion could match its growth, which are not always the same thing. Why reduce a galaxy-spanning saga to a few blood relatives?
Then again, Abrams is king of the mystery box, and it’s always possible this is all a purposeful misdirection or red herring. The only way to find out is to catch Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when it hits theaters on December 20.