New details about Rey’s mysterious family history and the role that plays in Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been revealed. After 2015’s The Force Awakens, one of the top questions audiences asked pertained to the origins of the young scavenger who quickly learned the ways of the Force and demonstrated tremendous potential. While the film offered some possible hints (which have led to countless fan theories), much of the heroine’s past is being kept under wraps for the time being. The hope is Episode VIII covers more of Rey’s backstory, providing answers audiences have been craving for nearly two years.
Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson has gone on record saying Rey’s parentage is a topic that will be addressed in the film, though that can mean any number of things. Of course, her heritage was briefly touched upon in Episode VII, and viewers know about as much about Rey’s bloodline now as they did prior to December 2015. With certain aspects of Luke Skywalker’s backstory not factoring into the main narrative of The Last Jedi, some might be wondering is something similar will happen with Rey. Fans will learn the answers in the sequel, but the subject itself is not of the highest importance in-universe.
While speaking with EW, Daisy Ridley discussed Rey’s parentage, and while she admits it’s important for the character to learn about her past, it seems to be simply for Rey’s peace of mind and not an integral story beat in the sequel trilogy:
“You can always look for answers and that doesn’t mean that the rest of your life is so easy. It’s not like, oh, I know who my parents are so now everything falls into shape, especially in the Star Wars world… Yes, it would potentially change her mind, or at least give her a little bit more peace in moving forward. But ultimately what’s coming is coming, and whatever abilities she has are there. So, personally, I think it’s less important than even she may think.”
Given how important Rey’s lineage is to the Star Wars fandom, it’s fascinating to hear that the topic isn’t a huge deal in-universe. This was set up a little bit in The Force Awakens, when Maz Kanata told Rey that her family was never coming back, despite the scavenger’s best hopes. Of course, it will still be interesting for viewers to learn where Rey comes from, but Ridley’s comments seem to be implying it isn’t that big of a deal overall. The actress has made similar statements on the matter before, remarking that the relationships she’s forming in the present day (Finn, Luke, etc.) are more pertinent than her past. In a way, that’s a good thing, since The Last Jedi will be focusing more on the tasks at hand than lingering on what’s come before.
Some may be disappointed to hear that Rey’s heritage is “less important” than originally thought, but if handled properly, it should play out just fine in the film. What Ridley’s saying has some truth to it. Regardless of who Rey’s parents are, that shouldn’t factor into her path for the future. After all, Luke learned he was the son of Darth Vader and stayed true to the light side (at the time, anyway). The good news is the answers are coming in a few month’s time, and finally all the debates can be put to rest.
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