This post contains SPOILERS for The Last Jedi
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson states that Kylo Ren was not lying about Rey’s parentage when he told his frenemy they were nobodies. After The Force Awakens, Rey’s heritage was a huge talking point, and Episode VIII provided the answer fans have been waiting two years for. In an emotionally-charged scene, the former Ben Solo tells Rey her parents were junkers on Jakku who sold her off for drinking money and are now dead in a paupers’ grave on the desert wasteland. This was the hardest thing Rey could hear, especially since she spent most of Episode VII under the illusion her parents would one day come back.
Moviegoers dedicated a considerable amount of theorizing where Rey came from, with many believing she was a descendant of a character we’ve seen before. It proved to be divisive she was not Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter or Luke Skywalker’s offspring, and some are still holding out hope that could come to pass in Episode IX. One major talking point in the immediate aftermath of Last Jedi is whether or not Kylo was lying about his revelation, though according to Johnson there’s no duplicity at play.
In an interview with Collider, the filmmaker offered his interpretation of the events, saying his intention was for Kylo to tell Rey the truth:
“That’s what Kylo sees and that’s what he tells her and I think he’s not lying in that moment. That’s what he saw and she seems to believe it when she hears it. I don’t want to … I’m not writing the next film, we’ll see how they handle it going forward, and as we all know in these movies, there’s always a certain point of view that’s involved. But, for me, I’ll tell you that was the … I can understand why that answer doesn’t feel good. It’s not supposed to feel good. It’s supposed to be the hardest thing she could possibly hear in that moment.”
It fits one of the running themes for Rey to be a “nobody,” as The Last Jedi tells the audience you don’t have to come from greatness in order to be a great hero. This is one of the many reasons Resistance fighters Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Rose Tico are so relatable to audiences. Viewers can easily see themselves in those characters since they’re not part of a legendary bloodline; Chosen Ones destined to lead. The sequel trilogy’s protagonists are a wasteland scavenger, a former stormtrooper, a pilot (admittedly, the faction’s best), and a mechanic. Even before we knew Darth Vader was Luke’s father, the original trilogy told us Luke was the son of a powerful Jedi, so The Last Jedi has changed the saga forever. While legacy child Kylo Ren is becoming more evil, his rivals are inspiring “Broom Kid” to reach for the stars.
As Johnson says, he’s not writing Episode IX (his new Star Wars trilogy isn’t going to develop itself), so the ball is now in J.J. Abrams’ court. There’s an outside possibility the sequel trilogy finale tries to throw one last curveball about Rey’s past, but the safer bet is we’ve heard the last of it. It would be disingenuous to The Last Jedi‘s point if Rey’s parentage was changed, and it’s an aspect Abrams and Johnson saw eye-to-eye on when working on their respective films. After all, the full trailer for Force Awakens had Rey saying, “I’m no one,” so this was being set up from the very beginning. By the time we pick up the story next, everyone will have moved on.
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