This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has finally revealed the answer to the pressing question of who Rey's parents are. In the immediate aftermath of The Force Awakens, the scavenger's heritage was one of the most widely speculated topics. There was an abundance of fan theories that spread across the internet, ranging from immaculate conception via the Force (which Daisy Ridley herself debunked) to Obi-Wan Kenobi's granddaughter. During the buildup to Episode VIII, it was promised Rey's parentage would be addressed in the film, and many were excited to see the reveal.
Ridley made some headlines a while back when she stated she was "very moved" by the scene in question, which only raised anticipation. Because of The Empire Strikes Back, some moviegoers were mentally preparing themselves for some sort of Earth-shattering twist, but instead, writer/director Rian Johnson went for the subversion of that. After two years of hypothesizing, Rey's mother and father are actually two random lowlifes living on Jakku and nothing more.
This bit of information is shared after an emotionally-charged sequence in which Kylo Ren murders Supreme Leader Snoke and then works with Rey to defeat the praetorian guards. In an effort to convince Rey to join him in his pursuit of galactic dominance, Kylo tells his frenemy the truth about her past. Her parents were two nobodies who sold Rey off for drinking money and turned their backs. The names of these people have not been revealed, but, at this point, that's hardly at the forefront of anyone's mind.
There's no denying there's a sense of this being anticlimactic, especially after all the time and effort numerous people put into crafting theories. For The Last Jedi to almost completely brush the subject aside with a throwaway line of dialogue feels a bit odd, but it's arguably that way because of the viewers, and not the filmmakers. In The Force Awakens, Maz Kanata told Rey the belonging she sought was ahead, flat out saying Rey's parents were never coming back to Jakku. Additionally, Johnson had stated Rey's family is "less important" than she thinks, so Lucasfilm has long been trying to adjust expectations accordingly. Now, we can definitively say Rey is not a Skywalker, Solo, or Kenobi. She's from a different bloodline that likely won't be explored further in the sequel trilogy.
Arguably, this decision benefits the franchise in the long run. While the Star Wars saga has always been about the Skywalkers, there's no rule that states every main character needs to be part of that family. Taking things in a fresh direction was what was needed at this point in time. Also, it's nice to see Rey was just your average everywoman before getting swept up on a life-changing adventure. From a filmmaking perspective, it helps ground the character and makes her more relatable to audiences. If Rey comes from a humble background (and isn't the latest descendant of an iconic clan), then anyone watching these new movies could be her. You don't have to be "special" to use the Force or even the Skywalker lightsaber. The legacy child in this story, Ben Solo, is the main villain we want to see defeated, so it's clear what Lucasfilm is doing.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018