Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams hints that there's more to the story of Rey's parents than fans have already seen. Ever since the character was introduced in The Force Awakens, the subject of her heritage has been a major talking point. Numerous theories were developed over time, speculating Rey was Luke's estranged daughter, Obi-Wan Kenobi's granddaughter, or related to a different integral legacy figure from the previous movies. One of the many reasons why The Last Jedi was so anticipated is because it was set to offer answers to these questions.
In his film, Rian Johnson threw audiences a curveball by revealing Rey's parents were two junk traders who sold her off at a very young age for drinking money. This wasn't what everyone expected, but it did tie into the movie's message that a hero could come from anywhere, regardless of their history or bloodline. Still, many people are wondering if the upcoming Episode IX will look to retcon any of Johnson's more divisive creative choices - particularly since the movie is called The Rise of Skywalker. All that remains to be seen, but Abrams is teasing fans while they wait.
During an interview with ABC, Abrams was asked explicitly if audiences will find out who Rey's parents are in Rise of Skywalker. He of course couldn't say much, but nevertheless offered a tantalizing response:
“I will say that we knew, going into this, that this movie, it had to be a satisfying conclusion. And we were well aware that that’s one of the things that’s been out there. I don’t want to say that what happens in Episode 8 [didn’t happen]. We have honored that. But I will say that there’s more to the story than you’ve seen.”
Abrams has gone on record to say that while he had some ideas about where the trilogy would go after Force Awakens, Johnson had taken the story in a different direction before they met. Exact details about what Abrams' initial drafts entailed will likely never be unveiled, but Simon Pegg hinted last year Abrams had something else in mind concerning Rey's parentage. Whatever that was, however, has probably been discarded. As Abrams says here, part of his responsibility on Episode IX was to honor the two films that came before. That means he couldn't just toss out what had been established in The Last Jedi and instead needed to build on what that movie had done. It's actually similar to what Johnson did, using Force Awakens as a jumping off point for story beats like Luke's exile.
All that's to say, what Abrams seems to be getting at is that there won't be any drastic alterations to The Last Jedi and the alleged truth about Rey's parents will remain the same. Instead, The Rise of Skywalker sounds like it'll be an organic continuation of the story, adding a few more layers and wrinkles to it in an attempt to end the saga on the highest of notes. Whatever Abrams and company have in store will surely be shrouded in mystery until the film's December premiere. In the meantime, this'll be more fodder for rampant theories that'll keep fans buzzing.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019