The trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may have secretly hinted at Rey's parents. The mystery of Rey's parentage was one of the most intriguing questions in The Force Awakens, which revealed Rey had been left on Jakku but was expecting her parents to return. Over the next couple of years, fans developed countless theories to explain who Rey really was, and how she was tied to the generational Star Wars Saga. Was she a Skywalker, a Kenobi, or even a Palpatine?
In the end, in Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson took a very different approach. He felt everybody expected that kind of resolution, and so as a result decided to take the opposite approach. The Last Jedi featured a shocking scene in which Kylo Ren revealed that Rey's parents were galactic nobodies, who'd sold her in order to feed their addictions. It proved a divisive revelation, with some loving the twist, and others hating it.
It increasingly looks as though Lucasfilm is going to walk back on this. "There’s more to the story than you’ve seen," J.J. Abrams recently confirmed. What's more, the trailer itself may subtly confirm this, with a shot of what appears to be the spaceship belonging to Rey's parents.
The first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a traditional J.J. Abrams "Mystery Box," carefully avoiding revealing just what's going on. One of the most inexplicable shots features a spaceship flying over a misty, mountainous terrain towards an unknown city. At first glance it appears to be an A-Wing, but upon closer examination of the vessel's shape that doesn't seem to be the case. That doesn't mean it isn't familiar, though; on close examination, the silhouette appears to correspond perfectly with a spacecraft seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
In one scene in The Force Awakens, Rey touches Anakin Skywalker's old lightsaber and experiences a series of Force visions - Forcebacks, as Abrams called them, a pun on "flashbacks." One of these Forcebacks allowed Rey to revisit the moment when her parents left her on Jakku, and she watched as their ship flew off into the heavens. It really does look to be the very same ship.
Of course, this may not mean that Rey's parents appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It's possible that both these vessels are simply of the same class. But it certainly seems like a remarkable coincidence, especially given Abrams has hinted that the story of Rey's parents is not yet complete. No doubt he'll have to handle this with care, wary of directly contradicting The Last Jedi and making it all too obvious a course-correction.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019