Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson says the truth behind Rey's parentage is "still open," a thread that could be resolved by Star Wars: Episode IX writers J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced Rey as a junk scavenger on backwater desert planet Jakku, abandoned by a pair of unrevealed parents.
Rey's true parentage and the reason for her being left behind continues to plague the budding Jedi in the Force Awakens followup that revealed Rey's parents to be — spoiler — nobodies.
Rival and Dark Side Force user Kylo Ren broke the news after the pair shared a psychic link through the Force, with the former Ben Solo telling a desperate Rey her parents were junk traders who sold their young daughter off in exchange for alcohol before ending up in pauper's graves.
The truth of Kylo's reveal was “the most difficult thing dramatically for Rey in this movie to hear," Johnson told HuffPost.
“What’s going to make life hardest on her? It would be the big ‘I am your father’ twist [from The Empire Strikes Back],” Johnson said, citing the moment Luke Skywalker learned from Darth Vader that the villain was his supposed-to-be-dead father.
Vader's revelation was “the hardest thing the character could possibly hear in that moment,” and it was the "same thing with Rey and her parentage," according to Johnson.
“The easy thing would be, ‘Yes, your parents are so and so and here’s your place in the world. There you go,’" the filmmaker added.
"The hardest thing she could hear would be... ‘No, you’re not going to get the answer. This is not going to define you. You’re going to have to find your own place in this world. Kylo is going to use that even as leverage to try and make you feel insecure, and you’re going to have to stand on your own two feet.’”
Fans, particularly those upset by the news Rey is a "nobody," and not a descendant of Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi, have aired suspicions Kylo Ren wasn't being truthful. The final say will lie with The Force Awakens director and co-writer Abrams, who returns to the franchise with IX.
“Anything’s still open, and I’m not writing the next film," Johnson said. "[J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio] are doing it."
Johnson, who had the freedom to make the reveal — "I was very thankful there was no slip of paper that was handed to me that said Rey’s parents are so and so," he said previously — said, for him, Kylo was being honest.
But further developments could come in IX by way of Abrams and Terrio.
“With all of these movies, Obi-Wan’s whole speech about a certain point of view always applies, so I think that you have to always think about the context of how information is given," Johnson pointed out. "But for me, dramatically, that’s why that reveal at that moment made sense."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing.