Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Palpatine and Rey Rumor Debunked

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now the divisive-yet-final word on the Skywalker Saga, but it also introduced quite a few concepts that have kept Star Wars fans debating since seeing the film. One of the biggest debates/conspiracy theories out there is that the big reveal about Rey (Daisy Ridley) being Emperor Palpatine's granddaughter was actually a reveal that got shoehorned into Rise of Skywalker at the last minute. Well, new details from the supervising sound editor on Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood, have all but debunked the idea that the Rey / Palpatine connection was a last-minute addition to Star Wars' Skywalker Saga conclusion.

Matthew Wood was doing an interview on the Soundworks Collection Oscar podcast (go HERE), where he confirmed some interesting timing about Adam Driver's work on Rise of Skywalker. Driver famously went in just before Rise of Skywalker's release to record some additional lines for the film, which fed a lot of fan conspiracy theories that this was the moment where Disney/Lucasfilm snuck Driver in to record that Rey/Palpatine reveal scene.

However, according to Wood, Driver recorded his final ADR for Rise of Skywalker on November 21st, which corresponded to the actor's appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Meanwhile, Rise of Skywalker's plot was actually leaked online at the end of summer (August 2019), and the version of the script that leaked definitely had the Rey-Palpatine connection in it. So, the idea that Adam Driver ran into record those lines in late November, as a last-minute change to Rise of Skywalker, is now totally debunked.

As for what Driver did record in November? Well, the Palpatine reveal was delivered while Kylo Ren was wearing his mask - therefore, it was always speculated that Driver had to record more ADR to make his dialogue while in mask much clearer. That logic still makes the most sense, just with the caveat that Driver wasn't being forced to put an entire new plot reveal together. For better or worse, no matter how you may feel about it, Rey's identity as Palpatine's granddaughter was a thing that was planned as a major ac in the Skywalker Saga, and executed as such. No need to inspire conspiracies about it, just because you don't like it.

On the other hand, though, The Rise of Skywalker's Palpatine scenes made a lot of fans feel like they were thrown together and unpolished - from the look of Palpatine himself, to the strange crowd of Sith loyalists we still know nothing about. Easy mistake to make.

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If you want to live in a version of Star Wars: Episode IX that doesn't have a Rey / Palpatine connection, read Colin Trevorrow's script.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is still in theaters.