Star Wars Finally Reveals What Really Happened to Rey's Parents

One of the mysteries that ran across all three installments of the Star Wars sequels trilogy had to do with Rey's parents, who they were, and why they abandoned Rey on Jakku. Star Wars: The Force Awakens treated Rey as the hidden heir to some Force-based legacy. Star Wars: The Last Jedi upended expectations by revealing her parents were simple junk traders. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker doubled back again, revealing Rey is the genetic granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine and that her parents hid that lineage by becoming junk traders of no particular note. However, their full story hasn't been told until now. SPOILERS for Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith follow.

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith, the new novel by Adam Christopher, acts as a prequel to the sequel trilogy. Taking place more than a decade before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the story sees Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian embarking on an adventure involving key characters, locations, and items from the sequels, including Ochi of Bestoon, Exegol, and the Sith Wayfinder and dagger. 

It also names Rey's parents for the first time and tells their story. In flashbacks, we see how Darth Vader inadvertently helped Rey's father, Dathan, escape Exegol. He later meets and falls in love with Rey's mother, Miramir. After Rey's birth, Palpatine's forces begin searching for the family, which puts them on the run.

That's where Shadow of the Sith picks up. Having left Jakku, their home for the past few years, Rey's family is aided in escaping the Sith by a group of New Republic pilots. However, their ship is badly damaged, and the lead one of the New Republic pilots offered them turned out to be less trustworthy than they'd hoped, and now the Sith assassin Ochi of Bestoon is on their trail.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the galaxy, amid the search for his daughter, Lando Calrissian is made aware of Rey's family's struggles. After learning of the Sith's involvement, Lando recognizes that this is out of his league and turns to Luke Skywalker for help.

Unfortunately, Luke and Lando are consistently one step behind the family and the Sith. Luke and Lando repeatedly arrive on the scene just in time to lend the family some aid, thwart the Sith, and make plans to rendezvous, but never in time to meet the family face-to-face and hatch a long-term escape plan.

Eventually, Dathan and Miramir make a decision. They can't continue to run with Rey aboard the ship. To protect her, they return Jakku, strike a deal with Unkar Plutt to have him keep an eye on Rey, and then leave the girl behind. Plutt tips Dathan and Miramir off that the planet Pasaana might be an excellent place to lose a tail, and so Rey's parents set out.

The key missing piece here is that Dathan and Miramir planned to return. They didn't leave Rey on Jakku believing she'd grow up there alone. They expected to return as soon as the Sith were dealt with.

Unfortunately, this is exactly where their luck ran out. Upon leaving Jakku, Ochi caught up with them, took them onto his ship, and killed them with the Sith dagger.

Thus, Rey did grow up on Jakku until the day Finn came crashing into her life. Luke and Lando pursued Ochi. The assassin fled to Pasaana to hide and became lost and trapped in the planet's Shifting Sands, where he died. It'd be years before Luke or Lando finally met the girl whose family they tried so hard to save.

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