Star Wars: Rian Johnson Explains His Decision About Rey's Parents in 'The Last Jedi'

Ever since audiences met Rey in The Force Awakens and discovered the ambiguity of her heritage, countless theories emerged about their role in the Star Wars saga. The Last Jedi addressed that answer directly, as Kylo Ren revealed that her parents were "nobodies." The film's writer/director, Rian Johnson, detailed to The Hollywood Reporter how he came to the decision of making Rey's parents nobodies instead of making them significant figures in the franchise.

"It was hinted at in [Episode] VII when Maz [Lupita Nyong'o] says the answers lay ahead, not behind, but it was something that was obviously still on Rey's mind and the audience's mind," Johnson shared. "It felt like a powerful thing that she was still holding onto this notion of the past defining her. And I guess I was entirely looking at it from a perspective of...what would be the thing that would be the most difficult for her to hear?"

With the exception of the reveal that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father in The Empire Strikes Back, the films in the Star Wars saga didn't regularly provide audiences with shocking revelations or unexpected connections to previous characters. However, that didn't stop fans from theorizing about how Rey could connect to previously established characters in the franchise.

"The easiest thing for her to hear would be, 'Yes, you are so and so's daughter.' Or 'Yes, here's where you fit into this. Here's the answer,'" Johnson pointed out. "The tougher thing to hear is, 'You're going to have to stand on your own two feet, you're going to have to figure out what you're worth in this world yourself. Your place in this story is not going to be handed to you. You are going to have to find it.' That to me was the most interesting and toughest thing for Rey."

Johnson's vision for the story might have been what was most challenging for the characters, yet that doesn't mean all audiences had to like it.

Rey's parentage, along with the origins of Supreme Leader Snoke, were two of the biggest mysteries presented with The Force Awakens. One of the biggest themes of The Last Jedi was the dangers of mythologizing and focusing on the past, a notion which the film itself tried to shatter by providing mundane explanations for both of these mysteries.

Whether or not Johnson will continue to ignore the legacy of the Star Wars saga to forge ahead into new territory with his upcoming trilogy of new films is yet to be seen.

0comments

You can see The Last Jedi in theaters now.

[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]