With the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we finally know how the long-running franchise finally ends. The film provides closure in the battle between Light and Dark sides of the Force, between the Resistance and the First Order, and for the characters including Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren. But it's Rey in particular, the fabled last of the Jedi, who discovers more of her history and learns what her legacy means for her place in the galaxy. And it all goes back to a question we thought we learned the answer to in Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Who are Rey's parents?
Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.
In the film, we find out that Rey's parents are indeed nobodies, but they weren't always like that. Rey's father is actually the son of Emperor Palpatine, though it's not clear when he was born and what his own relationship with his mother was like. He goes into hiding with his wife, played by Killing Eve star Jodie Comer, when they have their daughter in hopes of hiding her from the Emperor's forces.
Rey's parents became nobodies in order to live a life of solitude, but they were forced to abandon their daughter when the Emperor's forces discovered them — so they left her on Jakku and were subsequently killed by Palpatine's hunters.
Rey, of course, has trouble dealing with the fact that she's the granddaughter of the most evil man in the galaxy, and she attempts to deal with the issue by avoiding it altogether. Thinking she could turn to the Dark side if she continues in the fight, she strands herself on Ahch-To much like Luke Skywalker attempted. But it is the Force ghost of Luke himself that convinces Rey to confront her fears and take the fight to Palpatine himself.
During her fight with Palpatine, the Emperor chastises her parents for being weak, but counters with the point that they were actually strong, and that they did everything to protect her and themselves from his evil. Ultimately, Rey rejects her bloodline much like her parents did and embraces her destiny as a Jedi, ultimately conquering the evil impulses that have plagued her in this film.
So Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker does retcon what was established in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but it still maintains the central conceit of that film that anyone could be a good person, no matter what family you belong to.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in theaters on Friday, December 20th.
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