Going into The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars fans have many theories about Rey’s heritage. Though The Last Jedi had Kylo Ren tell Daisy Ridley’s heroine that her parents were nobodies, this hasn’t stopped folks from believing there’s still more going on in Rey’s past than we currently know. In fact, one unexpected answer has reared its head recently and here’s a new bit of evidence that might support it.
First of all, let’s talk about Star Wars: Underworld. Earlier this decade, George Lucas was developing it as the first live-action SW TV show, but it never got off the ground and Disney didn’t resurrect the idea after taking over Lucasfilm. God of War creator Cory Balrog has given us an insight into one thing Underworld would have explored, though: a surprisingly sympathetic origin for Emperor Palpatine.
Here’s how Balrog put it to Syfy:
“When I was working at Lucas, I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts for the [canceled live-action Star Wars] TV show. It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers.”
So, what’s this got to do with Rey? Well, as reported by both We Got This Covered and Making Star Wars, it’s believed that Rey may be revealed as the secret granddaughter of Palpatine. This is a pretty shocking twist, as we’ve never known the Emperor to have any kind of familial connection before. But what if this “hardcore gangster” woman gave birth to Palpatine’s child, who then had Rey? This would mean her parents weren’t important, like Kylo said, but her grandpa is.
Lucas is known to have consulted on Episode IX as well, so it’s not out of the question that he could’ve lent J.J. Abrams his unused idea for Underworld and it’s about to be made Star Wars canon. In any case, kudos to Reddit user u/VTkajin who first suggested there could be a connection between this lost backstory and Rise of Skywalker, which drops into theaters on December 20th.