Following the many divisive revelations dropped in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, fans accused the filmmakers of making it up as they went along. Well, now we have concrete proof that was the case. Star Daisy Ridley has revealed that not only did she not know Rey was secretly a Palpatine while shooting the first two sequels, but she wasn’t even sure during filming on Episode IX.
Ridley chatted with Josh Gad on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night and was asked if she had to keep the secret of Rey’s origins since The Force Awakens. The actress confirmed that she did not. She revealed that J.J. Abrams pitched her the idea that the ubervillain was her grandfather, which she thought was “awesome,” sometime prior to the shoot. However, two weeks later, the director told her this wasn’t certain anymore.
“Even I think when I was filming, I wasn’t sure what the answer was going to be,” Ridley noted.
We knew that Palpatine was introduced in the storyline pretty late into the process, as the former Emperor wasn’t resurrected in Colin Trevorrow’s original Episode IX, titled Duel of the Fates, though he would’ve had a cameo via hologram. Abrams then came up with bringing Palpatine back when he signed on to replace Trevorrow, something that Lucasfilm liked. So, it’s interesting to know that there was some indecision about whether Rey should be related to him or not.
In this same interview, Ridley revealed that one early idea was for Rey to be descended from Obi-Wan Kenobi in some way, just as fans had suspected. She then pointed out that the thinking became that she was “no one,” as in not related to any pre-existing characters, which Kylo Ren claimed in The Last Jedi. Abrams has said he reversed this decision because he thought having Palpatine as a granddad would be much worse for Rey to discover.
Some day we’ll learn the full story behind the production troubles of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Until then, though, we’ll have to put the pieces together ourselves from every bit of info the cast and crew let slip.