Rian Johnson Explains Why He Made That Decision About Rey’s Parents In Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Ever since the multi-talented Rey first dropped into the Star Wars universe back in 2015’s The Force Awakensfans have been theorizing about just who her parents could be. She obviously had to be related to some sort of established/iconic character, right? Perhaps Luke’s daughter? Or Obi-Wan Kenobi’s? Or maybe even Kylo Ren’s secret twin?

Well, in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we finally got our answer – and it came as quite a shock. In a climactic moment of the movie, Kylo reveals that Rey’s parents were… no one important at all. Just some lowlifes on Jakku who sold their daughter in exchange for money to fuel their various vices. Adam Driver’s villain uses the info as a tool to break Rey’s spirit, in hopes of getting her to come to the Dark Side. However, Rey proves stronger than him and stands her ground.

Still, it’s got fans wondering what they’re to make of the revelation and even now, a month after the film first hit theaters, director Rian Johnson is finding himself having to defend it once again. After already weighing in on the matter a handful of times, Johnson explained his reasoning even further in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying:

“It was hinted at in 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. 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?”

Continuing on, he noted that Rey discovering that her parents weren’t anyone special was the most interesting avenue for him to explore.

“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.” 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.”

While what Johnson says here is sound, he’s also mentioned in the past that Episode IX could potentially throw us another twist in regards to Rey’s parents and where she comes from. In particular, the director mentioned in an interview the other week that the truth “is still open.” What exactly that means is unclear, but could there be more to Daisy Ridley’s heroine’s origins than meets the eye?

After all, with J.J. Abrams stepping in for the next chapter in the saga, he may make some changes to Rey’s parentage. Or at least, give us some kind of twist that allows him to mess around with her origins so that they’re not exactly as Kylo told her they were in The Last Jedi. Then again, who really knows?

Rey might truly be no one special and just another ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances like so many protagonists before her. And if that’s the case, would that really be so terrible? We certainly don’t think so, but either way, all will be revealed when Star Wars: Episode IX blasts into theaters on December 20th, 2019.