Rey Star Wars

Rian Johnson Doesn’t Mind If J.J. Abrams Retcons Rey’s Parents In Star Wars: Episode IX

One of the best moments in Star Wars: The Last Jedi came when Kylo Ren neatly squashed countless fan theories about who Rey's parents were, explaining: "They were filthy junk traders. Sold you off for drinking money. They're dead in a pauper's grave in the Jakku desert. You come from nothing. You're nothing. But not to me." Making Rey talented in her own right rather than merely inheriting Jedi skills through her bloodline makes for a much more interesting character, not to mention that it's a nicely egalitarian bit of writing. That's not to say it wasn't controversial amongst the fanbase, many of whom have desperately hoped that J.J. Abrams retcon it in Star Wars: Episode IX.

One of the best moments in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was when Kylo Ren neatly squashed countless fan theories about who Rey’s parents were, telling her:

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“They were filthy junk traders. Sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert. You come from nothing. You’re nothing. But not to me.”

Making Rey talented in her own right rather than merely inheriting Jedi skills through her bloodline makes for a much more interesting character, not to mention that it’s a nicely egalitarian bit of writing. But it was controversial amongst the fanbase, many of whom have desperately hoped that J.J. Abrams will retcon it in Star Wars: Episode IX.

Well, it turns out that if they do get their wish, Rian Johnson would be cool with it. In an interview with MTV News, he was specifically asked how he’d feel if Abrams altered Rey’s backstory and said:

“I’ve had a couple of conversations with [Abrams] but I’ve actually really enjoyed sitting back waiting to get my popcorn opening day and see how the thing turns out. I cannot wait. Like I said, I want to let go of all my expectations, I want to sit back, I want to be entertained. I want to be surprised. I want to be thrilled. I want him to do stuff that I wasn’t expecting him to do and just go along for the ride. For me, that’s why I go to the movies.”

Well, while he does sound pretty positive about Episode IX, I bet he would actually be miffed if Abrams did do such a drastic retcon. Mercifully, the chances of this happening are extremely low, with J.J. so far not having shown any deep desire to mess with what Rian Johnson achieved with The Last Jedi. Let’s hope he doesn’t, because that film was just the shot in the arm Star Wars needed and I suspect history will look very kindly upon it.

Whatever happens with the next movie, at least we’ll get to see a lot more of Rian Johnson’s perspective on Star Wars over the next few years. In the same interview, he assured us that he was still chugging away at his own trilogy. Right now, we don’t know anything about how that will look, but expect to start hearing a bit more once Star Wars: Episode IX is out of the way.


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David James
I'm a writer/editor who's been at the site since 2015. Love writing about video games and will crawl over broken glass to write about anything related to Hideo Kojima. But am happy to write about anything and everything, so long as it's interesting!