Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Director Explains His Reasons For The Rey/Palpatine Twist

Palpatine Star Wars

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally revealed the truth about Rey’s origins. As you no doubt know by now, Daisy Ridley’s heroine turned out to be the granddaughter of Palpatine. Though this theory had gained a lot of popularity over the last few months, it isn’t traditionally something fans had been thinking could happen, with more common ideas linking Rey to the Skywalker or Kenobi families. So how did co-writer/director J.J. Abrams decide on this ultimate choice?

Well, speaking at a Q&A panel, Abrams outlined his thought process behind deciding to make Rey the Emperor’s grandchild. Of course, The Last Jedi already established that her parents were “nobodies.” And while the filmmaker didn’t outright retcon this revelation, he felt that things could be pushed in an even more dramatic direction if Rey discovered that she was actually related to the worst person in the galaxy.

“I think one of the ideas, one of the themes of the movie, is that anyone can be anything, regardless of where you’re from. I don’t know if it resonates for everyone, but I think there are quite a few people who appreciate that idea of not coming from a place that you’re particularly excited about following or proud of. And though I completely understand ‘you’re nobody’ is a devastating thing, to me, the more painful, the more shocking thing is the idea that you’re from the worst possible place.”

Having come up with this decision, Abrams hoped to bring themes of “nature vs. nurture” out of the story and the idea of someone choosing their own destiny, regardless of where they’ve come from.

“And is your destiny, is that thing that you feel, that you know is part of you somehow, that you’re haunted by, is that your destiny? The idea that choices — that there are things more powerful than blood, as Luke (Mark Hamill) says — that feeling was important to convey, for us.”

Honestly, the Palpatine connection and the exploration of how that effects Rey is one of the most successful elements of TROS, with it being handled a lot better than some other plot points that don’t have as much impact or follow-through. Abrams’ above comments make clear that this is a development he was passionate about, too, something that comes across in the finished product.

Tell us, though, are you a fan of Rey’s true origins in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Share your opinions in the usual place down below.