The Last Jedi Director Shares The Options He Considered For Rey’s Parents


Who is Rey, exactly?

She’s definitely not a Skywalker, nor is she a member of the Kenobi clan; as a matter of fact, after Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we know Daisy Ridley’s scavenger is a nobody – a luckless orphan cast astray on the sands of Jakku.

It’s a fairly shocking (and bold!) move on Rian Johnson’s part, who made a conscious effort to remind viewers that, in Star Wars, heroism isn’t contingent on one’s heritage, which is a pretty huge departure for a franchise so caught up with “chosen ones” and destiny.

Johnson had envisioned a pretty clear arc for Rey, then, but as the writer-director revealed on the /Filmcast, he originally drafted up a list of alternatives on what he calls “The Big Ass Document.”

It’s not like I was aware of those expectations and was trying to purposefully poke people in the eye. I was writing based on my honest gut reactions to what the most powerful turn of events would be to those questions. I honestly listed everything I could think of, even awful possibilities where I said, ‘This is not what we’re going to do.’ I mean the less silly one was, ‘Is she a clone?’ Anything that’s a theory on Reddit now I guarantee was listed on that document.

From robots to long-lost clones, Johnson’s draft document was teeming with weird and wonderful options, even if the director always planned on sticking to his guns – much to the chagrin of armchair rebels.

The silliest one was, ‘Is she a robot?’ Okay, we’ve seen a biomechanical realistic flesh hand on Luke, could the technology have advanced significantly in the 30 years, and then I just started laughing. Look forward to the ‘Rey was almost a robot headlines.’

To his credit, The Last Jedi‘s director wanted to create a similar moment to the one in which Luke Skywalker learns that he’s a descendant of Darth Vader in Empire Strikes Back:

“‘I am your father’ takes what could have been a very simple bad guy and suddenly turns him into something much more complicated. To do that with Rey, to give the audience and Rey that feeling of ‘Oh no,’ it had to be the opposite of that.” Johnson also said the finished version constituted the answer to the question, “what is the hardest thing she could hear?

So, there you have it; Star Wars: The Last Jedi could’ve featured robot Rey – or a clone version of our Jakku scavenger. In all seriousness though, this is an intriguing peek behind the curtain, because while a vocal pocket of the Internet continues to push back against his decisions, Rian Johnson wouldn’t change a thing.