'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': Why Rey's Family History May Not Be As Important As We Thought

Fans have been wondering about Rey's family history ever since the character's mysterious origins were hinted at in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but thanks to new interviews with The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson and Daisy Ridley herself, we've learned that Rey's lineage may not be as important as we once thought.

In EW's latest Star Wars dispatch, Johnson described the importance of the question hanging over Rey's head:

"To me, it's important insofar as it's important to her. And I think it's important to her in terms of what is her place in all of this? What's going to define her in this story? She was told in the last movie that the answer's not in the past; it's looking forward. But she's showing up on this island to talk to this hero from the past...

You can be told ['the answer's not in the past'], but I think she still has a lingering hope that she's going to find the thing that's going to say: This is where you belong. This is where you are. I think she still holds onto the thought that where she comes from will help define where she's going."

But perhaps the bigger question is: how will discovering that information sculpt her character as she moves forward with her life? Ridley thinks the idea of Rey's parentage is less important than Rey believes it is, because regardless of what her character finds, her abilities are already in place. "You can always look for answers and that doesn't mean that the rest of your life is so easy," she says. "It's not like, oh, I know who my parents are so now everything falls into shape, especially in the Star Wars world."

Ridley appears to be viewing the whole situation from a more philosophical perspective:

"What's wonderful is it's not so cut and dry, who's good and who's bad and that's not me saying, 'Oh, my God, some people are gonna go bad.' There's always room for bad people to make good decisions and vice versa. Again, that could be nothing to do with your parents and it could be everything to do with your parents."

That moral complexity she's hinting at is something the Star Wars saga movies could use more of. "The big thematic push and pull in the movie is the past and what role the past has in moving us forward into the future," Johnson says, and from what we've learned so far, he's going to be putting these characters through the ringer and challenging them in ways they've yet to face thus far.

Fans have been whipped into a frenzy over the theories of Rey's parentage. Most have come to the conclusion that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is her father, perhaps abandoning her on Jakku around the time that he went into his self-imposed exile. Hamill himself has teased fans multiple times about this theory, cryptically commenting that he treats Ridley like a daughter, or other such playful hints. While this theory is the most widely accepted, others still theorize that she's not a Skywalker but a Kenobi, descended from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

This EW article claims that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will definitively resolve the question of her parents, but it's fun to theorize about in the meantime.

Johnson's comments were part of a roll-out of Star Wars: The Last Jedi stories from Entertainment Weekly, which recently revealed details about Benicio del Toro's mystery character, Poe Dameron's mentor-mentee bond with General Leia Organa, as well as brand new stills and behind-the-scenes photos from the set.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters December 15, 2017.(Hoai-Tran Bui also contributed to this article.)