Rey's Backstory

The question of Rey’s lineage in the Star Wars movies has been at the forefront of the conversation among vocal swaths of fandom for four years now, and though it was given more context in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we evidently still don’t know the full story.

In a new interview, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio answered a question about the approach he and J.J. Abrams took to addressing Rey’s parentage without detracting from The Last Jedi‘s core message of the Force being accessible to everyone, and his response clearly indicates that there’s definitely more to that narrative thread which is revealed in the new film.

In a conversation with Rolling Stone, Terrio (Argo, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) was asked how he and Abrams went about adding to Rey’s backstory without contradicting the messaging of Rian Johnson’s previous movie:

“I agree, that’s a really interesting thing that Rian did. It’s a democratization of Star Wars, saying that your lineage and your blood doesn’t necessarily determine who you are, and your past doesn’t determine your future. But we took those provocations as ideas that we could grapple with and hopefully expand upon in this film, because I don’t think it’s a dialectic of one or the other, where either you come from nothing or you are born royalty. There’s a lot of ground in between. Even [Kylo] Ren’s terminology isn’t… When he says “You’re no one” — well, what does that mean? Is that how Rey would think about herself? Does Rey even think of these questions? I’m trying not to reveal any story points here! There’s a Gordian knot in my tongue. I think those are really valid ideas that Rian put forth, but any series of films, especially if you have three, is a conversation — which is, as I said early on when I was talking to J.J., thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. If Force Awakens asks the question of who is Rey and where did she come from, and then The Last Jedi answered it with a negative in a certain way, hopefully The Rise of Skywalker will take those two ideas and create a third thing.”

We’re only a week out from the release of The Rise of Skywalker, so there doesn’t seem to be much of a point in going too deep into speculation about what this could mean. All I can hope for are decisions that make narrative sense with what’s come before and make thematic sense with the arc of this trilogy as a whole – especially if this is the last we might see of Rey.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20, 2019.

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