Rise of Skywalker: The unanswered cliffhanger of who is Rey’s parents?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens did not only present us with a different view of Rey, but it quickly made us ask “Who is Rey’s parent?” We weren’t left with many answers in The Force Awakens, but what we did witness was a brief of Rey’s history – from how her parents left her on Jakku, to Rey having an innate feeling that her parents will someday return. Deep down Rey knew they were never coming back, but somehow, she managed to keep hope, although it ended up being hopeless.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has us finally finding out who Rey’s parents were, but in some way, it also left us with additional thoughts, as writer-director Rian Johnson decided to take a different route. Star Wars have always captured the audience’s attention with the relationship between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, but The Last Jedi turns around and shows us that there is nothing more than Rey and that she is all that is left – well that and the fact that her parents were nobodies. In a lot of ways, we see how The Force seeks to instill balance throughout the entire Star Wars theme, but ultimately comes to a conclusion showing that Rey has come from Nowhere to bring balance to the darkness created by Kylo Ren. It wasn’t the best road taken by writers J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio, and it left a lot of fans confused, frustrated and some were very unhappy.

Anthony Daniels, Kathleen Kennedy, Chris Terrio, J.J. Abrams, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley at an event for Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) – Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images – © 2019 Getty Images – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker we finally get the answer we’ve been waiting for so long, “who is Rey’s parent?” Ultimately, we’re not directly answered, as Abrams and Terrio quickly had audiences rather ask, “If Rey’s parents were nobodies, then what about her grandparents?” Finally, we have some more leverage to work with, and we can ultimately find out who her parents were. Rey’s father was the son of Emperor Palpatine – and yes, this is where it becomes confusing, because if her grandfather was Emperor, why did her parents abandon her on Jakku? Ultimately, we realize that her parents sacrificed her, to protect their daughter’s identity. Although it wasn’t easy for them, as this meant they left their daughter in the hands of scavenging and starvation on Jakku, how could they have ever thought a zombie Palpatine would ultimately start searching the galaxy for her?

In many ways, the reversal of the thematic impact The Last Jedi made on fans is that we now have to think of Rey as royalty, and also about Palpatine having sex. More so, we can now see that the Star Wars Universe has become a hyper-focused genre, where only the most important people in the Universe is Skywalker or Palpatine. We now finally divulged into Rey’s past, but with this, it’s raised some concerns on whether or not Rey will turn out to be a villain in disguise? Luckily, Abrams and Terrio have kept viewers fascinated, meaning that we will now have to wait and see if Rey will follow in the footsteps of her forefathers. 

We can now see that Star Wars, to some extent, can be correlated to our modern society, an environment where the rich stays rich and the poor stay poor. With this thinking, there’s also the notion that your past, whether it be from an affluent family or perhaps not being born with a silver spoon in your mouth, greatness can come from anywhere and from any person. Ultimately Rise of Skywalker has shown that becoming a Jedi is not of who your parents were, but rather of the inspirational and aspiring leader one can be, with or without having a direct connection to your heritage.