I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Jedi… at least on my second viewing. The major revelation I could not come to terms with, even after that second viewing, was that Rey’s parents were, in fact, no one of any note in the galaxy.
I’m a sucker for big reveals. Call me cliché. It’s actually kind of funny that Star Wars invented the cliché that is currently at the center of divisive fan reactions to The Last Jedi. Many fans are glad that Rey is a “nobody,” claiming it aligns with the overall message of the film that anyone can believe in, and thus learn to wield, the Force. I, however, like so many others, wanted Rey to be a Skywalker, Solo, Kenobi, or Fett (okay, maybe not the last one…).
Alas, there may still be hope for fans who want Rey’s parents to be someone important. Here are three reasons why I think Episode IX will reveal that Rey’s parents were, in fact, someone.
Rey’s Force Vision in The Force Awakens.
In The Force Awakens, Rey sees herself being dropped off on Jakku as a young girl. Unkar Plutt, supposedly her new guardian, violently pulls her away as she watches whoever dropped her off leave in a starship.
This contradicts what Kylo Ren tells Rey during their confrontation in The Last Jedi. Kylo tells Rey her parents were poor junk traders who sold her for cash to fuel their junkie lifestyles. He tells her they’re buried in a shallow grave somewhere in the vast desert of Jakku.
How could Rey’s parents have afforded a starship if they were poor junkies? And how are they buried on Jakku if they’re shown leaving the planet’s surface in Rey’s Force vision? Kylo may have been speaking simplistically about Rey’s parents’ eventual fate, but that only proves that he doesn’t actually know Rey’s history as clearly as he claims to.
Kylo Ren’s Motivation.
The fact that Kylo Ren is the one who encourages Rey to realize the “truth” about her parents gives me further hope that the big reveal was a misdirection. In that moment, Kylo has all the motivation in the galaxy to lie to Rey’s face. He clearly wants Rey to “join him and rule the galaxy as father and son.” (oops, wrong movie)
Still, Kylo had obviously been dreaming about an epic team-up that would have delighted many fans who “ship” the two characters. Kylo Ren’s motivation for such a team up, alone, would have been enough for him to lie. Why would Rey ever join him if she knew she was a Skywalker with a bright destiny?
The Dark Side Cave.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker journeys into a Dark Side cave on Dagobah. There, he encounters his worst fear: himself under Vader’s mask, as a Dark Lord of the Sith.
In The Last Jedi, Rey similarly enters a cavern that exudes darkness. There, after asking to see her parents, she merely sees herself, learning that she is, in fact, alone in the galaxy. Many fans took this to mean that her parents were not even worth showing. However, we must never trust the Dark Side.
My argument is this: the Dark Side does not necessarily show you the truth, but rather your worst fear. Luke’s worst fear was falling prey to the Dark Side of the Force and becoming the very thing he swore to destroy. Rey’s worst fear was being alone. Throughout The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, she speaks of waiting for her family to come back to Jakku. Her worst fear is having no family.
Fortunately, Luke did not fall to the Dark Side, and, therefore, Rey’s parents might still be someone.
Snoke admitted to influencing the Force link between Kylo Ren and Rey.
Supreme Leader Snoke, before his untimely death, admitted to Kylo Ren and Rey that he was the one that initiated and influenced the link between Kylo and Rey. This means that anything learned, any information given from Kylo Ren’s side could have been from Snoke himself.
Snoke could read his apprentice’s thoughts, his mind, and he could have planted the seed of Rey’s “junk trader” parents into Kylo’s mind. This would have also served as a way to bring Rey to the Dark Side, but Rey was made of much stronger stuff.
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 03: (L-R) Director Rian Johnson, actors Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley attend the press conference for the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi at InterContinental Los Angeles on December 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney )
The Director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson, recently discussed the reveal that Rey’s parents were no one in an interview with Collider. I will leave you with his own words:
"So, can I just make the statement, that’s who her parents are? They came from nothing, they’re buried in the desert, is that for sure?RIAN JOHNSON: That’s what Kylo sees and that’s what he tells her and I think he’s not lying in that moment. That’s what he saw and she seems to believe it when she hears it. I don’t want to … I’m not writing the next film, we’ll see how they handle it going forward, and as we all know in these movies, there’s always a certain point of view that’s involved. But, for me, I’ll tell you that was the … I can understand why that answer doesn’t feel good. It’s not supposed to feel good. It’s supposed to be the hardest thing she could possibly hear in that moment."
What do you think? Was Kylo lying (Intentional or unintentionally) to Rey about her parents? Let’s discuss in the comments below and on social media.