How Rian Johnson Decided On Rey’s Parents In Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rey in a promo image of The Last Jedi

Massive spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

While it was released over a month ago, fans and cinephiles alike haven't stopped discussing the contents of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson subverted all fan expectations with his somewhat divisive sequel, including everything we thought we would see after The Force Awakens. Long debated plot points were abandoned, and everything we thought we knew about The Force was challenged. One of the most hotly debated twists revolved around Rey's parentage, which was theorized to death following the first film. But Kylo Ren revealed Rey comes from nobody smugglers, and now Johnson has expanded upon how he developed this shocker. And it was by trying just about every option.

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.

It looks like Rian Johnson was throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what would stick while developing The Last Jedi. And as far as reviews and box office performance goes, it seems to have really paid off.

Rian Johnson's recent comments to the /Film podcast prove how Rian Johnson really explored while writing Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The director/writer clearly wanted to put his own stamp on the galaxy far, far away, and seemed all to cognizant of what the fans were expecting for the highly anticipated sequel. And rather than delivering the perfect package in a nice bow, he chose to make some bold choices.

The decision to make Rey's unremarkable is definitely one that shook the fandom who shelled out money to see The Last Jedi in theaters. Given how naturally powerful Daisy Ridley's character was in the ways of The Force, many fans believed that she must be part of a long Jedi legacy. There were endless debated about who Rey's parents could and should be, with candidates like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi being thrown around as possibilities. Obi-Wan was perhaps the most popular theory, as the fans don't know much about his solitary life in Tatooine prior to meeting Luke in A New Hope.

It should be interesting to see how this revelation affects Rey moving forward. The character's sole motivation in The Force Awakens was the possibility of reuniting with her parents. She believed they'd eventually return to Jakku and reunite, with fans hoping that a Force Ghost of Obi-Wan might show up to tell her the truth. But now it looks like her parentage doesn't matter, as she already has the abilities to inspire the Rebellion.

The next installment in the galaxy far, far away will be Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25th, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trips to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.