What About Broom Boy? Rise Of Skywalker Writer Addresses The Last Jedi's Other Force Users

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Temiri Blagg broom boy

SPOILERS ahead from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Hey, remember that kid at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Apparently his real name is Temiri Blagg but he's better known as "broom boy" for representing other Force-sensitive people in the Star Wars galaxy. In that movie, Rey (Daisy Ridley) was described as being no one from nowhere, descended from nobodies. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealed that, actually, she's the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine himself, tying her powers to that legacy.

That update to Rey's story was a disappointment to some fans, who appreciated seeing how anyone could have such strong Force powers. Sure, the idea of Force-sensitive people isn't new -- from the many Jedi of the prequels to others in the Star Wars galaxy beyond the Skywalker Saga. But it seemed, in The Last Jedi, that the sequel trilogy might be making one of those non-legacy characters the main hero. Well, Rey may have a Force legacy after all, but that hasn't changed anything for others with Force-sensitivity, as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-screenwriter Chris Terrio noted.

Chris Terrio wrote Rise of Skywalker with director J.J. Abrams. Here's how Terrio responded when THR asked if Episode IX still recognizes the existence of the galaxy's other Force users without famous ancestors -- aka the broom boys and girls:

Of course. Hopefully, the film also suggests that Finn is discovering that he is a Force user and is Force strong. Finn feels the death of Rey, and in a crucial moment during the battle, Finn senses the command ship where the navigation signal was coming from. So, we wanted to begin to plant the idea that Finn is Force strong and that there are other people in the galaxy who are Force strong. Yes, of course, the galaxy is full of Force users, and you don’t have to be a Skywalker or a Palpatine in order to be strong with the Force. But Luke does say very explicitly in Return of the Jedi, 'The Force is strong in my family,' and we know that there is an inherited element to Force power.

Yes, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker did heavily suggest Finn is Force-strong or Force-sensitive, and that's even supposedly what Finn was going to tell Rey when he wanted to tell her something at the last minute. However, J.J. Abrams has already explained his reasoning for giving Rey that Palpatine heritage, wanting to bring both major houses -- Skywalker and Palpatine -- together for the entire nine-film Saga. Here's more from Chris Terrio's answer on broom boy and other Force users:

So, considering that this was a story of the Palpatines and Skywalkers, at least these nine movies, we decided to focus on the family part. Rey descending from a Palpatine doesn’t negate the idea that kids with brooms, Finn and any other number of people in the galaxy can be strong with the Force. It just so happens that this young girl that we found in Episode VII — which really has the structure of a fairytale — is royalty of the Dark Side. What we discover in this movie, and hopefully in retrospect, is that she’s essentially a princess who’s being raised as an orphan. The idea that this royalty of the Dark Side would be found as a scavenger in the middle of nowhere, literally living off the ruins of the old war that was created by her ancestors, felt really strong to us.

Some Star Wars fans have taken Rise of Skywalker's choices as rebukes or retcons of Rian Johnson's script for The Last Jedi. Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams have tried to emphasize there was no feud or intention to sideline certain characters or negate story choices. And Terrio said he and Abrams agreed with Last Jedi fans who appreciated that "democratization of the Force" by showing more non-legacy users like broom boy. They just didn't want the non-legacy users to include Rey:

We couldn’t agree more with the debate about the democratization of the Force, but for purposes of this story, we thought that it was a more interesting and mythic answer if it turned out that Rey descended from one of the families that has been at the center of this whole saga the entire time. In the end, the film asserts that there are things stronger than blood because she chooses a different family for herself.

At the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rey goes to Tatooine to bury lightsabers and tells a lady that her last name is Skywalker. That's her choice. Where does she go from there? That's open to interpretation, and fans have their own ideas. Does Rey, perhaps, start training other Jedis, like Finn and broom boys/girls? Maybe. I do love the idea of Rey starting a Jedi academy of her own and sending out messages to Force-sensitive Padawans like Hogwarts letters. Hopefully she'd have a smooth run as a master, but we've seen how that does not always go well. And she does have that Palpatine blood in her veins. Will she always choose the light?

Final shot of Star Wars: The Last Jedi broom boy

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

What do you think happened specifically to broom boy at the end of the Skywalker Saga? Still stuck on Canto Bight?

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.