Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Writer Explains Why Rey’s Dark Twist Doesn’t Contradict The Previous Movies

Rey in The Rise of Skywalker

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Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!

Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, there has been a ton of new and exciting Star Wars content arriving for the generations of fans. Chief among them is the sequel trilogy, which continued the franchise's main narrative, following Return of the Jedi. That trilogy recently came to an end with The Rise of Skywalker, with J.J. Abrams tasked with wrapping up the entire nine-film narrative. Major changes were made, especially related to Rey and her parentage. And co-writer Chris Terrio recently explained how Rey's dark twist wasn't contradicting the narrative choices of previous movies like The Last Jedi.

One of the big questions surrounding the sequel trilogy was Rey's parentage. She was waiting for her parents in The Force Awakens, before her powers manifested themselves. In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren said that her folks were nobodies who left her behind, although The Rise of Skywalker revealed a much more complicated backstory. Turns out her grandfather was Emperor Palpatine, and her parents were trying to protect her from the Dark Side. Writer Chris Terrio recently spoke about this dark twist for Rey, ad explained how Episode IX continued the narrative from its preceding movies. As he put it,

When Rey was wondering what her place in all this was — and she articulated that in ‘Episode 8’ — but she wondered it in Episode 7, too. J.J. always felt that she should get the worst possible news. In a way, the worst possible news for the Rey of Episode 8 is that she is just a child of junk traders, which is true. That’s not contradicted by what you learn in this film, but that she’s the descendant of someone who represents the opposite of all that the Skywalkers represent.

Rey's story is central to the sequel trilogy's narrative, as Daisy Ridey's character was the hero of the new movies. When she debuted in The Force Awakens, her quick learning of The Force really stood out to fans. And it turns out that her origin was always meant to have a dark connection to The Sith.

Star Wars fans can currently rewatch the Skywalker Saga on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.

Chris Terrio's comments to IndieWire help to shed a light on the narrative choices that were made in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Because while J.J. Abrams created the new characters and directed two of the last three movies, Rian Johnson was given the creative reigns for The Last Jedi. The Knives Out filmmaker took plenty of narrative risks, and purposefully subverted fan expectations. Because no one expected her parents to be nothing but smugglers.

Related: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Editor Responds To Complaints About Fan Service

In the end, Rey's parents were redeemed by The Rise of Skywalker. Appearing in a brief flashback (featuring a cameo by Killing Eve's Jodie Comer), it turns out that they were trying to keep Rey away from Palpatine by leaving her on Jakku. They weren't remarkable people, just a pair trying to protect the galaxy. It was the Rey's grandfather that would be her connection to The Force, as Sheev Palpatine apparently became a father before his apparent death in Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now, and making tons of money at the box office. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. 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. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.