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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opened to mixed reviews, with some questioning some of the story choices made by director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio. One of the most controversial developments was Rey choosing to take up the Skywalker name in the film’s closing moments. Now, one Star Wars author is sharing her thoughts on Rey’s decision.
Rae Carson, who was tasked with writing the novelization for The Rise of Skywalker, recently chatted with StarWars.com, during which she discussed the film’s final scene. Although she acknowledges that it was controversial for many viewers, she was pleased with the decision. Aside from believing that it made sense for Rey as a character, the plot point was also significant to her for personal reasons:
When I was 18 years old, I took on the moniker of my stepfather to honor the bonds of love and trust between us. I imagine it was much the same for Rey, who wanted to honor her own chosen family. I recognize that Rey’s decision proved controversial, and I look forward to discussing this with fans for years to come. But my current take is this: The entire Skywalker saga is about Palpatine turning or trying to turn Skywalkers to the dark side. He especially hopes that Rey will prove a worthy vessel for his own power and ambition and become the Skywalkers’ final downfall. But in spite of all his efforts over the course of three generations, he fails. Rey rejects everything about him and takes on the Skywalker mantle and legacy. In the end, it’s a Palpatine who turns to the light, thus handing the Skywalkers their ultimate victory.
Rey’s parentage was a much-speculated aspect of Star Wars’ sequel trilogy, and some were disappointed when 2017’s The Last Jedi declared that Rey’s parents were essentially no one.
In the end, it appears that Rey, having defeated her grandfather once and for all, is looking to finaly put the Palpatine name to rest. This leads her to take the Skywalker moniker in memory of the late Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.
One could argue that having Rey take on an established surname contradicts her journey, which involved her forging her own distinct identity. Nevertheless, Rae Carson makes a good point in that having a Palpatine turn away from her legacy and adopt the Skywalker name delivers the ultimate triumph to the Skywalker family.
With the Skywalker Saga now complete, we can assume the family will no longer be prominently featured on the big screen. Fans can, however, still check out all nine films including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is now available on Digital HD and will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on March 31.