Rey's parentage in Star Wars: From Obi-Wan to Palpatine and beyond

I am your father, the evolution of Rey
I am your father, the evolution of Rey's parentage in the Star Wars sequel (Image via Sportskeeda)

The Star Wars sequel trilogy left fans with many unanswered questions, but perhaps the most significant was the mystery surrounding Rey's parents. Viewers were eager to learn about the origins of this powerful character, who was introduced as a scavenger on Jakku in The Force Awakens. However, the answer to her parentage remained closely guarded until the end.

Over three films, several versions of Rey's lineage were presented, including the possibility of her being the daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a nobody, or even the granddaughter of the infamous Emperor Palpatine. Hence, this article will delve into these theories and explore the behind-the-scenes revelations from Daisy Ridley, who played Rey in the trilogy.


Obi-Wan was Rey's original father in the Star Wars Sequels

Rey's original father: The once-considered connection to Obi-Wan in the sequel trilogy (Image via Lucasfilm)
Rey's original father: The once-considered connection to Obi-Wan in the sequel trilogy (Image via Lucasfilm)

When Rey was introduced as a scavenger on Jakku with unexplainable powers, many fans immediately began speculating on her lineage. Was she related to the Skywalker or Kenobi family? It seemed possible with Obi-Wan's unique connection to the original trilogy and years spent hiding in Tatooine.

During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2020, Ridley revealed that the production team initially considered Obi-Wan's connection to Rey's parentage but didn't inform her. Ridley told Jimmy Kimmel Live:

"At the beginning, there was toying with, like, an Obi-Wan connection."

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The Last Jedi shocked fans when Kylo Ren declared that Rey's parents were "nobodies" who sold her for drinking money and were buried in a pauper's grave. The twist, written by Rian Johnson, sparked debates among fans about whether it was a clever subversion of expectations or a disappointing cop-out.

Ridley suggested that Johnson intended Rey to find a new sense of belonging and purpose beyond her lineage. However, some fans felt that this decision undermined the importance of lineage in Star Wars.


Palpatine is Rey's grandfather, maybe

The Palpatine puzzle: The twist of Rey's grandfather in the sequels (Image via Lucasfilm)
The Palpatine puzzle: The twist of Rey's grandfather in the sequels (Image via Lucasfilm)

In the final installment of the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the revelation of Rey's heritage was a significant plot point. Director J.J. Abrams chose to make Rey the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, a major villain in the Star Wars universe.

While this twist was unexpected and added a new layer of intrigue to Rey's story, it also raised questions about how Palpatine could have a child or why he didn't sense Rey's existence sooner.

These plot holes, along with Daisy Ridley's comments about the filmmakers' uncertainty about the twist, highlight the lack of cohesion in the trilogy and the challenges of balancing fan expectations with creative vision.


The lack of coherent planning in the Star Wars

The downfall of disjointed planning: The lack of coherent direction in the sequel trilogy (Image via Lucasfilm)
The downfall of disjointed planning: The lack of coherent direction in the sequel trilogy (Image via Lucasfilm)

Despite the inconsistencies and uncertain decision-making behind Rey's lineage, the revelation that she was related to one of the most influential and dangerous characters in the Star Wars universe added a new level of depth to her character. It also highlighted that heritage does not necessarily determine destiny or allegiance.

While the sequel trilogy may have faltered in some areas, the complexity of Rey's story and her journey towards self-discovery will continue to be a compelling aspect of the Star Wars mythos. The saga of Rey's parentage in the Star Wars sequels highlights the difficulty of balancing the expectations and creativity involved in a long-running franchise.

The fact that the answer changed throughout the trilogy and that the actors were not always informed reflects a lack of precise planning for the overall narrative. While some fans appreciated the surprises and twists, others were disappointed by the lack of consistency and payoffs.


Rey's journey continues

The Force Lives On: Rey's journey continues in the Star Wars (Image via Lucasfilm)
The Force Lives On: Rey's journey continues in the Star Wars (Image via Lucasfilm)

The revelation that Rey was originally meant to be Obi-Wan's daughter may have surprised many fans, especially after the reveal that she was ultimately a Palpatine. However, the lack of cohesive planning in the sequel trilogy left many unanswered questions and disappointed fans on both sides of the debate.

Despite this, announcing a new Star Wars sequel featuring Rey Skywalker and Daisy Ridley's return has left fans eager to see where her journey will take her next. The new movie, set years after the events of The Rise of Skywalker, will give Rey a chance to establish her New Jedi Order and further explore her character development.

Moreover, the upcoming movie from Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, set 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker, is an exciting prospect for fans. With a possible release date of December 2025, there is ample time for additional seasons of The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, along with Dave Filoni's upcoming movie.

In the end, Rey’s story is far from over, and fans are eager to see where her journey takes her next. With new projects on the horizon and the potential for even more Star Wars content, it's an exciting time to be a fan of the galaxy f far away.

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Edited by Priya Majumdar