The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson on Rey's parentage in Episode IX: 'Anything’s still open'

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Jan 2, 2018

The leading lady of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi has been the center of the fanbase’s ire and adoration of the new trilogy. Daisy Ridley’s Rey is an unapologetic wunderkind whose parentage was the central question for many Star Wars fans after so much secrecy from her desert orphan origins. Now, after seemingly answering these questions in the new film, director Rian Johnson explains we may not know everything.

**Spoiler warning: Spoilers for The Last Jedi ahead**

As we discover in The Last Jedi, Rey is apparently not special - she has no bloodline or heritage. She’s completely removed from the story’s main group of Skywalker and Solo adventurers. “You know the truth. Say it,” Ren says, reinforcing the idea that Rey doesn’t belong, “…They were filthy junk traders who sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead, in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert.”

Johnson previously stated in interviews that this answer was “The hardest thing for all of us to hear and the thing that she doesn’t wanna hear and maybe we don’t either. “[That] this is not going to be something where it’s gonna define you…This is gonna be hard. And you’re gonna have to stand on your own two feet and define yourself in this story.”

Many agreed that Rey’s revealed backstory (i.e., she came from nowhere and nothing) was the correct narrative move for the series, but some fans still held out for more. Perhaps Ren had tricked Rey or there was more than meets the eye about these traders.

In conversation with the Huffington Post, Johnson said, “Anything’s still open, and I’m not writing the next film. [J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio] are doing it.” This comes after reiterating his sentiment about standing on one’s own two feet and not relying on the past for direction. It seems that regardless of Johnson’s desires, Rey’s personal history may still be in flux considering the creative flexibility granted to some Star Wars creators. Johnson has previously referenced Obi-Wan Kenobi’s truth-bending explanation that Darth Vader “killed” Anakin Skywalker as something fans might want to be wary of, citing that some statements are all about point of view.