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SYFY WIRE Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

J.J. Abrams says there's 'more to the story' of Rey's origins in The Rise of Skywalker

By Matthew Jackson
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Daisy Ridley as Rey)

Now that the trailer and title for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are finally out in the world, fans have spent nearly a week analyzing every frame of footage, and picking apart every moment of interviews with the cast, director J.J. Abrams, and producer Kathleen Kennedy for clues about what the film's title means and what we can expect. In typical Abrams fashion, the director isn't providing any clear answers, but he is offering some intriguing teasers. 

One of the most prominent questions to spring from the reveal last week is, obviously, who the Skywalker of the title actually is. There are a number of theories, one of which is that Rey (Daisy Ridley) really is a secret Skywalker, and that the film will finally reveal that she's Luke or Leia's secret daughter. This of course would contradict what was revealed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in which Rey seemingly discovered that her parents were junk traders who sold her for drinking money and left her on Jakku to scrape out a life. Of course, since that answer was revealed by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), some fans have long theorized that he was lying to Rey to demean her, and that her real parentage had more significance than we've been led to believe. 

Speaking to ABC News in Chicago over the weekend, Abrams answered the question of whether or not we'll really learn who Rey's parents are in The Rise of Skywalker like this:

"I will say that we knew, going into this, that this movie, it had to be a satisfying conclusion," Abrams said. "And we were well aware that that’s one of the things that’s sort of been out there, and I don’t want to say that what happens in Episode 8 [didn’t happen]. We have honored that. But I will say that there’s more to the story than you’ve seen."

More than a few fans will interpret that quote as an admission that Abrams intends to retcon what writer/director Rian Johnson did in The Last Jedi, or at least twist it in some way to reveal that we were only seeing part of Rey's revelation about her parents. That may well be true, but Abrams also seemed to acknowledge that he didn't want to necessarily contradict The Last Jedi, but instead perhaps expand on it.

We saw Rey in the cave on Ahch-To searching for answers and seeing nothing but her own reflection, and while that may confirm that her parents were nobody, it doesn't mean she's nobody. They may have crossed paths with important people before abandoning her, or may have hidden her for a deeper purpose than simply selling her off. We just don't know, but we also know that Abrams left his own list of questions behind from The Force Awakens that weren't answered in The Last Jedi, including why Rey had a vision the moment she touched Luke's lightsaber, why the lightsaber "called" to her, and why Maz Kanata had the thing in the first place. That could be the "more to the story" that we're about to learn.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters this December.