Star Wars: The Last Jedi- Daisy Ridley as Rey

Simon Pegg says J.J. Abrams had a different idea for Rey's heritage 'undone' by The Last Jedi

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Apr 4, 2018

When it came to plot threads left hanging by its predecessor, Star Wars: The Last Jedi had quite a bit to work with, from the motives and identity of Supreme Leader Snoke to exactly why Luke Skywalker was avoiding the fight between The First Order and The Resistance. Even among those big mysteries, though, one seemed to loom over the others: Who are Rey's parents?

Writers J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took plenty of time to plant the seeds of that mystery in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, from Rey's own insistence that her family would come back for her (despite having no real idea herself who they were or where they'd gone to) to the intense vision she received upon touching Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber for the first time.

Her connection to the weapon, along with numerous other little moments peppered throughout the film, spawned numerous fan theories, ranging from the idea that she was a secret Skywalker to the idea that she was a secret Kenobi to the idea that she was Jango Fett's secret lovechild (OK, so that one's not a real fan theory, but you have to admit it sounds like something someone would've posted somewhere). We spent two years hoping that Rian Johnson's Last Jedi would provide answers, and it did, but according to Force Awakens co-star Simon Pegg, those answers weren't what Abrams initially had in mind.

On the most recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, which released earlier this week, Pegg talked a little about his time on the Force Awakens set and his longtime collaborator and friend Abrams returning to the saga for the upcoming Episode IX. In the midst of that chat, host Josh Horowitz asked Pegg how he felt about the way The Last Jedi explained Rey's parentage: That her parents were nobody junkers who sold her off for drinking money and left her to rot on Jakku. Pegg's response wasn't really a critique of writer/director Rian Johnson's choices in the film, but he did note that Johnson's way wasn't always the way.

"I know what J.J. kind of intended or at least what was sort of being chucked around. I think that’s kind of been undone slightly by the last one," he said. "I don't know."

When Horowitz asked for specifics, Pegg again didn't reveal any details, and his language again suggests that whatever Abrams was thinking was never set in stone.

"Well, there was some talk about, you know, a kind of relevant lineage for her, but I honestly don't know. And I don't know if anybody knows. We shall see."

Again, Pegg doesn't reveal anything beyond his knowledge that Abrams had an idea of where to take Rey's backstory. He never says "This was written and Rian Johnson ignored it," and Johnson has insisted repeatedly that Lucasfilm gave him free rein when it came to The Last Jedi script. It feels like if Abrams had some kind of clear path already charted, they might have handed it to Johnson to follow. 

Whatever the case, Johnson got to tell his version of Rey's backstory in The Last Jedi, but even that might not be the definitive one. After all, Rey learns this information — or at least has it confirmed — by Kylo Ren, a character who could very well be lying or hiding the truth to get what he wants, which in that moment is for Rey to join him in The First Order. Even Johnson has said that Abrams or some future storyteller could re-interpret his reveal as something else, and add yet another layer to Rey's parentage. For now, though, Johnson's version is the last word on the subject.

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