‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Director Rian Johnson On Rey’s Parents
Monday, December 18th, 2017 at 2:23 pm
Full disclosure, if you haven’t watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this latest article will be full of SPOILERS. It pertains to who Rey’s parents are and how it might have an impact on Episode IX. So again, if you haven’t seen the new movie and have been avoiding social media this past weekend – I should give you a medal for that if you have – then do not continue reading below. But if you have watched it, and are fully interested in where director Rian Johnson takes the franchise, then check out what he had to say below.
There are so many surprising and shocking moments in Star Wars: The Last Jedi it is really hard to pick which one outdoes the other. The twists and turns this film takes will surely be polarizing amongst the hardcore fans. But in time it will be a welcomed addition to the Skywalker saga. But there are a couple of things that will probably be divisive. One is the fact that Rey does not have parents of any significance… or at least we are made to think that for the time being.
Johnson had a chance to speak about that while at the AMPAS screening with EW.
On Rey’s parents, the director said he wasn’t given a rulebook on how he should address who they are. Additionally, he cannot speak for J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio, who may reveal a further the truth about them in Episode IX:
“I can’t speak to what they’re going to do. And there’s always, in these movies, a question of “˜a certain point of view,'”¦But for me, in that moment, Kylo believes it’s the truth. I don’t think he’s purely playing chess. I think that’s what he saw when they touched fingers and that’s what he believes. And when he tells her that in that moment, she believes it.”
I can certainly appreciate that Johnson chose Rey’s parents to be nobody. If they had been anybody we theorized or hoped, it would only be a huge letdown. Even if we had already known them or they were related to anyone, it would have been rather disappointing to find out that it never lived up to our expectations. So it makes perfect sense that Kylo Ren told Rey that her parents were filthy junk traders who sold her off for drinking money.
Regarding Rey’s parents being nobodies and how they are not related to anyone from the previous films, Johnson spoke about challenging the characters, and how using the one question on everybody’s mind to push Rey to the brink:
“I was thinking, what’s the most powerful answer to that question? Powerful meaning: what’s the hardest thing that Rey could hear? That’s what you’re after with challenging your characters.
The easiest thing for Rey and the audience to hear is, Oh yeah, you’re so-and-so’s daughter. That would be wish fulfillment and instantly hand her a place in this story on a silver platter”¦The hardest thing for her is to hear she’s not going to get that easy answer. Not only that, but Kylo is going to use the fact that you don’t get that answer to try and weaken you so you have to lean on him….”
This is exactly why, in my opinion, we don’t need to have an answer to who Rey’s parents are. You could say that she is related to that Jedi or that smuggler. But would that answer really live up to your expectations? Maybe we are setting ourselves up for failure on both fronts, because if it does, the shock and twist would be ruined on account that we wanted it to be so, and if it doesn’t well just the opposite of what I just said.
But now we get to see Rey make her own path. Using the Jedi texts that she smuggled onto to Falcon, she will be able to teach a new Jedi order using what she has learned, the texts, and her hope that she can finally bring balance to the Force.