Star Wars: The Last Jedi Director Defends Rey's Parents Reveal
Rian Johnson says the reveal is not a misdirect. That's who her parents are.
The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
It's been a week since the debut of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In that time, fans, whether they loved or hated the movie, have been unable to stop discussing some of the movie's major plot revelations, including finding out who Rey's (Daisy Ridley) parents are.
In a scene with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Rey admits that her parents were "nobody." They were junk traders who sold her off for alcohol money, Kylo adds. Given that many fans spent the last two years theorizing that she was related to a character integral to the Star Wars universe, perhaps even Luke Skywalker himself, this was a bit of a rude awakening. Some even posited the idea that this particular reveal was a misdirection in terms of her actual parents.
However, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson says that is not the case. Speaking to Collider, Johnson says, "That's what Kylo sees and that's what he tells her and I think he's not lying in that moment. That's what he saw and she seems to believe it when she hears it."
Still, the director admits that things could change in Episode IX, which he isn't writing or directing. However, in his mind, Rey's parents truly were nobody, even if fans are having a hard time accepting it. "I can understand why that answer doesn't feel good. It's not supposed to feel good," he says. "It's supposed to be the hardest thing she could possibly hear in that moment."
As Johnson explains it, giving Rey parents central to Star Wars would have been a bit of wish fulfillment that's just too easy of a solution. "I can understand why Rey would desperately want that and why us, we as an audience, do too," he says. "But we're not here to give Rey an easy time, we're here to put her on the hard path so that she has to...because that's the path of a hero."
Of course, it also helps Kylo in his quest to manipulate Rey into joining his cause. "Kylo is going to use the fact that you don't have that to stand on to try and get you to lean on him in this moment," Johnson says. "And you’re going to have to find the strength within yourself to define yourself in this world."
So while some fans may still be unhappy about the identities of Rey's parents, Johnson clearly didn't make the decision lightly. And in the end, it may opening up far more possibilities for Rey in Episode IX than having her be yet another Skywalker blood relative could offer.