It was the topic of perhaps the most heated discussion after J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hit theaters in 2015: Who are Rey’s parents? As the central star in a brand new trilogy, the background of young scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) swiftly became the subject of much debate. Was she a Solo? A Skywalker? A Kenobi?
Then came Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which included as pointed a scene as one could ask for, with Rey finally admitting to Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), “They were nobody.” Not content to let her have the last word, Kylo rounded it out, adding, “They were filthy junk traders. [They] sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert.” End of story, right?
Not according to Simon Pegg, who has honed a close working relationship with Abrams on projects like the “Star Trek” franchise, and recently took to the MTV podcast “Happy Sad Confused” to toss yet another log on the smoldering embers of the parentage debate. According to host Josh Horowitz, Pegg said that Abrams had another plan, one that might have been skittered by Johnson’s film.
“I know what J.J. kind of intended or at least was being chucked around. I think that’s kind of been undone slightly by the last one. There was some talk of a relevant lineage for her,” Pegg said. By “relevant lineage,” we can only assume Pegg means “belongs to some other recognizable member of the universe,” a storyline that was wisely undone in Johnson’s film.
Simon Pegg confirms what I’ve long heard, JJ had a much different plan for Rey’s parentage. “I know what JJ kind of intended or at least was being chucked around. I think that’s kind of been undone slightly by the last one. There was some talk of a relevant lineage for her.” https://t.co/AksaUK35PQ
— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) April 4, 2018
And yet Abrams’ own first foray into the “Star Wars” universe, the smash hit “The Force Awakens,” actually does fit neatly inside the vision presented in Johnson’s film. There is at least one notable scene in “TFA” that speaks directly to Rey’s parentage, and one that works well with the concept that she does not come from sort of “relevant lineage.”
It’s her interaction with Maz Kanata, who recognizes the young orphan’s deep desire to belong somewhere and to someone. But what Maz offers to Rey is future-focused, and the sage even tells her, “The belonging you seek is not behind you. It is ahead.”
Essentially, the family of her past is not the most important one. Doesn’t sound like a Solo or a Skywalker or a Kenobi to us.
The Abrams-directed next entry in the “Star Wars” saga will arrive in 2019.
IndieWire has reached out to Abrams and Johnson’s representatives for comment and will update this story if they respond.