One of the big questions of the Star Wars sequel trilogy has been who Rey’s parents are, and The Last Jedi gave us a satisfying answer to that: they’re nobody significant.
But it turns out, as is often the case in the Star Wars universe, that it might not be the entire story.
That’s what J.J. Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens who has returned to direct the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker, spoke to ABC when in Chicago for Star Wars Celebration and was asked whether we’ll get the answer about Rey’s parents in the upcoming film. This was Abrams’s response:
“I will say that we knew going into this that this movie, it had to be a satisfying conclusion. 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 [doesn’t matter], we honor that. But I will say that there’s more to the story than you’ve seen.”
That’s a very significant answer, for two main reasons. Firstly, it confirms that Abrams won’t ignore what Rian Johnson did in TLJ. That’s important, and that’s good – because it would be a bad decision to do so, as I explained last week. Abrams has the responsibility to honor what others have contributed to the story before him, and so it’s good to hear him say that they do that. But secondly, Abrams says that there’s more to the story than we’ve seen so far. In other words: we haven’t settled the issue of Rey’s parents yet; we’ve only gotten more information.
That’s probably the best way I can describe it: we thought that the answer was given in TLJ, but what Abrams seems to be saying is that it wasn’t totally answered, as instead we just received further insight into the mystery. So what might be the middle ground between honoring what TLJ did but telling more of the story? I think there are a number of options. For instance, Abrams could explain why Rey’s parents left her in the first place, which could carry further significance than we knew. Or Abrams could explain that Rey is actually a child of the Force, born to human parents. Or something like that.
I don’t know what the answer will be, but it sounds like we’ll returning to that question one more time this December.