JJ Abrams’ plans for Rey’s “relevant lineage” were “kind of undone” by Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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When I say that people went crazy for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I mean it literally. The amount of batpoop insane fan theories that popped up in the wake of writer/director JJ Abrams’ new Star Wars trilogy opener in 2015 was staggering, as obsessed fans analyzed every frame, every line of dialogue, every bit of only vaguely related Star Wars lore that may not even be cannon any more to come up with new ideas about where the franchise was headed.

The bulk of these crazy investigations focused on Daisy Ridley’s orphaned heroine Rey, specifically who her parents were. Her lineage was a sticking point because it would supposedly help some fans explain how she could be so powerful in the Force. Was she Luke Skywalker’s secret love child? Maybe she was the granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Maybe she was a female clone of Emperor Palpatine? In the end though, she was none of these things. Using their Force connection to dig into Rey’s suppressed thoughts, Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren revealed to her in last year’s The Last Jedi that “They were nobody… They were filthy junk traders who sold you off for drinking money.”

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It was a scene that has been both praised and reviled. I fell in the former camp, as I love what The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson did here: Star Wars is not just about this one group of family and friends over and over again, but that it was a huge universe that could see its heroes rise from anywhere. Some fans were not that appreciative, bombarding Johnson with criticisms for essentially undercutting the mystery Abrams had setup. In his defense though, Johnson has gone on record to say “I wasn’t given any directive as to what that had to be. I was never given the information that she is this or she is that.”

However, just because he wasn’t given a game plan, doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. That’s the new revelation from actor Simon Pegg, who had developed a good working relationship with Abrams by starring and co-writing some of Abrams’ Star Trek reboot movies, and who actually had a costumed cameo in The Force Awakens as the alien junkyard trader Unkar Plutt. MTV News’ Josh Horowitz chatted with Pegg, where the actor dropped the potential bombshell.

Now, here’s where things get a bit interesting as Abrams will be ending off the trilogy after he had to step in to replace Colin Trevorrow after the latter exited the upcoming Episode IX amid some controversy. Will he walk back Johnson’s changes – whatever they are – to get back to his original idea? It certainly won’t be that hard to do. Both Kylo and Rey are very unreliable narrators – Kylo is literally just picking up on Rey’s memories/emotions from something that happened to her when she was just a child, which she probably can’t remember correctly.

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In fact, it could be that despite what Johnson claims, dismissing Rey’s lineage could actually have been the plan, just so that there could be some big plot twist reveal in the trilogy’s final chapter. In the very same Rolling Stone interview in which Johnson mentioned the lack of directive above, the interview actually notes that the answers he got around this from Ridley and Abrams are all contradictory, as if they’re essentially working together to put up some kind of smokescreen to obscure the truth. Anybody who remembers the “Benedict Cumberbatch is/isn’t Khan” fiasco from Star Trek Into Darkness knows that Abrams is not above having the people involved in his productions – which included Simon Pegg at the time – outright lie about a movie’s details just to try and sell a twist.

You might recall that the recently published novelization of The Last Jedi filled in a lot of narrative gaps and outright explains how Rey is so strong in the Force. I won’t spoil it here for those folks who haven’t read it yet, but even that can easily be folded into a potential eleventh hour reveal about Rey’s “relevant lineage”. With the insane level of secrecy that surrounds Star Wars productions, we’re unfortunately going to have to wait until December 2019 until we get some answers.

Last Updated: April 5, 2018

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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