Home Entertainment The Rise of Skywalker’s Daisy Ridley, JJ Abrams talk about Rey’s Force powers and parents: “It’s not an accident”

The Rise of Skywalker’s Daisy Ridley, JJ Abrams talk about Rey’s Force powers and parents: “It’s not an accident”

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Disney is in the homestretch now when it comes to the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And that means the House of Mouse is shifting the promo barrage of the usually secretive movie franchise into high gear. Accordingly, on top of the TV spots and new images we got yesterday, both writer/director JJ Abrams and star Daisy Ridley have also been doing the press rounds, and both touched on the latter’s character of Rey.

Across both of the opening two chapters of this new Star Wars trilogy, one of the most divisive aspects of Rey has been her surprisingly prodigious skill with the Force. After The Force Awakens, some fans suspected that this was due to her secretly being the offspring of legendary a Force user like Luke Skywalker. However, in The Last Jedi, that theory was seemingly blown out of the water when Kylo Ren told Rey that her parents were nothing more than “filthy junk traders who sold you off for drinking money.”

Personally, I’ve actually always liked this approach, as it means that anybody in the galaxy can be special, not just the members of a single family. Not everybody was happy with this answer though, and that apparently includes Rey herself, as Ridley told Entertainment Weekly recently:

The parents thing is not satisfied — for her and for the audience. That’s something she’s still trying to figure out — where does she come from? It’s not that she doesn’t believe [Kylo’s answer], but she feels there’s more to the story. And she needs to figure out what’s come before so she can figure out what to do next.

JJ Abrams, who is returning to direct/co-write The Rise of Skywalker after kicking this trilogy off with The Force Awakens, has previously been quite vocal about the fact that he doesn’t plan to contradict anything filmmaker Rian Johnson did on The Last Jedi. So what does that mean for Rey, then? Is she just a nobody or is there more to her that Kylo Ren just didn’t know about? Abrams definitely appeared to be hinting at the latter when asked about Rey’s preternatural Force gifts during an interview with Rolling Stone.

Yeah, spooky, right? It’s a fair point. It’s not an accident. The idea was to tell a tale of a young woman who was innately powerful, innately moral, innately good, but also struggling with her place in the world and forced to fend for herself in every way. As exciting as it was to get to play in the Star Wars universe, it was this young woman that I felt oddly compelled to get to know.

So what could be the source of Rey’s abilities? I would be willing to bet money that she has no link to the Skywalker lineage at all as that would just be the laziest option. One fan theory that was spawned in the wake of The Force Awakens was that she was somehow a clone of the dead Emperor Palpatine, the theory pulling inspiration from one of the most famous story arcs in the now non-canon Expanded Universe material. That theory got a massive jolt of potential authenticity when the surprise reveal was made that Palpatine would somehow be back in The Rise of Skywalker in some form.

Now as some of you may recall, when originally announced, it had been Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow who had been tapped to follow Abrams and Johnson to helm the closing chapter of this trilogy. Trevorrow was unceremoniously removed from the project for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear, paving the way for Abrams’ return. Whatever Trevorrow had planned, enough of it was kept around for him and writing partner Derek Connolly to earn a writing credit on The Rise of Skywalker (“I’m grateful to JJ [Abrams] for embracing some of our ideas”). But Palpatine’s return? That was all Abrams, as Trevorrow told Empire.

Bringing back the Emperor was an idea JJ brought to the table when he came on board. It’s honestly something I never considered. I commend him for it. This was a tough story to unlock, and he found the key.

So could Abrams have brought Palpatine back because the old Emperor was the key, as Trevorrow puts it, to Rey’s story? Or, as Star Wars Rebels’ Freddie Prinze Jr. recently put it so magnificently (with a whole lot of swearing), IT’S ALL JUST THE FORCE RESTORING BALANCE!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker releases in cinemas worldwide on 20 December.

Last Updated: November 26, 2019

71 Comments

  1. Choo Choo I’m on this train called HYPE!

    Reply

  2. Daniel Hallinan

    November 26, 2019 at 10:44

    Siiiigh

    The idea that she could just be a nobody, that anyone could be the force hero, the breakaway from the traditional “chosen” narrative, was the entire point of The Last Jedi, and I loved that. Is the kid at the end of the movie gonna turn out to have special parents too?

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 26, 2019 at 10:49

      I think Kylo lied to her to get her to join him to have ‘purpose’

      Reply

      • Daniel Hallinan

        November 26, 2019 at 10:49

        Nah – it was *very specifically* the point of the film, as highlighted by the “nobody” kid at the end who has force powers.

        The entire film was a deconstruction and rebellion against the formulaic chosen one narrative, the idea of black and white morality, and the apparent insistence that artistic expressions depicting the franchise stick to that.

        It was naturally going to upset people who prefer the predictability and “safety” of established formula, but it’s also creatively stifling and, as we saw with The Force Awakening and what we’ve seen so far of the next film, prone to repetition.

        Reply

        • Kervyn Cloete

          November 26, 2019 at 10:55

          I’m 100% with you. I really, really don’t want Rey to be some chosen one descendant. Y’know, other than being chosen by the Force itself to reassert balance.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            November 26, 2019 at 11:15

            So, she was FORCED into the choice?

            😛

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 14:15

            She’s certainly being set up as THE chosen one regardless of lineage. She can wield a lightsabre with zero training, she can force-communicate with her boyfriend, Ben, she can move boulders with the force… she can even fly the millenium falcon. I mean, she’s practically a Jedi Messiah?

            I’m half expecting her to move planets in the next movie.

        • Admiral Chief

          November 26, 2019 at 11:15

          Look I’m NOT saying she is or isn’t some chosen one, I’m saying that Kylo LIED to her on purpose as part of some bigger plot twist (which I’m really looking forward to finding out)

          Reply

          • Kervyn Cloete

            November 26, 2019 at 11:15

            I’ve never thought that what Kylo said was fact. It would be impossible for him to know the details of her origin.

          • Admiral Chief

            November 26, 2019 at 11:15

            Unless the Force revealed it to him, and he chose to receive her for some Dark Side points

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 12:53

            At this stage, you can even use the Force as Skype, so who knows… maybe Rey will use it like the Last Airbender and invoke the power of all the Jedis who ever existed….

        • HvR

          November 26, 2019 at 12:36

          My one big problem with that is that it goes against what is now 99% of the canon.

          She is so good she needs no master, teacher or years of teaching.

          On the blurring of good/bad light/dark I agree; I actually see it as a continuation of the first 6 episodes.

          Reply

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 12:41

            Absolutely, not even Anakin was “born” a master force-user. He had to train and eventually fall as a Jedi to become Darth Vader.

            This is one of the aspects that I don’t understand why Rey has fans, or why Critical Hit views her in such a favourable light. She’s just a terrible character. Has she ever faced any adversity? Sure, she looks constipated every once in a while, but that’s it. She was barely in danger when she faced Kylo the first time, and her encounter with Snoke was a joke. Did I mention that she can even fly the Millenium Falcon… with no training.. and then have the audacity to school Han…. (because he’s an old fart).

            How can anyone, who enjoys good characterisation, character development or who have been immersed in even the most basics of the hero journey (from books, comics, games to ancient mythology etc.), be a fan of this character?

        • Hammersteyn

          November 26, 2019 at 11:15

          Maybe that’s why people love Star Wars. Because of the formula?

          Reply

          • Daniel Hallinan

            November 26, 2019 at 11:15

            Nah – predictable formula isn’t exclusive to Star Wars, but it is a large part of community fanbases. You enjoy something, you want more of it, it’s nice to know that you’re getting more of it. I get that.

            But that breakaway of formula was also something that was quite common in the expanded universe prior to the Disney appropriation, that blurring of the lines between what was good and bad, and the deconstruction of the jedi as “good” – so it’s weird that suddenly, with the new films, there’s such resistance to it.

            I’m not saying that the next star wars movie will be bad as a result of it rebounding off The Last Jedi – just that it’s personally very disappointing to see it return to a shallower formula based on what we’ve seen so far. The Last Jedi was very much a creative outlet with something to say, which made it interesting, and made people engage with it (in a positive or negative manner). The Force Awakens only really said “we’re remaking the original trilogy, but we’re gonna try have fun doing it”. It’s not a bad thing to say, just not an interesting thing to say.

          • Hammersteyn

            November 26, 2019 at 11:15

            People engaged over it alright. They’re still engaging over it in many different flavours of anger or acceptance.

          • Daniel Hallinan

            November 26, 2019 at 11:22

            Well that was my point. A LOT , if not most, of the influential pieces of art (over all forms of media) were influential (and interesting) precisely because of the division they caused – because they invoked a response. Many people who hated it are those who were most influenced by it, if only to be steered away from it.

            That’s just how creativity and expression works.

            And it’s disappointing to see that, again based on what we’ve seen so far, that the next film is very specifically going to avoid invoking any response beyond safe appeasement.

          • Hammersteyn

            November 26, 2019 at 11:26

            I don’t mind them doing something different though, I love referring to Rouge Ons as an example. It just felt that they did things different in TLJ just because either they didn’t get SW or because they were being silly.

          • Daniel Hallinan

            November 26, 2019 at 11:31

            I completely disagree.

            Again, we saw in the expanded universe how stuff like this was relatively common – the deconstruction of the black and white morality, the questioning and rebellion against the idea that the very pillars of Jedi mechanisms as noble bright, and moving away from established bloodlines. KotOR is a good example.

            I argue that it’s precisely because they understood Star Wars, as well as the fan base, that they chose to rebel against those established tropes. In my persional estimation, a recreation of the older films (The Force Awakens) requires a less intimate understanding and respect of the source material than one that deconstructs their legacy.

          • Admiral Chief

            November 26, 2019 at 11:36

            SO, where does the casino planet crap fit in then?

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 12:41

            It was to show us that Rose was actually not a 2-dimensional character. I honestly think it backfired, because that whole side-saga leaves you with more questions than answers….

          • Daniel Hallinan

            November 26, 2019 at 11:42

            Simple. Again, a blurring of the lines – a de-deification of the Resistance as a “noble bright” faction. They buy and fund the designs of weapons of destruction, by extension supporting and enabling war profiteers, just like the Empire does. They’re also war machine that has to resort to shadier and likely corrupt methods to arm and fund their efforts, and do so knowing that it benefits of those who profit from the conflict on the side lines, far away and safe from the war.

            Compare this to the usual “We don’t do immoral things to power our Resistance” manner in which they are usually depicted in film.

            I have issues with the scene, but more that I felt it ran longer than it should (the escape scene in particular), but it had a very clear purpose within the film.

          • Admiral Chief

            November 26, 2019 at 12:11

            Agreed on purpose and meaning, also agree it was wayyyyyy too long

            Impact on plot…we don’t go there

          • For the Emperor!

            November 26, 2019 at 11:56

            I get the point of the message from that scene, but overall it was executed in such a trash way that people could be excused for missing it…

          • Hammersteyn

            November 26, 2019 at 11:47

            Guess I’ll just keep quiet then

          • Daniel Hallinan

            November 26, 2019 at 12:01

            Hah, nah I don’t want to quiet you down – I’m just expressing my view. I enjoy discussing this and I want to communicate my feelings about it (which is why I’ve been very careful to express that they’re my view) – I don’t want to “win” this discussion. If you disagree, then I’m actually happier hearing you voice that, rather than you feeling you can’t.

          • Hammersteyn

            November 26, 2019 at 15:36

            Nah, you disagree with basically everything I have to say. You don’t really care, you’re probably one of those woke people on Twitter that I’ve heard about so I’m basically wasting my breath.

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 16:22

            Sometimes, half-the-battle is realising that some aren’t ready to hear your opinion, and other times, you just have to go in there like a berzerker and slaughter everyone in sight – friend or foe!

            Unleash the rage, Hammer… be the force of chaos you were born to be!

          • Hammersteyn

            November 26, 2019 at 16:22

            I honestly don’t care anymore. I look at Star Wars and wonder where the magic has gone. Even episode 1 – 3 looks like classics compared to the mess that’s been excreted on the screen. We can’t even get decent Star Wars games (except for one apparently) anymore.

            I kinda wish Ryan directed the last movie. Who knows? Maybe we would’ve gotten a blue hair with a Twitter tattoo to save the day in Poe’s place while he got discarred on the trash heap with Ackbar because he ran out of space fuel or something.

            Or maybe Rose can put Palpatine in a choke hold and make him say uncle. I mean she went from guarding escape pods to being able to do anything in the movie. Heck it may get her face back on the SW merchandise after the first bunch sold so poorly and they had her removed.

            I have grown fond of Kylo, Rey, Poe and Finn though. Hopefully this trilogy is saved by the last movie. Hopefully it leaves people clamouring for more. Hopefully it drowns out all the people crying about women not having a speaking role in the first 5 seconds of the Mandalorian

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 16:33

            I like Rose. She had more growth in her precious few moments on screen then Rey ever did over the course of TWO MOVIES. I just want Rose to be a force wielder, maybe in the next movie she’ll be shown to be the illegitimate daughter of Luke, and a real Skywalker.

            I know she’s a Rian creation, but she’s truly the only good thing he did in the whole movie. It kind of makes up for turning Finn into such a putz.

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 15:49

            Sometimes, half-the-battle is realising that some aren’t ready to hear your opinion, and other times, you just have to go in there like a berzerker and slaughter everyone in sight – friend or foe!

            Unleash the rage, Hammer… be the force of chaos you were born to be! Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaah

          • Daniel Hallinan

            November 26, 2019 at 17:32

            I… uh. Okay then.

          • For the Emperor!

            November 26, 2019 at 12:01

            I think you may be giving Ryan Johnson too much credit…but that could be my opinion of the man more than his credentials. They did great stuff in TLJ, but filled the gaps with total trash as well ?

          • Admiral Chief

            November 26, 2019 at 11:31

            *Rogue

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 12:41

            Fortunately, one day there will be calm in the universe, because Filloni and Favreau will bring us the real episodes 6, 7 and 9.

          • For the Emperor!

            November 26, 2019 at 12:02

            TFA did feel like bit of a ‘remake’…enjoyable, but been there done that. Except for the free powers ?

      • Son of Banana Jim

        November 26, 2019 at 12:07

        Rian intended for her parents to be nobodies (because subvert your expectations…yawn), but it’s clear that Abrams wanted her lineage to be something more impactful. It would serve as a way to explain why her marysuechlorians are off the scale, or why she can pick up all the neat Jedi tricks with zero instruction.

        It would be extremely idiotic not the explain why she is so powerful, whether she’s a secret Skywalker or even the granddaughter of the Palpatine or even a member of a new Force-wielding family (although given the title of the movie, I think she’s just going to adopt the Skywalker name).

        It’s something Jar Jar has to explore in the movie, because otherwise, for all eternity, Rey will be just a badly-written Mary Sue.

        Reply

  3. Admiral Chief

    November 26, 2019 at 10:44

    Spoiler Alert: Chewbacca is the father

    Reply

  4. Llama In The Rift

    November 26, 2019 at 10:55

    Well if rumors about the test screening are true this will definitely be a hard pass for me.

    Reply

    • Kervyn Cloete

      November 26, 2019 at 11:09

      I wouldn’t put too much stock in those. Star Wars movies traditionally haven’t really done test screenings, other than to a select few Lucasfilm/Disney higher-ups. They keep things very hush-hush.

      The rumour came from a single source that has had a very spotty record at best and even the other usually dubious rumour mongers have considered this rumour to be the iffiest of iffy at best.

      Reply

      • Son of Banana Jim

        November 26, 2019 at 12:11

        Hey, Doomcock could have been fed bad intel, but with the script out there, it’s only a matter of time before he’s either proven right or not.

        Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      November 26, 2019 at 11:15

      Those rumours come from the same source that said Disney had lost faith in Brie Larson and canned Captain Marvel; just more of the Grifter YouTuber economy and paid outrage nonsense.

      Reply

      • Son of Banana Jim

        November 26, 2019 at 12:11

        Doomcock has actually been right more than he’s been wrong. At current count, his industry sources have been impeccable. Sure, he could have been fed bad information this time round, but the guy has been a lot more reliable than our favourite shill at Forbes, Scott Mendelson. He’s just part of the marketing arm now.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          November 26, 2019 at 14:20

          DOOM WHAT?

          Reply

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 14:32

            The youtuber, his handle is Doomcock. He’s actually a fun character to watch. He portrays himself as a cheesy sci-fi villain with a cheesy mask (who lives in the centre of the earth). His analysis on movies and tv-shows are actually very interesting, and since he has a theatre background, he goes into things that you just don’t normally get from the bloggingsphere.

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 14:32

            The youtuber, his handle is Doomcock. He’s actually a fun character to watch. He portrays himself as a cheesy sci-fi villain with a cheesy mask (who lives in the centre of the earth). His analysis on movies and tv-shows are actually very interesting, and since he has a theatre background, he goes into things that you just don’t normally get from the bloggingsphere.

          • Admiral Chief

            November 26, 2019 at 15:20

            I keep on thinking of those misguided fools who got sprayed with Doom. Hence the Doomcock *GASP*

          • Son of Banana Jim

            November 26, 2019 at 18:37

            If only that pastor’s name was Pastor Doomcock.

      • Hammersteyn

        November 26, 2019 at 11:15

        Just for clicks.

        Reply

      • For the Emperor!

        November 26, 2019 at 11:42

        There are actually channels I stopped following because it became one big anti-Brie or anti-TLJ or anti-Kathleen Kennedy hate parade to a nauseating point. Without factual backing at times, just opinions…man I despise hating for hating’s sake.

        Reply

    • Son of Banana Jim

      November 26, 2019 at 12:07

      Turns out the script was recently stolen, and…. those rumours may in fact be legit.

      Reply

      • Llama In The Rift

        November 26, 2019 at 12:26

        Thats why i’m hesitant until the movie releases, not a lot a man can trust with “hate clicks” all over the place, i’m just gonna wait for reviews cuz i gotta feeling this is gonna be a massive dissapointment to some.

        Reply

        • Son of Banana Jim

          November 26, 2019 at 12:36

          It’ll get even more crazy as the movie releases. Don’t forget it releases a whole week (in Japan) before the yanks get it. It’s going to be a minefield of spoilers, naysayers, rabid Star Wars fans, the fandom menders, the trolls… the shills… the poor normies…

          I’m more excited over the craziness than the movie, which even without the spoilers, I know is going to be trash. How… may you ask? It’s Jar Jar Abrams. The guy can’t end a show to save his life, and now you want him to end a trilogy.

          Hahahahahahahah!

          Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    November 26, 2019 at 11:09

  6. Hammersteyn

    November 26, 2019 at 11:22

    Honestly though, I want to watch this movie as badly as I did GOT season 8, just so that it can be over.

    Reply

    • Son of Banana Jim

      November 26, 2019 at 12:07

      Yep, although a part of me just wants to see it all burn down. There are rumours that one of the actors lost their copy of the script (and it was uploaded) and apparently it verfies that the leaks that was posted after the test screenings are correct. That means that Jar Jar Abrams has definitely made the worst Star Wars movie – effectively surpassing The Last Jedi. I just want to see the riots in the streets in December!

      I want to see how bad it is – obviously I’m not going to pay to see it, I’m not a sado-masochist. I’ll be sailing the HMS Johnsonsbane.

      Reply

    • Son of Banana Jim

      November 26, 2019 at 12:36

      Although, looking back, I should have just stopped at episode 1 of Season 8….. I would have remained a happy fan of the show.

      Reply

  7. Hammersteyn

    November 26, 2019 at 11:22

    I got it!
    Emperor Palpatine : Rey! I am your father!

    Reply

  8. Original Heretic

    November 26, 2019 at 12:07

    What did I just see in CNN? Star Wars script on eBay?!

    Reply

    • Son of Banana Jim

      November 26, 2019 at 12:07

      Yes! hahahaha. One of the actors left it in their hotel room, and it was “taken” by the staff. lol!

      Reply

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