We Could Have Had It All. We Could Have Had Rey Kenobi.
Literally Rey Anybody Else would have made more sense.
You’d think that you’d start a film (let alone an entire series of films) with some sort of plan in mind, right? Well, in a truly Star Wars move, the sequel trilogy’s back-and-forth on Rey’s lineage really was indicative of the same thing happening behind the scenes. (You know, how everyone tells cohesive stories, right?) Apparently, we could’ve even gotten Rey Kenobi, which sounds pretty good after what we did get.
In a recent interview for Jimmy Kimmel Live! hosted by Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley talked about The Rise of Skywalker and the option of ever returning to the character of Rey in a future Star Wars movie, but what really got everyone talking was Ridley bringing up the Palpatine storyline and what we could have had instead.
— rachel leishman (@RachelLeishman) September 9, 2020
The clip in question is Ridley talking about how they kept toying with ideas of who Rey was connected to, and even after they’d begun filming, she wasn’t sure who it was going to be.
“It came to Episode IX & JJ pitched me the film and they were like ‘Oh yeah Palpatine’s grandaddy’ and I was like ‘Awesome’ and then two weeks later he was like ‘Oh we’re not sure…’ So it kept changing. So even as we were filming I wasn’t sure what the answer was going to be.” https://t.co/WhSm2ZDc4n pic.twitter.com/pAIFPmuXH9
— sleemo 🏝️ (@sleemo) September 9, 2020
Not to sound like a broken record, but this is extremely annoying to someone like me because there was an entire extended universe of the Star Wars world that they erased from canon for these movies (meaning they erased my Solo twins), so that they could … not know what to do with the sequel trilogy? Sure, at some point, there was at least some kind of plan that JJ Abrams laid out beyond TFA, but that plan getting messy was baked in from the start, due to giving three (planned, anyway) different directors plenty of creative freedom over their own installments, and it couldn’t have been that clear if Rey’s lineage was still so undecided going into Rise of Skywalker.
What it boils down to is bad filmmaking, to be honest. And yes, we cannot completely blame J.J. Abrams for it because he wasn’t originally supposed to be in charge of Episode IX, but that doesn’t excuse such a major story point for The Rise of Skywalker being somewhat up in the air even after filming had begun.
But more importantly, this shows that while Rey Kenobi (a very popular theory) was a potential choice at least in development of The Force Awakens, they were heading down the “Rey is a nobody” road, which wasn’t something that hadn’t been considered. That’s all fine and good. That would have been perfect and interesting and shown us all that the Skywalkers are not the most important people in the galaxy.
Instead, it is clear that Abrams wanted to play with his toys and said “Palpatine is somehow alive and he somehow had a granddaughter and that’s Rey! No one will see that coming!” and he would be right if he said this made-up sentence. No one would see it coming because it’s a baffling choice that does nothing for the story.
There are so many problems with The Rise of Skywalker—like … to the point where I don’t even know where to begin. That movie somehow fridges a dead woman! But a huge portion of my problem with that movie is the need to force Rey into a box she doesn’t fit in.
Mirroring her “Luke-isms” in the sequel trilogy, Rey battles between the light and dark in her like Luke and Anakin before her. So would she have been a perfect daughter for Luke and Mara Jade? Yes, but the EU was erased, and with that, Mara Jade. Would she have been a great Jaina Solo? Yes, but the EU was erased. Would she have been a great nobody who was extremely Force-sensitive and challenged the ideas of the Jedi? Yes, but this movie wanted to play with Palpatine and did it despite it making no sense.
So, Rey Kenobi would have been incredible. I used to hate the idea, but that’s before I knew how bad things could get, and at this point, I’d take Rey as Watto’s grandkid. That’d at least be better than whatever this Palpatine nonsense was.
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