It Might Be Time to Stop the Wild Rey Parentage Rumors for The Rise of Skywalker
Let it die.
Over the weekend, Making Star Wars (a spoiler site, for those not in the know) dropped a Patreon exclusive of a rumor they’d heard that Rey was actually related to a major character. It turns out that, allegedly, Rey is Han’s daughter, but not Leia’s. Yes, folks, if Luke Skywalker having natural character development upset you, just wait until the reveal of Han Solo cheating on the most beloved woman in the galaxy!
The rumor alleges that Han had an affair years before he and Leia split up, and that Kylo knew and that’s why he was acting out so much and was then sent to Luke’s for training. So, basically, in Leia’s final film, her son might be struck down by her husband’s love child, and we also find out her devoted husband cheated on her. If your stomach just churned, you’re not alone.
My first reaction to the news was not panic that it could be true, or to take to social media to scream about character assassination. It was a lengthy sigh of “When will the parentage discourse just die?”
Look, I’m sure there is some twist with Rey’s parents that will happen in The Rise of Skywalker. Maybe her parents were Dark-siders or Imperials before they abandoned her, or maybe there was something else going on there. One thing I think we can safely rule out, though, is her being a Skywalker or Solo. If she was, and if Kylo knew about it, he would have used that in The Last Jedi to try to turn her to the Dark Side.
At this point, theorizing that J.J. Abrams will retcon Rey’s parentage to this degree is a bit far-fetched, though I’ve been known to be wrong before. Abrams is not about to undo previous director Rian Johnson’s work for the sake of shock value, especially in a way that would be a detriment to the legacy characters. The idea that Han would knowingly leave his daughter in the hands of someone who then dumped her on a junk planet is as bad as the idea that Luke left his daughter willingly behind on Jakku. It’s more insulting to them to assume they were terrible parents than it is to allow them flaws.
There’s still a chance that Rey could have some fantastical lineage, but I doubt it’ll be tied to a legacy character. The time to reveal that was in the last film. At this point, if there is any twist to be had with her parentage, it should be that she’s from Dark-siders or her powers came from the disturbance on Jakku outlined in Aftermath: Empire’s End. Making her a legacy character in the eleventh hour would feel forced.
And before anyone brings up the Leia reveal in Return of the Jedi, that was a different time and a different trilogy. Rey’s parents were probably planned out from early on, and they’ve already made it so it would be hard to retcon in a surprise baby for the Skywalker or Solo family. The original trilogy, as lovely as it is, was more “seat of your pants” than the newer films. While improvisation can be fun, things that make no sense are not.
I get that there are plenty of fans who wish Rey were a Skywalker or Solo, and I empathize with them. There have been twists in the sequel trilogy that I really dislike, as well, and at this point, I half wish she were a Skywalker. But unless they have a really good explanation lined up, she’s probably not, and I’d rather theorize more about how she will bring balance to the Force and defeat Kylo and the First Order than I want to hear about who her dad is.
There are plenty of other elements of Rise of Skywalker to speculate on. Let’s focus on those for a while.
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