Things We Saw Today: Here’s What Rian Johnson Thinks About J.J. Abrams Possibly Retconning Rey’s Parentage

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Well, here’s at least what Rian Johnson said out loud about the possibility that director J.J. Abrams could retcon or considerably alter big plot points from his movie The Last Jedi.

If the idea of Abrams going in a very different direction bothers Johnson, he’s traveling the diplomatic route in his recent CinemaCon interview. After all, he’s confirmed that he’s still at work on his other mysterious Star Wars trilogy for Disney; he’s not about to take issue with anything about Episode IV. And Johnson has always come across as a super-chill guy. He’s probably not upset at all about getting to hand the new trilogy reins back to Abrams after all the TLJ toxicity and just get to enjoy the twists and turns of Abrams’ movie himself.

Asked if he’d be upset if Abrams goes back on the assertion made in TLJ that Rey doesn’t descend from any legendary lineage but is the child of junk traders on Jakku, as reported by io9:

Johnson immediately shook his head and replied, “Like I said, man, I want to let go of all my expectations. I want to sit back. I want to be entertained. I want to be surprised. I want to be thrilled. I want him to do stuff I wasn’t expecting him to do and just go along for the ride.”

This is a great answer from Johnson. I’m not quite so sanguine about it: the revelation of Rey’s parentage was one of my favorite elements of The Last Jedi, a true surprise after years of speculation that she was a secret Skywalker/Kenobi/Palpatine/Solo/Take Your Boldname Pick. It was refreshing to break our heroine out of needing to come from storied heritage and let someone who came from “no one” rise due to talent and bravery. It’s also an excellent message to send out into space.

Things from The Last Jedi I would, however, be thrilled if Abrams retconned/decided to do: restore Captain Phasma, let her be a real character, and give Finn a proper final battle with her; give Finn something important to do and let him be with Rey again; zoom far, far away from Johnson’s arguable Reylo phase, and let Rey kick Kylo Ren into next week.

You can view Johnson’s full comments here:

What’re you hoping to see changed up in Episode IX, if anything?

(via io9, image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

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Congrats on the weekend, Mary Suevians! What did you see today?

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.