Because Luke’s first words to Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been confirmed to be “who are you?” — the entire notion of Rey’s family identity has been thrown into chaos, again.
According to news reports from the annual Disney shareholder conference on Wednesday, Luke Skywalker isn’t entirely sure who Rey is when she shows up and gives him back his father’s famous blue-bladed lightsaber. In The Force Awakens, Rey tells BB-8 that she was waiting for “her family,” and many fans took that to mean Luke was, in fact, Rey’s father. But, presumably, a father would recognize his own daughter, right?
With all the speculation surrounding Snoke and General Leia in The Last Jedi, it’s easy to forget that the basic cliffhanger (taking place on an actual cliff) was all about Rey finding Luke and what their meeting might mean not only for the future, but for the secrets in her past, too.
Rey seemingly has a special connection not only to the Force, but specifically, a lightsaber constructed by Luke’s father. Maz Kanata said the lightsaber “called” to Rey in The Force Awakens, so if she’s not Luke’s daughter, who is she related to?
This is the question that hardcore Star Wars fans have been grappling with for a year and half. Some believe Rey isn’t related to anyone, a position that was briefly exposed by Daisy Ridley herself, but then later, she said she thought the question had already been answered. Other fans believe Rey is a roundabout decendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which will also connect her to canon from the show Rebels. And still others cling to the idea that she is totally Luke’s daughter, the next generation of Skywalkers.
The problem with Luke’s line from the reported new Last Jedi footage is that it could cut a lot of ways. Luke might not know who Rey is at first, but then later remember that she is his daughter or, perhaps more bizarrely, his old mentor’s granddaughter. The other problem with this line is a bit more insidious. In both The Force Awakens and Rogue One, dialogue and footage was featured in preview footage, trailers, and sizzle reels that ended up not even being in the final film.
One trailer for The Force Awakens had Rey saying, “There were stories about what happened,” which was never in the film. The same trailer found her saying, “I’m no one,” to Maz Kanata’s question: “Who are you?” Neither Maz nor Rey said these things in the film. Plus, most damningly, Luke Skywalker himself spoke in the second trailer for The Force Awakens, saying, “You have that power too,” even though the “you” he was referring to was never explained, nor did he ever speak in the final cut of the film. Can these previews be trusted?
With this in mind, it seems like the trailers for the new Star Wars films aren’t just teasing the stories of these movies, but instead, are offering almost impressionistic notions about how the movies might feel. Luke saying “Who are you?” to Rey in the privately released new footage might speak volumes about Rey and her family. But, from a certain point of view, it might not mean anything, especially if it’s not even in the final film.
The Last Jedi opens on December 15.