Rey’s parentage has long remained the biggest unsolved mystery amongst Star Wars fans. When Star Wars: The Last Jedi seemingly answered that question — that her parents were nothing but “filthy junk traders” — some weren’t happy with the response. It didn’t seem to line up with The Force Awakens, either, which seemed to hint at Rey being Luke Skywalker’s daughter.
A couple of months back, StarWarsLeaks subreddit moderator JediPaxis claimed Rey was actually Emperor Sheev Palpatine’s granddaughter. The revelation sent fans into a tizzy, and the alleged leak has continued to shape predictions of what will happen in the final installment of the Skywalker saga. However, an old Daisy Ridley quote could completely disprove Rey’s connection to Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker.
When asked about Rey’s parentage back in 2016, Ridley said, “I thought a lot was answered in The Force Awakens,” she told Time Out London. Yet, no one really walked away from the film with any such conclusions. Did Ridley know something the audience didn’t? There’s good reason to suspect that she did at the time.
Reddit user Reddit__PI recently resurfaced Ridley’s comment, though the theorist believes that the actress’s quote actually proves she is, in fact, Palpatine’s granddaughter, created like Anakin Skywalker was in the Darth Vader #25 comic book. The gist of it is this: Palps, having learned how to create and manipulate midi-chlorians from Darth Plagueis to influence Anakin while inside Shmi’s womb, did the same with Rey, and bam! That’s how she is related to Palpatine. However, Rey’s parents probably weren’t “as kind to Rey as Shmi was to Anakin,” writes the theorist. Filthy junk traders and all that.
Suppose Rey really is Palpatine’s granddaughter. If that’s the case, then why wasn’t he mentioned more in The Force Awakens? Luke did briefly mention Darth Sidious to Rey on Ahch-To in The Last Jedi. But, it was primarily to summarize the events of the original trilogy in relation to Jedi history.
Still, it’s possible Luke agreed to train Rey because he knew of her connection to Palpatine and believed teaching her the ways of the Jedi might prevent her from going down a dark path. However, if the new trilogy has been leading up to Palps’ return in Episode IX all along, wouldn’t The Last Jedi have offered up a bigger clue to his relation to Rey? Bringing up his name in passing isn’t exactly a confirmation.
What’s more is that Darth Vader #25 wasn’t released until late 2018, rendering the idea that Palps manipulated Rey’s birth á la Anakin moot.
Of course, scripts can be rewritten and the story reimagined to fit whatever director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm have in mind for the The Rise of Skywalker’s grand finale. If Palpatine’s return wasn’t set in stone prior to The Force Awakens, then it’s possible that the films left Rey’s parentage a big ol’ mystery precisely because they hadn’t decided on Palps’ involvement in Episode IX. Or, Rey has actually been Zorri Bliss’ daughter all along.
At this point, however, whoever Rey’s family might be no longer seems as important as it once was. And with her leading the Resistance against Palpatine and the First Order, she’s got much bigger fish to fry.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20.