The revelation of Rey’s lineage in Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been one of its biggest points of contention. It was a question raised in The Force Awakens, hotly debated in the years after, and played as a red herring in the movie itself. However, when the answer finally came, some viewers felt the payoff was a letdown. But in case you thought otherwise, director Rian Johnson gave this one a lot of thought.
The writer-director has spoken at length about why he decided Rey’s parents were no one special. Rey is just a normal person (at least for now). But what audiences didn’t know is, before deciding on that course of action, Johnson considered basically every single thing imaginable.
Speaking on the /Filmcast podcast, Johnson revealed that before writing the movie he had a “Big Ass Document” where he would brainstorm ideas. One of those ideas was “Who are Rey’s Parents?”
“I honestly listed everything I could think of,” Johnson said. “Even awful possibilities where I said, ‘This is not what we’re going to do.’ I mean the less silly one was, ‘Is she a clone?’ Anything that’s a theory on Reddit now I guarantee was listed on that document.”
So could she be a Skywalker? A Kenobi? All of that was considered. Johnson didn’t want to reveal too many specific details for fear of articles like this, but he did offer up the worst idea on the list.
The silliest one was, ‘Is she a robot?’ OK, we’ve seen a biomechanical realistic flesh hand on Luke, could the technology have advanced significantly in the 30 years, and then I just started laughing. Look forward to the ‘Rey was almost a robot’ headlines.”
Rey was never almost a robot but that was how deep Johnson went to make sure his decision was the best one in his mind. Here’s some more on that.
The question boils down to “What is the hardest thing she could hear?”… It’s really similar to the “I am your father” scene, but with the inverse answer. “I am your father” takes what could have been a very simple bad guy and suddenly turns him into something much more complicated. To do that with Rey, to give the audience and Rey that feeling of “Oh no,” it had to be the opposite of that.
Read much more about Johnson’s thoughts on The Last Jedi at /Film, and we can’t recommend the full podcast enough either. It’s a great, honest, fun interview.