STAR WARS: RISE OF SKYWALKER Writer Explains How 2 Previous Films Inform REY’s True Identity

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio says that the final installment of the Skywalker Saga will lend answers to the questions that remain about Rey's parentage - and will resolve the seeming disparity between her natural powers in The Force Awakens and Supreme Leader Snoke's story about her origins in The Last Jedi.

In fact, Terrio says the story that's coming is "a third thing" that grew from the narrative of both preceding films.

"If Force Awakens asks the question of who is Rey and where did she come from, and then The Last Jedi answered it with a negative in a certain way, hopefully The Rise of Skywalker will take those two ideas and create a third thing," Terrio told Rolling Stone.

In The Force Awakens, Rey is depicted as a natural Force adept, displaying uncanny skill even with a lightsaber. Through the film's narrative, clues and hints are given that her lineage is significant and may be a key to the burgeoning trilogy's story. In The Last Jedi, the First Order's villainous Supreme Leader Snoke told Rey that her parents were insignificant smugglers who abandoned her on Jakku - though there is no evidence of his claims given in the film.

"That’s a really interesting thing that [The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson] did. It’s a democratization of Star Wars, saying that your lineage and your blood doesn’t necessarily determine who you are, and your past doesn’t determine your future. But we took those provocations as ideas that we could grapple with and hopefully expand upon in this film, because I don’t think it’s a dialectic of one or the other, where either you come from nothing or you are born royalty. 

"There’s a lot of ground in between. Even [Kylo] Ren’s terminology isn’t… When he says 'You’re no one' — well, what does that mean? Is that how Rey would think about herself? Does Rey even think of these questions?" Terrio continued. "I’m trying not to reveal any story points here! There’s a Gordian knot in my tongue. I think those are really valid ideas that Rian put forth, but any series of films, especially if you have three, is a conversation — which is, as I said early on when I was talking to J.J., thesis, antithesis, and synthesis."

As for whether The Rise of Skywalker would align with J.J. Abrams' original vision of the trilogy he kicked off with The Force Awakens, Terrio remained mum.

"Uh, that one I have to dodge a little bit," Terrio confessed. :When it’s redacted, you know it’s the juicy stuff."

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is due out in theaters December 20.

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