Rian Johnson Considered Every Option Before Choosing Rey's Parents for The Last Jedi

Image: Disney
Image: Disney

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.

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Illustration for article titled Rian Johnson Considered Every Option Before Choosing Reys Parents for iThe Last Jedi/iem/em

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.

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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.”

Quick plug for our own list:

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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?’ Okay, 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.”

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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.

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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.

[/Filmcast via /Film]

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

Special destinies cause trouble. The last two people in Star Wars to really talk about the importance of a special destiny were Darth Vader and The Emperor, trying to convince Luke. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren seems like someone who believed his lineage gave him some kind of special destiny.

Rey choose her life, just like Finn. She choose to help people, and that choice wasn’t because she was from a noble house or had famous family. It’s because it’s the right thing to do, a decision and way of being she found for herself.

It’s a refreshing change of pace, from endless cinematic universe chosen ones to people who choose themselves.