The question of Rey's parentage has been hotly debated by Star Wars fans since the character's introduction in 2015's Episode VII – The Force Awakens, even after writer-director Rian Johnson seemingly provided an answer in his 2017 follow-up, Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. Now, returning director J.J. Abrams — whose trilogy and Skywalker saga concluding chapter, Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, is out in December — has further stoked the fire in a new interview, claiming “there's more to the story” than audiences have been shown.
“I will say that we knew, going into this, that this movie, it had to be a satisfying conclusion,” Abrams told ABC News, when asked if Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would tell us who Rey's parents are. “And we were well aware that that's one of the things that's been out there. I don't want to say that what happens in Episode VIII [didn't happen]. We have honoured that. But I will say that there's more to the story than you've seen.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – a Brave Episode That Lets the Franchise Evolve
Abrams' words are bound to restart the rumour-mill engines in a subset of Star Wars fandom. Personally, this correspondent was a big fan of the approach Johnson took in The Last Jedi, wherein we were told that Rey's parents were nobodies, which tied into the film's messaging. But part of that answer came from Kylo Ren, at a moment when he was trying to shift Rey's loyalties to his side. It could be concluded that Kylo Ren was lying, which gives Abrams room to come up with a different answer.
Given Ian McDiarmid's potential return as Emperor Palpatine in Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker — though the actor has said that Palpatine is ‘dead' and to not take his laugh at the end of the teaser trailer seriously — it's possible that the franchise might look further inward rather than outward as it brings the ‘Skywalker saga' to a close. If Abrams does take that approach, hopefully he's right about the other bit, in that they will “honour” what The Last Jedi did.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out December 20 in cinemas worldwide.