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Vader's revelation

No. I am your father!

Warning! This page contains MAJOR spoilers from Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. Caution is advised.

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A family that was comprised of the relatives of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who ruled the galaxy as Emperor of the Galactic Empire. Born to an influential human family on Naboo as Sheev Palpatine, he sired a son who, in turn, fathered a daughter named Rey. During the New Republic Era, Rey's father and mother lived in obscurity as junk traders and tried to protect their daughter from her Sith grandfather. In the end, they left Rey on Jakku to protect her. After their deaths, Rey's parents were buried in an unmarked grave, although Rey suppressed the memory of her abandonment, clinging to the hope of being reunited with her family someday.

During the war between the Resistance and the First Order, Rey sought to restore the Jedi Order to its former glory by learning the ways of the Force. As her Force-bond with Kylo Ren—the grandson of Darth Vader, Sidious' last Sith apprentice—grew stronger, Ren tempted Rey to join him, imploring her to admit that her parents were no one. With the Emperor's return, Ren learned the full truth of Rey's parentage and shared that knowledge with her in an attempt to turn her to the dark side of the Force. Instead, Rey affirmed her allegiance to the Jedi by sacrificing herself to vanquish her grandfather. Ren, having renounced the dark side and reclaiming his birth name of Ben Solo, sacrificed his life to revive Rey, who went on to repudiate her lineage as a Palpatine by adopting the Skywalker name as her own.

HistoryEdit

Dark originEdit

Insidious Smile

Rey's grandfather, Sheev Palpatine, was the Sith mastermind behind the rise of the Galactic Empire.

An influential family from the planet of Naboo counted among its members Sheev Palpatine,[3] a Dark Lord of the Sith under the name Darth Sidious, who manipulated the political system of the Galactic Republic until he was made Supreme Chancellor, and eventually Galactic Emperor.[8] When Sidious was killed[8] aboard the second Death Star[12] in 4 ABY,[13] it was believed that he had no living relatives, and consequently there was no clear chain of succession.[14] He had, however, begotten a son, who fathered a daughter himself, Rey.[1]

AbandonmentEdit

"Your parents threw you away like garbage."
"They didn't."
"They did, but you can't stop needing them. It's your greatest weakness. Looking for them everywhere, in Han Solo, and now in Skywalker."
―Kylo Ren and Rey[src]
Young Rey with Unkar Plutt

Rey was sold on Jakku and forced to live as a scavenger, unaware of her lineage to Palpatine.

Rey, a human aspirant Jedi and supporter of the Resistance,[4] was born in 15 ABY,[15] approximately one decade after the Battle of Jakku,[13] during the era of the New Republic.[10] Abandoned on the remote planet of Jakku,[11] she was raised in the care of a Crolute junk boss, Unkar Plutt, and learned to support herself as a scavenger.[10] As the years passed, Rey became a capable combatant, mechanic and pilot,[4] but opted to remain on her backwater homeworld due to her childhood dream of being reunited with her family. Unknown to Rey, she was gifted with raw strength in the Force.[10] Yet while her power was comparable to that of Ben Solo[11]—the lineal descendant of the Chosen One Anakin Skywalker and, therefore, a Force prodigy[16]—Rey's lack of training or knowledge about the Force rendered the young scavenger ignorant of the latent abilities within her.[10]

In 34 ABY,[13] Rey encountered the astromech droid BB-8, and subsequently befriended Ben Solo's father, the smuggler Han Solo, while attempting to return the droid to the Resistance. Though her journey took Rey offworld to Takodana, Rey was determined to return to Jakku, believing her family would eventually return. Solo's contact, Maz Kanata, candidly told Rey that no one was coming back for her.[10]

RevelationEdit

"Do you want to know the truth about your parents? Or have you always known? And you've just hidden it away. You know the truth. Say it… Say it."
"They were nobody."
"They were filthy junk traders, who sold you off for drinking money. They're dead in a pauper's grave in the Jakku desert. You have no place in this story. You come from nothing. You're nothing… But not to me."
―Kylo Ren and Rey[src]
Ahch-To Mirror Cave

After entering a dark cave, Rey asked to see her parents, but only saw her own reflection.

Following the Battle of Starkiller Base, Rey tracked Jedi Master Luke Skywalker to the lost world of Ahch-To, birthplace of the Jedi Order. While attempting to gain Skywalker's support in the war against the First Order, Rey discovered that she could commune with Kylo Ren—the former Ben Solo, nephew and one-time apprentice of Luke Skywalker—across the stars as a result of the bond they shared through the Force.[11] The connection between Rey and Ren caused them to gain deeper insights into one another, with Rey sensing the dark apprentice's internal struggle against the pull to the light.[17] However, the bridging of their minds allowed Ren to discover the insecurities Rey harbored about her past and, in particular, her parents, much to the scavenger's dismay. Although Rey regarded Ren as a monster for committing the act of patricide, Ren believed they shared much in common, with both having been abandoned as children.[18]

Upon discovering a cave with a strong connection to the dark side, Rey tried to use its powers to discover the identities of her parents. Her efforts ended in failure,[11] leaving Rey distraught and seeking the company of Kylo Ren, whom she now saw as the only person who understood her feelings of isolation and abandonment. Although Rey felt more lost due to her experience in the cave, the Knight of Ren assured her that she was not alone. As a result, Rey reached out to Ren and discovered that they could touch each other across the light-years.[18]

Luke interrupting Rey and Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren encouraged Rey to confront her worst fears by admitting the truth about her parents.

Convinced there was still good in the former Ben Solo, Rey confronted him in the flesh and together they overthrew Ren's dark master, Supreme Leader Snoke. Seizing the chance to claim Snoke's mantle as ruler of the First Order, Ren invited Rey to rule by his side as leaders of a new galactic order.[11] He then compelled Rey to confront her worst fears by admitting the truth she had long suppressed—her parents were nobody.[18] Ren elaborated, telling Rey that they were mere junk traders who bartered their daughter away for drinking money. Ultimately, they were both dead and buried in a pauper's grave in the Jakku desert.[11] The revelation brought tears to Rey's eyes, for she sensed no deception in Ren's intentions.[18] Nevertheless, Rey resisted Ren's entreaty and helped the Resistance survive the Battle of Crait. She further hindered Ren's plans by continuing her studies in the Jedi arts, ensuring the Jedi Order would not end with the death of Luke Skywalker.[11]

The whole truthEdit

"Your master was saved by his father. The only family you have here is me."
―Darth Sidious, to Rey[src]
Rey-meets-palpatine

Rey confronted her grandfather, who urged her to kill him and take the Throne of the Sith.

Ren confronted Darth Sidious after the latter made his presence known to the galaxy. At first, he intended to destroy the Emperor, whom he perceived as a threat to his own power, until Sidious revealed that he was, in fact, Rey's grandfather. Ren used this knowledge in an attempt to turn Rey to the dark side, now believing it was as much in her nature as his own. Although Sidious had bidden Ren to kill Rey, in truth he wanted his granddaughter to come to him so that she might complete her journey towards the dark side and ensure the rebirth of the Sith. With the help of a redeemed Ben Solo, however, Rey rejected her dark legacy and struck down the Emperor, sacrificing her life in the process. Solo would then make his own sacrifice, giving his life so that Rey could live.[1]

LegacyEdit

The death of Ben Solo marked the end of the Skywalker bloodline. However, Rey chose to adopt the name of Ben's family, becoming known as "Rey Skywalker."[1]

Family treeEdit

 
 
 
 
Darth Sidious
(Sheev Palpatine)[1]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rey's father[1]
 
Rey's mother[1]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rey
(renounced)[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

"Rian's answer to, "What's the worst news that Rey could receive?" was that she comes from junk traders, and that's true. She does come from junk traders; we didn't contradict that. But when J.J. and I spoke, he said, "Well, what's an even worse answer or elaboration of that news?""
Chris Terrio, on Rey's heritage[src]

In the first eight films of Star Wars saga, there were no hints or references to Sheev Palpatine having relationships or offspring. J.J. Abrams, director of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, hinted the revelation that Palpatine was Rey's grandfather in the ninth installment was an early idea when working on the seventh chapter. "That's not to say there was a bible and we knew what happens at every step, he said, "but when Larry Kasdan and I worked on The Force Awakens, we didn't do it in a vacuum."[19]

Ultimately, the final version of Episode VII merely depicts Rey being abandoned as a child. Daisy Ridley, the actress who portrays Rey in the sequel trilogy, recalled feeling surprised that many saw the film and came away speculating about the identity of Rey's parents: "I thought a lot was answered in The Force Awakens. Then after the screening, I went for a drink with my agent and everyone, and we were chatting away and I realized that oh, in their minds it's not answered at all!"[20]

Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, opted to reveal that Rey did not come from a special bloodline. As a result, her parents were nobodies. In an interview, Johnson stated that it was a dramatic decision of "What is the toughest thing she could hear about her parents? What is the thing for her and for us what will make her have to stand on her own two feet and will make things the hardest for her?"[21] However, Abrams said he felt The Last Jedi's script "didn't get in the way of anything Larry and I talked about that I thought I'd get to. There were some very specific things we did get to do in this movie that we were laughing and going, 'Oh my god, we're finally doing that thing we talked about five years ago.'"[19]

He elaborated thematically that “one of the themes of the movie is that anyone can be anything regardless of where you're from, and I don't know if it resonates for everyone but I think there are quite a few people who appreciate that idea of not coming from a place that you're not particularly excited about following or proud of. And though I completely understand 'you're nobody' is a devastating thing, to me the more painful, the more shocking thing was the idea that you're from the worst possible place. And is that thing that you feel that you know is part of you somehow, that you're haunted by, is that your destiny? And the idea that there are things more powerful than blood, as Luke says, that thing was a really important thing to convey for us.”[22]

AppearancesEdit

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SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Topps logo Star Wars: Card Trader (Card: Senator Palpatine - Naboo Senator)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 StarWars-DatabankII Rey in the Databank (backup link)
  5. Tarkin indicates that Darth Sidious was born approximately 65 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire, as depicted in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Using simple math, we can deduce that Sidious was born 84 years before the Battle of Yavin, which was depicted in Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope and took place 19 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith.
  6. According to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary, Rey's father and mother died shortly after they left their daughter on Jakku thirteen years before the "Starkiller Incident." Since Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Starkiller Incident to 34 ABY, Rey's parents died around 21 ABY.
  7. TwitterLogo Stephen Stanton (@Stephen_Stanton) on Twitter "Here's the updated #StarWars timeline with all the new projects announced at #D23Expo. Study this diagram. There will be a quiz later!😉" (screenshot)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 StarWars-DatabankII Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in the Databank (backup link)
  9. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
  12. Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  14. Aftermath: Life Debt
  15. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  16. StarWars-DatabankII Kylo Ren in the Databank (backup link)
  17. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
  19. 19.0 19.1 Ryan, Mike (2019-11-25). J.J. Abrams On ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ And The Return Of Palpatine (And, Yes, Maclunkey). Uproxx. Retrieved on December 24, 2019.
  20. Who are Rey's parents? The answer is in 'The Force Awakens', reckons 'Star Wars' star Daisy Ridley. Time Out London (2016-12-05). Archived from the original on October 8, 2018. Retrieved on December 18, 2017.
  21. Goldberg, Matt (2018-02-02). 'The Last Jedi': Why Rian Johnson Chose That Answer for Rey’s Parents. Collider. Archived from the original on February 2, 2018. Retrieved on January 20, 2019.
  22. Chitwood, Adam (2019-12-23). ‘Rise of Skywalker’: J.J. Abrams Explains Why He Chose THAT Answer to Rey’s Parents. Collider. Retrieved on December 24, 2019.
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