Daisy Ridley Confirms That Rey Kenobi Was An Option For ‘Star Wars’ Sequels
Last December, we got a clear answer to the question of Rey’s heritage – albeit not without controversy – in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in which it was uncovered that Rey was a descendant of the Galactic Emperor himself. But a recent interview with Ridley reveals that another option was on the table while they were working on the film: Rey, at one point, was going to be related to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Jimmy Kimmel Live guest host Josh Gad asked Daisy Ridley some questions about her role in Star Wars. When met with the question of whether or not she knew what Rey’s parentage was from the moment that she set foot on The Force Awakens, she gave a pretty clear answer: “No.” You can check out the video below, along with our continued coverage of its after that:
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) September 9, 2020
“At the beginning, there was toying with an Obi-Wan connection… There were, like, different versions.” Ridley explained that they had lots of different ideas as they were making the movies, including the concept that she really was nobody, which is what they seemingly went with in The Last Jedi before turning around and explaining that there was more to the story. Ridley explained that when being pitched The Rise of Skywalker, she was told that Rey was related to Sheev Palpatine; however, she noted that a few weeks later, the creative team on the final Star Wars project in the Skywalker saga was trying to figure out what the answer to that story element was going to be – a process that Ridley was left in the dark with even up to a certain point in filming.
Both possibilities, interestingly enough, were alluded to back in The Force Awakens with the Force flashback sequence: among the various voices that Rey hears are both Sheev Palpatine (“…Any Jedi!”, a snippet of a line borrowed from Revenge of the Sith, and notably the only Sith voice that she hears during that sequence) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (with clever audio editing allowing Alec Guiness to say “Rey!” while Ewan McGregor whispers “These are your first steps…”, the sole line he recorded for that film). While Abrams gave both The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow (who was originally set to write and direct Episode IX which he called Duel of the Fates) room to come up with their own answers, Abrams fell back on these two ideas before ultimately settling on tying Rey’s story to the resurgent arch-villain of the Skywalker saga. Nonetheless, both the younger and older versions of Kenobi are heard once again at the film’s end, in which she finally makes contact with the Jedi who preceded her in time for her final trial, as the fate of the Star Wars galaxy hangs in the balance.
When pressed for details about who Rey’s grandmother might be, Ridley joked “You tell me!” to Gad. The official in-canon story, as revealed by the novelization, is that Rey does not actually have a paternal grandmother – her “father” was actually an imperfect clone of Palpatine who lacked any Force potential whatsoever, and he had a daughter with a woman after he escaped from Exegol somehow. Technically, we don’t know much about Rey’s mother, so it could always turn out that she was the grand-neice of the Jedi Master or something if they really want to go there.
Naturally, the conversation closed with a question of whether or not Ridley has plans to play Rey again in the future. She seems to be more open about a possible return to Star Wars than some of her co-stars do right now – but for now, that story is over. “I’d say never say never [to a return], but to me, The Rise of Skywalker was tied up with a bow.” Currently, it seems as though Lucasfilm is interested in filling in the gaps in other points in the space opera franchise’s long history before revisiting the sequel trilogy era specifically, which is likely the smartest option for the time being, but it seems likely that we’ll get more stories about Rey and her friends at some point in the future, even if Daisy Ridley and her co-stars may not be involved.
Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.