With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams kicked off a new trilogy of Star Wars films in more ways than one. He not only laid a foundation and introduced compelling new characters, but he also raised a number of mythological questions that went unanswered as the credits rolled. This was a great way to keep fans engaged with the material long after they’d left the theater, and while The Force Awakens has (mostly) satisfying character arcs all its own, the film also promises that there’s much more story to be told.
One of the film’s biggest questions raised involves the parentage of new protagonist Rey. Daisy Ridley’s character wasn’t just offhandedly referred to as an orphan—her abandonment as a child by her mysterious parents is a major part of who she is as a character, and the awakening of her Force Powers as the film progresses teases that her lineage may be closely tied to the Skywalker family.
I posed the four most likely answers to the question of “Who are Rey’s parents?” in a previous editorial, but now it’s Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow’s turn to weigh in. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Trevorrow admitted he’s seen the theories, and promised fans will be pleased with the answer to Rey’s parentage:
“I’ve seen all of the theories… What I do know is that we’re going to make sure that that answer is deeply and profoundly satisfying, because Rey is a character that is important in this universe, not just in the context of The Force Awakens but in the entire galaxy, and she deserves it. So we’ll make sure that that answer is something that feels like it was—it’s something that happened a long time ago [in a galaxy] far, far away, we’re just telling you what happened.”
Trevorrow added that he’s done “a lot of scribbling and a lot of notes” thinking about the story that he wants to tell in Episode IX (he’s writing the script with frequent partner Derek Connolly), and based on those comments it sounds like the answer of Rey’s parentage is something that’s been on his mind as of late. Is it possible we won’t get a full answer until Episode IX? Is it being tasked to Trevorrow to reveal Rey’s parents, or will the question be addressed in Episode VIII? I was betting on Rian Johnson getting to tackle that issue, but there’s something about Trevorrow’s comments that makes me think the question may linger for a few more years. Perhaps we’ll get half an answer in Episode VIII and then the full story in IX.
The Jurassic World filmmaker added that in approaching the conclusion of this new trilogy, Episode IX has to function as multiple films at once:
“By the time we get to Episode IX, I look at that movie as one movie, as three movies, as six movies, and as nine movies. It’s something that needs to honor a story that has been told over a period of 40 years… Star Wars is a belief system, it’s not just a story and it’s not just a movie, and it’s something I take very seriously.”
It’ll be curious to see how this Star Wars chapter wraps up and, maybe more interestingly, how Lucasfilm moves forward beyond Episode IX. Does that conclude the Skywalker saga? Does the franchise reboot and tell further Skywalker-connected stories? Do the adventures of Rey and Finn just continue in perpetuity? We have a ways to go until we find out, as Star Wars: Episode IX is currently slated for release sometime in 2019.