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In defense of Rey Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker, and why I do not think it undermines her arc in The Last Jedi.

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“Rey Palpatine”. An aspect of The Rise of Skywalker that is frequently criticized, especially by those who loved The Last Jedi; particularly, they crticized it for apparently being done for no [bleep]-ing reason at all, for apparently undoing quote-unquote “Rey’s arc of being nobody and finding her place in all this” and the supposed message, that “Force-sensitives don’t come from bloodlines”.

Firstly, no. Anyone who acts like The Last Jedi was the first to introduce the idea of a Force-sensitive coming from nothing is doing this out of ignorance, because the prequels — the [bleep]-ing prequels — already did that.

Right from the first movie the prequels establish that the Jedi scour the galaxy for children to identify whether they’re Force-sensitive or not, so… there’d be no point in doing that if Force-sensitives did come from bloodlines. Further, the prequels aren’t exactly subtle in communicating the idea that Jedi are forbidden from attachments and are to be expelled if married with another.

If the prequels didn’t exist, then I’d see your point. But no, I like the prequels as well, I think they’re good storytelling and they shouldn’t be taken away just because of blind, toxic haters who argue out of bad faith.

Furthermore, just because Rey’s parents were nobody, doesn’t mean her other ancestors were — as of The Last Jedi, we don’t know whether they were always nobody, and we certainly don’t know their origin story, either. What would make the Palpatine revelation undermine that is if either: A) The Last Jedi explicitly told us that all of Rey’s other ancestors were nobody, or B) if The Rise of Skywalker established that her parents were never nobody at all, not at once.

Secondly, no, Rey’s arc in The Last Jedi isn’t about her being nobody or having to find purpose, contrary to popular belief; instead, she comes to terms with the truth that her parents, as Kylo Ren puts it, “threw [her] away like garbage,” and realizes that she must let this all go, that she must move on from and stop needing her parents.

In The Last Jedi, Rey refuses to accept this truth — even going as far as denying this when Kylo Ren taunts her during one of their conversations —, instead having lied to herself for the past several years of her life that they truly cared for her, that she was worth something to them, that she was abandoned for some important reason which would “show” that her parents cared for her, reinforcing this lie as a way of ensuring it would not perish — henceforth helping her feel happy and thus pushing away her feelings of self-worthlessness.

Her lie that her parents abandoned her for an actual reason was something hinted at in The Force Awakens, when BB-8 asks Rey as to who she’s waiting for: “For my family. They’ll be back. One day.”

Rey, however, is unsure as to what that “importance” exactly is, and thus hopes that if she does find out she is important then it would “show” that her parents loved her and abandoned her to, say, hide her in an act of protection.

It is, for this reason, she, for so long, has wanted to find out as to who her parents were, hoping to infer as to what her “importance” is, only so she would use it to reinforce her lie — and why she hoped for Luke to show her this “importance,” hoping to use that importance to justify her parents abandoning her (“I need someone to show me my place in all this…”); however, when Luke refused, she goes into the mirror cave, hoping for it to show her parents to her — by seeing her parents, she would get to see who they exactly were, and, in turn, infer as to what her “importance” exactly is, judging their appearances.

In the throne room aboard the Supremacy, Kylo Ren, having learned from their touching of hands as to how Rey wanted to find out who her parents were, as well as the truth of her parents, manipulates her into admitting said truth — in that moment, she begins to refuse her lie, coming to terms with the truth that her parents had no true reason for abandoning her, that they hated her, seeing her as nothing but a worthless piece of junk.

(At this point, Rey admits her parents were “nobody,” in the sense they had no important reason to abandon her, instead discarding her as though she is completely worthless; she has “no place in this story” in the sense that, again, her parents didn’t abandon her because she was of some “importance” and they loved her, they abandoned her because, to them… she is worthless.)

As such, remembering that she can still get validation and belonging from the Resistance and all kinds of other people, she takes Kylo Ren’s advice to “let the past die”. By the time we meet her on Crait, she no longer cares about her parents and finds that found family within the Resistance, with Luke having rejected her, with Kylo Ren being the bad guy, with Han Solo now dead, with her parents having thrown her away like garbage.

This was the point of Kylo Ren telling her to: “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. It’s the only way you’ll become what you were meant to be.” It wasn’t the moral of The Last Jedi, as so many love to believe, but the thing that reinforces Rey’s progression as a character. By the end of The Last Jedi, she became what she was meant to be — a better person, who no longer hinges her life and worth around toxic, drunken parents who threw her away like garbage.

Further, Rey being a Palpatine was absolutely necessary, and an absolutely great storytelling decision. It’s simply a way of hammering home her most notable flaw as a character — her lack of self-worth.

Ever since she was abandoned, Rey came to the conclusion that her parents abandoning her meant she is inherently worthless, and over the next several years of her life, up until adulthood, when her parents did not return for her, this conclusion became internalized, becoming an unconscious core belief — consciously forgotten by Rey, although it still influences her conscious feelings and decisions; quite similar to in real life, where core beliefs start out during childhood as regular, conscious conclusions, and over time, up until adulthood, they become internalized, unconscious… consciously forgotten by you — you are unaware it even exists in the first place —, yet it still influences your conscious feelings and decisions.

Because she believes she is worthless, Rey has no internalized self-worth. She hates herself, but doesn’t know why. She has a constant, chronic pain within her, a hole in her heart, because she doesn’t love herself. It leeches off her feelings of happiness and fulfillment, as such, she feels unworthy of being a Jedi, of being a hero, of taking up the saber that belonged to Luke Skywalker, and his father before him — like she doesn’t even deserve that.

Rey, however, wants to live a happy, fulfilling life, instead of having to live through this hell of depression and self-loathing. To make up for this, she believes the only way to be of value is to be valued by other people. She believes that she is only worth something if other people think she is. Rey is always doing things to please others, to gain people’s love, respect, admiration and appreciation in an effort to gain the worth and value that she lacks from herself.

This is the lie Rey believes. Rey believes that her worth comes from others and comes from giving to others. While giving to others is good, it should not be the source of your own self-worth. You shouldn’t have to be of worth to others, to be of worth to yourself.

The truth is that your worth and value has to come from within. You cannot be given value by others. You have to give value, worth and love to yourself, to truly be happy, balanced and whole.

Star Wars’ most ignorant critics may argue that Rey’s self-loathing, feelings of self-worthlessness and lack of self-worth has no real evidence in any of the movies to back it up, but they’re wrong. In fact, all three movies constant reinforce this arc and drive the point home.

  • She rejects the lightsaber of the Skywalkers that called out to her through the literal Force and her place as a hero from Maz, afterwards running into a forest (now, you could argue that she was scared and that was why she rejected the saber, but she was calmed down by Maz immediately afterwards), and hands it over to Leia, feeling like she hasn’t even earned it yet — implies she doesn’t think she deserves that.

  • She repeatedly tries to get Luke and then Ben to be the hero in The Last Jedi — implies she doesn’t think she deserves to be the hero, and it’s only after the throne room scene when she is forced to be said hero.

  • She constantly seeks validation from others; perhaps the most famous example is when she bypasses the compressor, desperately spells it out to Han word-for-word, only for him to shrug it off without caring and this causes Rey to look disappointed — implies she seeks validation from others, which also implies she lacks any self-value.

  • She overcompensates by trying to show her worth, trying to prove herself to others, like when she insists: “You didn’t fail Kylo. Kylo failed you. I won’t.” This is also something Kylo Ren addresses in The Rise of Skywalker: “You wanted to prove to my mother that you were a Jedi, but you’ve proven something else.”

  • She has a rather hasty formation of attachments — Rey instantly attaches herself to Han Solo in The Force Awakens, seeing him as the “father [she has] never had,” as Kylo Ren puts it; she even cries when Han is murdered right in front of her eyes, despite barely ever spending time with him.

  • She is emotionally fragile — for example, she begins to cry when Ren rejects her offer and convinces her to join him.

  • She willingly spends her life as a scavenger, despite acknowledging, deep down, that her family isn’t coming back.

  • She consistently feels alone, lost, confused or scared — for example, Luke asks, “What are you most afraid of?”, she responds, “Myself…” Another example is when she feels alone in the cave and goes to Kylo Ren so she wouldn’t feel alone.

  • She blames herself for seemingly killing Chewbacca.

  • She has misplaced and inappropriate outbursts of anger — especially when she hits Luke from behind and when she stabs Kylo —, despite having no reason to, other than a deeper, unconscious core belief, being the only explanation.

All of this, right here, is enough evidence for Rey having no self-value and suffering from an unconscious core belief of that she is worthless.

But anyway, anyhow, anywho… her character arc in The Rise of Skywalker starts off with her receiving a vision of herself as a Sith, ruling on the Sith throne — she becomes afraid of herself falling prey to the dark side, imagining that if she turns to the dark side then the Resistance, her newfound family, and the wider galaxy would abandon her and consider her to be worthless; hence why she begins to feel unworthy of being a Jedi and using a lightsaber, convinced she would become a Sith if she remains a Jedi and continues using a lightsaber.

Of course, Rey learns of a truth even worse than that of her parents throwing her away like garbage… she is Palpatine’s granddaughter — she begins to fear of what the wider galaxy would think of her if they find out who she is, since her grandfather is the Sith lord who not only destroyed the Jedi Order but also made the galaxy suffer under the rule of the Galactic Empire and was also responsible for the destruction of Alderaan.

Upon injuring Kylo Ren during their duel, she becomes convinced that her heritage is the thing that is causing her to continually give into the dark side — since this is the first time she had given into the dark side after she learned the truth of her heritage. She, convinced she is meant to end up just like her grandfather, exiles herself as a way of distancing herself from everyone else — still afraid of falling prey to the dark side for the reasons mentioned above.

Luke Skywalker, aware of her heritage, shows up to her and dismisses what she believes, explaining to her that her value is determined by her heart and not her heritage — Leia deciding to train her despite having acknowledged who Rey was already proves this to be true — and that said heritage does not define who she is and how her future is going to turn out, urging her to face her fear, confront Palpatine and save the galaxy; this convinces her that she is able to do the right thing, regardless of her heritage.

Right at this point is the first time Rey truly acknowledges the existence of her core belief of self-worthlessness and how it has been holding her back her entire life — when Luke informed her that, “Confronting fear is the destiny of a Jedi,” she applied this to her fear, that being her feelings of self-worthlessness.

Of course, she goes to confront Palpatine on Exegol and gets her ass whopped by him, leaving her heavily weakened. Feeling unable to defeat Palpatine on her own, she turns to the Jedi of the past for support; in response, they encourage her to try her best to defeat Palpatine, regardless of how puny she is in comparison to him — now, she has enough strength to not only refuse the lie she had believed her entire life, that she is worthless, that she is only worth something if other people think she is, but also rise and stand against Palpatine.

He dismisses her as nothing, no match for the “power in [him];” instead of succumbing to his remarks, she ignores them and responds back with her own, self-made sense of self-worth and self-esteem… that “she… is all the Jedi,” and the icing on the cake is that she has pulled in the Skywalker lightsaber, the weapon she has felt unworthy of using for so long — she finally feels worthy.

No longer held back by her irrational, toxic core belief that she is worthless, having come to terms with the truth that worth and acceptance comes from within and not from other people, Rey destroys Palpatine — the embodiment of this belief — once and for all.

The ending of The Rise of Skywalker further reinforces how Rey is no longer held back by this core belief.

For one, when asked her name on Pasaana she simply responds that she is “just Rey,” when at that point she was still held back by her core belief, whereas on Tatooine, now no longer held back by her core belief, when asked her name, she responds, “Rey Skywalker,” — this implies Rey finally feels worthy of naming herself as a Skywalker.

Secondly, the sequence parallels her beginnings on Jakku, as a way of showing how much Rey has grown as a character up until this point; in the first film, Rey is held back by her core belief of self-worthlessness, spending her days on Jakku, hoping for her parents to come back so they would give her validation, helping her feel happy, thus pushing back her feelings of self-worthlessness — whereas at the end, Rey has already overcome her core belief, she is now happy and accepts herself, she no longer relies on other people for approval. On top of that, in the first film she looks at that old woman on Jakku with worry and fear, that she would end up having lived her life sad, whereas here she has matured, she looks at the old woman, this time knowing she would grow old happily, descriptive of her own self-value.

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You can say it doesn’t necessarily contradict TLJ, but it was totally unnecessary, in my opinion.

Your answer is beautifully thought out, but I guarantee you that Abrams nor Terrio took the time to rationalize their choice as much as you have.

I think they made Rey a Palpatine for a few reasons.

  1. To give fanboys a reason why Rey was so powerful.
  2. To give her a personal reason to hate Palpatine.
  3. To mirror Luke’s own connection to Vader, creating another needless parallel to the OT.

Again, you can rationalize it, but there was no legitimate reason for them to go back on Rey’s parents being bad people that didn’t care about her. Even you’ve admitted that could’ve been handled better. For Abrams and Terrio to say they actually did love her, and abandoned her for a reason? And they sold her to Unkar Plutt, of all people? They couldn’t have thought of a dozen other safer places to take her? It is just ridiculous, and treats the audience with no respect. To totally go back on what the previous movie established.

Her being a Palpatine, in my subjective opinion, is just so much less interesting than what TLJ on its own set up. Giving Rey this answer makes her path so much clearer. Everything you said about her character arc could have easily been accomplished without her being a Palpatine, and been less muddled. But I guess the only way Rey could be that powerful is if her power came from a man…

I’m glad you’re getting something good out of this movie. You’re clearly a intelligent person. I just hate that you’ve probably put more thought into this idea than I think the actual filmmakers did.

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RogueLeader said:
I think they made Rey a Palpatine for a few reasons.

  1. To give fanboys a reason why Rey was so powerful.

I think sticking to a “chosen one” approach would have been enough. I never liked this angle though (it was a weird trend during the 90s: Matrix, Harry Potter, Star Wars, …), but between a random slave being “chosen” by the Force and someone who inherits her powers from genetics (but not her parents ?), one option still sounds better to me.
in the final movie we got, one can argue we kinda merge both approaches though: Rey is chosen by the Force AND she’s the granddaughter of a powerful Sith (something which could be applied to Anakin if one overreads Palpatine dialogues though during the Opera sequence in Ep3), but still doesn’t really explain everything she knows, everything seems so easy to her, it’s really boring for me to follow her adventures in the ST (I stick to my point made roughlty 6 yars ago: Finn should have been the main protagonist of the ST, not just a comic relief) 😕 She’s like the Avatar the last airbender, but without the same empathy and without the fun…

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I mean, I see how TRoS could be going for the same goal as TLJ in Rey’s arc. But it kind of resets it to how it was at the end of TFA and does it worse.

If by the end of TLJ, she was now beyond caring about who her parents were… why would she give a damn that her grandfather is Palpatine? If she’s learned to move beyond her need for her parents, placing her identity with the Resistance, why would her grandparents have any meaning to her? Did she move past her parents but not her grandparents?

If her talking to the Jedi is the resolution of her arc, and how she finally gets past her toxic beliefs of self-worth, sure. Fine. But wasn’t she already at that point during the Battle of Crait? Didn’t you even say this?

In TFA, she’s obsessed with her parents, despite not even knowing who they are. She places her whole identity and sense of self-worth on them. In TLJ, as the middle part (lowest part) of the arc, she gets the worst possible news as it’s been put: The people who carried her entire identity and self-worth were just some asshole alcoholics.

In TRoS, we get that middle part again, she gets the worst possible news again. Except instead of it being Rey Nobody, now it’s Rey Palpatine. This is why people took Rey Palpatine as an undoing of TLJ. If it was just revealed that she was a Palpatine and she used what she learned from TLJ to overcome that or something, I actually think people wouldn’t believe it was a walk back on TLJ. But that’s not what happened- her arc is reset to where it was before TLJ.

Plus, I kind of feel like it’s just a carbon copy of Luke’s arc in RotJ. He’s learned that he has a little bit of abject evil in his blood, and now because of that connection he’s afraid he’ll turn to the dark side. But Luke’s arc is interesting because, while Luke has a little Vader in him, Vader has a little Luke in him. So he was able to complete his arc by upending the conflict by redeeming Vader. This is my #1 reason why, despite thinking RotJ is the weakest of the trilogy and lacking what ANH and ESB bad, it’s still definitely a great movie.

Rey’s arc has nothing like that. She overcomes her conflict by killing Palpatine. Hell, maybe not even. I don’t really think her questioning her identity and self-worth is ever really resolved, more like dropped. You mention her arc being resolved by talking to the Jedi… but I don’t see it. I don’t think there’s really anything more to that than a plot device on how she could defeat Palpatine. Nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t resolving Rey’s arc.

But, uh, yeah. Back to what I was saying, Rey’s arc in TRoS is kind of just Luke’s arc in RotJ but done worse. Because they focus way harder on “Oh no I have evil blood in me I’m gonna turn evil” in TRoS than anything you mention. Most of what you mention is in there, it’s not unfounded, but it’s not focused on nearly as much as that. So I’ve gotta say that’s probably her core arc in the movie.

I kind of have to agree with RogueLeader. If you’re getting this from TRoS, I’m glad for you. Really. But I think you’re thinking about this way harder than Abrams or Terrio ever did.

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Your point that “Rey overcame her low self-esteem in TLJ” and that “TRoS undermines this” is like saying that “she stopped caring about her parents in TFA just because she stopped waiting for them on Jakku and that TLJ undermines/undoes this by saying that Rey still cares about her parents.”

Just because Rey stopped waiting for her parents to return for her on Jakku in TFA, doesn’t mean she stopped caring about them entirely; in the exact same way, just because Rey seems happy at the end of TLJ, doesn’t mean she’s overcome her core belief that she is worthless (in fact, we see her happy in several scenes in the trilogy, especially BEFORE the TLJ reveal, but that doesn’t mean she ISN’T held back by this core belief).

Now, you’ll probably say the same thing about her TRoS arc, that “just because Rey defeated Palps, doesn’t mean she overcame her core belief that she is completely worthless,” but I digress. In fact, there’s a few indications she’s overcome her core belief of self-worthlessness by the end of TRoS:

  • Her pulling in the Skywalker lightsaber and grasping it at that moment alone implies she finally feels worthy, especially since this is the same lightsaber she felt unworthy of using twice, during one of her scenes with Leia and during her time on Ahch-To before Luke showed up.

  • Basically this entire Reddit comment.

  • At the end of TRoS, Rey finally feels worthy of naming herself “Skywalker” and continuing their legacy, whereas on Pasaana during that interaction with that little girl basically this happens: “What’s your name?” “Just Rey.” Note that this is before the climax on Exegol, so at this point on Pasaana, Rey is still held back by her core belief.

It’s not that Rey cared about her grandparents, it’s that the reason her Palpatine heritage is such a big deal to her, personally, is because she is related to the Sith Lord who murdered trillions; on top of that, it’s part of the reason she exiles herself onto Ahch-To until Luke pointed out that she is still valuable and can still do the right thing regardless of her heritage.

I meant that Rey was “unaffected” at the Battle of Crait in the sense that, well… there is a criticism that Rey should have been heavily affected by the parental reveal itself (warning, it’s from /r/saltierthancrait), which I disagree with since the reason she seems happy during Crait is because it means she has finally stopped caring about her parents themselves entirely.

Rey’s relationship by itself with Palpatine isn’t the point, the point is how the reveal of her Palpatine heritage affects her, and that she overcomes it when she learns from Luke that she is still valuable and can still do the right thing regardless of her heritage.

I think you should try re-watching TRoS (and by extension, TFA & TLJ), at least several times, with my interpretations in mind, in the hope that you can see as to where I am coming from regarding everything I said about Rey in this thread and the comment section.

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TestingOutTheTest said:

It’s not that Rey cared about her grandparents, it’s that the reason her Palpatine heritage is such a big deal to her, personally, is because she is related to the Sith Lord who murdered trillions; on top of that, it’s part of the reason she exiles herself onto Ahch-To until Luke pointed out that she is still valuable and can still do the right thing regardless of her heritage.

But you yourself said that she had already overcome her need for her parents by TLJ? See, it’s right here:

TestingOutTheTest said:

Because of this, she finally overcomes her “need” for her parents, learning to move on from and stop caring for her parents entirely — hence why she seems happy and unaffected during the Battle of Crait; now, with no other option, with Luke having rejected her, with Kylo Ren being the bad guy, with Han Solo now dead, with her parents having thrown her away like garbage, she decides to attach herself to the Resistance and rely on them for validation.


…the reason she seems happy during Crait is because it means she has finally stopped caring about her parents themselves entirely.

If we’ve already come to this point, why is she all the sudden starting to care about her family again?

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SparkySywer said:

If we’ve already come to this point, why is she all the sudden starting to care about her family again?

Because Rey has no arc. Or at least, not a compelling one. Her ‘journey’ is some weird emotional tangent the movies sometimes decide to touch upon, and repeat in literally every single movie in some weird 360 tailspin.

TROS’ entire message is basically that self worth is found from within and you are who you make of yourself, as deducted by the OP. The issue with this is that her stealing the Skywalker name totally contradicts this and is nonsensical within the confines of the story, being done for nothing other than fan service.

If heritage doesn’t matter, why change your name? Why not keep the name Palpatine? Why have a last name at all? To honour someone you looked up to? Well you didn’t look up to Luke, you screamed at him a bunch for three days, beat him down and then stole his books. Then talked to him once after he died. You didn’t know him. Why not take Solo’s last name? That actually has narrative significance, however slim and also nonsensical considering you didn’t know the man for more than a couple days and his son was a genocidal lunatic who tortured you and killed everyone. But you did kiss him so I guess that’s all forgiven.

The trilogy is a mess of contradicting viewpoints and themes and Rey’s entire ‘journey’ takes her from being a family-less power-God who doesn’t need to earn anything on a desert planet, to a family-less power-God who doesn’t need to earn anything on a desert planet. Except now she’s got inner peace and acceptance, as clearly shown by assuming another family’s identity she doesn’t really know without their say in the matter.

Rey’s “journey” in comparison to Luke and Anakin is what I’d politely call baffling and undermining.

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stealing the Skywalker name

What’s up with this idea? The ending scene of TROS clearly indicates she has chosen that name with Luke and Leia’s blessing. She hesitates and looks at their ghosts, who are smiling at her, before she says it. It’s not “without their say in the matter”. It’s essentially a post-mortem adoption, if you have to label it. Did Leia “steal” the name Organa? Sure, it’s silly fan service, but it’s not le evil Palpatine woman stealing God Emperor Luke’s holy surname.

Characterising Rey’s behaviour in TLJ in the way you did is also twisting it to the point of parody - you’d have to be completely closed off to what the movie is doing with Rey and Luke’s dynamic for you to think Rey is the one at fault on Ahch-To. “Stole his books”? You mean the ones he was planning to burn? And yes, Rey finding inner peace and acceptance is the main thrust of her journey. Internal emotional development is just as valid as like, levelling up her force powers to throw bigger rocks and pull Star Destroyers out of the sky!!!, or whatever.

TROS is a rough enough movie without people reading these weirdly malicious ideas into it.

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@SparkySywer

I shall clarify.

In TFA and TLJ, Rey focused heavily on her parents, they were the ones who conceived her, birthed her and abandoned her on the hell that is Jakku. She hoped there has to be some reason as to why her parents abandoned her, like being important in a way it would, for example, motivate her parents to abandon her, showing how they loved her. Of course, Rey comes to terms with the truth in TLJ and stops caring about her parents, but just because she stopped caring about them doesn’t indicate as to whether she cares about her grandparents or not.

Rey is absolutely scared of her Palpatine heritage in TRoS, because, due to her lack of self-worth, she fears being rejected by everyone, she fears about what everyone else would think if they find out of her heritage, she fears that no one is going to give her validation if they find out her heritage. This is implied in some later scenes, including her following conversation with Finn (“Rey, I know you…” “People keep telling me they know me. I’m afraid no one does…”).

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I will say that it does seem slightly strange for Rey, whose arc is supposed to be about accepting people based on their heart, that her final moment in the movie is her taking on the name of Skywalker. Without any further clarification, one might assume she does this because she feels it gives her value, or purpose.

I know that in my novelization edit where Ben lives, I am planning on having Ben arrive on Tatooine. That’s when she becomes Rey Solo, not because that gives her a value or purpose, but because they are two individuals making a commitment to each other.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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sade1212 said:

stealing the Skywalker name

What’s up with this idea? The ending scene of TROS clearly indicates she has chosen that name with Luke and Leia’s blessing. She hesitates and looks at their ghosts, who are smiling at her, before she says it. It’s not “without their say in the matter”. It’s essentially a post-mortem adoption, if you have to label it. Did Leia “steal” the name Organa? Sure, it’s silly fan service, but it’s not le evil Palpatine woman stealing God Emperor Luke’s holy surname.

Characterising Rey’s behaviour in TLJ in the way you did is also twisting it to the point of parody - you’d have to be completely closed off to what the movie is doing with Rey and Luke’s dynamic for you to think Rey is the one at fault on Ahch-To. “Stole his books”? You mean the ones he was planning to burn? And yes, Rey finding inner peace and acceptance is the main thrust of her journey. Internal emotional development is just as valid as like, levelling up her force powers to throw bigger rocks and pull Star Destroyers out of the sky!!!, or whatever.

TROS is a rough enough movie without people reading these weirdly malicious ideas into it.

“Malicious.”

You’re taking what I said far too seriously. Yes I’m aware she gets ‘approval’ and yes I’m aware there is more to their ‘dynamic,’ I was being facetious.

You’re also missing the point. I didn’t say it wasn’t valid, I said it wasn’t executed in a way that’s compelling. And considering the reception to the trilogy it’s not exactly a controversial opinion.

Internal emotional development is just as valid as like, levelling up her force powers to throw bigger rocks and pull Star Destroyers out of the sky!!!, or whatever.

And both Luke and Anakin manage to have a journey that covers both, which is considerably more compelling. That was my point.

If the absolute worst the protagonist has to endure is crying sometimes over her creepy space lunatic boyfriend and the director of the minute not being able to decide if she’s over her parents yet or not, and she gets rewarded with a Legacy name and untold abilities we’ve never seen before, with all her limbs intact and her friends (who she actually knew for more than two days) alive, I can’t say her journey was all too difficult in comparison to the protagonists of the previous two trilogies.

Yes you can read more into it and come up with your own theories, but most of these hot takes put more thought into the story than the filmmakers did.

The on paper concept for Rey in hindisght is actually pretty neat and had the stories been executed in a more cohesive manner with a bit more care involved it could’ve been really interesting. So I understand the desire to draw more from interpretation, but I’m yet to see any arguments that show Disney’s story didn’t undermine or pale in comparison to what was shown in I - VI, which is a massive issue considering these movies claimed to be the “conclusion to the saga.”

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I don’t see the end as an end. I see it as the beginning of something, but whether they have the courage to continue the main Saga is another thing entirely.

Rey is now the Last Jedi the same as Luke. Rey, Finn and Poe have to restore justice to the galaxy and restore the Republic. Rey needs to take on students and not repeat Luke and the prequel Jedi mistakes.

Maybe her order will be less dogmatic and accept a wider view of the force. She isn’t alone her family is Poe and Finn.

The story potential is amazing and they could do almost anything. But it requires directors and writers with a vision.

They had to know that when they took the reigns of Star Wars that their would be people who would question everything they did because they were not George Lucas. Would see every new character, every new anything really as invalid. The amount of fans seeing the sequels as a desecration is rather amazing to be honest. I mean its just a bunch of movies, not a religion.

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TestingOutTheTest said:

In TFA and TLJ, Rey focused heavily on her parents, they were the ones who conceived her, birthed her and abandoned her on the hell that is Jakku. She hoped there has to be some reason as to why her parents abandoned her, like being important in a way it would, for example, motivate her parents to abandon her, showing how they loved her. Of course, Rey comes to terms with the truth in TLJ and stops caring about her parents, but just because she stopped caring about them doesn’t indicate as to whether she cares about her grandparents or not.

You kind of have to understand how ridiculous that is, though. I mean, I said that in parody a few comments ago. Like, she learned a big important lesson about her family, but not her extended family!

That really does just feel like they’re resetting her arc to where it was in TLJ.

Rey is absolutely scared of her Palpatine heritage in TRoS, because, due to her lack of self-worth, she fears being rejected by everyone, she fears about what everyone else would think if they find out of her heritage, she fears that no one is going to give her validation if they find out her heritage. This is implied in some later scenes, including her following conversation with Finn (“Rey, I know you…” “People keep telling me they know me. I’m afraid no one does…”).

This is a good point, though.

JadedSkywalker said:

Rey is now the Last Jedi the same as Luke. Rey, Finn and Poe have to restore justice to the galaxy and restore the Republic. Rey needs to take on students and not repeat Luke and the prequel Jedi mistakes.

Maybe her order will be less dogmatic and accept a wider view of the force. She isn’t alone her family is Poe and Finn.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I’m not really interested in any Star Wars content set after TRoS. Content going forward is going to have to try their darnedest to distinguish Rey’s go at restoring the Jedi from Luke’s go at restoring the Jedi.

They can come up with tons of reasons why Rey’s attempt is going to be different from Luke’s attempt, but unless it flows naturally from the sequel trilogy and Rey’s arc (and respectively the Star Wars Trilogy and Luke’s arc), I don’t think I’ll be able to buy it. And I don’t think they’re going to be able to, when Rey in TRoS is so similar to Luke in RotJ.

As much as I love TLJ, this is why I also think Luke dying was a mistake. If Luke lived, it could’ve been a together thing, and Rey’s attempt would also be Luke’s attempt. That could’ve been pretty neat. But the New EU is kind of stuck with this arrangement. I suspect Luke dying wasn’t Rian’s idea, though.

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Luke’s scene where he exits the Rebel Base to face Kylo Ren, even if its just a force vision was the coolest scene in the entire sequel trilogy. Rian brought this mythic scope i feel was lacking in the JJ films, and i love JJ’s movies but he didn’t nail that.

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RogueLeader said:

You can say it doesn’t necessarily contradict TLJ, but it was totally unnecessary, in my opinion.

Your answer is beautifully thought out, but I guarantee you that Abrams nor Terrio took the time to rationalize their choice as much as you have.

I think they made Rey a Palpatine for a few reasons.

  1. To give fanboys a reason why Rey was so powerful.
  2. To give her a personal reason to hate Palpatine.
  3. To mirror Luke’s own connection to Vader, creating another needless parallel to the OT.

Again, you can rationalize it, but there was no legitimate reason for them to go back on Rey’s parents being bad people that didn’t care about her. Even you’ve admitted that could’ve been handled better. For Abrams and Terrio to say they actually did love her, and abandoned her for a reason? And they sold her to Unkar Plutt, of all people? They couldn’t have thought of a dozen other safer places to take her? It is just ridiculous, and treats the audience with no respect. To totally go back on what the previous movie established.

Her being a Palpatine, in my subjective opinion, is just so much less interesting than what TLJ on its own set up. Giving Rey this answer makes her path so much clearer. Everything you said about her character arc could have easily been accomplished without her being a Palpatine, and been less muddled. But I guess the only way Rey could be that powerful is if her power came from a man…

I’m glad you’re getting something good out of this movie. You’re clearly a intelligent person. I just hate that you’ve probably put more thought into this idea than I think the actual filmmakers did.

Regarding as to why J.J. made Rey a Palpatine, he believed it would be more shocking for Rey than her parents being nobody.

And for other reasons as to why I like Rey Palpatine, think about the symbolism of a Palpatine AND a Skywalker standing against the true mastermind, the one who fucked everything up (I’m referring to THAT scene). Also think about Rey taking on the name of Skywalker, she’s basically shitting on Palpatine (and in my headcanon, her father who, alongside her mother, threw her away like garbage because of her heritage), her own grandfather who started this mess in the first place.

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Maybe in another sequel trilogy I could agree with him. Rey Palpatine isn’t bad in and of itself. But when he’s essentially resetting Rey’s character to TFA and repeating the same plot points from Episode 8, it doesn’t work.

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???

I don’t see how J.J. reset Rey’s character to in TFA? And I do agree with ya that it did require another reveal, but it’s a simple and excellent way of reinforcing Rey’s toxic core belief of self-worthlessness and a great set-up for her lowest point at the end of the film’s Act II.

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The way TLJ is written, the whole “your parents were nobody” was all Kylo trying to turn her. So it being the unvarnished truth doesn’t make a lot of sense. The way TROS was written, Kylo carries on from where he thought he had pulled her down with the added information that Palpatine was her grandfather. We really have no idea now much that Kylo told her was true until Luke confirms that she is indeed a Palpatine and He and Leia both knew. It can echo some of Luke’s initial hesitation to teach her in TLJ. Really, most of the problems with the ST are not what is in the ST, but how people ran with things in each of the films. Fans latched onto Rey Nobody. Sure, Rey was okay with that. But the key piece was that parents were nobody special remained. Her parents had abandoned any connection to the name Palpatine and were living on the lamb so she was raised as just a person who wasn’t likely to have a place in an epic tale, but the force called to her. Her parents evidently had no force skills so they literally were nothing special. Any inherited ability skipped a generation. So her turning out to be a Palpatine completely fits with what we saw in TLJ. It doesn’t rewrite anything, except for fans who latched on to that and took it as absolute truth. Those who fall to the dark side use pieces of the truth to try to turn or influence other. A half truth is better than a lie. We saw Dooku, Vader, and Palpatine all do it. Kylo doing it is in line with that.

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There is no version of the story in which Rey’s parents being the progeny of Palpatine are ‘nobody’. At the very least they have a claim to the remnants of the Empire, regardless of what Force power they do or do not have. Rey being the grandchild of Palpatine absolutely gives her a place in the story; it is literally a noble birth.

Rey throughout the trilogy is desperately searching for someone to validate her abilities and place in the story, and TLJ does the thematically necessary step of ripping that away from her. TROS gives it back on a silver platter.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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NeverarGreat said:

There is no version of the story in which Rey’s parents being the progeny of Palpatine are ‘nobody’. At the very least they have a claim to the remnants of the Empire, regardless of what Force power they do or do not have. Rey being the grandchild of Palpatine absolutely gives her a place in the story; it is literally a noble birth.

Rey throughout the trilogy is desperately searching for someone to validate her abilities and place in the story, and TLJ does the thematically necessary step of ripping that away from her. TROS gives it back on a silver platter.

Except that we very plainly see them on the run and making no claim on any of that. They literally are living as nobodies. They leave Rey (none to soon as they are murdered shortly after) on Jakku with Unkar Plutt. Rey is literally raised as a nobody and she has no idea her parents were anyone special. Palpatine’s reach was far, even after his death, and he killed his own child. The movie implies child, but clone has been suggested. But his child might not be much older than Luke and Leia. But in any case, Rey knew none of that. That is how Kylo got her to admit they were nobody. Before he turns around and in the next attempt tells her she is a Palpatine. It works very well for a progression to try to destabilize Rey and it appears to work.

It was obviuosly done for TROS and was not planned before that (or Trevorrow’s script would have something about it), but it works as a story progression.

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yotsuya said:

The way TLJ is written, the whole “your parents were nobody” was all Kylo trying to turn her. So it being the unvarnished truth doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Rey’s the one who says it though, not Kylo.

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SparkySywer said:

yotsuya said:

The way TLJ is written, the whole “your parents were nobody” was all Kylo trying to turn her. So it being the unvarnished truth doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Rey’s the one who says it though, not Kylo.

But Kylo gets her to say it. He is goading her. He may have seen more in her memories, but in good dark side fashion, he uses only what will work for him.

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The way the scene’s shot and the way Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley give their performances, it makes it clear that he’s just getting her to admit what she already knew was true. He may (may) be manipulating her, but he’s not manipulating the truth.

Either way, if he was manipulating her here, why not go with the Palpatine manipulation right off the bat? Pull the same stuff he says in TRoS instead of waiting a year? What happens when Rey finds out she’s not a nobody? Because that’s definitely going to eventually happen.

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SparkySywer said:

Either way, if he was manipulating her here, why not go with the Palpatine manipulation right off the bat? Pull the same stuff he says in TRoS instead of waiting a year?

Kylo didn’t know by then, Palpatine told him on Exegol. If anything the question becomes why did Palpatine do the waiting.

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” - DV

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SparkySywer said:

The way the scene’s shot and the way Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley give their performances, it makes it clear that he’s just getting her to admit what she already knew was true. He may (may) be manipulating her, but he’s not manipulating the truth.

Either way, if he was manipulating her here, why not go with the Palpatine manipulation right off the bat? Pull the same stuff he says in TRoS instead of waiting a year? What happens when Rey finds out she’s not a nobody? Because that’s definitely going to eventually happen.

The ways of Palpatine are mysterious. He both wants to kill Rey and use Rey. This was also true of Luke in the OT.

Yes, Kylo makes Rey admit what she remembers about her parents. She did not know her parents had any connection to anything because they were on the run. JJ had some reason in mind why they didn’t come back for her. Trevorrow’s script did nothing to ever answer that question. JJ returned and found an answer that fit beautifully with both existing films. Palpatine had her parents killed because they were not willing to be used. And as long as Rey was opposing him, he wants her dead. But if she is willing, he can use her. He tells Kylo of her parentage and Kylo tells her. It was unknown before and Kylo uses that knowledge to mess with her yet again. He did it in TLJ with her being a nobody and he did it with her being a previously unknown Palpatine in TROS. The only change to the story of Rey’s past is that she remembered that her parents were running from something. This echoes back to Maz saying that Rey knew her parents were never coming back. When you look at the details of the stories, nothing in TROS conflicts or contradicts or rewrites anything in TLJ.