Rey’s Final Words Should Have Been Changed

Rey’s identity. It is a question that has haunted Rey throughout her story in the Sequel Trilogy. In The Force Awakens, she learned that her mysteriously unknown parents were never coming back and that the longing she sought was not behind her but ahead. In The Last Jedi, she was told that her parents were “no one.” That they sold her off for drinking money and that they died in pauper’s graves in the Jakku desert. In The Rise of Skywalker, we learn that her parents were “no one” because they “chose to be.” That she was the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine and that her parents sacrificed themselves to save her life.

What a rollercoaster ride. Geez.

By the conclusion of The Rise of Skywalker, Rey is a full-blown Jedi Knight, she’s ended Palpatine once and for all (hopefully) and saved the galaxy. Every question that she has ever had about herself has been answered and now she is free to bring about a new age of the Jedi.

reyskywalker

In the last moments of Rey’s story in this trilogy, she is approached by a wandering woman who asks her name.

Woman: There’s been no one for so long. Who are you?

Rey: I’m Rey.

Woman: Rey who?

(When have people in Star Wars suddenly become so interested in last names?)

Rey: I’m Rey Skywalker.

That’s where Abrams messed up right there.

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Earlier in the movie, before Rey embarks on her quest to find and stop Palpatine, Leia hugs Rey and tells her, “Rey, do not be afraid of who you are.”

Those are the most powerful words that Rey can hear, for it is her fear of herself that weighs her down and causes her so much grief.

At that moment when that woman on Tatooine asked, “Rey who?”

She should’ve proudly said, “Rey Palpatine.”

It would’ve brought her story and her longing for identity, for self-acceptance and for self-love full circle, enhancing Leia’s words, “Do not be afraid of who you are.”

But even at that moment, she’d rather be someone else than who she really is. She’d rather adopt the Skywalker name rather than fulfill the Palpatine’s legacy in a powerful and moving way. So, somewhere deep down, she’s still afraid of the fact that she’s truly a Palpatine, even though her parents, who she claimed were strong and who she seemed to be proud of, were Palpatines, not Skywalkers.

In an instant, she is a pretender again and this will probably come back to bite her in future stories. She hasn’t fully moved on and accepted the truth. And we saw where that got Luke and Leia who also pretended that Vader wasn’t part of their bloodline, their story, and that led to Leia not becoming Chancellor of the New Republic (a detail revealed in the riveting novel Bloodline) and Snoke twisting Ben’s mind as he revealed his uncle Luke’s deceit.

I already wasn’t a fan of the “Rey Skywalker” idea. Now I positively despise it.

What do you think? Do you think it was a beautiful statement that she adopted the Skywalker lineage? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day. May the Force be with you, always.

10 thoughts on “Rey’s Final Words Should Have Been Changed”

  1. Hmmm. Ok, the first thing that comes to mind for me is—–suppose 10 more people ask who she is.
    Question: How likely, or unlikely, is it that the person asking has heard of Emporer Palpatine, and know that he was evil?

    And then, even with him dead, if they know that Rey is yet another Palpatine, it could easily strike fear into them and also plots to “overcome” Rey. So-o, why invite trouble? So she says she’s a skywalker. Less fear, less hatred.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When she was asked Rey who? She should have just said Rey. That would have had a huge impact on who she was, not identifying as a Skywalker or a Palpatine. But the fact she said Skywalker is nice anyway. Skywalker transcends just being associated with Luke and Anakin. It’s come to much more at the end of the saga. I’m surprised you hate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that was after my second viewing. After my third and fourth viewing I’ve discovered the beauty of the film’s storyline, however albeit flawed it is, and when she says Rey Skywalker, I now understand why she did that. Still, I hope she has accepted who she is and that it won’t come back to bite her in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I could go either way. The fact that Rey hasn’t accepted who she is when she introduces herself isn’t trivial. However, I’ve started embarking on a re-watch of the whole series after my initial recovery from watching Ep9, and a lot of things stand out now.

    Rey’s obvious rage in Ep7 when she focuses in the lightsaber duel just kinda jumps off the screen when you know she’s a Palpatine. You could be forgiven for seeing the face of Chong Li from Bloodsport when she’s in this wide-eyed, teeth clenched circle-stalk of a wounded and downed Kylo. Like, you sympathized with her when she did it when you saw it the first time, but it reeeeeally stands out now.

    Luke’s fear of training her and how easily she jumps into the dark in Ep8 is likewise more revealing.

    I do think Abrams took the lazy way out by having Palpatine himself appear and reducing Snoke to a sock puppet. It probably would’ve been a more compelling story if Snoke had been a dark side clone master instead of Palpatine, and if Kylo had just gone “I killed Snoke.” And fake-Palp just steps out and says, “no you didn’t.”

    Heck, it might’ve been better if it’d been revealed to be _Vader_ behind the scenes, and we find out that his redemption was false and his hidden plan in his castle on Mustafar all along had been not just to wallow in his misery, but to *escape* it. Yes, it would’ve vastly shifted his redemption and the whole Chosen One thing… but really, does throwing the Emperor down a reactor shaft to save his son really make up for destroying Alderaan, killing children, and force-choking and massacring countless people over the years? That’s all it takes to balance his scales?

    But, taken as a whole, it mirrors the three trilogies as a whole. The prequels are the story of a boy who starts in the light and slides into the dark. The originals are the story of his son starting somewhere in the middle and eventually coming out a little better. And the sequels are the story of a girl who starts in the dark and gradually steps out into the light. Names are fungible in this saga. Accepting who you really are and moving on — or failing to — has always been the overall theme.

    Liked by 1 person

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