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.
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.
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.