'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' novelisation reveals identity of Rey's father

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Ian McDiarmid played Palpatine in several 'Star Wars' movies. (Credit: Lucasfilm)
Ian McDiarmid played Palpatine in several 'Star Wars' movies. (Credit: Lucasfilm)

The constant drip-feed of Star Wars revelations has continued this week with the news that Rey’s father was, himself, a failed clone of Palpatine.

Rise of Skywalker featured the surprise discovery that Rey was the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, counter-acting Kylo Ren’s statement in The Last Jedi that her parents were “nobody”.

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This week, it was revealed that the Palpatine who appeared in The Rise of Skywalker was actually a clone, into which the dying Sith lord had thrust his consciousness.

Palpatine actor Ian McDiarmid confirmed that this cloning detail was originally included in the script for the movie, but was removed for unknown reasons.

But it turns out Palpatine wasn’t the only clone kicking around, because Rey’s father was born of a failed attempt by the Emperor and his buddies to clone a new vessel for himself, according to Screen Rant.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX.
Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX.

The information has been gleaned from copies of Rae Carson’s upcoming novelisation, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Expanded Edition), handed out at Chicago’s C2E2 convention.

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In it, there is mention of the Sith Eternal working hard to produce a better vessel for Palpatine’s soul, including one which was not quite identical and "a useless, powerless failure".

That failed clone — played briefly in the movie by On Chesil Beach actor Billy Howle — would go on to father Rey.

At least it banishes the mental image of Palpatine having a child in the more conventional way.

Rey’s mother was portrayed by Killing Eve star Jodie Comer.

John Boyega is Finn, Daisy Ridley is Rey, Anthony Daniels is C-3PO and Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron in this still from <i>Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker</i>. (2019 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™, All Rights Reserved.)
John Boyega is Finn, Daisy Ridley is Rey, Anthony Daniels is C-3PO and Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron in this still from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. (2019 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™, All Rights Reserved.)

The Rise of Skywalker received mixed reviews for its attempt to conclude the Skywalker Saga, with many noting that crucial exposition and back story appeared to be missing.

Director J.J. Abrams has acknowledged his sadness at how the movie was received, netting a mediocre approval rating of 52% among film critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

He said: “The truth is that these are things that are meant to entertain people, to make them feel something and hopefully make them feel good.

“Obviously, it doesn’t always work. It’s hard when it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, you have to understand it, you have to acknowledge it, you have to examine it.”

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Expanded Edition) will be released in the UK on 19 March.