Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker: JJ Abrams explains meaning behind Episode IX big reveal

Clémence Michallon
YouTube / Star Wars UK

Warning: The story below contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

JJ Abrams has explained the meaning of the big reveal contained in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Those who have seen the movie will know that Episode IX, the last in the Skywalker saga and the final instalment in the franchise’s sequel trilogy, finally sheds light on Rey’s lineage – ending a mystery dating back to her character introduction’s in the 2015 The Force Awakens.

Rey (portrayed by Daisy Ridley), as it turns out, is none other than the granddaughter of Palpatine, the evil emperor portrayed both in the original trilogy and the prequel films.

For Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, making Rey a Palpatine embodied the idea of being able to overcome one’s origins – by showing a person with an ancestor strongly tied to the dark side of the Force, who chooses the light side.

“One of the themes of the movie is that anyone can be anything regardless of where you’re from,” he said during a live Vanity Fair Q&A, according to footage shared by a fan on social media.

“And I don’t know if it resonates for everyone, but I think there are quite a few people who appreciate that idea of not coming from a place that you’re particularly excited about following or proud of.

“Though I completely understand ‘You’re nobody’ is a devastating thing, to me, the more painful, the more shocking thing was the idea that you’re actually from the worst possible place.”

At the same Q&A, Abrams responded to the negative reviews received by The Rise of Skywalker, saying that the critics are “right”.

The Rise of Skywalker is out in cinemas now.