rey the last jedi

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Simon Pegg reveals that J.J. Abrams had a different plan for Rey’s parents

There was apparently talk of a ‘relevant lineage’ for Rey.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Nearly four months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi revealed the truth about Rey’s parents, the answer still remains a contentious point among many Star Wars fans, some whose theories of secret lineage or links to the past were dashed. But a new interview appears to indicate that at one point, Rey’s parentage might have gone down a different path.

On the latest episode of Happy Sad Confused, Simon Pegg—who played Unkar Plutt in The Force Awakens and is a frequent collaborator with director J.J. Abrams—is asked by host Josh Horowitz about Rey’s parentage. Having worked alongside Abrams on The Force Awakens and other projects, Pegg (starting around the 37:16 mark) had a unique insight into the process of making the film.

Although Pegg seems to be still up in the air about the reveal itself, telling Horowitz “I don’t know” multiple times, he did indicate that Abrams had a different idea than what eventually played out on the screen.

“What I know, I know what J.J. kind of intended—or at least was being chucked around,” Pegg said. “I think that’s kind of been undone slightly by the last one.”

Word of Pegg’s quote, shared by Horowitz on Twitter, quickly spread online as the old divide between those who loved and hated the revelation that Rey’s parents were nobodies opened back up.

When you listen to the audio, there’s nearly a minute of additional conversation between Pegg’s quote that Abrams’ plans for Rey’s parentage had “kind of been undone slightly” by what The Last Jedi revealed and “there was some talk of a relevant lineage for her,” most of which consists of Pegg going on a joking riff about Unkar Plutt being Rey’s actual father. But even when you get to the last part of Horowitz’s tweeted quote it’s unclear if what Pegg heard was supposed to be the actual plan or if it’s just something that was contemplated at one point.

Horowitz: So wait, it wasn’t gonna be—it was different parents? That was bandied about on-set when you guys were chit-chatting?

Pegg: Well, there was some talk about, you know, a kind of relevant lineage for her—

Horowitz: Got it.

Pegg: But I honestly don’t know. And I don’t know if anybody knows, you know? We shall see.

Pegg’s insight contradicts what we know from a 2017 Rolling Stone cover story in which Daisy Ridley said that what Rian Johnson told her about Rey’s parents matched up with what Abrams said to her while shooting The Force Awakens.

It’s possible both things could be true: A relevant lineage might have been part of the equation early on but it could have been something Abrams abandoned by the time he looped in Ridley. But regardless of what Abrams intended and whether it differed from what Johnson wrote and filmed, it’s opening an old wound among Star Wars fans who can now point to Pegg’s quotes to justify their belief that Johnson ruined Star Wars or that Rey being a secret Skywalker or Solo or Kenobi could still happen in Episode IX.

Every iteration of the debate over Rey’s parentage has played out ad nauseam since fans first saw the movie. As much as it annoyed some fans, other fans loved it, often for the same reasons that detractors hated it. For them, it opened up the Force and how anyone can be a hero beyond what the original trilogy—with its fascination with the Skywalker family and Obi-Wan Kenobi—ever did. And while we don’t know how Abrams plans to address the fallout from the reveal of Rey’s parentage, that message is still one worth holding onto in the next film.

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