There’s a new Star Wars mystery surrounding Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) lineage. After Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker confirmed that Rey descended from Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), an excerpt from New Zealand author Adam Christopher’s upcoming novel Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith (via USA Today) suggests that there’s more to her character’s lineage than previously believed. The sequel trilogy set up the question of who Rey’s parents were from the onset, showing a troubling flashback of a young, distraught Rey yelling at a transporter on Jakku while being taken away by Unkar Plutt (Simon Pegg) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Even though Star Wars: The Last Jedi brought forth the idea that Rey came from “filthy junk traders who sold her off for drinking money,” The Rise of Skywalker explains Rey’s parents a little more in-depth by revealing that they left her on the planet Jakku to protect her from Palpatine, who was looking for her. Being Palpatine’s granddaughter creates enough intrigue in and of itself, particularly upon considering that Rey’s father was technically a Palpatine clone as revealed in The Rise of Skywalker novelization. Coming from one of the most powerful and sinister Star Wars characters existing in canon certainly gives a lot of significance to Rey’s Force abilities and genetic lineage, and it brings forth its own well of potential material for Star Wars to explore if the franchise ever chose to do so.
However, anything surrounding Rey’s strange Palpatine lineage is not the most intriguing mystery in Shadow of the Sith’s excerpt. In the excerpt, Rey as a six-year-old child is escaping Jakku on a scrappy ship with her parents, Dathan and Miramir. The excerpt comes from the point of view of Rey’s father Dathan, who is internally going through the difficult future he must face with his wife Miramir in order to protect Rey. In one passage, he admires Miramir’s seemingly innate engineering genius while she’s toying with the ship’s mechanics, thinking that “she was a natural, like it was genetic.” Dathan then recalls that anytime he asked Miramir about her engineering ability, she would “shrug and say her grandmother was a wonderful woman.” Enough attention in the excerpt is given to Miramir’s grandmother to suggest that her identity is actually important. Furthermore, Adam Christopher supports her mysterious identity’s significance in a Twitter post.
Even though Rey becomes a Skywalker, thereby claiming a new identity and distancing herself from her Palpatine lineage, Star Wars is still interested in her past. The chosen excerpt centering around Rey’s parents becomes all the more thought-provoking when given the fact that Shadow of the Sith focuses on Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian’s journey to Exegol between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. While their journey to Exegol means that Palpatine, and consequently Rey, will inevitably be important to the novel, the excerpt effectively teases what else Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith will explore.
The excerpt certainly gives more character development to Rey’s parents, who were briefly portrayed by Billy Howle and Jodie Comer in The Rise of Skywalker. Beyond that, however, the notion that there are more secrets about Rey than her Star Wars Palpatine reveal is also very exciting. Rey’s arc in the Star Wars sequels is quite comparable to Luke Skywalker’s in the original trilogy once her Palpatine connection is revealed, so the chance to explore other sides of her family lineage will be a great chance to strengthen her character more.