Warning: Spoilers follow for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker! Proceed at your own risk. You have been warned.
For even more on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, find out how much it made opening weekend and how it compares to every other Star Wars movie. Read about the big question fans have about the film which JJ Abrams just answered. Catch up on every cameo in Rise of Skywalker, or find out about the classic Star Wars planet that was snuck into TROS. And should Finn and Poe's bromance have been a romance? Oscar Isaac chimes in!
One of the biggest questions that has been circulating since The Force Awakens released four years ago is who are Rey's parents in Star Wars? In The Rise of Skywalker, we definitively learn she is a Palpatine, but it's taken quite a journey to get there.Only two years ago, Rian Johnson abruptly concluded the curiosity in Star Wars: The Last Jedi with Kylo Ren saying Rey's parents were "nobody." "They were filthy junk traders. Sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert. You come from nothing. You’re nothing. But not to me," Kylo said.It was heavily teased before going into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – even by director J.J. Abrams himself – that Rey's backstory, and who her parents were, would be revealed, despite the events of The Last Jedi having left some fans disappointed at the halt of the previous build-up to where Rey came from.Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker concludes the nine-film saga by revealing that Rey is Emperor Palpatine's granddaughter.As told in the finale of The Skywalker Saga, Emperor Palpatine made Kylo aware of Rey's lineage as he wanted Kylo to bring her to see him on the Sith planet, Exegol.
How did Rey find out she was a Palpatine?
Since The Force Awakens, Rey has had flashbacks of her parents leaving her on Jakku while they take off in a ship, but her memory has always been foggy.In The Rise of Skywalker as Rey and the others search for the Sith Wayfinder so they can go to Exegol and Rey can face Palpatine, she recognizes the ship that Lando Calrissian points them towards, saying she thinks that's the ship that took her parents. The ship – as explained by Lando — was owned by Ochi, a Jedi hunter who we find out Palpatine had originally hired to find Rey when she was a child.Shown through flashbacks and explained by Kylo, Rey's parents were found on Jakku by Ochi and they refused to say where Rey was, so they were killed."I know the rest of your story," Kylo tells Rey later on in the film, while referring to the controversial line from The Last Jedi, saying, "You were no one, they chose to be to keep you safe. They sold you to protect you."A flashback shows Rey's mother hugging her before they were grabbed and saying, "Rey, be brave." With her father coming in and saying, "You're safe here. I promise."Kylo then says, "It was Palpatine who had your parents taken. He was looking for you." After Rey asks why Palpatine would want her, a child, Kylo responds, "You're his granddaughter. You don't just have power, you have his power. You are a Palpatine."
Did anyone know Rey's Lineage?
The story unfolds more deeply with Luke appearing as a Force ghost, speaking to Rey on the planet of Ahch-To – where the First Jedi Temple was and where he had gone into hiding after Kylo turned to the Dark Side.Luke asks Rey what she is most afraid of, and she responds that she is most afraid of herself. Luke then says matter-of-factly, "Because you're a Palpatine. Leia knew it too and she still trained you."Luke explains to Rey that Leia saw her spirit and her heart, saying that some things are stronger than blood. "Being a Jedi is facing your fears."Circling back to the beginning, some of the last words Leia says to Rey are, "Rey, never be afraid of who you are," giving a nod to the fact she knew Rey's bloodline.Rey being revealed as a Palpatine has so far had a split reaction among fans and critics. In our The Rise of Skywalker review, IGN's Jim Vejvoda said, "For as much love, passion, and nostalgia is evident in this movie, it’s also a film very palpably made from a place driven by fear of disappointing the audience, and that anxiety fuels a lot of the story’s curious creative choices and unwieldy execution."For everything else you need to know about the conclusion of The Skywalker Saga, check out our reviews from numerous people around the office, and how long the runtime is for The Rise of Skywalker. Or check out our Rise of Skywalker ending explained, exactly who those Jedi voices were that Rey heard, and the film's unexpected connection to The Mandalorian.Let us know in the comments what you thought about Rey being revealed as a Palpatine!
Jessie Wade is a Gray Jedi and the Homepage Editor at IGN. She honestly really enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker and Rey being a Palpatine-turned badass Skywalker. Chat with her on Twitter @jessieannwade.