One of the most interesting moments in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was when it was revealed that Rey’s parents had been nobodies who sold her for a small pay-off, meaning that she had been deluding herself by hoping that there was some greater purpose behind her abandonment. However, it should be noted that this is the director Rian Johnson’s position on the matter, meaning that there could still be further revelations to come up in the follow-up. As Johnson stated, whether Rey’s parentage will remain thus is up to J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio, who are working on Episode IX at the moment, whereas he is occupied with other projects. However, while Abrams and Terrio could change that particular reveal, whether they should is a whole separate matter.
Should Rian Johnson’s Position Stand?
Speaking personally, the reveal for Rey’s parentage should stand because that it what makes the most sense. After all, some of the most popular theories for Rey’s parentage before the release of The Last Jedi made much beloved characters look like terrible people for no sound reason. For example, if Rey had been Leia and Han’s child, that raises the issue of why neither one of them spoke up about it when they had the chance. Likewise, Luke is already pushing it for a lot of people by going into exile for failing his charges, but Luke abandoning his own daughter without so much as looking for her would have been a step too much for an even bigger segment of the Star Wars fandom. In contrast, other popular theories for Rey’s parentage would have been doable, but would have served no particular purpose. For example, if Rey had been descended from Obi-Wan Kenobi, what would have been the point of it? It would have been a fun reference, but unless it served some purpose, it would not have helped the overall narrative.
In fact, one could make an argument that making Rey related to preexisting characters would have hurt the overall narrative. After all, making important characters related to other important characters runs a serious risk of shrinking the Star Wars setting by making it seem as though other people can’t matter within it. For that matter, it contradicts a fair amount of existing material that suggests that lineage doesn’t make someone important, as shown by the fact that neither Yoda nor Obi-Wan Kenobi nor the Emperor came from some prestigious bloodline. In fact, even though the Skywalker bloodline is so important to the Star Wars movies, Anakin Skywalker had more or less managed to come out of nowhere as well.
On a final note, it is worth noting that making Rey related to preexisting characters would go against the message of The Last Jedi. There is nothing wrong with caring about the past, as shown by the fact that it is Kylo Ren who voices the sentiment of destroying everything about the past. However, at the same time, one should not become obsessed with the past, as shown by both Rey and Kylo Ren. Coming up with new revelations regarding Rey’s parentage in Episode IX that toss out what happened in The Last Jedi might be fun, but it would be a serious step backwards. On the plus side, it seems improbable that Abrams will make such a choice, seeing as how he did serve as the executive producer for The Last Jedi, which suggests that he was fine with Johnson’s reveal.