Rian Johnson brought forth a major twist in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, when he revealed that Rey's parents were nobodies. Unlike Luke Skywalker, who tragically learns he's Darth Vader's son, Rey comes to the opposite truth.
But it turns out that storyline wasn't always the plan. Simon Pegg, who has a small role as Unkar Plutt in the new Star Wars films, said J.J. Abrams had bigger ideas for Rey. "I know what J.J. kind of intended or at least was being chucked around," he said in an interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "I think that’s kind of been undone slightly by the last one. There was some talk of a relevant lineage for her."
If it's true, the damage is done. While Abrams introduced fans to Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he handed off the writing and directing duties to Johnson for The Last Jedi. Now Abrams is writing and directing what's allegedly the final installment of the Skywalker family saga, Star Wars: Episode IX, and undoubtedly had to forgo any plans he had for Rey's parents.
In the meantime, Johnson is gearing up for his own Star Wars trilogy, but he's not leaving the foundations of the original films behind in the dust. As a matter of fact, that's where he's looking for inspiration.
"The only goal I have is to think about how Star Wars made me feel as a kid. And that’s it," Johnson told Digital Spy. "I’m trying to capture: what is that, if it’s not iconography that we recognize, necessarily, from the original trilogy? What captures that spirit? What can be that for a kid who’s never heard of Star Wars? It's getting back to the very fundamental questions of what makes this what it is."
But he's still leery of Star Wars fans, who can be especially critical. Johnson experienced it firsthand as fans of the series chastised him for adding more women characters to the narrative and possibly bending some of Star Wars' lore. But, if Abrams was harboring any ill will toward Johnson for changing the storyline up, he's not showing it, since he defended Johnson on the critique about there being too many women in his film.
As for the haters, Johnson is well aware of further pushback. “And then also just knowing that that’s just the flip side of the coin," he said. "You can’t take the good stuff without realizing that with that same passion, you’re going to have people that are upset about stuff, but that’s not necessarily bad; it’s just both sides of the same coin of people really caring about this. You can’t take the good without the bad.”