Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” so if you haven’t seen the movie, look away.
“Star Wars: Episode IX” finally tells us if Rey is a Skywalker, Kenobi, Palpatine, or a nobody.
She’s a Palpatine.
From connections found in her theme song to Palpatine’s voice appearing in her “The Force Awakens” vision, Insider rounds up the hints that suggested she was destined to be connected to the franchise’s important Sith lord.
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After three movies and four years, we finally have the answer to the biggest question of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy: Who is Rey?
Fan theories posited she was anyone from a Skywalker to a Kenobi. “The Last Jedi” suggested she was a nobody. Those who guessed that Rey is a Palpatine were right. “The Rise of Skywalker” reveals that Rey is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine.
If you thought the big reveal came out of nowhere, there were some signs along the way that the powerful Jedi was more than just a random scavenger from Jakku. Insider rounded up a dozen hints that Rey was going to wind up being someone important to the Skywalker saga.
Palpatine’s voice is heard in Rey’s Force vision from “The Force Awakens.”
Rey’s Force vision in “The Force Awakens” was a mix of visual scenes and voices of the past. If you watched the scene with subtitles you could make out the voices of Jedi including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
However, you may not have realized that there were even more voices in this scene because they don’t appear when you watch the movie with captions.
Tim Leong put together a visual breakdown of Rey’s vision, verified by Lucasfilm, in “Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away” and it showed that Rey’s Force vision included dialogue from Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine.
An hour and six minutes into “The Force Awakens,” Chancellor Palpatine can be heard saying, “Any Jedi.” The line is from a pivotal scene in “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” when Palpatine is telling young Anakin Skywalker to be careful of the Jedi and to join him on the dark side of the Force. Were the Jedi and Palpatine all reaching out to Rey here in a fight for her allegiance?
You can see a high-res version of the graphic here.
The first time Rey ever uses a lightsaber, it resembles a move Palpatine makes the first time we see him wield a saber in “Revenge of the Sith.”
Lucasfilm, composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider
In 2016, New York Times’ best-selling author and chef J. Kenji López-Alt wrote a very thorough and convincing explanation for why he believed Rey is a Palpatine. (You can read his theory in full here.)
He noticed a parallel in the way Rey used Luke’s lightsaber the very first time in “The Force Awakens” and how Chancellor Palpatine used his lightsaber when it was unveiled in “Revenge of the Sith.” Both characters fight with a stabbing motion as they hold the saber in both hands.
López-Alt points out that they’re the only two to adopt this fighting style.
Rey’s name may have hinted at her connection to the Emperor.
Early in production, Rey’s name was actually going to be Kira. In “The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” she was described as a loner and a hothead.
Why change it to Rey?
It’s easy to make the connection that Rey could signify a ray of light or hope. “The Force Awakens” also follows the structure of “A New Hope,” which introduces us to Luke, who brought a new sense of hope to the rebellion against the Empire.
But there’s likely another reason.
Rey translates to King in Latin. If Rey was going to be connected to Emperor Palpatine, why not give her a name synonymous with power?
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