-written by Hypersonic Harpist
I’ve seen quite a few people saying they don’t want Rey to be a Skywalker because that would be boring. I’ve also seen people complaining that JJ screwed Rian Johnson over by not revealing who Rey is in The Force Awakens because now there’s no answer for who she could be that would satisfy everyone. I’d like to propose an analogy for why I think who she is isn’t the point of the mystery they have created.
Imagine magician takes out a black top hat. He shows you that there is nothing in the hat and nothing up his sleeves. The audience knows they are at a magic show so they are expecting to see a magic trick.
This is The Force Awakens: it’s the set up of Rey’s situation and the mystery around her, but we know that in good stories there has to be a reason for the mystery so we are waiting for a reveal.
When a magician takes out a top hat many people in the audience expect him to pull a rabbit out of it.
A huge percentage of the audience for The Force Awakens walked out of the theater expecting Rey to be a Skywalker. Daisy Ridley has said that she thinks who Rey is is obvious just from watching The Force Awakens.
Now a magician could just as easily use a kitten or a chinchilla for his trick instead of a rabbit.
The writers for could decide to make Rey a Kenobi or a Palpatine or whatever.
But using a kitten or a chinchilla instead of a rabbit isn’t what makes the trick interesting or not because the point of the trick isn’t to surprise you with what animal is pulled out of the hat.
The point of the mystery around Rey isn’t to set up for some shocking “I am your Father” twist or there wouldn’t be all of the hints and teases in the first place. The weirdest answer possible could be the correct answer and someone would have guessed it by now. There’s no way for the reveal of her lineage to be shocking purely because everyone is looking for a parental reveal.
The point of the trick is to make you wonder how the rabbit got in the hat.
The point of the mystery around Rey is to make you wonder how she ended up on Jakku.
Now a good magician isn’t a good magician because he uses a chinchilla instead of a rabbit. A good magician is a good magician because he does something to the *hat to make how the rabbit got in there an even bigger mystery.*
Bloodline was the beginning of this as it nixed a simple obvious answer (that Kylo left Rey on Jakku after sparing her while massacring his fellow students) by showing that it doesn’t fit the timeline. The Aftermath books also showed us that there is more to Jakku than meets the eye. The reveal of who Rey is will likely only serve to deepen the mystery of how and why she was left on Jakku leaving us with still unanswered questions going into IX. (Daisy has said there will be plenty of mystery still to speculate about after The Last Jedi.)
Now if the magician reaches into the hat pulls out a fist and opens it to reveal his hand is empty the audience will laugh at his joke and still be waiting for him to pull something out of the hat
This is why Rey can’t be a nobody. If she’s a nobody, there’s no trick because nothing is where it isn’t supposed to be. The audience won’t buy it because they’re still waiting for a reveal. Even if her parents are revealed to be completely new characters everyone will still be waiting for the reveal that she is someone of importance because more than half the theories require her parents to be new characters. The only people that will accept her being a nobody as the final answer are the people that want that to be the case.
If the magician puts the hat away after pulling out his empty hand and nothing else then the audience is confused and disappointed because they had been led to believe that they were going to see the magician pull something out of the hat.
If the trilogy ends with Rey still as a nobody everyone is going to complain about why they bothered to build up a mystery around who she is in the first place. The speculation also won’t ever end because some of the people that still want a reveal will be trying to suggest that she is somehow distantly descended from someone important or a reincarnation or a new Chosen One etc. and Pablo will have to spend all his free time debunking progressively more outlandish theories.
“If it’s supposed to be so obvious why didn’t they just tell us who she is in The Force Awakens?”
Because they haven’t done their magic trick yet. Revealing her identity too soon would be the equivalent of the rabbit getting loose and hopping around on the stage before the magician has the chance to do his trick. It would suck all of the anticipation and drama out of the magician’s act.
So if you are worried about Rey’s reveal being boring or unsatisfying let me ask you this: Do you think JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, and the Lucasfilm story group are good “magicians”?