– written by HanSpinel
I thought this was old news, but spent some time reading around the interwebs and it looks like this key commentary fell through the cracks, or is, for some reason, being ignored because reasons?
Anyhow, here’s Pablo Hidalgo BEGGING the fandom to speculate regarding the “reveal” between Kylo Ren and Rey in The Last Jedi:
Fan correctly identifying that something wasn’t right in the throne room scene: “How did Kylo Ren know Rey’s parents were dead since Rey clearly thought they were coming back for her?”
PH: “I figured [Kylo] pulled the biggest fear out of [Rey] like she did to him in the previous movie.” (obvi referencing Rey seeing that Kylo’s biggest fear was that he’d never be as strong as Darth Vader).
Different Fan responding with mind blown in disbelief: “Wait, does that mean it’s possibly not true?”
PH: “I didn’t see him pull out a notarized birth certificate.” (April 29, 2018)
But wait, there’s more….
Compounding on top of Pablo Hidalgo’s unmistakable invitations to speculate, sits the TLJ script indicating Rey is “speaking her greatest fear” when saying her parents “were nobody,” which is of course altogether consistent with PH’s interpretation of the Sequel Trilogy in that Kylo/Rey traded pulling each other’s greatest fears out of one another.
Of course, the one thing Star Wars teaches us is that we should give into our fears, right? Oh wait…
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda
I honestly don’t know how much clearer it can get? Also, TLJ never intended for Rey to be a nobody, TLJ intended for Rey to grow beyond those before her:
“From the very start, there is the theme of ‘let the past die,’ expressed through Kylo very strongly. And to some extent, for much of the movie by Luke – it’s one of the interesting things of the movie that these two opposite poles have come to the same conclusion…. I always think if you’re cutting off the past, you’re fooling yourself, just burying it in a place where it’ll come back. The only way forward is where Rey actually lands, which is to build on the past….” – Rian Johnson
“For me, if Rey had gotten the answer that she’s related to so-and-so, had learned her place in the story, that would be the easiest thing she can hear. The hardest thing to hear is, ‘nope, this not going to define you.’ And in fact, Kylo is going to use this to try and undercut your confidence so you’ll feel you have to lean on him for your identity. And you’re going to have to make the choice to find your own identity in this story.” – Rian Johnson
Note that RJ does not say, “the hardest thing to hear is, ‘nope, you’re a nobody'” it’s that the hardest thing to hear is that her origins don’t define her (again, Rey’s greatest fear is that her parents are needed to find her place in all of this), and that she needs to define herself (Also, note, that Kylo Ren IS trying to use this fear to manipulate her into leaning on him for identity). Now where have we heard that before? Oh that’s right, it’s the story of GL’s Skywalkers:
“My films have a tendency to promote personal self-esteem, a you-can-do-it attitude. Their message is: ‘Don’t listen to everyone else. Discover your own feelings and follow them. Then you can overcome anything.” – George Lucas
It mattered not that Luke came from a family of legend, or that he was “the first-born child of the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker.” Luke Skywalker becomes a great hero not because of his bloodline; he chooses to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do – an essential characteristic of any true hero in any story, not just Star Wars.
Essentially, the concept of “bloodline” for the Skywalkers – in contrast to “family” – is presented as a burden each generation must overcome; it is not a blessing of entitlement to spoiled little children. The Skywalker Saga teaches us that we each have an opportunity to redefine the legacy and mistakes of our bloodline. It is the Skywalkers themselves that represent a message of choice, a lesson of empowerment regardless of origin: Anakin the Slave; Luke the Farm Boy; and now, Rey the Scavenger – all make something of themselves from nothing by discovering their own feelings and following them. In other words, an “anonymous hero” is not necessary to convey this type of personal meaning in the slightest and never has been – it is the message of the Skywalkers and of the Skywalker Saga.
We do, however, see the potential pitfalls of “bloodline” through the choices of Anakin Skywalker, and now following in those footsteps, Ben Solo. We see also the redeeming qualities of the Skywalker “family” through the choices of Luke and Leia, and as I argue, now following in those footsteps is Rey.
TL;DR: Yes, yes. To Pablo Hidalgo you listen. – Kylo Ren is pulling Rey’s greatest fear out of her, not the truth, when she says her parents “were nobody.”
- May the Force be with you, always.
(gif credit to HanSpinel and our very own MandalorianWolf)