Daisy Ridley Says Who’s To Blame For Star Wars’ Worst Decision

Daisy Ridley says J.J. Abrams is to blame for her Rey character not being a Skywalker.

By Jessica Scott | Published

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Daisy Ridley’s Star Wars character Rey gets a lot of hate on the internet, in part due to her proclamation that she was a Skywalker when she is actually related to one of the worst villains in Star Wars history. Her heritage has always been a point of contention for fans of the most recent trilogy of Star Wars films, but the blame for that doesn’t belong to the actress.

According to CBR, Ridley told Rolling Stone that “J.J. [Abrams] was the one who was like, she is of no one, so it wasn’t just [Star Wars]: The Last Jedi where that was the message.”

Unlike a fairly large portion of the fanbase, though, Daisy Ridley is okay with the twist in the Star Wars movies in which it is revealed that (spoiler alert) she is descended from Darth Sidious, the Galactic Empire’s former emperor, Emperor Palpatine.

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In her words: “What was interesting about the last one, for me, was that you can be a hero and not come from anywhere or you can be a hero and come from literally the worst person in the universe. You’re not your parents, you’re not your grandparents, you’re not your bloodline and you’re not the generations before you. So, I always was like, sure.”

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the mystery of Rey’s parentage was brought to light. Her parents were seemingly anonymous junk dealers who left her on the planet Jakku. But why? In the next film in the series, The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren confirms that her parents were junk dealers, which audiences were seemingly meant to take as a sign that her heritage just wasn’t important. 

In The Rise of Skywalker, the final film in the trilogy, this reveal was seemingly completely reversed. Daisy Ridley’s character’s parents were junk dealers, yes, but this was all but insignificant. As she learns from Luke Skywalker’s Force ghost (in true Star Wars fashion), her father was a Palpatine clone. He and her mother hid her from Emperor Palpatine by living as junk dealers on Jakku. Shortly after they hid her, her parents were caught and killed.

Daisy Ridley’s Rey then goes on to defeat Palpatine after he has been cloned back to life. She keeps up her training as a Jedi Knight, and she seemingly comes into her own… except for that one tricky part at the end where she adopts the Skywalker name and offends a large portion of the Star Wars fanbase. 

While the first two films in this series saw high scores on Rotten Tomatoes, the last one only landed at 52%. According to one reviewer, the biggest flaw in The Rise of Skywalker is that it contradicts the films that came before it. “A sizable amount of the narrative of The Rise of Skywalker is spent specifically undoing what happened in The Last Jedi,” explains Roxana Hadadi of Chesapeake Family Magazine

When asked what she thinks about all the controversy over the decision to first give her no significant heritage, then to take that back and give her a dark, dubious one, Daisy Ridley shrugs it off. “It’s beyond my pay grade,” she said. “I say the words, do the thing.” In other words, she doesn’t get paid to write Star Wars, just to act in it.

Daisy Ridley does, however, appreciate the idea of someone being able to choose who they are regardless of who, where, or what they came from. You can’t choose your parents, but you can choose what you do with your own life, which is kind of the whole point of the Star Wars movies, isn’t it?