By Josh Reilly B.
The question of Rey’s parentage was one of the biggest of the sequel trilogy. Many believed Rey to be the daughter of Luke Skywalker after the release of The Force Awakens, and fans were shocked when Kylo Ren revealed that he had a vision that showed she was a “nobody,” a beautiful thematic moment which highlighted that anyone could be a Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker, however, added another layer to this, revealing that Rey is the granddaughter of none other than Emperor Palpatine, who plagued the Skywalker family for years. Given this, the question remains: Why did Kylo Ren see only a partial truth of Rey’s lineage, seeing her parents on Jakku but not her grandfather?
The answer to this question could be Palpatine himself.
“In the shadows from the very beginning”, Leia says to Rey about the sinister Palpatine. Right from the beginning of The Phantom Menace, Palpatine is pulling the strings to manipulate the Skywalkers into doing what he wants. He becomes a mentor to Anakin, clouds his vision to get him to believe that the Jedi are taking over, plays off of his fear over the possible death of Padmé, and turns him into Darth Vader, a Dark Lord of the Sith. He then attempts to use Vader to bring his son, Luke, to the dark side and play them against each other. When that didn’t work, he wanted Vader to fight and kill Luke. All in all, Palpatine has manipulated the Skywalker’s for the entirety of the saga.
Kylo Ren is no different. The son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, grandson of Anakin Skywalker, was secretly under the control of Palpatine the entire time. His master, Snoke, was merely Palpatine’s puppet, and all the time Ren spent speaking to Vader’s helmet was actually just him communicating with the Emperor.
So why did Ren not see who Rey’s grandfather was and that there was more to the story than her parents being junk traders? Because Palpatine may have hid that from him. He wasn’t ready to reveal himself at this time, hence why he was hiding out on Exegol with seemingly no communication with the known regions of the galaxy and choosing to run the First Order from afar. Palpatine didn’t want to reintroduce himself to the galaxy until the time was right, so he could have simply blocked his apprentice from seeing the full truth about Rey. When he did finally tell Kylo the whole truth, it was used as a tactic to get Ren to do his bidding: bringing Rey to Exegol so she can take her place on the Sith throne.
Palpatine has always been the shadow figure behind the scenes, manipulating those around him. Kylo Ren only seeing Rey’s parents as nobody’s and not her grandfather’s identity could be yet another example of this.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm and Disney