A rumor suggests that Kylo Ren’s line revealing Rey is a Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was a last-minute addition, but that can’t actually be the case. Directed by J.J. Abrams, who co-wrote the script alongside Chris Terrio (Batman v Superman), The Rise of Skywalker was a divisive end to the Skywalker saga. Abrams’ movie made a lot of big swings, including bringing back Emperor Palpatine, redeeming and killing Ben Solo, and ending with Rey taking on the name Skywalker.

The biggest decision of all, though, is perhaps that of Rey Palpatine. It’d long been thought that Abrams had plans for Rey’s parentage well beyond what was said in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and so it proved. Just like he did in the previous movie, it falls on Kylo Ren to break the news to Rey, this time informing her that she doesn’t just have any power, she has Palpatine’s power, because she’s his granddaughter. Since this goes against The Last Jedi, and Palpatine’s return was Abrams’ idea after he returned for Star Wars 9, then it’s clear this wasn’t the plan all along, but might it have been a truly last-minute addition?

It’s been confirmed that Adam Driver did some late ADR work on the film, recording lines to be spoken by Kylo Ren while wearing his mask. This comes from Matthew Wood, a supervising sound editor on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, speaking on the Soundworks Collection Oscar podcast (via @sleemo on Twitter). Many fans have taken this to mean that Driver’s late addition was the Rey Palpatine line, since it’s a key bit of speech he delivers while wearing the mask. Given the reveal seemingly comes out of nowhere, it could fit with being such a last-minute addition, but it doesn’t quite add up. As noted by Wood, these lines were recorded by Driver in New York on the same day he appeared on Last Night with Seth Meyers. That was 21 November, 2019, just under a month before The Rise of Skywalker released - enough time to change some dialogue, sure, but too late to be the Rey Palpatine twist.

The plot of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the subject of some major leaks online, with a big outline of the entire story making its way onto Reddit back in August. In that post it was revealed that Kylo Ren tells Rey while her parents were nobodies, she is the granddaughter of Palpatine. It was an accurate leak, not merely guesswork, which means that Rey Palpatine was the plan for The Rise of Skywalker at least as early as August 2019, and certainly well before Driver recorded ADR for the movie in November. It might not have been there when production commenced, but it wasn’t such a late recording either.

While it’s understandable why fans might think the Rey Palpatine twist was such a hasty, last-minute addition, it clearly isn’t the case. The line(s) Driver recorded late in the day could’ve amounted to very little, and might be any of those spoken while wearing his mask in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and may not have a huge bearing on the plot. Either way, Kylo Ren’s Rey Palpatine line wasn’t a late part of the story.

Next: Star Wars: Why The Luke/Vader Twist Worked, But Rey Palpatine Didn’t