Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio believes The Last Jedi’s answers about Rey’s parentage were “too easy.” The young scavenger’s heritage was a topic that ran through the entirety of the sequel trilogy, with The Rise of Skywalker ultimately revealing Rey is the granddaughter of none other than Emperor Palpatine. As many have noted by now, that twist appears to be at odds with The Last Jedi, which posited Rey’s parents were two nobodies who sold her away for drinking money. The Rise of Skywalker attempts to “from a certain point of view” its way around things by saying Rey’s parents chose to live as nobodies in an effort to protect her from Palpatine’s watch.

Since The Rise of Skywalker premiered a few weeks ago, Terrio and director J.J. Abrams have defended their creative choice multiple times, arguing that Rey learning she’s a descendant of ultimate evil is more devastating than hearing she comes from nothing. While there is something interesting in the heir to the Sith throne rejecting her blood family and choosing to live as a Skywalker, a lot of fans (especially those that liked The Last Jedi) can’t help but feel The Rise of Skywalker blatantly retcons the tough “truths” Rey unpacked in the trilogy’s second installment. But as far as Terrio is concerned, The Last Jedi actually took the easy way out.

Speaking with GQ, Terrio was inevitably asked about Rise of Skywalker’s Rey Palpatine reveal and once again provided an explanation. In his mind, The Last Jedi didn’t resolve the issue of Rey’s parentage and there was still more to explore in the third film:

One of the reasons why The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson chose to make Rey’s parents nameless junk traders was because he felt that would be the most difficult thing for her to hear in that moment. She had basically spent her entire life waiting for them to return and find her on Jakku, so to find out they’re dead and didn’t really care about her was a brutal revelation. When looked at it from that perspective, there’s nothing easy about The Last Jedi’s answers at all. As for Rey seeing her parents in the Force vision, that could simply be chalked up to a traumatic memory (being abandoned by family) boiling up to the surface. It wasn’t necessarily an indication Rey’s parents were people of great importance - especially since The Force Awakens doesn’t do much of anything to even vaguely establish Rey is related to Emperor Palpatine.

Well, we weren’t convinced that it had been cleared up, because there’s still this highly troubling vision that Rey had in Episode VII, which is the shot with her parents leaving the planet. Also, the events of The Last Jedi are literally just after the events of Episode VII—within 48 hours, Rey has had a Force-back to her parents and then the very next day is told “your parents were no one and they were junk traders. None of that matters.” And we thought in a way that would be too easy because of the idea that Rey had been longing for her parents for so many years. We just felt like there was something more going on.

It’s a little amusing Terrio feels this way about The Last Jedi since an argument can be made he and Abrams used Palpatine as an easy explanation for everything from Supreme Leader Snoke’s origins to Rey’s controversial preternatural Force abilities. In some respects, having Palpatine pulling the strings from the shadows in the sequel trilogy made sense (the Emperor became the singular thread that tied the three trilogies together), but his role in The Rise of Skywalker suffered greatly from lack of development. Many of the Palpatine-centric twists in the film seemed to come out of left field and (sadly) made the universe feel smaller after Johnson attempted to help it grow. If the Emperor had been a part of the new films from the beginning, viewers probably would be more accepting of the reveals, but as it stands, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker don’t fully see eye-to-eye.

More: Rise of Skywalker’s Rey Parents Twist Isn’t A Last Jedi Plot Hole

Source: GQ