Star Wars Exec Explains Why Rey Kenobi Never Made Sense

By Andrew Gilman Posted:
Rey Kenobi Star Wars Obi-Wan

The sequel trilogy may have concluded, but it still remains a hot topic of discourse. For several years, the biggest question in Star Wars was Rey's lineage. Speculation naturally ran rampant after The Force Awakens hinted at multiple possibilities, and discussions even continued after The Last Jedi seemingly closed the book on that part of the character's story. JJ Abrams disagreed, as The Rise of Skywalker retconned the heroine into being the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine.

In the early days, the prevailing theory was that Rey was Luke Skywalker's daughter. Rumors had hinted at the character being the child of Han and Leia (and Kylo Ren's sibling) until details of her first meeting with Luke leaked; embellishments of the leak are the source of the "my baby girl" meme that still floats around. Some fans thought Rey would be a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi, largely due to the Jedi's voice being present in her Force-back vision. Others noted the similarity in her fighting style to Sidious and went to the dark side - somehow, Palpatine returned, and they were right.

But Rey wasn't always going to be related to Palpatine, not even during The Rise of Skywalker's production. As Daisy Ridley has discussed, the creators of Episode IX were indecisive about the character's lineage, and at one point a connection to Obi-Wan was strongly considered. Abrams and writer Chris Terrio eventually landed on the universally heralded idea of a Palpatine resurrection and familial tie to Rey - and while there are plenty of questions about how that decision was reached, the head of Lucasfilm has explained why a Kenobi relationship wouldn't have worked.

Kennedy Says Kenobi Family Violates Lucas' Jedi

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Rey
Star Wars

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy explained a connection between Rey and Obi-Wan was avoided due to the Jedi Code against attachment:

"The bigger issue is talking about Obi-Wan as a Master Jedi, and the issue of attachment and selflessness. In order for Obi-Wan to have a child, you are really, really impacting the rules around the Jedi. What does that mean?"

Kennedy was vehemently against doing anything of the kind with Obi-Wan due to what had been established by George Lucas:

"If that were explored—and certainly there were a lot of ideas being thrown around—but anything to do with Obi-Wan in that regard was pretty much off the table because it flies in the face of everything George created in the mythology."

While changes are open for discussion, Kennedy is hesitant to make creative decisions that alter the philosophy of the Jedi:

"We’re not rigid about it. It’s certainly open for discussion all the time. But that’s a pretty significant tenet in the mythology of the Jedi that we’d be reluctant to mess with."

Rey Kenobi Not the Jedi Way

Kennedy is absolutely correct in noting that the Jedi Code forbids attachment, leading to a scenario where Obi-Wan having children wouldn't make any sense. For a Jedi so devoted to his Order, there's little chance Kenobi would stray so far from his principles. Anakin Skywalker is meant to be the lone exception, and his attachment leads to selfishness and, ultimately, his downfall.

Theories of Kenobi having offspring have been persistent for years, and they don't come without merit. As introduced in The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan once had a relationship of sorts with Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore when he was tasked with protecting her as a Padawan. The specifics of that story have never been told, though the Jedi confessed he'd have left the Order for her had she asked him to.

Present in Clone Wars is Satine's nephew, Korkie, who some have suggested could be the secret child of the Duchess and Jedi. If that proved to be true, then the door would have been open for Kenobi's lineage to continue to a point where Rey comes into the picture. However, Kennedy's comments seem to directly dismiss the possibility, shutting down any theories of Obi-Wan parenting an unknown kid.

It's reassuring to hear Kennedy's commitment to honoring George Lucas' philosophy... though Palpatine's return and Rey's connection to him messes with completely different aspects of what The Maker infused into his saga. Instead of violating the Jedi Code, The Rise of Skywalker's answer to Rey's lineage ignored the purpose of Anakin Skywalker and the Chosen One prophecy, undoing the Balance brought to the Force in Return of the Jedi.

The fiasco with Rey's lineage can all be linked back to the lack of a plan for the sequel trilogy, an unfortunate reality fans will have to live with. But Kennedy and Lucasfilm have seemingly learned their lesson, as there's now a road map in place for the future of the franchise on TV and in theaters. Any such whacky creative scenarios like the one in question will hopefully be avoided from here on out, and Star Wars will once again thrive... perhaps starting with a new adventure for Obi-Wan Kenobi himself.

- About The Author: Andrew Gilman