Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in exactly one month. To mark the final countdown, Entertainment Weekly has a special Star Wars edition with three covers featuring the casts of the three movie trilogies. I am not here for the revisionism that the prequel trilogy was good—it wasn’t, those are bad movies that saddled Star Wars with bad mythology. Salvage Ewan McGregor from the wreckage and leave the rest of it behind. But it is impossible not to be nostalgic for the OG trilogy cast, and excited to see the conclusion of the new cast’s story. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t trust JJ Abrams not to include some mystery box bullsh-t in Skywalker, but I am so curious to see how all these pieces come together. I have, on the whole, enjoyed the new movies, but let’s be honest—this story is even less cohesive than the “Luke and Leia kissed that one time” non-planning of the original trilogy. There are a lot of disparate pieces in New New Star Wars to tie off in Skywalker.
Which is why I hope Abrams doesn’t waste time on Rey’s parents, but Daisy Ridley offers some soundbites that suggests we are, in fact, going to waste time on Rey’s parents. She says, “The parents thing is not satisfied—for her and for the audience. That’s something she’s still trying to figure out—where does she come from? …she feels there’s more to the story.” It would be totally fine if Rey is a nobody from nowhere, whose parents are no one. It would be good for Star Wars, in fact. If you want me to believe this galaxy is expansive, then let it f-cking well be expansive. Stop acting like the galaxy is ten square blocks in midtown and everyone is related. (I have a similar concern with The Mandalorian, that the baby will turn out to have Main Character Parentage.)
But the fact that we are here, talking about Rey’s goddamn parents, tells me we’re going to waste story real estate on this total non-starter of a topic. Star Wars will die if everything has to connect to the original trilogy. Rian Johnson tried to grow Star Wars past that, and discarding Rey’s parentage was a step in that direction. It meant that a Star Wars hero could come from anywhere, be anyone, which opens up possibilities for future, non-Skywalker stories. If Abrams walks that back, in ten more years’ time, we might be talking about this as the moment Star Wars shot itself in the foot. Two episodes in, The Mandalorian is succeeding because it DOES feel disconnected from the main trilogy. Happening in the same world, certainly, but it feels like it has nothing to do with anything we’ve seen before. THAT is real narrative expansion. Although it would be HILARIOUS if Rey goes on this epic journey of self-discovery only to find that, yeah, her parents were drunk junk traders who sold her for cash all along. I don’t think JJ Abrams has that good of a sense of humor, though.
There are also new photos to go with the magazine spread, including a GREAT shot of Poe Dameron and his fabulous f-ckin’ hair. There is also a new droid that looks like a rolling hair dryer. I know they do these things to sell toys, but I wish they would stop with the new droids in every movie. BB-8 is quite enough to be getting on with. (Lainey: he’s actually TOO MUCH.) Also, speaking of droids, C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels is featured prominently in the interview. Of Threepio, he says, “In previous recent movies, Threepio has just been kind of window dressing, something on the mantelpiece…” yeah because Threepio f-cking sucks, “J.J. and Chris came up with this aspect of Threepio we had not seen before that’s remarkably clever. They go down deep into ancient Star Wars and came up with something refreshingly new.”
Great goddess, spare me from the Threepio redemption arc. I hope his gold ass gets accidentally bounced out of a speeder and he dies in a Sarlacc pit like Boba Fett. All I want from Skywalker is a satisfying conclusion to this rather uneven story—if it ends on a high note, no one will remember the rocky bits—and for Rey to do a bunch of boss bitch sh-t, for Poe and Finn to ride into the sunset together, and for someone to give Kylo Ren a massive wedgie. Am I asking for too much? Let Rey be a nobody, recycle Threepio like the space junk he is, and hang Kylo Ren off a flagpole by his underoos. He killed Han Solo, he doesn’t get a pass.