In a new interview for Jimmy Kimmel Live, Josh Gad sat down with Star Wars star Daisy Ridley to ask her “more nagging questions” about the franchise, now that there’s nothing left to spoil. Chief among them was a question we’ve all wanted to ask since Rise of Skywalker premiered–was Rey always destined to be a Palpatine?
The answer is, predictably, no. “At the beginning there was toying with an Obi Wan connection,” Ridley says–something fans picked up on early on as they tried to figure out the puzzle of Rey’s heritage. In the flashback moment when Rey first picks up the lightsaber in The Force Awakens, you can hear Obi Wan’s voice saying “Rey” and “these are your first steps,” the former taken from Alec Guinesses’ performance in the original trilogy and the latter recorded by the prequel trilogy’s Obi Wan, Ewan McGregor.
The question of Rey’s parentage is answered outright in The Last Jedi, and apparently that answer was meant to be the final one. “There were different versions,” Ridley explained. “And then it really went to that she was no one.”
Even when production on Episode IX started, apparently the final answer still hadn’t been decided on. “JJ pitched me the film and was like, ‘oh yeah, Palpatine’s granddaddy,’ and I was like ‘awesome.’ And then two weeks later he was look ‘oh we’re not sure.’ So it kept changing.”
Gad also asked if Ridley knew who Palpatine got busy with in order to have children and grandchildren, but this wasn’t a question she had the answers to, thankfully.
As far as what’s next for Ridley after Star Wars, she’s set to make her non-Star Wars video game debut in Annapurna Interactive’s Twelve Minutes, which is due to launch by the end of the year. When asked if she would ever return to Rey and the Star Wars universe, Ridley said, “I say never say never, but to me Rise of Skywalker was tied up with a bow.”