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How Last Jedi answered all our questions exactly right

Hugh Armitage
Photo credit: Lucasfilm

From Digital Spy

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE LAST JEDI BELOW!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is here to answer those two big questions that have tortured us (and spawned countless, increasingly crazed theories) over the two years since The Force Awakens arrived.

Who are Rey's parents? And where did Supreme Leader Snoke come from?

Well, Rian Johnson's film deals with them in a rather surprising way – one that might not satisfy everyone. But we believe that they were the best way to go, and here's why.

(This is your final spoiler warning. It's not too late to turn back.)

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

So Rey: is she a Skywalker? A Solo? A Kenobi? A clone of Emperor Palpatine? A Force messiah hatched out of an egg?

No, no, no, no and no.

As Kylo Ren reveals, Rey is a "nobody", which is a particularly unkind way of revealing that her parents where just some unknown Jakku junkers who traded her in for supplies. All the theories connecting her to Star Wars history were wrong.

Photo credit: Disney

As for Snoke, he talks a good game and shows off his powers, but before we get to learn any more about him he is sliced in half by his apprentice, Kylo, who steps in to take over the First Order. Was he Darth Plagueis? The resurrected Emperor? Darth Vader?

Probably not, and we may never know for sure.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm / Disney

As far back as January 2016, we were warning that Rey shouldn't be a Skywalker. The galaxy is a big place, but to insist that everyone of any importance has to be born into one particular family makes it seem unreasonably small.

Also, we know some fans were disappointed back in 1980 to learn at the end of The Empire Strikes Back that Luke was Vader's son. In A New Hope, Luke was an everyman (or everyboy) – a stand-in for young fans who could dream of discovering their own hidden talents. But no, great power apparently came from being the son of Evil Space Jesus. (The critic Tom Shone had a lot of fun with this idea, pointing out that Luke starts out as anyone, then is revealed to be an aristocrat in the next film, royalty in the third, and by the time Phantom Menace rolled around, he was retconned into a deity.)

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

40 years down the line, Rey fulfils that broken promise. An orphan growing up in the worst of conditions can go on to greatness. People can forge their own amazing destinies from humble beginnings.

The handling of Snoke, we'll admit, is a tad more frustrating. Perhaps we can draw from his suggestion that Rey 'emerged' for the light side to counteract Kylo's darkness – and assume that something similar happened with him in response to Luke.

But more importantly, can we honestly claim that The Last Jedi would have been better for breaking off in the middle for Snoke to monologue about his tortured past and some guff about the Sith and ancient, boring evils from beyond the galaxy?

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

George Lucas thought we wanted overly complex plotting in the prequels. He gave it to us in spades at the expense of compelling character development and decent performances. We may think we want complicated backstory, but think back to Master Sifo-Dyas and trade blockades, and you might think again.

The prequels gave us the minutiae we thought we wanted, and it was lousy. Exposition was poison in the Star Wars franchise's veins.

Wasn't it better when Emperor Palpatine (not that he's even called by name in the original trilogy) was just some sinister villain in a cloak rather than the architect behind votes of no confidence and emergency executive powers? Why not let Snoke be an evil old guy who used his powers to create the First Order?

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

And who knows, maybe Episode IX will tell us more about Rey's family and Snoke's origin. But if it doesn't that will probably be for the best.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out now.

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