Calling the decision to make Rey a Palpatine polarizing would be an understatement. Rey, the hero of the sequel trilogy, went from just a “nobody” to the granddaughter (kinda) of a suddenly reemerged supervillain over the course of a single film. But with the recent reveal from Daisy Ridley that Lucasfilm “toyed with” the concept of Rey being Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter instead, we need to ask: was there a better option?
The short answer: Yes, but it’s not Rey Kenobi. Here’s why.
At their core, each Star Wars trilogy is an archetypal Hero’s Journey. It’s well known George Lucas was heavily inspired by the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, and it shows, as the first two trilogies are clear cut Chosen One stories. In the original trilogy, Luke was just a humble moisture farm boy who wanted to go to Tosche station for some power converters, only to realize he’s the son of one of the most powerful figures in the galaxy.
The sequel trilogy takes a similar premise but changes it in one key way. As viewers knew what Anakin Skywalker would eventually evolve into, his Chosen One story was darker, and instead of the rise of Luke Skywalker, we witnessed the fall of Anakin from young Jedi wunderkind with immeasurable amounts of midi-chlorians to fierce Sith apprentice.