Star Wars IX The Rise of Skywalker : Rey is Luke and Leia's Daughter. (700 words)
[Spoiler] probably, even though it's an interpretation.
Before reading this article, you need to know that I’m convinced that Luke and Leia aren’t siblings, an idea that I’ve already tackled before. So, if these two aren’t brother and sister, it’s really not that difficult to imagine that Rey could be their daughter and there's no incest involved.
I rewatched The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi a few days ago and was surprised at how much everything flirts with the idea. By “everything” I just mean, for example, that hug that Leia gives Rey, how they bound so quickly and for no reason, how Luke reacts when Rey hands him his lightsabre, how Rey gets flashbacks when she touches Leia/Luke’s lightsabre, how she and Ben are bound through the force for no reason except that they’re bound through the force.
When I went to see The Rise of Skywalker, I didn’t feel worried that I would find elements that prove that Luke and Leia are indeed siblings but clues that Rey isn’t their daughter, this because I had become unconsciously convinced that both things go together.
I know that Rey is supposed to be Palpatine’s granddaughter, I thought it was a good idea and was confused by it a bit, but truly, it’s really not hard to find reasons to question it. Rey is super strong with the force any evil agent would want her on their side, lying to her about her filiation when she's a desperate orphan would be a good way to rally her easily.
Palpatine v2.0, just like Snoke, is a tool, a living entity fabricated only for a specific purpose. So, really there’s nothing there. He calls Rey his granddaughter and was created only on this purpose and then die. At that level of manipulation, anybody could have been brought back to life in order to call Rey his/her anything. Old Obiwan could have appeared and told Rey “You’re my granddaughter.” Young Obi MacGregor could have told Rey “I’m your brother.” Jyn Erso could have waved at her “Hey ! Sister.”
Of course, the possibility that Palpatine v2.0 is just the pawn of someone else doesn’t mean that it is what’s happening but that’s not my point. My point is that to make Rey Palpatine’s granddaughter it should have been brought about differently. Making a lab experiment out of the Sith lord along with Snoke conveys the feeling that he’s nothing more than an echo. Even more so when his commands to Rey resemble Snoke reading Kylo’s mind in The Last Jedi a lot. Moreover, as a clone, he is not Rey’s true grandfather. He never had sex with a woman who gave birth to one of Rey’s parents, therefore, his claim of being his grandfather doesn’t even mean anything to him.
As ridiculous as it might have been, a story was needed. How could Palpatine have children ? Using his DNA in a lab ? Fine. Sex slaves at Jabbah's ? Fine. Instead of following Luke's traces in this episode, it's Palpatine's past that she should have been chasing after.
Also, there’s this giant metallic arm to which he is suspended. He literally is a puppet, A Deus Ex Machina. The character who appears out of nowhere and solves everything. “Hey, hello, that’s me, I was the bad guy, all along.” J.J.Abrams must have been really desperate :p
So, Palpatine wasn’t really convincing as Rey’s ancestor. Here's an article about that. The problem was that, to make Luke and Leia Rey’s parents, the movie needed to hint at it in a symbolic way. It couldn’t just be a complete secret. When I saw Rey end on Tatooine in Luke’s home, it was already a lot. But it’s the burying of Luke and Leia’s lightsabres that cemented my conviction, and the way the sand swallow them. It’s a perfect metaphor for how the truth is being erased forever.
In this last episode (and also previous ones) the force is described as “what gives life.” Luke and Leia training in the woods, Luke teaching Leia how to use the force, is a working metaphor for them having sex. Having their lightsabres buried together is a synonym of erasing Han from the map. He never existed, just like Kylo. Only Rey remains, and therefore, only Luke and Leia’s sexual relationship mattered. That was enough for me, but not for the screenwriter who added Luke and Leia’s apparition as ghosts waving at their daughter and Rey concluding that she is Rey Skywalker.
Of course, even without this interpretation, Rey has become Luke and Leia’s spiritual daughter, but this supports the metaphor of the two lightsabres even more as the sexual part is buried, hidden, but there.
I can’t wait to see this new episode again because with all its flaws I think that the new trilogy achieved coherence, even through clumsiness. Episodes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 all are about Leia hesitating between Luke and Han and then between her two children, because of what they both represent and who she truly is.
edit: In this article I treat the idea of Rey being Palpatine's grand-daughter as if it was incompatible with Rey being Luke and Leia's daughter, I've just rewatched The Revenge of the Sith and there's a possibility that Rey would be Palpatine's grand-daughter, this without invalidating the fact that she is Luke and Leia's daughter.