What Makes Rey a Skywalker? The ‘Star Wars’ Character’s Last Name Explained

She could’ve been Rey Nobody. She could’ve been Rey Kenobi. In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rey learns that she’s actually related to the Sith Lord, Emperor Palpatine. That doesn’t stop her from taking “Skywalker” as her last name, though.

Billy Dee Williams, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega at Star Wars Celebration
Billy Dee Williams, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega at Star Wars Celebration | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Disney

Technically, Rey is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine

There’s a reason why Rey is so strong and powerful. For the final movie in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, this Jedi learned something pretty shocking about herself — she’s actually the granddaughter of Palpatine.

While she struggled to balance the dark and light sides of herself, she turned to a few other characters for guidance. Primarily, that included the two Skywalkers from the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke and Leia.

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Rey had a connection to both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker

Rey was searching for her family in a number of characters throughout the sequel trilogy and Kylo Ren even pointed that out. She had a connection with Han Solo via the Millennium Falcon and their shared love of flying.

Their bond was further proven when Han offered her a job on the ship. She turned it down at the time, but after Kylo Ren killed him, Rey adopted this role, flying alongside Chewy.

When Rey needed her Jedi training, she turned to Luke Skywalker, not giving up on her mission even though she was met with an apprehensive master. After this character dies, Rey sensed it, confiding in Leia. From there, Leia became her master, guiding Rey along her journey with the force.

Rey finds a maternal figure in Leia, which leads to her taking her last name

In the final Star Wars movie, Leia became somewhat of a maternal figure for Rey — as much as she cared about the fight against the First Order, she also cared about Rey’s safety and well being. It’s no surprise what when Rey left her for the last time, she started crying.

So, when someone asks Rey again, who she is, she says that she’s a Skywalker. Of course, she’s not a Skywalker by blood, but she is through her force connection, and her emotional connection to sibling duo, Luke and Leia Skywalker.

Even when Rey learns that she is a Palpatine and she goes to destroy him, she realizes that her “new family” was found in her Resistance friends, from Poe to Finn to BB-8. That may even include her emotional connection to Ben Solo, the son of Leia Skywalker.

Fans can watch Rey in movies like The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker, all of which are available on Disney’s streaming platform. To learn more about Disney+ and to subscribe, visit their website

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