The Star Wars sequel trilogy — the first trilogy under The Walt Disney Company’s leadership instead of George Lucas’s — largely divided the Star Wars fan community.
Some found the story in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) to be stale and too reliant on nostalgia. Others thought the main characters — Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and ace pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) — were much too similar to the original trilogy’s core trio of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
Despite the criticism, though, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has said that the studio fully intends to continue exploring the sequel trilogy era, and isn’t done with characters who appeared in the trio of films.
Now, new novel “Shadow of the Sith” is functioning as a sort of prequel to the sequels, filling in certain plot holes.
Throughout the sequels, “Rey Nobody’s” parentage is a key plot point. Although it is eventually discovered that she is the daughter of a genetic strandcast — almost, but not not quite a clone — of Emperor Sheev Palpatine, Rey eventually rejects the dark side of her being and takes the name “Skywalker” after receiving assistance from both Luke and Leia in the Resistance fight against the First Order.
The new Adam Christopher book takes place 17 years after Return of the Jedi, the same year young Rey winds up on Jakku. And, as it turns out, the text reveals some key information about the little girl’s birth — Rey, the granddaughter of Darth Sidious, probably would never have existed without another Star Wars icon, Darth Vader himself.
“Shadow of the Sith” shares that Rey’s father, Dathan — known only as “The Abomination” in his early life — found himself trapped on Exegol under Palpatine’s thumb.
Then, however, as the following synopsis explains, his luck turned when Vader himself paid a visit to the Sith planet:
It took a visit to the planet from Darth Vader and Ochi of Bestoon to provide Dathan the opportunity to escape. We know that Vader and Ochi visited Exegol at least once thanks to Marvel Comics’ Darth Vader series. This particular visit came at the right time for Dathan. At this point, is old enough to feel like a prisoner on Exegol and to know he wants nothing to do with whatever the Sith Eternal has planned for him. With the help of a Symeon slave named Dathan (whose name he then borrows), the strandcast stows away on Vader and Ochi’s ship, remaining unnoticed until the ship touches down and he flees.
Dathan worked on a ship before ultimately winding up on the planet Hyperkarn, where he married Rey’s mother, Miramir. After their daughter’s birth, the couple spent the rest of their life on the run from Palpatine’s agents who were trying to kidnap the child.
Without Vader landing on Exegol on the day Rey’s father escaped, however, this entire sequence of events would not have occurred and the strandcast would have lived out his days essentially imprisoned on Exegol. As the previously mentioned article noted, “[due to] the rocky relationship between Vader and his master by this point in time, one has to wonder if Vader may have sensed something in the Force and allowed it [Dathan’s escape] to happen anyway.”
Regardless of if Vader was cognizant of what he was setting into motion, he allowed the once-in-a-generation Force dyad between his own grandson, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and Rey to occur, ultimately changing the course of the galaxy forever.
What do you think about Darth Vader’s unwitting role in Rey’s birth?