View Poll Results: What’s your final prognosis of Rey’s parentage and the Skywalkers?

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  • Rey should have been introduced as a Skywalker in TFA, but afterwards would have been too late.

    3 8.82%
  • Rey should have been revealed as a Skywalker in TLJ, but not afterward.

    6 17.65%
  • Rey could have been retconned into a Skywalker even in TROS, even at the cost of discounting TLJ.

    6 17.65%
  • Rey Random was always the best idea for the character in the end.

    16 47.06%
  • Rey’s story in TROS regarding her parentage and the Skywalkers was good enough.

    3 8.82%
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  1. #31
    Spectacular Member Valentis's Avatar
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    Yeah, Rey being a Skywalker would have been better than the contriving flat out stupid backstory she got.

  2. #32
    Astonishing Member Exciter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valentis View Post
    Yeah, Rey being a Skywalker would have been better than the contriving flat out stupid backstory she got.
    Agreed, though to me the biggest sin of the Disney Star Wars movies was how they treated the established heroes that we loved. I think they could have utilized almost exactly the same cast, and to an extent even most of the same story beats, but with respect for the classic saga.

    Han Solo doesn’t become a loser pirate again, nor does Luke go hide on an island. They’re both involved from the beginning, interacting with the new generation and dealing with the threat of the mysterious Snoke. Rey and Kylo could have been Jacen and Jaina type characters, Kylo could still turn evil, etc. I think Rey would have been much more well received if from the beginning she was established as, if not a relative, then at least an apprentice of and therefore worthy successor to Luke.

    In my view, the problem wasn't ROS or TLJ, it went bad right from the Force Awakens.
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  3. #33
    Oni of the Ash Moon Ronin's Avatar
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    There was this feeling in TFA that Kylo Ren and Rey were the opposite sides to Anakin Skywalker the light and the dark. When Kylo killed Han Solo it was a point of no return that Ben was gone for good. The way he manipulated and coxed Han pulling him in, the lighting and music of the scene just gave it the feel of a powerful meaningful moment of more than just the death of a beloved hero in the story but a turning point for the villain of the story an awaking of the dark side of the force. This supplanted Kylo Ren as the the major evil of the bad guy even above Snoke. His worship of the dark side of Anakin's life as Darth Vader was setting the stage for him being that side. Then, when the Skywalker light saber flew past Kylo Ren when he reached out for it with the force into the hands of Rey it ignited the duel between the forces. The person who the saber called out to before and she rejected it has now accepted her role as the hero and an awaking of the light side of the force. In my opinion this scene should have been the first time Rey is seen using the force it would have been more of the Force awakening moment thus having more meaning. Her humble beginning and loyalty that resemble that of young Anakin set the stage for her to be that side. The Kurosawaish fight between them felt that a true struggle for what side of Anakin would be his legacy as begun. The internal strife that was within Anakin Skywalker has just taken physical shape.

    Then TLJ.. or the Tragedy of Luke Skywalker the Unwise. This broke Kylo/Ben as a character, he is no longer evil, the "big bad" of the story, but a sad little boy who was mistreated and misunderstood by everyone and having Rey become sympathetic of him to the point of having a confrontation with Luke pretty much on the behalf of Kylo Ren who then ran off to 'save' him. This is a time line of just days. It was days ago that Kylo kidnapped her, torched her, invaded her mind, killed Han Solo in a most grievous, and seriously wounded Finn who a the time seem to be her only friend. Rey now at this point is a tag along to the story of Luke and Kylo, literally and figuratively a nobody. This story was a disservice to all three characters.

    In TROS Rey now gets to be a Palpatine which is not bad given what was left to work with after TLJ though it felt like being at bat having a full count and hitting a foul ball. Still in the game but ultimately meaningless. Yes Rey had to deal with being sprung from evil but that is not new in Star Wars. Given the time frame and pace of the movie both the character and the audience didn't have time to fulling digest this revaluation. When Luke was told of his father, by his father, both the character and the audience had years to ponder and deal with the subject. So when the confrontation happens it feels meaningful. Luke given in to anger and pulling back for it with the line that he is a Jedi like his father when he refused to Kill Vader which was the harder road to follow. Rey held up two light sabers, that is after Ben Solo came and saved the day after being redeemed by his parents intervention.

    If Rey were a Skywalker I think it would have gone over better, one with the general audience who came to see part of the Skywalker Saga and a two with the over all story line of "the duel of the fate" of the Skywalker legancy. Rey Nobody to indicate some one can be important in the force with out being part of the Skywalker lineage is not really revolutionary. It was done well with Ahsoka Tano the Clone Wars TV show is more the story of her than any other Jedi. Her part in Rebels and the upcoming part in The Mandalorian with rumors of her getting her own series sets her as a main staple in the Star Wars Universe with out being a Skywalker.
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  4. #34
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    My thoughts on that are A) that it’s debatable whether or not the Skywalker Saga would have been served by moving beyond the Skywalkers instead of just having an ending established to it, and B) The Last Jedi sabotaged that message itself pretty spectacularly, because if moving past the Skywalkers is your goal than C) Kylo becomes a giant liability to that purpose.

    I mean, the Star Wars franchise is already far bigger than the Skywalkers... but the family story that made up the OT and PT kind of, y’know requires them in order to be a family story. And to be frank, that family story is something special, and Rey would most gracefully, organically and most resonatingly fit into an entry in that family story by, y’know, being part of the family. And while there is something to be said for trying to “democratize” the Force... it both already was “democratized” in the overall franchise, and there’s something be said for giving another generation it’s own girl Skywalker hero.

    Having any third generation Skywalker character in the ST basically guaranteed that family story became a part of the ST... which makes Kylo a mistake of a character if you intend to move past the Skywalker because of that, and arguably a greater mistake if you treat him as a sympathetic character and treat him with “Skywalker Exceptionalism.” Just not having Kylo present would automatically have made Rey standing on her own and moving past the Skywalkers a success. With Kylo present, the audience (and the creators) are made to choose between Rey and the Skywalker story...

    ...And to be blunt, we saw that Rian Johnson would choose the Skywalkers over Rey, because that’s what he did.

    It’s weird; TLJ is the only film that 100% tries to separate her from the Skywalker legacy... and then also kind of punishes her for it while still trying to make her subordinate to their story. It’s the film where she has her least amount of screentime, where her character is used as an audience member for Luke’s story, and where basically her humanity and any ambition for her story is denied for the sake of pontificating on the idea of Kylo being sympathetic.

    It’s also the film most apathetic and kind of disparaging towards Finn, who already communicates the idea of moving past the Skywalkers. It clearly features and focuses more on Luke than on him, and seeks to remove his relationship with Rey entirely in favor of Kylo... while also mocking him for his near death injuries in TFA and lavishing attention on Kylo’s (now moved so as to be less disfiguring) facial scar.

    Johnson kind fo screwed over his own idea for Rey... as well the character Rey and the Skywalkers.
    I'm agreed 100%. Also worth noting that Rian Johnson was able to explore a lot of the themes he attempted in TLJ much more successfully in Knives Out.

    The idea of a kind of a Skywalker force entitlement complex doesn't really work with Luke because it was more of a burden for him than anything, even before TLJ. But Knives Out is an excellent film on every level for diving into the same kind of issues, but in a more real world political context.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    The idea of a kind of a Skywalker force entitlement complex doesn't really work with Luke because it was more of a burden for him than anything, even before TLJ.
    Being a Skywalker is not a good thing. Anakin is a tragedy, I mean he couldn't even get a real seat on the Jedi Council and was used and manipulated being a pawn for both sides. Luke lost the people that raised him, his father and his father's master tried to kill him, he sucked at training new Jedi and, was a selfish coward that ran and hid from his failure of living up to his own legend instead of taken on the burden like a man. Leia watched as her Father blew up the planet that she grew up on killing her friends and only known family, her son became a jack booted leader of a group that killed billions of people. Ben Solo could not live up to the family name, ran to an abusive mean master after is former master/uncle thought about killing him in his sleep, killed his father and is the reason that his mother died. Why would any one celibate or chose to be a Skywalker?
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  6. #36
    Oni of the Ash Moon Ronin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exciter View Post
    Agreed, though to me the biggest sin of the Disney Star Wars movies was how they treated the established heroes that we loved. I think they could have utilized almost exactly the same cast, and to an extent even most of the same story beats, but with respect for the classic saga.

    Han Solo doesn’t become a loser pirate again, nor does Luke go hide on an island. They’re both involved from the beginning, interacting with the new generation and dealing with the threat of the mysterious Snoke. Rey and Kylo could have been Jacen and Jaina type characters, Kylo could still turn evil, etc. I think Rey would have been much more well received if from the beginning she was established as, if not a relative, then at least an apprentice of and therefore worthy successor to Luke.

    In my view, the problem wasn't ROS or TLJ, it went bad right from the Force Awakens.
    The issue is that both Han and Luke ran away for the same reason's. Han's reasoning was explained rather well and his death at the time seemed to have meaning and a pivotal development in the story. Luke not so much. There were parts of TFA that were off but I think that it was a good start that sat a foundation of a story that could have been great I think that it went off the rails with TLJ and that ROS was just working with what was left.
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  7. #37
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    I actually think Rey being a Palpatine is fine. I don't think the execution is good and I think they muddled a lot of it with the impotent and pointless "failed clone father" additional stuff in the novelization. But the general high concept of "Rey is a Good Palpatine" is fine, as is the "Spawn of Satan" "Worst Ancestry You Can Imagine" take. I could have gone either way, Rey the Nobody or Rey the Palpatine. Either way could have been a strong story. Like, ultimately I don't think that aspect of her character's background is where they dropped the ball in presenting her as somebody relevant to the mythos. In that regard I think Daisy Ridley's casting actually tracks very well for "Granddaughter Palpatine". She really fits that bill. Like if that was the original intent in the beginning and they had planned the whole trilogy at all, I think it would have been very effective.
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  8. #38
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    Before I begin, a lot of this is just acknowledging or arguing that conceptual details of the story are what matters, while actual details in execution put a bunch of flexibility into the argument.

    In other words, I’m arguing that Rey Skywalker is conceptually stronger than either Rey Palpatine or Rey Random.... because it can use details in execution to address and match their strengths, while they can’t address Rey Skywalker’s biggest strengths as well, and just plain *can’t anymore after TLJ because of how it botched its own goals.
    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Well, the OT never really dwelled much on the reveal in the same way; the next movie after learning, the main drive of the reveal is Luke deciding he needs to pull his father away from the dark side. For Rey, the reveal has her fearing that she's just going to turn out like her grandfather, creating a whole different conflict and lesson to be learned. So, I see it as a new story with the same props, if that makes any sense. (I'll admit I'm a sucker for characters who are "supposed" to be evil, but become the good guys.)
    ...I’d actually argue the fear of turning out like the bad guy is *very* much a part of Luke’s story in ROTJ and ESB; it’s a bit disingenuous to discount all the dialogue Palpatine, Vader and Luke have about whether or not Luke will take Vader’s place, and, well, the entire premise of the throne room scene for the bad guys.

    But the thing here is the threat from Palpatine is still 100% present with Rey Skywalker... in the person of Kylo Ren, a character she’s had far more experience and conflict with, and who quite frankly has a lot more substance in the story thus far to threaten to drive her to the dark side. And if he’s literally her cousin or brother, than the same familial repetition is there, and frankly, given Kylo’s obsession with the idea of his destiny being dark, he simply works better for that purpose than Palpatine does.

    I mean, Palps got one scene with Rey in TROS. That couldn’t ever compare to how simply writing Kylo better would do that job better... or how it would be superior if he were related to her.

    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Maybe? On the other hand, learning she was Luke or Leia's kid doesn't really offer much conflict (unless you're going for the familial friction there would be over the separation). Her learning that she's Palpatine's grandkid does. Also, if she was a blood Skywalker, that kinda makes it seem like she's the heroine because of who she's related to. The end result of the final decision is that she's a heroine because of who she was and decided to be, not her family tree, which feels a lot more earned. (I also like the irony that Palatine was done in by his own chosen heir and that his ultimate legacy was the complete erasure of his dreams and goals and even his surname.)
    The familial friction over being abandoned is exactly the point, actually. You do that and you remember what Kylo did in TFA and the bond she had with Han, and you’ve got a very tumultuous, conflicted, and highly motivated main character. As for Rey choosing to be the hero... that’s one of the detail things, and actually one I’d argue that TFA showed her doing, before TLJ regressed her agency for the sake of its attempt to have her seize it during its run time.

    And to be frank, TLJ arguably manages to use its detail in execution to actually remove Rey’s agency and the appeal of a Rey Random, and TROS *still* ends up arguing that Palpatine is the reason for Rey’s power and place in the story - literally, her power is his power according to dialogue, and his sending Ochi after her parents is why she wound up on Jakku and got recruited...

    ...though I will point out she only became his chosen heir once he both saw her power and once Kylo stopped trying to kill her (let’s face it, there’s no consistency or logic behind the finale sequence of TROS.)

    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    I'm not going to argue that elevating Kylo Ren was the series most damaging mistake (not the least of which being that the character was not designed to be that complex and it show badly). I think it stopped working the instant he turns in TROS, but I admit I might be in the minority there.
    I’ve been meaning to kind of get your opinion on an argument I have.

    It’s not just Kylo’s redemption that’s bad.

    I’d argue that the second Kylo Ren got treated with any sympathy in TLJ, given the stuff he already had from TFA, Rey got screwed over. It required too much ignoring what he’d done or it’s dramatic impact, too much exceptionalism and favoritism towards him, and lines up too easily with him being a Skywalker for people to not see it as an abject rejection of the very idea of Rey Random, and also a scene-stealer from Rey Palpatine.
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  9. #39
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    Before I begin, a lot of this is just acknowledging or arguing that conceptual details of the story are what matters, while actual details in execution put a bunch of flexibility into the argument.

    In other words, I’m arguing that Rey Skywalker is conceptually stronger than either Rey Palpatine or Rey Random.... because it can use details in execution to address and match their strengths, while they can’t address Rey Skywalker’s biggest strengths as well, and just plain *can’t anymore after TLJ because of how it botched its own goals.

    ...I’d actually argue the fear of turning out like the bad guy is *very* much a part of Luke’s story in ROTJ and ESB; it’s a bit disingenuous to discount all the dialogue Palpatine, Vader and Luke have about whether or not Luke will take Vader’s place, and, well, the entire premise of the throne room scene for the bad guys.

    But the thing here is the threat from Palpatine is still 100% present with Rey Skywalker... in the person of Kylo Ren, a character she’s had far more experience and conflict with, and who quite frankly has a lot more substance in the story thus far to threaten to drive her to the dark side. And if he’s literally her cousin or brother, than the same familial repetition is there, and frankly, given Kylo’s obsession with the idea of his destiny being dark, he simply works better for that purpose than Palpatine does.

    I mean, Palps got one scene with Rey in TROS. That couldn’t ever compare to how simply writing Kylo better would do that job better... or how it would be superior if he were related to her.


    The familial friction over being abandoned is exactly the point, actually. You do that and you remember what Kylo did in TFA and the bond she had with Han, and you’ve got a very tumultuous, conflicted, and highly motivated main character. As for Rey choosing to be the hero... that’s one of the detail things, and actually one I’d argue that TFA showed her doing, before TLJ regressed her agency for the sake of its attempt to have her seize it during its run time.

    And to be frank, TLJ arguably manages to use its detail in execution to actually remove Rey’s agency and the appeal of a Rey Random, and TROS *still* ends up arguing that Palpatine is the reason for Rey’s power and place in the story - literally, her power is his power according to dialogue, and his sending Ochi after her parents is why she wound up on Jakku and got recruited...

    ...though I will point out she only became his chosen heir once he both saw her power and once Kylo stopped trying to kill her (let’s face it, there’s no consistency or logic behind the finale sequence of TROS.)


    I’ve been meaning to kind of get your opinion on an argument I have.

    It’s not just Kylo’s redemption that’s bad.

    I’d argue that the second Kylo Ren got treated with any sympathy in TLJ, given the stuff he already had from TFA, Rey got screwed over. It required too much ignoring what he’d done or it’s dramatic impact, too much exceptionalism and favoritism towards him, and lines up too easily with him being a Skywalker for people to not see it as an abject rejection of the very idea of Rey Random, and also a scene-stealer from Rey Palpatine.
    It's also really, really bizarre, given that TLJ happens shortly after TFA, which means it's not like Rey had a two year interim to process her feelings about Kylo and come to some realization that he could be saved in the same way Vader was. Another subversion that doesn't work well, being the only film in the nine part saga that doesn't take advantage of a years long gap between films.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    It's also really, really bizarre, given that TLJ happens shortly after TFA, which means it's not like Rey had a two year interim to process her feelings about Kylo and come to some realization that he could be saved in the same way Vader was. Another subversion that doesn't work well, being the only film in the nine part saga that doesn't take advantage of a years long gap between films.
    In a way, it kind of acts a bit like an attempted reset of the story; it’s trying to recalibrate the Seauel Trilogy away from Rey as the main character and heir to the Skywalker (in a narrative sense, if nothing else) and her key relationship with Finn, and instead set it up so that Rey is only half the main character, sharing the spot and dependent upon Kylo, though Johnson seems to have conflicting views of the Skywalker legacy - Rey not being a Skywalker ostensibly strikes a blow against “elitism,” but at the same time, the entire perceptive the film has of Kylo depends on his Skywalker legacy and acts a bit like elitism itself, as he gets a greater share of sympathy and significance in the story than other villains and even some heroes.

    Now, I think the brief time period could have worked If there was something more being done, and I even think that there is a way where Rey Random could work... but you’d pretty much need to drop any attempt at having Kylo seem sympathetic and basically declare war on the idea that he deserves any sympathy, and still do a lot more with Rey to tell the story.
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  11. #41
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    In a way, it kind of acts a bit like an attempted reset of the story; it’s trying to recalibrate the Seauel Trilogy away from Rey as the main character and heir to the Skywalker (in a narrative sense, if nothing else) and her key relationship with Finn, and instead set it up so that Rey is only half the main character, sharing the spot and dependent upon Kylo, though Johnson seems to have conflicting views of the Skywalker legacy - Rey not being a Skywalker ostensibly strikes a blow against “elitism,” but at the same time, the entire perceptive the film has of Kylo depends on his Skywalker legacy and acts a bit like elitism itself, as he gets a greater share of sympathy and significance in the story than other villains and even some heroes.

    Now, I think the brief time period could have worked If there was something more being done, and I even think that there is a way where Rey Random could work... but you’d pretty much need to drop any attempt at having Kylo seem sympathetic and basically declare war on the idea that he deserves any sympathy, and still do a lot more with Rey to tell the story.
    The Kylo sympathy angle is bizarre, and once again, I think Johnson worked contrary to his own ends, because it's clear he was trying to establish Kylo as an irredeemable if sympathetic villain. The guy who takes over the First Order and becomes the monster that even Vader never could. At least that's how I read the end of TLJ.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    The Kylo sympathy angle is bizarre, and once again, I think Johnson worked contrary to his own ends, because it's clear he was trying to establish Kylo as an irredeemable if sympathetic villain. The guy who takes over the First Order and becomes the monster that even Vader never could. At least that's how I read the end of TLJ.
    I read the ending in the same way. I feel it would have been a great "subversion of expectations", alas it was not to be.
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    The Kylo sympathy angle is bizarre, and once again, I think Johnson worked contrary to his own ends, because it's clear he was trying to establish Kylo as an irredeemable if sympathetic villain. The guy who takes over the First Order and becomes the monster that even Vader never could. At least that's how I read the end of TLJ.
    Quote Originally Posted by Celgress View Post
    I read the ending in the same way. I feel it would have been a great "subversion of expectations", alas it was not to be.
    It’s definitely a thing where TFA and TLJ kind of agreed and disagreed in the worst way.

    Both wanted Kylo to be THE villain for the Trilogy...

    But TFA was more intent on him being a supporting character antagonist separate from Rey and Finn as the main characters and protagonists, and was trying hard to sell him as a fully packaged, beyond-the-point-of-no-return iconic villain; they wanted Vader from the OT, but worse. So they spent months having concept artists design Kylo’s look with the helmet, tattered rainment and lightsaber like some zombie knight as opposed to Vader’s cyber-samurai, and introduced him doing a baller move in freezing a blaster bolt in mid-air. And I really, *really* what to point this out: while they had Kylo take off his helmet to reveal Adam Driver’s “dark prince” good looks and perfectly coiffed hair... they then very intentionally wrote and directed this maskless Kylo to act more monstrous, more petulant, and ugly-on-the-inside than he had with the mask... then had him get disfigured (not just scarred, disfigured) in his lightsaber fight with Rey.

    TLJ, on the other hand... it wanted him as Rey’s co-lead in place of Finn as a protagonist, didn’t take his actions and character arc from TFA seriously in terms of how he should be perceived, and very much wanted him to be more Anakin than Vader. So they ditch his striking and intimidating look for high pants and more flattering costuming, move his scar to be more roguishly handsome and even treat it more seriously and dramatic than arguably everything else from TFA, and try and sell him as a could-be romantic lead, even including a shirtless scene! I believe Johnson was serious about making Kylo the new main villain... but he definitely seemed to still want Kylo to be viewed more sympathetically and probably viewed him more as a tragic/Byronic antihero counterpart to Rey we were supposed to pity all the way through.

    And the thing is... I think TLJ basically not only sabotaged it’s own goal, but also undid TFA’s work with him.

    Once TLJ decided that a) Han’s death, Finn’s maiming, the Jakku village massacre, and Rey’s violating weren’t impediments towards Rey and the audience still viewing him sympathetically , and b) that he was a better pairing for Rey as a co-lead than Finn, it basically guaranteed that the main three characters of the ST were in a screwed up position. Kylo and Finn became liabilities to each other because everything that Kylo was supposed to be viewed as in a sympathetic light fits Finn better while focusing on Kylo implicitly belittles and dismisses Finn’s victories and suffering, while Kylo also became a liability to Rey because he was clearly being treated special as a Skywalker.

    If Kylo killing Han and violating and hurting Rey wasn’t enough to make him a compelling villain Rey could feud with, than he wasn’t going to be an effective villain, period. And I’d argue TLJ retroactively killed that part of the formula off because Johnson (and to be honest, probably even more LFL) already couldn’t see Kylo that way, even though most audience members probably had.

    It looks like Trevorrow tried to make the Kylo-as-the-villain thing work in his Duel of the Fates script... but doing so required dealing with the dissonance between the fact that Main Villain Kylo really didn’t have any sympathetic traits that worked enough to make its “he sacrifices himself to keep Rey a love after almost killing her, then dies” ending work. It kind of exposed the fact that he’s mostly just a monstrous jerk toward Rey and every other sentient being... which LFL probably flinched at, and ordered Palpatine back for so that we could get five minutes of Ben Solo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    In a way, it kind of acts a bit like an attempted reset of the story; it’s trying to recalibrate the Seauel Trilogy away from Rey as the main character and heir to the Skywalker (in a narrative sense, if nothing else) and her key relationship with Finn, and instead set it up so that Rey is only half the main character, sharing the spot and dependent upon Kylo, though Johnson seems to have conflicting views of the Skywalker legacy -Rey not being a Skywalker ostensibly strikes a blow against “elitism,” but at the same time, the entire perceptive the film has of Kylo depends on his Skywalker legacy and acts a bit like elitism itself, as he gets a greater share of sympathy and significance in the story than other villains and even some heroes.

    Now, I think the brief time period could have worked If there was something more being done, and I even think that there is a way where Rey Random could work... but you’d pretty much need to drop any attempt at having Kylo seem sympathetic and basically declare war on the idea that he deserves any sympathy, and still do a lot more with Rey to tell the story.
    I have never understood this claim. There was no elitism to strike at from my perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exciter View Post
    Agreed, though to me the biggest sin of the Disney Star Wars movies was how they treated the established heroes that we loved. I think they could have utilized almost exactly the same cast, and to an extent even most of the same story beats, but with respect for the classic saga.

    Han Solo doesn’t become a loser pirate again, nor does Luke go hide on an island. They’re both involved from the beginning, interacting with the new generation and dealing with the threat of the mysterious Snoke. Rey and Kylo could have been Jacen and Jaina type characters, Kylo could still turn evil, etc. I think Rey would have been much more well received if from the beginning she was established as, if not a relative, then at least an apprentice of and therefore worthy successor to Luke.

    In my view, the problem wasn't ROS or TLJ, it went bad right from the Force Awakens.
    I think the problem was that JJ thought he was respecting the OT heroes. In his mind, have Han Solo showing up as a lowlife pilot was respecting the character, because his memory of Han was from his first appearance. Recreating that, to the TFA team, was the way to be respectful. I'm not even sure they were consciously aware they were discarding significant character growth. Which, of course, they were. But I have a feeling that they didn't grasp that Han had evolved as a character by the time of RotJ.

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