Star Wars Fans Found An Unused Script That Could Explain the Truth About Rey's Lineage in Rise of Skywalker
The Star Wars Underworld television series never saw the light of day. But George Lucas's ideas for the show may shed some light on where the heck Rey actually comes from.
Before the Disney era, there were rumors every other day about new Star Wars projects. George Lucas reportedly shut down a computer-animated comedy show called Star Wars Detours, there was a third Star Wars Battlefront title that never saw the light of day, and of course, there were the ever-elusive rumblings about a Star Wars live-action television series. Lucas's vision for the TV show, which was known as Star Wars Underworld, was a dark, seedy take on the underbelly of the galaxy far, far away, set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Recently, Redditors over on the Star Wars Speculation subreddit unearthed some stories about the aborted series, including a very titillating Emperor Palpatine plotline that may be useful in understanding how the resurrected Big Bad will function in the world of the upcoming Rise of Skywalker finale.
Linking to a SyFy article from back in 2016, Reddit user VTKajin wrote, "Back in 2009, George Lucas envisioned a story for Emperor Palpatine in which he was heartbroken by a gangster woman. Could this be something that was taken for the new canon?" The SyFy article reveals some bizarre info regarding Palpatine's role in the Underworld project, as recalled by God of War video game mastermind, Cory Barlog. The decorated game developer spent some time working for Lucas, and had a chance to read a bunch of the Underworld scripts. He said Palpatine was a pretty sympathetic figure in the ill-fated Star Wars TV show. SyFy quotes:
When I was working at Lucas, I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts for the [canceled live-action Star Wars] TV show. It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers.
Palpatine, one of the most ruthless, Machiavellian figures in the history of pop culture, was going to be "humanized" in Underworld. It's hard to imagine how, exactly, Lucas planned to pull that off. But, whether it would've worked or not, the concept of Palpatine having a "gangster" wife seems extremely relevant for the franchise today, when everyone thinks Rey's parentage may be linked to the Emperor in some way. Of course, after Solo, we also have a family tree of space gangsters to which we can link the both of them.
Over on Inverse.com, there's now speculation that this unused Underworld concept could somehow be the basis of the connection between Rey and the Dark Lord. Disney has been taking inspiration from the old Star Wars Expanded Universe projects (now referred to as Legends, as we've explored before), so it wouldn't be too out of the ordinary for some Underworld ideas to show up in upcoming Star Wars IP. Inverse theorizes that Palpatine had children with this mysterious "hardcore gangster" woman. They believe Palpatine's daughter to be Qi'ra from Solo. She's the crimeboss in the film who was played by Emilia Clarke. The article then goes on to predict that Qi'ra and Han Solo actually had a child together at some point in their relationship–who could be Rey. That would make Rey and Kylo Ren step-siblings. And Palpatine Rey's grandfather.
Yup, this one is wild as hell. But stranger things have happened in Star Wars. Hell, Luke made out with his sister.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.