It's no secret that The Last Jedi didn't answer every burning question Star Wars fans had heading into the movie. Not only that, but many of the answers we did get left something to be desired by the fanbase. Still, director Rian Johnson seems confident about his decisions. Specifically, he is perfectly happy with how he handled Rey's parents and recently explained his decision to handle it how he did.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In the movie, we find out, via a pretty crushing speech from Kylo Ren, that Rey's parents were merely junkers from Jakku who sold her away for drinking money. It's not what fans expected, but Rian Johnson says it was hinted at in The Force Awakens and that he felt, narratively speaking, it was the best way to handle it. Here's what he had to say.
"It was hinted at in VII when Maz [Lupita Nyong'o] says the answers lay ahead, not behind, but it was something that was obviously still on Rey's mind and the audience's mind. It felt like a powerful thing that she was still holding onto this notion of the past defining her. And I guess I was entirely looking at it from a perspective of...what would be the thing that would be the most difficult for her to hear? The easiest thing for her to hear would be, 'Yes, you are so and so's daughter.' Or 'Yes, here's where you fit into this. Here's the answer.' The tougher thing to hear is, 'You're going to have to stand on your own two feet, you're going to have to figure out what you're worth in this world yourself. Your place in this story is not going to be handed to you. You are going to have to find it.' That to me was the most interesting and toughest thing for Rey."
These comments echo some of what Rian Johnson has said about the reveal of Rey's parents before, but it offers just a bit more clarity and it's a concise explanation. The Last Jedi has divided fans, but people may have rioted if Rey's parents weren't addressed in the movie at all. Sure, many wanted her to be a Kenobi, or maybe even a relative of Palpatine, but Johnson did the unexpected thing and, as he lays out here, it served the story he was trying to tell.
Rian Johnson has also made it clear that Kylo Ren's comments about Rey's parents were genuine. Though, he does say that J.J. Abrams could throw some sort of twist in, if he so chooses, in Star Wars 9. So there's always a small chance these lame junker parents could turn out to have been important people in their own right. For more with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, you can check out the full interview with The Hollywood Reporter.