Rey was nearly named "Winkie" in The Force Awakens. There have always been names on the weirder side of the spectrum in the Star Wars universe, but a young Jedi Knight in training, who is the star of the sequel trilogy, with the name Winkie, seems a little ridiculous. Thankfully, J.J. Abrams and crew went against that idea. This information comes from Pablo Hidalgo's new book Star Wars: Fascinating Facts. You can read an excerpt below.
"The Force Awakens' long journey from idea to finished film was filled with evolution, but one idea that remained constant from the start was that of a young woman's quest to become a Jedi Knight. In George Lucas' original outline, she was a 14-year-old girl named Taryn. In his subsequent iterations, she would briefly be named Thea and-believe it or not-Winkie. When writer/director J.J. Abrams came aboard, he simplified the names to placeholders... Thea became Sally... as the film neared production, Sally became Kira (which stuck as the production code name), then Echo, and finally Rey."
Naming Rey Winkie would have probably changed the course of the entire Star Wars sequel trilogy. While the three movies were all wildly divisive, that name alone could have sparked immense controversy amongst hardcore fans. Whatever the case may be, it looks like Rey's story has been completed. Actress Daisy Ridley does not expect to come back, though that could all change in the near future, especially with the success of The Mandalorian on Disney+ leading the way for more Star Wars on the small screen.
Rey's backstory was something that Star Wars fans pondered right from the start of The Force Awakens. Who was this mysterious Force sensitive young woman? Rumors and speculation started immediately, with many claiming she was going to be the daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi, or even Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. As it turns out, not even Lucasfilm really knew what was going to happen until J.J. Abrams signed for The Rise of Skywalker.
Fans were shocked to learn that Rey is actually the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, who was magically able to control the First Order from behind-the-scenes after seemingly dying in Return of the Jedi. How he was able to be resurrected was never explained on the big screen and it left a lot of questions as to how he was really related to Rey. Some fans loved the plot twist, while others were not into it at all.
The future of Star Wars is currently on the small screen with The Mandalorian leading the way. The hit show is all set to premiere season 2 on October 30th and the hype is off the charts. From there, work is set to begin on the long-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi series, along with the Rogue One Prequel series. You can head over to Simon and Schuster for more information on Star Wars: Fascinating Facts.