Killing Eve star Jodie Comer fondly recalls her time working on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, calling the experience “spectacular.”
Jodie Comer recently commented on her brief appearance in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as the mother of the sequel trilogy’s main protagonist, Rey. Comer is most known for her role in BBC America’s spy thriller series Killing Eve as the assassin Villanelle. Her performance in the show left enough of an impression on Star Wars director J.J. Abrams that he subsequently decided to cast her in the small but significant role in his film.
In The Rise of Skywalker, it is revealed that Rey is the granddaughter of the emaciated Emperor Palpatine, who somehow survived his explosive defeat during the climax of Return of the Jedi. Rey’s parents appear sporadically throughout the film in flashbacks that show how and why Rey ended up stranded on Jakku. These flashbacks reveal that Rey’s parents did not sell her for drinking money (contrary to Kylo Ren’s comments in the previous film Star Wars: The Last Jedi), and that they intentionally hid her on the barren desert planet to hide her from Palpatine’s enforcers.
In an interview with EW, Comer looked back on her brief stint in the Star Wars universe quite fondly. She claimed that the experience was “spectacular,” making special note of the practical effects used on set to bring the world to life. Like other actors that have been involved with the franchise, she revealed that she had to keep the news of her casting “a secret for a long, long, long time.”
The revelations pertaining to Rey’s lineage in The Rise of Skywalker have been controversial, to say the least. Some feel that Rey’s connection to Palpatine undermines her character arc in The Last Jedi, while others (like Abrams himself) see the reveal as an extension of Rey’s quest to find her place in the galaxy. Regardless of where popular opinion will settle on this debate, the inclusion of Rey’s parents in the film provided a definitive answer to one of the most oft-discussed mysteries set up in the first film of the trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It’s clear that Comer gave her all in her portrayal of Rey’s mother. Unfortunately, given the Herculean task that The Rise of Skywalker had of simultaneously concluding the sequel trilogy and the overarching 42-year-old Skywalker Saga, the audience barely had time to get acquainted with her before her unceremonious offscreen death. With the plethora of live-action Star Wars projects making their way to Disney+, there may yet be room to expand on Rey’s mother and father (the latter being an imperfect clone of Palpatine) in a spinoff prequel series or film. If such a project were to come to fruition, it would be a perfect opportunity to give Comer the space she needs to fully flesh out the character.