Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Rogue One. If you want a huge plot twist spoiled for you, read on. If not, punch it and make the jump to hyperspace now!
When Rogue One was first announced, people were sure that although this movie is a standalone anthology film, it would have some lasting relevance to the saga — and drop hints for #StarWars8. Well, at least one of these statements is right. Rogue One is a fantastic film, definitely one of #StarWars' best, and its depiction of the brutal struggle between the Rebellion and the Empire will forever change how we view the original trilogy.
But as for the sequel trilogy, #RogueOne didn't seem to have any kind of connection to Star Wars Episode VIII... apart from debunking a popular fan theory.
Thanks to Felicity Jones' remarkable resemblance to Daisy Ridley — not to mention her clear-cut English accent — when her casting was announced many fans jumped on the idea that Rogue One would introduce us to Rey's mother. The mystery of Rey's past is an important part of the sequel trilogy, and we're all eager to guess her secrets before they're revealed in Star Wars 8 (or #StarWars9).
But we can scratch one theory off the list! Because...
Jyn Is Not Rey's Mother
This is pretty obvious to anyone who's seen the film, but once and for all let's kill this theory as dead as an alarming amount of characters in Rogue One.
That's right, Disney/Lucasfilm did exactly what we didn't expect, and actually killed off most of the main character in Rogue One — including the protagonist, Jyn. This was a bold move, but this decision really propelled Rogue One to the top of the list of best Star Wars movies (you may disagree, but in our minds it's tied with Empire Strikes Back as the best one).
However, this does shoot down any fans had of Jyn being connected to Rey. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. As much as this would have been cool — and after six movies about fathers and sons, a legacy from a mother to a daughter would have been refreshing — killing the protagonist was a way to set Rogue One apart from the rest of the franchise, and make it more realistic
Rogue One was first and foremost a war movie, hammering home the fact that in war people die. They aren't necessarily all glamorous and heroic deaths, but they're all for a cause. And in the case of Rogue One, the deaths give a weight of meaning to A New Hope, and the Rebellion's continued fight against the Empire.
Instead of following the main heroes whom we know will survive, Rogue One presents us with a reality in which no one character is crucial to the war: They all do their part, and they're all valuable. But they can die, and when they do there are more to continue the fight. It's a sophisticated, and brutal, new outlook for Star Wars, and the franchise wears it well.
And at least this narrows down the list of potential candidates for Rey's parents, eh!