We’ve been combing through Vanity Fair‘s new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker photos and cover story all morning, and we’ve really only cracked the surface of what to expect in this December’s grand finale given what the magazine revealed. One of the biggest talking points is the revelation that Keri Russell is playing a character named Zorri Bliss, who looks an awful lot like a bounty hunter, particularly the prequel-era character Zam Wesell.
— Nerdist (@nerdist) May 22, 2019
We also learned more details about the character and where we find her in The Rise of Skywalker. But what if there’s more to this character than meets the eye? What if she isn’t just a bounty hunter, but the carrier of important information for our hero, Rey? There are a few clues in the trailer and Vanity Fair shoot that lead us to believe these characters might be connected. And it all starts with a spaceship…
We see the same spacecraft in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker
Before we get into theorizing, it’s important to note where it formulated. There was a quick shot of a spacecraft in the teaser trailer for The Rise of Skywalker that fans instantly recognized as being nearly identical to the one we see in Rey’s force-back vision in The Force Awakens. It’s the ship her parents were on when they abandoned her on Jakku for nefarious reasons. So what is the same ship doing in The Rise of Skywalker? It’s either another flashback, or it could be a hint that we’ll learn more about Rey’s parents in the next film.
Is Zorri Bliss actually Rey’s mom?
In the Vanity Fair photos, we see Zorri on what appears to be the same planet from the trailer, a “snow-dusted” location called Kijimi. Located on Kijimi is something called the Thieves’ Quarter. “Ever since the balance of power in the galaxy was thrown off by the invasion of the First Order and the destruction of the New Republic, [the Thieves’ Quarter] has become very profitable for scoundrels to avoid picking a side during the escalating war between Leia’s Resistance and Kylo Ren’s forces,” a breakout article, written by Vanity Fair‘s Joanna Robinson, explains.
Is it possible the reason we’re seeing Rey’s parents’ spacecraft on the same planet as Zorri is pure coincidence? Or is Russell playing Daisy Ridley’s mom in the film? The age difference seems a little off (Russell is only 16 years older than Ridley), but films have been known to fudge ages in the past. We can assume we don’t see Zorri in a flashback, given the context of the Vanity Fair article—which explains how she fits into the First Order and Resistance conflict—but anything is truly possible. Maybe Rey travels to Kijmi to explore her past, or maybe Kylo—who we also see on Kijimi in the trailer—beats her to it.
We’ve got to be honest, we’re not sold on Zorri being Rey’s mom. There are too many odd gaps to fill if that’s the case. But it’s still possible that she holds a key to Rey’s past. Something that will help Rey grow up and move on.
Did Zorri work with Rey’s parents?
A more logical reason why we’re seeing the same ship is that it’s a transport shuttle between planets, one that Rey’s parents might have drunkenly hopped aboard, leaving their daughter behind. We know Kijimi is a hive for scoundrels, and given what we think we know of Rey’s parents from The Last Jedi—that they sold their daughter for drinking money—it sounds like the sort of place they might end up.
If Rey and the others travel to Kijimi in The Rise of Skywalker, it could be while they’re on the hunt for someone or something else. But what if Rey encounters Zorri and is recognized by the rogue hunter? And what if Zorri can confirm that she knew Rey’s parents and what became of them?
We’re inclined to believe their status as “nobodies” is fact—remember that it’s Rey who said this in The Last Jedi, not Kylo as is commonly mistaken; he was merely reading her mind and voicing her fears. If that is the case, Zorri could be a way for Rey to get closure. To accept that her parents were not good people, and to move forward with her own identity, free of the past for good. That could also fit in with the theory that she takes on the Skywalker name so that it can live on for the next generation of Force users.
The “rise” of the title could be all about Rey, and Keri Russell’s Zorri could help her get there.
Images: Disney, Lucasfilm