The Last Jedi resolved the intrigue surrounding the heroine of this new sequel-trilogy, Rey, and her parentage with a gracefully simple, bold assertion: Rey is… just Rey. Not the daughter of some space aristocracy or legacy lineage, but a hero of her own making. […] That Rey’s parents were ordinary people meant anyone from anywhere could be born a hero; what determined a person’s place in the world was who they chose to be, rather than their last name. “Rey is our protagonist. And the truth is, in the story, the toughest possible thing for her to hear is, you know, you’re not gonna get the easy answer that you’re so-and-so’s daughter, this is your place,” [Rian] Johnson told me after The Last Jedi’s release. “You’re gonna have to stand on your own two feet and define yourself in this world.”
Instead of taking the baton from Last Jedi and running with it to new heights, The Rise of Skywalker retreats right back into the safety of nostalgia. […] It’s as if Abrams and Terrio scrambled for a loophole specifically to mollify the “fans” upset that this hero—worse, this girl—dared to wield such incredible abilities with only her own strength […] Bookending the saga Anakin began with the story of a girl from nowhere who sets right what he helped unbalance might have been resonant. But who cares for that when there’s another billion-dollar franchise to set up and potential spin-offs to tease?
— Melissa Leon, ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Erases the Power of Rey’s Story and Surrenders to Sexist Trolls