We’re, like, halfway to the release of the next movie (AAAHHHH!!!), and so I find myself again wondering about Rey’s backstory.
I recently watched an interview conducted with Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Mark Hamill (if you don’t know this, SHAME SHAME, but: Luke Skywalker). In the interview, Daisy said that by the time The Force Awakens wrapped and we get to the end of the movie, she had originally thought that the question of who her parents were had been answered.
I definitely didn’t get that, and I think basically everyone else not involved in the making of the films agrees. I do, however, have theories. I have two theories that I think are the most plausible outcomes, though I am happy to hear of others (comment below!)
First of all, what do we know? Rey was abandoned on Jakku as a little girl, has the Force, has this really special connection with Han Solo from the second that they meet, and finishes off the movie by finding Luke Skywalker, presumably for training and also possibly to bring him back into contact with Leia and the Rebellion. I think we can also assume that she’s anywhere between the ages of 18-25, and that we can put her in roughly the same age-range as Kylo Ren.
What about the backstory leading up to The Force Awakens but following Return of the Jedi? Han and Leia had a son, Ben (is it possible he’s named after Obi-Wan? Anyway.). Luke tried to re-instate the Jedi by taking a bunch of young children to train, but something went wrong. We know that Kylo Ren was persuaded by the Dark Side to turn on Luke and follow General Snoak. Somewhere in all that, Rey was abandoned on Jakku.
This leads to my first theory, and the one I believe is most plausible and likely. Rey is Luke’s daughter. If we take Daisy’s words literally, with the end of the movie showing Luke and Rey’s (re)union it is also showing us who Rey’s father is. The way he looks at Rey, as if he has been expecting her, potentially goes well beyond his Jedi skills and sensory abilities and speaks to a more innate familial connection. During A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, the only characters with the Force are Luke, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Obi-Wan (who dies early on, before Rey could have been conceived—given the age difference between her and Luke), and Yoda (who is not a human and therefore could not be related to Rey). It is suggested that Leia does have the Force, but it is weaker in her and we’re not given any indication that she tries to strengthen her powers between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, though we do know that she created a Force-infused offspring. There could obviously be more people with the Force, but Daisy says that by the end of the movie we’re supposed to have caught on to who her parents are: that means it’s someone in The Force Awakens.
Again, I think it’s Luke. I’m not sure who her mother would be, but to break it down: Luke has a daughter, Rey. I believe she’s likely a year or two younger than Kylo Ren, because I believe that when Kylo Ren turned to the Dark Side and ruined Luke’s attempts at reinstating the Jedi Order, Luke placed Rey on Jakku to protect her. (It’s also totally possible that Luke turned to the Dark Side for a period and someone else put Rey on Jakku to protect her, but we don’t have anything to back that fan theory up yet.)
LET’S ALSO NOT FORGET THE FACT THAT LUKE’S LIGHTSABER CALLED TO HER I MEAN OMG.
Okay, so for theory number 2: Rey is Han and Leia’s daughter. This one’s a bit more of a stretch for me, but hear me out. She has inherited the Force, which we know Leia also passed on to Kylo Ren. She has this crazy connection to Han Solo—I mean, this is emphasized in such a way throughout the movie that I think we’re supposed to sit back and go, Okay, this is significant and means something MORE for the plot arc as a whole. Never once do Han or Leia say that they only had one child. Daisy Ridley also looks a lot like a young Carrie Fisher—casting decisions are never a coincidence, you guys.
What if this is what happened: Han and Leia have Ben (Kylo Ren). He shows that he has the Force and Luke takes him under his wing to train him. A few years later, Han and Leia have a daughter, Rey. But by now, Ben has started to become swayed by the Dark Side and things are becoming dangerous. To protect his sister from the same fate—and perhaps to keep her hidden in case she shows that she has the Force and Snoak takes an interest in her?—they send her away. She’s possibly still a baby at this point, or very young—young enough that she doesn’t remember her parents when she meets them again as an adult. At some point, events in the galaxy take a turn for the worse and Rey is abandoned on Jakku—possibly out of concerns for her own safety, possibly as a result of irresponsibility. Therefore, when she meets up with Han and Leia as an adult, they have no idea what their daughter would look like or where she would have gone as a child, and she has no idea who they are, but they have this inexplicable connection. Let’s not forget that she and Kylo Ren have this really interesting connection too; Kylo Ren can feel it, and so can she, but she’s resistant to his attempts to sway her to the Dark Side.
Overall, I think it’s all super fascinating and I can’t wait for the big reveal. One fan theory that is gaining traction, but that is totally impossible is the theory that Rey is Obi-Wan’s daughter. Let’s remember how old Obi-Wan was by the time A New Hope started. Yeah, sure, he could have produced a kid. But with who? For all of Luke’s life he was known as the hermit on Tattooine. This theory just doesn’t have a lot of ground and doesn’t hold its own, in my opinion. Anyways, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
And now I’m off to see the new Spider-Man! Catch you later.