Who is Rey?
Spoilers for Episode VII ahead. If you haven’t seen it yet, and why haven’t you, then shut this page down now.
I loved Episode VII. Let’s get that out of the way up front. I love the Original Trilogy (OT) and while it wasn’t the best thing ever, I don’t despise the Prequel Trilogy (PT) at all. As a matter of fact the PT is far better than you may be remembering, but that’s for another follow-up article. In the meantime, my thoughts for Ep 7 are fresh on my mind and I wanted to put into writing some ideas I’ve been bouncing around for the better part of a few weeks now. This is the first in a series of articles devoted to Star Wars, so stay tuned for more to follow.
I will also be breaking these articles down into particularly focused questions and theories instead of a brain dump of information. Hopefully this will all make sense, but if it doesn’t feel free to comment below or on our Facebook page.
I will assume from this point on that you’ve viewed the wonder that was Ep 7. Therefore I will avoid over-explanation of events you should be aware of. So without further ado, here are some of the theories we prescribe or proscribe (it’s a word, look it up) to here at I, Geek.
The big question…
Who is Rey?
This is the biggest question from the movie in my opinion. Who is Rey and why is she so powerful? Obviously J.J. Abrams wanted someone reminiscent of Luke. She’s a strong desert dweller who can handle her own. I still think one of the funniest parts of Ep 7 was her complaints of Finn constantly grabbing her hand all while the First Order rains destruction down around them. She’s no damsel in distress. This makes her resilient and strong which will be part of this theory rather soon.
Is she a Solo?
I don’t buy into the theory of Rey as Han and Leia’s daughter for a second. That doesn’t make a bit of sense? I’ll more quickly agree with the Jar Jar Binks as a Master Sith Lord before this theory. Why would either Han or Leia drop their daughter on a garbage planet and forget about her? It’s not like Han was busy fighting with the Resistance and they needed to keep her hidden from the dangers of the First Order. He was off gallivanting around the galaxy with Chewie in a quest to get his beloved ship back. If he knew about Rey or where she was being hidden, that would have been his first stop after leaving the Resistance. Why he’s not currently with Leia is another article unto itself.
Nope. Rey is most assuredly NOT the daughter of Han and Leia. Plus, with Disney making it really clear that the novels are now the Extended Universe, it would seem rather cheap to make her the sister of the main bad guy.
What about Rey being related to Obi-Wan Kenobi?
A flat no on this one. I saw this as a possible theory floating around out there and this one makes as much sense as the Han/Leia theory. Kenobi went into exile on Tattooine to protect Luke. He was a hermit living, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere. He lived by a strict Jedi Code, as shown in the PT, and one he never seemed to have any real issues following, unlike his Padawan. I couldn’t ever picture Old Ben traipsing off to Mos Eisley for a little fun time with the local backwoods fare.
This one has to remain a firm no.
Maybe Rey’s parentage doesn’t really matter?
Are you really buying the theory that she’s not related to anyone of consequence and just happens to be incredibly powerful? I like this one a little better than the two above theories for a number of reasons and I dislike it for one very big reason. First, a reason I like this is because it opens up a discussion of why she is Force Sensitive in the first place. If she’s the daughter of Joe and Sue Nobody, then the question arises of just how does the Force pass from being to being or is it completely random? Previous movies and the entire canon would suggest that while random occurrences of Force Sensitivity may occur (Anakin for example), for the most part Force Sensitive parents will have Force Sensitive children, unless of course they’re mudbloods… sorry, wrong movie. Of course this last point is really up for debate as it’s not made that clear about any of this, so I could be way off here, though I really don’t think I am.
A second reason I like this is because Rey could have been a young Jedi student under Luke and her parents dropped her off on Jakku to keep her hidden from the Knights of Ren in the same way that Luke and Leia were hidden from Vader. However, for this theory to work best, her parents would have both been killed in a battle with the Knights of Ren and they were never able to return and get her from Unkar Plutt who they somehow convinced to watch over her for a while.
To skew a bit from this theory, what if Rey is the Chosen One, not Anakin? After all, young Rey simply calls for the ship to “Come back!” She never specifically calls to a parent. A second virgin birth due to the Force creates the actual chosen one and she’s so freaking powerful that her mom doesn’t know what to do about her and dumps her on Jakku in the same way that mental health patients were dumped at asylums before significant changes in human rights laws. I’m getting off topic.
The glaring reason I don’t like this is because if the parents are in fact Nobody’s, then why should I care about Rey at all? It would be rather anti-climatic if she’s just some new person for us to learn about with zero ties to OT characters. This is the 7th installment in a massive saga that centers around a family of magic space wizards. It’s the family and the people connected to them that we care about, not just the ability to use the Force well. This brings me to my next and, for now, final theory.
Is Rey Luke’s daughter?
I know some rather cynical people out there have guffawed at what they consider to be a mirror copy of A New Hope, but The Force Awakens had to tie back to the OT in a big way. It simply had to or it might have been viewed as too close to the PT which isn’t doing anyone any favors right now. That being said I’m very cool with the homage that was Ep 7. And if Rey is Luke’s daughter and we hear him utter the famous Vader line to her, I’ll be grinning ear to ear and you will to.
There are a number of reasons I really like this theory and one glaring reason I think it might not fly. First off, this is a saga focusing largely on the Skywalkers. George Lucas even mentioned, long ago, that the entire arc of the story revolved around Anakin Skywalker. It would make complete sense if they continued in this same arc with the grand-daughter of Anakin fighting against the grand-son of Vader.
I’m thinking Luke or Rey’s mother has a vision of something dreadful happening to the new order of Jedi and Rey is spirited away to the backwater nowhere of Jakku. This is meant to be a short respite until this vision passes, but the reality of the event is far worse than the interpretation of the vision. The aftermath of the assault on the Jedi is shown in Rey’s “flashback” with bodies strewn everywhere around the small group of bad guys led by Kylo Ren. Whoever was supposed to pick up Rey is dead. Either Luke didn’t know where she was hidden or perhaps didn’t even know about her existence, much like Vader not knowing about Luke and Leia, though this seems unlikely.
The big reason I don’t like this theory and the one thing I keep coming back to as the main reason Luke isn’t her father is because of young Rey’s age. She’s easily 5 or 6 years old when she’s left on Jakku. I have a pretty good memory and can remember things from when I was 3. I remember the faces of my friends in school when I was 5 and the layout of the house I grew up in, in spite of the fact that I haven’t been there in 30 years. Chances are I’m not that special or skilled at memory retention so my only conclusion is that Rey should be able to remember things at that age as well.
Rey is 15 or so years removed from being left on Jakku which means she’d most assuredly remember who her famous father is. If Luke wasn’t a deadbeat dad and was around his kid during those early formative years, then she’d know who he is with very little question. And Abrams could have shown her being left as a baby or not at all. Instead he chose to show her at a formative and memory making age. So I’m not sure if this theory works, but I’d really like it to. Rey as Luke’s daughter would be a great continuation of the story.
My final prediction?
I stand by my final theory. Rey is a Skywalker and her father is the very famous Jedi Master. Since I began writing this article I’ve read the Ep 7 companion novel Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka. It outlines who Finn, Poe, and Rey are just before the events of the movie. It explains further Rey’s innate abilities and how she trained herself to such a good pilot. I’ve also watched the new movie 3 times having just walked in the door from my third viewing. The more I’ve read and watched the more I feel Rey is Luke’s daughter.
The last scene in the movie when Rey meets Luke. There are a few things I wanted to mention. First, there’s been some second guessing of why Leia, who’s been searching for her brother for a long time, would allow this scavenger nobody to go after Luke. My conclusion is that Leia knows who Rey is and furthermore, tells Rey how she’s related to Luke. Rey’s face when she holds out the lightsaber to Luke is full of emotion as she seems on the verge of tears having just met her father. Luke looks slightly surprised in the scene and it’s not because some stranger just sneaked up on him. He knew Rey was coming, probably felt her enter the solar system. No, he’s surprised at the face he sees before him. He’s staring into the face of his long dead wife.
One final thing. I don’t think Luke and Rey are the only two people present in that last scene. Near Luke’s feet is a small standing stone that caught my eye the first time I saw the movie. In subsequent viewings I scoured the scene for any other stone similarly ensconced in the dirt like that. There are none. My theory is, this is the gravesite of Luke’s wife and the small, flat standing stone is her memorial. What better and more fitting location to meet your daughter after all these years than at the grave of her mother?
This is all speculation and I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments or on Facebook. In the meantime, May the Force Be With You.
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