One of the things Star Wars fans, including me, were most looking forward to in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was learning more about Rey.
Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out in 2015 theories have abounded about her parents, who apparently abandoned her on Jakku. Would The Last Jedi give us definitive answers?
Before we get into that, I wanted to put down on paper my pre-The Last Jedi Rey theory. It’s hardly original, but, you know, it’s the internet. There’s a theory for everything.
There are multiple spoilers for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi in this post so proceed with caution.
Here we go: I was 100% convinced that Rey was Han and Leia’s daughter, and Kylo Ren’s brother. Here’s why:
Kylo Ren’s very first reaction to her
After the hapless First Order officer tells Ren that BB-8 escaped on a freighter, he mentions that FN-2187 and the droid were helped by a girl. Kylo—already upset—rages further: “What girl?!” And he grabs the officer by the throat. The scene cuts so we don’t know what happened to that dude. But I read Kylo’s reaction as, he knew there was a girl on Jakku that was somehow worthy of attention, and yet secret, and now it’s possible she’s been drawn into this. If she’s just some random girl, why is he so upset?
How quickly Han and Leia seemed drawn to her
Within minutes of meeting her, Han is clearly charmed by Rey—so much so that he offers her a job, and immediately starts acting gruff so she doesn’t realize how soft he’s suddenly become towards her. Meanwhile, in the infamous scene after the battle at Starkiller base, Rey and Leia—never having met before—hug each other. Rey is also clearly devastated that Han, who she’s only known for a few hours—has died. (There’s also Ren’s comment: “You see Han Solo as a father figure. Don’t. He’d only disappoint you.”) Of course, that begs the question: Why don’t they recognize Rey and/or say something?
A series of unlikely coincidences
OK, so Rey was abandoned on Jakku by her family some time ago. Meanwhile, the Millennium Falcon is also on Jakku. Meanwhile, the map to Luke Skywalker is also on Jakku. And then BB-8 escapes across the desert… right to her doorstep. And Finn crashes, walks across the desert… and runs right into her and BB-8. How likely is that all of this happens by random chance? Seems convenient, that this backwater planet—devastated 20+ years ago by the final battle between the Empire and the Rebellion—would be home to Rey, the Falcon and the map at the same time, and that, on a whole planet, BB-8 and Finn would just find her, don’t you think? Is it some sort of convergence in the Force… an awakening?
(Also, she can fly the Falcon and understands Wookiee, which both some like rare gifts.)
At Maz Kanata’s… um, restaurant? Bar? Space palace? …whatever, Rey is drawn to Luke Skywalker’s (previously Anakin Skywalker’s) lightsaber. (As an aside, it did seem more that only a Skywalker would be drawn to that lightsaber; as Leia’s daughter, Rey would fit the bill. Although I do note that, as far as I know, this idea of lightsabers calling to someone has never been explored before, related or otherwise.)
Most importantly, once Rey grabs that lightsaber, she has a vision. She sees five scenes: One is the corridor in Cloud City, right before Luke loses this lightsaber; next she sees Luke at the destruction of the Jedi Academy; suddenly, it’s raining, and when she turns around, Kylo Ren, surrounded by several dark-clad figures, stabs a separate menacing figure standing right above Rey with his lightsaber and stares at her; then we see little Rey being abandoned on Jakku; and finally, Rey’s in the forest being confronted by Ren in the forest.
Here’s the thing. In the first scene, a flashback, the lightsaber is present; in the fourth, also a flashback, Rey is present; finally, in the fifth, a flash forward, both Rey and the lightsaber are present. But in the second and third? The lightsaber is not present at the Jedi academy. Was Rey? Does that mean she was there at the destruction of the Jedi Academy? And that she and Kylo Ren have met before?
Kylo Ren stole Rey from the Jedi Academy
So here’s the theory in a nutshell: Han and Leia had a son, Ben. Luke established a Jedi temple; they sent Ben there to train. Then Han and Leia had a daughter, name unknown. They sent her to train at the temple (remember, we know from the prequels, this training begins very young; alternatively, they could have just sent her there to visit her brother). Kylo turns to the dark side; kills the other students, expect for a few (the “Knights of Ren”) and his unnamed sister. In fact, he even saves his sister’s life; one of his disciples was about to kill her, but Ren kills him instead (as seen in Rey’s vision). He takes her off planet; everyone, including Luke, Han and Leia, thinks she died in the temple.
He then stashes her on Jakku, because Jakku is a practically dead world, a nowhere that no one would ever want to go to. He then either wipes her mind (he does have some mind reading ability, so this isn’t a huge stretch) or she’s simply too traumatized to really remember anything.
She practically raises herself on Jakku. Luke goes into hiding. Han and Leia separate. Ren goes off with Snoke and builds up the First Order.
But the Force begins to awaken. Things, people, events are drawn to Jakku. The Falcon. The map. BB-8.
Han and Leia are drawn to her (and she to them) by this family connection, even though they don’t realize it. They don’t know it’s her, but they sense the familiarity.
And when Kylo tracks Lor San Tekka there, and confronts his lackey about BB-8 and that girl… he thinks it could be his sister! When he meets her, he knows (“The girl I’ve heard so much about”), and when he says that bit about Han disappointing her as a father, he’s actually being literal.
Finally, during the fight in the forest, the lightsaber responds to her, and she’s powerful enough to resist Ren, and fight him one-on-one, because she’s a Skywalker. Even the way she toes the line of the dark side—she’s clearly lashing out in the forest, in fear and anger—is very Skywalker-esque…
So that’s it. That’s my theory.
It’s now been proven wrong. According to Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rey really is nobody; her parents were junk traders who abandoned her.
What do I think about that? I’ll be publishing my spoiler-heavy thoughts on The Last Jedi over the next couple of days, so stay tuned.