The greatest thing about making a movie that’s the first installment of a pre-ordained trilogy is that episode one—or in this case, Episode VII—can ask more questions than it answers.
One of the biggest questions coming out of Star Wars: The Force Awakens—other than is the Supreme Leader Snoke really 50 feet tall or is that one of the oversized holograms Dark Side leaders love to use (early reports indicate, by the way, that the plan is to make Snoke around seven feet tall in future films, not the size of a skyscraper)—is that of Rey’s lineage. Who are Rey’s parents?
For the purposes of Star Wars canon, the far more important question is this: Who is Rey’s father?
Star Wars has long had a fascination with fatherhood, and The Force Awakens is no different, with one of the great reveals in the movie franchise coming when (if you’ve read this far, I don’t have to say SPOILER ALERT, do I?) Han Solo and General Leia Organa discuss the transformation of their son, Kylo Ren, from a boy named Ben to Darth Vader 2.0.
Kylo, as the movie lays out in very clear terms, was the boy who turned to the Dark Side after being trained by Luke Skywalker in an effort by the last known Jedi in the universe to rebuild the forces of light and keep balance in the galaxy. There was, as we’re told but not shown, something of a padawan massacre that forced Luke into hiding, with the whole movie hinged on putting together a map to find him.
After the day is saved and the battle is won, Rey is the one who travels to Luke’s location as The Force Awakens ends, holding out Luke’s lightsaber—that called to her over Kylo Ren in one of the series’ most epic battle scenes—in hopes the greatest Jedi in the galaxy will come back, save the day, and restore balance to the Force once and for all. (Or until the next trilogy.)
The last scene is one of the best of all the Star Wars movies, leaving so much to be answered in the next two movies and beyond. Most importantly, is Luke Rey’s father?
That’s the question most of us will be asking for the next two years, so here are three theories on who Rey is, and why she has such a strong connection to both the Force, and to Luke.
Theory #1: Kylo and Rey are siblings, Leia is Rey’s mother and (maybe) Han Solo is her father
Rey and Kylo are clearly related. Kylo feels her presence much like Luke and Vader could feel one another. But related doesn’t have to mean siblings, and while the Internet has been abuzz that Rey and Kylo may be brother and sister, or even twins, that theory doesn’t hold up much muster when watching the interaction between those we know to be Kylo Ren’s parents and Rey.
Why didn’t Han tell Rey he’s her father if he is, in fact, her father? What kind of dick move is that, considering how in love with his son he was the entire movie?
I could see sending her off to protect her after Kylo turned to the Dark Side, but Rey was old enough in that cut shot of her being left on Jakku to have remembered her father’s NAME at least. “Han Solo. Huh, that’s my dad’s name too.” She may not have remembered her father, being so young, but coming from royalty like Leia and Han would have stayed with a child Rey’s age when she was left there, presumably to hide like Luke, who was stashed on Tatooine before A New Hope.
And even if we are to believe she was too young to remember her dad’s name—even though she knew the name Han Solo when they met—there is no way Han wouldn’t remember her!
I loved The Force Awakens, but for those suggesting Kylo and Rey are brother and sister, it also doesn’t make sense that Han wouldn’t have been more concerned with going to get her when she was captured, but Finn—who had just met her—was. And Leia was like “bring our son home” but no mention of their daughter, who is actually good and not corrupted by evil forces? Talk about your second child syndrome!
None of that works, unless she is Leia’s daughter with someone other than Han, which would make sense only in the way Leia and Han both interacted with Rey, but less in the overall storyline of two of the most iconic characters of the last 30 years, thereby cheapening Solo’s legacy in the process. If Han left Leia after Kylo turned, when was that? Could Leia have then met someone and had a child with that person and then stashed that child on Jakku? That makes no sense.
While it would make for a great story going forward, evil brother against good sister and the fight for familial balance, it doesn’t make any sense why Han Solo wouldn’t have been more protective of her once she ended up on the Millennium Falcon. Sure, hide her on a crappy planet to protect her—and, honestly, no matter who her dad is, why not pick a less crappy planet than Jakku—but once you find her again, why the hell not come clean to her? Or after (SPOILER ALERT) Han dies, why wouldn’t Leia tell her she’s her mother? Life’s too short and all.
That theory feels thin, even by “it’s just a movie” standards. Which leads to the more likely theory.
Theory #2: Kylo and Rey are cousins, and Rey is Luke’s daughter
It makes more sense they are cousins, and Rey is Luke’s daughter, and that Han and Leia didn’t know who she was until Leia felt the Force awaken in her. Maybe they knew Luke had a daughter yet didn’t know it was Rey, but then Han recognized something in her, which is why he offered her a job, like he did for Luke all those years ago. (Yes, a lot of maybes, which is why this is so much fun.)
The final scene pretty much nailed that she’s Luke’s daughter for many of us. And that Kylo thinks Luke’s lightsaber is his but it totally called to her twice, including during the fight when Kylo was Jedi mind-tricking the hell out of it, because while he’s Luke’s nephew and Darth’s grandson, she’s Luke’s daughter, so the Force is stronger in her.
The question of course, is who is Rey’s mother if Luke is her father? And why did Luke become a deadbeat dad? Why not send her off to live with Leia who could protect her with the forces of the Republic? That could be what the next movies are about, which I would not hate.
Theory #3: Rey is Poe Dameron’s sister, and Poe also has The Force in him
Why was Poe Dameron on Jakku with the final piece of a map to find Luke Skywalker?
If you read the recent Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic released by Marvel as an epilogue of the original trilogy and published in advance of The Force Awakens, the saga ends with Luke going on a mission to retrieve an item from an Empire base. He needs a pilot to go with him—a bit of a stretch considering how great a pilot Luke was—and employs a Rebel fighter named Shara Bey.
Luke and Shara Bey break into the facility to steal a tree that contains the power of the Force. Luke explains this was once a huge tree, but all that was left are two small pieces, held and kept alive by Emperor Palpatine until his death.
The story of Shattered Empire follows Shara Bey on her journey, leading up to the time she tries to attempt this heist with Luke, ending with the reveal that there are two smaller trees to secure, not one tree like Luke anticipated.
Luke keeps one tree for himself and gives Shara Bey the other to plant at her new home as she goes back to her husband—a fighter in General Solo’s forces during the story—and her son, who she misses dearly.
Her husband’s name is Kes Dameron. Her son’s name… is Poe.
Poe Dameron grew up as the son of two great Rebel fighters in the shadow of a tree that contains all the powers of the Force. Poe probably swung on the tree as a boy. What if when Shara Bey and Kes settled down with their family, that family grew?
What if they had a daughter, and what if that daughter is Rey?
Poe may have been too old by the time the tree was planted to absorb too much of the Force, but Rey would have been born after it took roots; a true child of the Force.
That could be Rey’s connection to Luke, and the reason she has more power than Kylo and enough of the Force in her to battle a trained fighter without any lightsaber training herself.
The comic ends as Shara Bey and Kes settle on a lush, green planet, which doesn’t account for leaving anyone on Jakku, no. But they were fighters, and a lot can happen over time, and maybe Luke had Shara and Kes hide Rey to protect her from the First Order, thereby protecting the other tree and protecting the Force.
One thing is for certain, moviegoers should expect to learn more about Poe Dameron, and his connection to the Force and that tree and Luke.
It might make sense if that connection is a bad-ass, saber-wielding, Force-balancing hero named Rey.