Star Wars The Force Awakens: Who are Rey's parents?
Rey's Possible Parentage: 3 Possibilities
The force truly awakens in the new Star Wars film, with the introduction of our new force-sensitive heroine, Rey. Rey appears to have been abandoned (or hidden, perhaps?) on the desert planet Jakku as a child, and has been waiting for her family to return ever since.
Family is a key driving force in the plot of the Star Wars original trilogy, from the very nearly incestuous relationship between siblings Luke and Leia Skywalker, to the 'OMG' moment in Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader reveals that he is in fact Luke's father.
Naturally, J.J. Abrams has chosen to carry on the theme of family in The Force Awakens, with Kylo Ren already revealed to be Ben Solo, son of Han and Leia and nephew of Luke. We expected some form of family connection between the characters in the original and new trilogies. But should be expect more of the same in episodes VIII and IX? Most would say yes, and with good reason...
This article will review the question whose answer we're all longing for: Who are Rey's parents? The three most plausible and theorised connections of Rey to the original trilogy are:
- Rey is Luke's daughter, Rey Skywalker.
- Rey is the daughter of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo.
- Rey is a Kenobi, the granddaughter of Obi Wan Kenobi.
Is Rey a Skywalker?
1. Is Rey Luke Skywalker's daughter?
Star Wars The Force Awakens provides so many clues as to Rey's parentage. To some, it seems that J.J. Abrams was actively trying to drive viewers in to thinking that Rey is the daughter of Luke Skywalker.
There are a number of huge signifiers pointing toward our heroine being a Skywalker, specifically the daughter of Luke.
- R2D2 awakens when Rey arrives at the Resistance base. According to C3P0, R2 had been dormant ever since Luke's eloping to the mysterious island we see in the final scenes of The Force Awakens. Does R2D2 sense Rey's presence, or is it just purely coincidental? I would rule out coincidence. Remember, Leia is present at the Resistance base where R2D2 is being stored. Leia is extremely close to Luke. The only people that could possible be more closely connected to Luke than Leia would be his spouse, son or daughter. Or another possibility is that R2D2 has simply sensed the presence of his master's lightsaber and assumes he's near. This, perhaps, is more likely. The fact that R2D2 has actually stored and carried the lightsaber before makes this idea all the more logical.
- Luke's lightsaber calls out to Rey when she arrives at Maz Kanata. Another thing is the Star wars universe that has sensed her presence - this has to be a sure-fire signal that Rey is somehow related Luke, doesn't it?
- Luke's reaction to Rey's arrival is one of utter disbelief. Mark Hamill's face says it all: 'You're here'. Although its near-impossible to read Luke Skywalker's thoughts in this scene, it's clear that he knows Rey's face. He knows who she is, and likely knows all about her story. This may not simply be because he's the best Jedi in existence at that point, but perhaps because he shares more than just force-sensitivity with Rey. Is she his daughter? Was he expecting her? Did he know she was coming? Was he waiting for her? Unanswered questions creating even more unanswered questions... Curse you J.J.
- Kathleen Kenedy, President of Lucasfilm Ltd, stated in a press conference in the run up to Star Wars The Force Awakens, that the main films - the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and the new sequel trilogy, will always follow the story of the Skywalker family. Yes, Kylo Ren is part of the Skywalker family, but it's not so clear for younger viewers - his name is Kylo Ren / Ben Organa Solo, not Kylo Skywalker / Ben Skywalker. For younger viewers new to the franchise, and also as an ode the die-hard fans, I feel that we really need one of the main characters to bear that 'Skywalker' family name quite overtly. Now, while Kylo Ren has shown pride in being a part of that family - by his obsession with his grandfather Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker, this doesn't really cut it for me. Plus, Kennedy's comment leads us to expect one of the main Light side characters to be a Skywalker - it's just the way it should be! I highly doubt Kylo Ren will be the only member of the Skywalker family unveiled in the new trilogy.
- Although very trivial, take a look at the above image. J.J. Abrams has quote purposefully mirrored some of the shots in The Force Awakens with some of those in the original trilogy. even the facial expressions are quite similar! Is this foreshadowing what's yet to be revealed in the new Star Wars films? Or is it just J.J. attempting to create a sense of nostalgia?
Star Wars Maxi Poster
2. Is Rey the daughter of Han and Leia?
This theory is probably the more widely accepted of the three we're discussing here. In the Expanded Universe, although completely unrelated and now, officially, non-canon, there is a storyline wherein Han and Leia have twins named Jacen and Jaena Solo. With Kylo Ren, or Ben Solo if you like, confirmed as their son by Han and Leia themselves in The Force Awakens, he has been automatically likened to Jacen Solo. The similarities between Kylo Ren and Jacen Solo are uncanny:
- Son of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo
- Force-sensitive lightsaber wielder
- Trained by Luke
- Wants to defeat the Light side
- Aware of his relation to Darth Vader
Did J.J. Abrams use the Jacen and Jaena storyline as his key piece of inspiration for the new trilogy? Perhaps. As the story goes, Jacen is trained by Luke Skywalker, serving as his Apprentice until he succumbs to the Dark side of the force. It falls to Jaena, his sister, to stop him from casting the shroud of the Dark side across the rest of the galaxy. Ultimately, this ends in the death of Jacen at the hands of Jaena.
Rey, taking on Kylo Ren is an epic lightsaber duel during the climax of The Force Awakens, is likened to Jaena Solo. Not only this, but Kylo appears to know of Rey, and becomes somewhat obsessed with finding her once he gets word of her whereabouts. He ever utters 'It is you'! Does he recognise her? If so, form where?
Additionally, Rey's aptitude for flying the Millennium Falcon absolutely cannot be overlooked. She appears starry-eyed and in awe when she realises she's just flown the Millennium Falcon and is in fact in the presence of Han Solo. She consider Han a war hero, a legend, a myth. She shows her knowledge of the Falcon and grows close to Han, and likewise Han to her. In the film, Han offers her 'a job' - though the audience see through this and know that Han is very fond of her. We get a strange feeling that Han knows exactly who she is, where she's from, and who her parents really are. He gives her her first blaster, and offers to teach her how to use it. His reaction to her knowing nearly as much about the Falcon as he does is one fit for a picture. The chemistry between Rey and Han is something we, as fans, just cannot ignore, especially when theorising as to her parentage.
Consider this, though... Han feels as though he has lost his son, Ben, to the Dark side forever. Although the exchanges between Rey and Han look a lot like those of a daughter and her loving father, this may not be the case. Han has lost his son and Rey has never had a father. If Rey was actually Rey Skywalker, Han would know this - he'd have twigged that this was her - and he may just treat his niece as if she was his own daughter. He would know what had happened to her - that she was abandoned on Jakku for her own safety. He may even feel guilty about it. Why? Because of his own son's actions. We've no indication of the age gap between Kylo Ren and Rey - it may be that Ben's fall to the Dark side and becoming Kylo Ren was what led to Rey being hidden on Jakku. Ben Solo would have known, and more than likely met, Rey Skywalker as a child, given that they would be cousins. Luke would be forced to have his daughter hidden on a remote planet, away from the danger he now faced in the form of Kylo Ren and his acolytes, the Knights of Ren.
Star Wars The Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 Poster
3. Is Rey a Kenobi?
Obi Wan Kenobi, one of the most skilful and committed Jedi masters of all time, may well be a relative of Rey. If you've only seen Star Wars The Force Awakens once, you may have missed the signs, and are probably scowling at your screen right now, thinking 'What? No, never.' Well stay put, take a read of this:
- According to the space pirate, Maz Kanata, Luke's lightsaber is calling out to Rey. This culminates in Rey experiencing visions much like Luke's on Dagobah, when he sees visions of his own face under Vader's mask. During these visions, we hear the words 'Rey, these are your first steps'. But did you recognise the voice behind these lines? You got it, Obi Wan.
- Obi Wan Kenobi speaks to Rey in her visions of her being abandoned as a child, among other events. Why would Obi Wan speak to Rey? Obi Wan did long before Rey was even born. The only way in which Rey could reach Obi Wan is through an extremely powerful force connection, one that appears stronger than that of Luke and Leia's connection. Arguably, the only relationship closer than that of siblings', is that of a parent and child, as mentioned before. But wait, Obi Wan died before Rey was born? Plus, he's old... really old. Well perhaps Rey isn't his daughter, but his granddaughter? Although Obi Wan lived by the Jedi code, he may have gone a bit wild once the Jedi Council disbanded, and may have had children. This would be an interesting storyline to explore.
- The voices in the vision are genuinely those of Ewan McGregor and the late Alec Guinness. Alec Guinness' 'Rey' line was actually lifted from the original trilogy, when he says the word 'afraid'. Ewan McGregor actually recorded his lines in the studio especially for the film. Now that is some serious dedication to the cause!
- Furthermore, it can be argued that Luke's lightsaber calling out to Rey is obviously a sign that she's a relative of Luke's. However, Obi Wan looked after the lightsaber between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. In fact, the lightsaber was probably in his possession a lot longer than it was in Anakin's or Luke's. So maybe the lightsaber calling to Rey is in fact due to it sensing the Kenobi bloodline.
- Lastly, Rey has been noted to have a similar fighting style as Obi Wan. I disagree with this slightly - she seems to me to be more of a fencing-like lightsaber combatant, but it is worth a mention nevertheless.
Summary of Rey's Potential Family
Who are the family that Rey is waiting for on Jakku?
The Kylo Ren Light Side Theory
If you enjoyed reading this Hub, you might like to read another I've written about Kylo Ren. It presents my theory that Kylo Ren may actually be on the same side as Luke Skywalker and the Resistance, sent to carry out a master plan that only a few characters are aware of. You can also see how The Force Awakens backs the theory up! This is a theory I really hope we see play out in the next films in the series...