Of all the various mysteries posed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the biggest (and most talked about) has revolved around the true identity of Rey. We know very little, if anything, about who she is, why she was left on Jakku as a young girl, or why she’s strong with the Force. If there’s one thing everyone can agree on though, it’s that the answers to these questions are going to play heavily into the new trilogy’s endgame.
That in turn, has led to a slew of wild theories. Some are based on evidence we saw directly in The Force Awakens. Others still are completely conjecture. Whatever their basis, we gathered together all the best ones. Let’s dive in and explore, shall we?
1. Luke is Rey’s father
If you’re a strong believer in Occam’s razor, then this might be the theory for you. “Luke is Rey’s father” is the lowest hanging fruit of them all, and for many that’s enough of a reason to discount it entirely. The question then becomes a matter of whether writer and director Rian Johnson really made the answer something that obvious. It’s hard to believe he would, but we’re not here to rule anything out.
Beyond that, Rey is naturally gifted in the Force, Anakin and Luke’s old lightsaber calls to her, and Luke seems to recognize her when she shows up on Ahch-To at the end of The Force Awakens. All that could potentially point to this theory being the answer.
2. Rey Solo (and Kylo Ren’s sister)
Being Luke’s daughter may be the lowest hanging fruit, but being his niece comes in at a close second. This theory posits that Han and Leia (or Leia and another man) had a second child. There’s certainly no denying the instant bond Rey had with both Han and Leia, while her brief relationship with the former came off as decidedly paternal. Additionally, it would be poetic to have her and Kylo Ren represent opposing sides of the Force in the same family, making their climactic duel at the end of The Force Awakens that much more meaningful.
3. A former student of Luke’s
Here’s where we begin diving into some murky waters. It’s entirely plausible that Rey was once a student in Luke’s fledgling Jedi Order, only to escape to Jakku with her memory erased in the wake of Kylo Ren’s wrath. Having her live on a remote junkyard planet with no recollection of her days as a Jedi Padawan would certainly be a way to protect her. Combine that with the official Star Wars bios for Rey and Kylo Ren, which hint at a “mysterious connection” between the two, and it’s not hard to see this theory holding water.
4. Rey is Emperor Palpatine’s offspring
It’s hard to believe that Emperor Palpatine, a man who orchestrated a two-decade plan to slowly rise in the ranks of the Galactic Senate to eventually take over the whole galaxy, wouldn’t have a “Plan B” following his death at the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Could that plot have involved creating a female clone of himself? If he did end up accomplishing that goal, it wouldn’t be at all illogical for Luke to discover this, wipe that clone’s memory, and stash her on Jakku in order to keep her from realizing her true purpose as Palpatine’s heir apparent.
5. Anakin Skywalker reincarnated
Admittedly, this one sounds a tad outlandish off the bat, but bear with us. Anakin Skywalker was born as a physical manifestation of the Force, destined to bring balance to the galaxy (and according to the Jedi Order, destroy the Sith once and for all). Instead, he fell to the Dark Side, and became an infamous mass murderer, spreading fear and tyranny everywhere he went.
All that being so, this theory is rooted in the Force attempting to correct that mistake by reincarnating Anakin in Rey, born to right the wrongs of Darth Vader. It would certainly explain why Anakin’s lightsaber has a deep spiritual connection with Rey, while also hinting at the “mysterious connection” teased at by Kylo Ren’s Star Wars bio.
6. Rey is a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s years in exile on Tatooine are largely unaccounted for. All the while, Lucasfilm has been decidedly mum on whether we’ll get some insight into that story, save for a few standalone encounters with Ben Kenobi in Marvel’s Star Wars comic series. It wouldn’t defy logic at all to think Kenobi would have briefly found love during that time, and possibly sired a child. The timing would likely make Rey Kenobi’s granddaughter, although we also can’t rule out reincarnation or cloning as potential answers either.
7. Rey is somehow related to Supreme Leader Snoke
We know next-to-nothing about who Supreme Leader Snoke is, past the fact that he’s the shadowy leader of the First Order, and the one who helped turn Kylo Ren to the Dark Side. That makes him a prime candidate to somehow be related to Rey, especially given the fact that he ordered Ren to bring her directly to him before her eventual escape from capture. Whether she’s Snoke’s daughter, former student, or something else entirely, there are a good deal of factors that point to a connection between her and the Supreme Leader.
8. Jyn Erso’s daughter (or granddaughter)
Given how Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ended with everyone dying, this particular theory is unlikely. More than that, upwards of 30-plus years will have passed between the events of Rogue One and The Force Awakens, making it so Rey would have to be at least a generation removed from Jyn. Even so, we’d be remiss in not entertaining the prospect. Maybe Jyn had an erstwhile romantic tryst before her story picked up in Rogue One, leading to the birth of a child who later went on to be Rey’s mother. It’s not the most solid theory out there, but it’s not impossible.
9. Ezra Bridger and a Star Wars Rebels connection
Many have wondered when we’ll see a direct link between the animated Star Wars Rebels series and the main trilogies. We know that the crew of the Ghost was present at the Battle of Scarif, so our main Rebels characters were definitely involved in some way. But why wouldn’t Luke have been aware of Ezra, a Jedi-in-training, and Kanan (Ezra’s teacher and a Jedi himself) while looking for training of his own?
The simple answer is that Ezra and Kanan perished in the Rebellion before Luke ever caught wind of their existence. A more complex explanation though could involve a grown-up Ezra having a child, going into hiding to keep that child safe from the Empire, eventually shipping that kid off to Jakku, and then dying before he could tell anyone where to find her. It would go a long way toward Rey’s Force-sensitivity, and why her family never came back for her.
10. Something else entirely
It’s hard to believe that every possibility hasn’t been observed by the fandom, but it’s also not unlikely that Rian Johnson managed to come up with an explanation that no one’s thought of yet. Without even a trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to give us some clues, we’re left waiting until the film’s release in December.
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