Who is Rey?

The following will include a lot of spoilers for The Force Awakens. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to avoid reading further. It could also potentially have spoilers for Episode VIII, but that’s only if I’m really lucky. On the other hand, my previous prediction wasn’t that far off.

The question that is currently lighting up discussion after seeing the The Force Awakens is “Didn’t we see this movie forty year ago?” But once that is dealt with, the next questions are about Rey, the new heroine with a “classified” background. Who is she, and how does she relate to the Star Wars universe we already know? I’d like to take my best stab at solving this conundrum.

One popular theory is that Rey is Han and Leia’s child, who they hid from her brother, Kylo Ren, on Jakku. Leaving a child on a desert planet is certainly Star Wars-ish enough, but there are several problems. The most obvious is that Han and Leia don’t acknowledge her when they meet. Even if her appearance has changed, an orphan girl from Jakku with latent Force abilities should have rang some bells. I’m saying this scenario is unlikely.

A second theory is that she is Luke Skywalker’s daughter. After all, she is very powerful with the Force, something that was never obvious in Leia. We don’t know if Luke recognizes her at the end of the movie. The resigned look he gives her could be either “So the situation has finally come to this” or “I had hoped you wouldn’t get involved.” Having seen Ben Solo fall to the Dark Side, Luke could have hidden her away while he went on the dangerous quest for the first Jedi temple. If he hid Rey without Han and Leia knowing about it, their lack of acknowledgement makes more sense, since they might have thought she had gone into exile with Luke. However, leaving your only child all alone on an inhospitable planet seems wrong. When Luke was left on Tatooine, he was left with his family and Obi-Wan stayed nearby. There’s a possibility that the old man we met at the start of the movie could have been watching over her from afar, but that doesn’t change the fact that in her day-to-day existence she is completely unprotected.

Of course, it could all just be coincidence. Not every Force user in the galaxy needs to be a Skywalker. Maybe she is simply a Force-sensitive child who was abandoned by her otherwise unimportant parents, as the movie would have us believe. That could be possible if it weren’t for one glaring inconsistency: Kylo Ren knows her. As soon as he hears about a girl from Jakku being involved, he flies into a rage. At the end of the movie, he even offers to complete her training. Clearly they have a history, which leads to my favorite theory.

Rey is the daughter of Han and Leia, the sister of Kylo Ren. Supreme Leader Snoke is not unaware of the power in the Skywalker line, and orders his new protégé to kidnap his sister and kill the other Jedi. Kylo complies, but, in his jealousy, realizes that his sister may surpass him and take his place with Snoke. The Light Side won’t let him simply murder her, so he uses the Force to lock away her memories and maroons her on Jakku. Snoke believes her lost, an unavoidable casualty of Kylo’s attack on the Jedi, and nothing stands in Kylo’s path to greatness.

Even though she is Han and Leia’s daughter, they don’t recognize her because they believe she was slaughtered along with the other Jedi. They never expect to see her again. Probably every young woman they meet looks like their daughter to them.

When Kylo hears that a young woman from Jakku has suddenly become a part of the quest for the map, he realizes that leaving her alive has come back to haunt him. His pursuit of the map turns into a pursuit of his sister, but when he captures her, she is the one who gains the upper hand. Kylo finds himself caught in his own lies and things spiral out of control.

Of course, there are more things going on in a galaxy far, far away than we can guess, and maybe another player is involved that hasn’t yet been revealed. Only time will tell.

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