Who Could Rey's Mother Be?

by Maura O'Malley

Although Star Wars: The Force Awakens provoked many questions from audiences, the biggest by far concerns main protagonist and resident badass Rey, specifically her backstory. Who is she? Where did she come from? Why won't she hold Finn's hand? If you subscribe to the theory that Rey is Luke Skywalker's daughter, which I do, then the next logical question is who is Rey's mother? The movie certainly left it vague.

What is known from the film is that Rey was abandoned on Jakku at a very young age and was placed in the custory of Unkar Plutt. She is strong with the force, but seems to have no formal training. She's also a highly skilled pilot and mechanic. Lastly, and some would argue most importantly, the Skywalker lightsaber called to her.

These clues (and feelings of heartfelt hope) have lead many to believe that Luke is Rey's father. This then creates a clear picture of Rey's family tree: Leia Organa and Han Solo would be her aunt and uncle, and Kylo Ren, born Ben Solo, is her cousin. But the women who gave birth to Rey remains a total and complete mystery.

While Luke was unlucky in love in the Star Wars films, he was pretty smooth with the ladies in the expanded Star Wars universe which includes novels, comic books, and computer games. While it is important to point out that the these non-movie stories are no longer considered canon due to Walt Disney acquiring Lucasfilms, any stories about Luke "Ladykiller" Skywalker could still provide valuable clues to who Rey's mother is.

From the now non-canon expanded universe, the most likely candidate for Rey's mother is Mara Jade. She was a red-haired smuggler turned high-level Force operative sent to kill Luke Skywalker in The Thrawn Trilogy on orders from Emperor Palpatine. She goes rogue, falls in love with Luke, and becomes a Jedi. Together, they have a son named Ben (although that's clearly not going to happen in the movies, as Ben is Kylo Ren's birth name).

In the standalone Star Wars anthology film Star Wars: Rogue One, which comes out on Dec. 16, 2016, Felicity Jones has a starring role. So far, the producers have been extremely secretive about this film. Fans know as much about Rogue One as we did about Star Wars: The Force Awakens — which was basically nothing. What is known is that the film is a heist movie featuring a rag-tag group of smugglers stealing the Empire's Death Star blue prints. And this lone photo has been released:

Jones is pictured in the center, with her hair dyed red. This has led me to an interesting idea — is is possible that Jones is playing Rey's mother, Mara Jade? Yes, that would seem very convenient, but that's kinda how the Star Wars universe rolls. Also, this would give the fans ample time to get to know Rey's mother, who is clearly a very important aspect of the series. Rey's mother is clearly a major character, as being some unnamed stranger wouldn't do Rey or her mother proper justice. Like Rey, her mom is most likely a kick-ass fighter and natural born leader. And, from this photo, it looks like that is exactly who Felicity Jones is playing. If even part of this theory is true, I cannot wait for 2016.

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Images: Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Company; giphy