What If Rey's Father In 'The Force Awakens' Isn't Who We Think?
If there’s one thing that Star Wars fans have agreed on, it’s that the new character Rey in The Force Awakens is amazing. She’s funny, strong, and the feminist sci-fi hero fans have been waiting for. But she’s also a bit of a mystery. Where she comes from, who her parents are, and how she ended up alone on Jakku are all unanswered questions that arose out of The Force Awakens. It’s probable that her legacy will be revealed throughout the rest of the series, but what are the possibilities for her, especially in regards to if Rey's father isn't Luke (as many believe), but that she was simply one of his padawans?
There are plenty of signs that allude to the idea that Luke is Rey's father: they’re both orphans who made their home on desert planets. Like him, she can use the Force. She can also use Luke’s lightsaber. Her presence woke up R2-D2 and helped lead everyone to Luke. The final moments of the film, in which Rey finds Luke on his isolated island planet, practically scream “He's your father!” But what if that’s all wrong? What if Rey isn’t Luke’s daughter after all, but is connected to him in a very different way that many fans might not have expected?
Before Force Awakens was released, a popular fan theory was that Kylo Ren and Rey were the twin children of Han Solo and Leia Organa. We know now that Kylo Ren is, in fact, Han and Leia’s son Ben who turned to the Dark Side, but throughout the film they never mention a daughter. Still, twins might run in the family; Luke and Leia are twins, after all. And since there’s no obvious mother in the picture, as those Jedi are supposed to remain unattached, pre-movie it was looking less like Luke had fallen for a woman and had a baby with her, and more like Han and Leia had had twins.
But then people actually watched the film and all of those Luke-as-Rey's-dad hints hit like a ton of bricks. But what if they were just a ruse? What if all of those hints were just red herrings and Rey is Kylo Ren’s sister? It would explain why Kylo Ren totally freaked out when he heard that there was “a girl” on the run with BB-8 and Finn. At first he was just annoyed that the ex-Stormtrooper and the adorable droid had gotten away, but when he hears that they have a female companion, he totally loses it, using the force against an unfortunate First Order officer.
Rey being Kylo Ren’s sister would also up the stakes a bit when it comes to the conflict of this series. A battle between the good guys of the Jedi and the bad guys of the Dark Side is a bit more dramatic when the duel is between a brother and a sister, rather than first cousins. But then that brings up the question: If she's their daughter, why didn't Han or Leia recognize Rey? Have their memories of her been wiped? If they couldn't recognize her, why couldn't Leia feel who she was because of the Force? Han did give Rey a few longing looks as she talked about never seeing so much green, almost as if he felt horribly about her being abandoned on a lonely planet. There are a lot of unanswered questions if Rey is Han and Leia's child.
So what if Rey isn’t related at all to the Skywalker or Solo family? Han mentions in The Force Awakens that, after Anakin Skywalker wiped out a generation of Jedi younglings, Luke was training a new set of Jedi in secret. It’s completely plausible that Rey could have been one of Luke’s more promising students along with Ben Solo. But if that’s the case, then why wouldn’t Rey remember Luke or that she was a Jedi? When Ben joined up with the Dark Side, he could have lured others over as well into the mysterious Knights of Ren. There could have been an epic battle in which many of Luke’s other students were killed. If Rey were the only surviving student, and Luke somehow erased her memory and put her into hiding, it would explain why she is so strong with the Force and why she is able to do all of the things that suggest she is Luke’s child.
But that theory relies heavily on the idea that Jedi can wipe people’s memories. We know that they can manipulate thoughts, but wiping a memory isn’t something that’s been done in the Star Wars universe just yet. Still, Luke is extremely powerful in the Force, so I wouldn’t say it’s an impossibility. But least likely is the idea that Rey is unrelated to the gang at all. Star Wars, after all, is a series about legacy, with familial conflict echoing popular Shakespearean stories. Having Rey be an unrelated Jedi would seem out of place for a series that prides itself on surprise reveals about family members. But having known what fans are theorizing, perhaps assuming she’s a part of a family might be something that new director J.J. Abrams wanted to avoid. Either way, I can’t wait to keep watching Rey and find out more.
Join us for the first episode of The Chat Room, where we discuss what it's like to be a woman with an opinion on the internet and, of course, Star Wars:
Images: Disney, Giphy