By now the Star Wars fandom has beat itself black and blue with possible theories of where Rey came from, and while each seems as compelling as the next, there’s still one more idea we haven’t entertained: the possibility that Rey is Kylo Ren’s half-sibling. We’ve considered the fact that they might be siblings, but let’s face it — even if Han and Leia had temporarily reconciled in the years they were separated long enough to have another kid, odds are pretty slim that someone as Force-sensitive as Leia would forget birthing another entire human being. I present to you an alternative theory: Han Solo is Rey’s father, and her mother is another Force-sensitive that we either haven’t yet seen in this reboot or a new character entirely.
In this scenario, Han too would not realize he was Rey’s father. Whomever it was that Rey was waiting for, the “family” that she and Maz refer to, kept her a secret from Han Solo and eventually from the rest of the world. It may sound far-fetched given all the other compelling theories about Rey's parentage, but before you call me crazy, here are all the reasons why it could be entirely possible that Han Solo is secretly Rey's father:
Han Solo May Have Contributed To The Known Darkness In Them Both
It is canon that Leia knew before Ben Solo was born that he would be an extremely Force-sensitive child with equally strong potential toward Light and Dark. She deliberately kept this from Han Solo, something she later apologizes for in the novelization of the movie. With Rey, we also see potential for Darkness — in the moment she almost sells BB-8, in the moments she tries to kill Kylo Ren, and in the moment Kylo Ren himself mid-battle sees the potential so great that rather than defeat her, he offers to be her teacher. Although Rey is clearly meant to be our champion of the Light to juxtapose Ren in the series, their one connection to each other is their potential to sway on either side of the Force.
I do not mean to imply in any way that Han Solo is an “evil” character, but he is most certainly out for himself. His motivations are primarily self-driven and selfish, he has very little regard for others’ lives, and anyone who wants to argue that that has changed can tell from the line post-skirmish on Han’s freighter that he let a bunch of his crew die to smuggle those slimy Rathtars onto his ship. This may be ~charming~ and roguish and rude on a mortal individual, but imagine that penchant for badness in the DNA of a person who wields the unthinkable power of the Force — and suddenly you’ve got Rey and Kylo Ren, neither of them on either side of a coin, both of them wrestling on the thin edge.
The Novelization Calls Back To The “Han Shot First” Narrative The Moment Kylo Ren And Rey Meet
In the movie, Kylo Ren emerges from his ship after landing at Maz’s watering hole and heads straight for Rey, at which point Rey sees a walking Dementor and takes a gun — Han’s gun — and immediately begins to try shooting Kylo Ren’s brains out. This is glossed over in the film when he deflects and then starts to interrogate her. In the novel, however, Kylo Ren deliberately points out that although he she thinks him a monster, it was Rey who shot first.
"So afraid," he murmured. "Yet I should be the one who should be scared. You shot first. You speak of the Order as if it were barbaric. And yet, it was I who was forced to defend myself against you."
I personally believe that it’s not a coincidence that they would choose to echo back at the most hotly-debated moment within the Star Wars fandom, particularly not concerning these two characters. Han’s “shooting first” is an impulse, and an inherent nature, that deeply affects them both — and Han's parentage might be the connection that explains it.
Rey’s Existence Might Have Been One More Trigger In Ren’s Hatred Of Han
We are given very little explanation for Ben Solo’s turn to the Dark Side, aside from the fact that “Snoke seduced him”. We know he was an apprentice, not a youngling, which puts him in a slightly older age range when the turn happened. Perhaps — and I know I am reaching here, but just perhaps — a young Rey was among the younglings, at which point Ben Solo recognized enough of himself in her to realize they were related, understand that Han Solo fathered another child and “betrayed” his mother, and disavowed him even further for it.
It would also explain, if Rey had been among those younglings, why he would have kept her alive. He was too “weak” to kill her then, to kill someone of his own flesh and blood, which is why he was so determined in the movie to end Han Solo and prove once and for all that he is loyal to Snoke and the Darkness.
That being said, Ben Solo might have found out about her in another way, and not through Luke’s tutelage. Rey may have been very far away when this happened, but when her mother heard of Kylo Ren killing all Force-sensitive children, she immediately reacted by concealing her daughter from him on Jakku. Of course, there are so many angles to come at this from that it’ll make your head spin, so I’ll move onto my next point lest all our brains implode.
It Is Clear By The End Of The Film That Kylo Ren Knows Who Rey Is, Even If She Doesn’t
We see this echoed in the movie several times. “What girl?” he says, the moment he hears the BB-8 unit escaped with one. In the interrogation room, they share a moment – a moment where they sense something deeply familiar in each other, according to the written script. He understands at once she will become stronger the longer she is let loose in the base. At one point we miss the beginning of a conversation with Snoke where he says something along the lines of “If what you’ve said about the girl is true, bring her to me.” What did Ren say about Rey? It’s quite possible he knew there was a chance they were related then, and reported this to Snoke.
The novelization also adds a key element to this: mid-battle, when Rey summons Luke’s lightsaber, Kylo Ren murmurs to himself, “It is you.” What privileged knowledge would Ren have about Rey’s existence that not a single other member of this cast would, aside from the fact that they might be related?
Let’s Be Real, Rey Is Basically A Mini-Han If There Ever Were One
Badass? Check. Snark-master? Check. Keeping herself alive despite literally every odd stacked up against her, including
- a rogue droid people are willing to murder for,
- an escaped stormtrooper who grabs her hand as he is getting shot at,
- a ship so disabled by Unkar Plutt it tries to poison them,
- three bloodthirsty rathtars,
- KYLO FREAKING REN,
- and 12+ years of extremely dangerous PARKOUR scavenging on the most unfeeling, desolate planet in the world?
CHECK, CHECK, CHEEEEECK. Even if she doesn't end up being Han's secret love child, this girl is a Solo if there ever were one.
Images: Giphy; Disney