Much of the original Star Wars trilogy has to do with what can be inherited and what should be rejected from a parental legacy. Luke's journey is about discovering his roots and then choosing to keep only the best parts. So it's hard as a fan to let go of the idea that the new heroes of the current trilogy carry no family ties to their predecessors. The Force Awakens came out over a year ago, but the debate rages on: who is Rey's mother? With that ending, Rogue One wrote off one popular theory. But that theory isn't the only one with some meat to it. Rey's mom could still be another Star Wars character. Spoilers for Rogue One past this point!
Almost as soon as Felicity Jones's character was named, internet theories cropped up about Jyn Erso being Rey's mother. (By the rule of the "similar hair color," some fans determined it must be true.) But Rogue One shows Jyn Erso dying young and in service of the Rebel Alliance, with no progeny in sight. There goes that branch of the family tree.
Jyn's death isn't reason to give up on Rey's familial link to the existing Star Wars universe. These six characters could still reasonably be Rey's mom.
I like this theory because Mon Mothma (played by Genevieve O'Reilly in Rogue One) is one of the most important figures in the Rebel Alliance and later, the New Republic. There's no evidence either in Rogue One or in the original trilogy that she's force sensitive, but — like Rey — she's certainly intelligent and definitely a natural leader.
It would add an extra layer of meaning to the battle of wills between Kylo Ren and Rey if they are — unbeknownst to each other — brother and sister. The Force is strong with both of them, just as it is with the daughter of Anakin Skywalker. But why would Han and Leia hide just their one child away on Jakku?
Luke Skywalker's Partner
She's not quite a character yet. But the other Skywalker sibling may have met a woman and fathered a child with her in the time that passes between Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens. If Luke is Rey's father, her mother could be hidden away somewhere too. Luke's last act before going off on his own was perhaps to keep them out of the grasp of his fallen student.
Obi-Wan Kenobi's Daughter
It feels important that Daisy Ridley kept her British accent to play Rey. That's one piece of evidence often cited by fans who believe she's a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi. He's too old to be her father. But when Obi-Wan retired as Ben Kenobi on Tatooine, he may have given up the Jedi celibacy order and had a child. And that child could be Rey's mysterious mom.
I admit that I hope this one isn't true. I like the idea of Phasma as a woman without a nation, 100% devoted to The First Order. But hey, The Force Awakens gives away very little personal information about the stormtrooper captain, so anything is possible.
Qui-Gon Jinn's Daughter
Qui-Gon Jinn appears to be the model Jedi master in The Phantom Menace. So obviously I like the idea that he ignored the Council's decree against personal attachments and squirreled a family away somewhere.
Rey's parents could still be out there. But The Force Awakens heroine is an outstanding character regardless of her origins.