Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The most buzzed-about Star Wars speculations center around Rey, the current trilogy's Force prodigy. A wiry young woman who grew up tough, Rey's latent powers were revealed during her adventures in 2015's The Force Awakens. Left on the planet Jakku as a child, she spent years waiting for whoever left her behind to return. The central mystery of her childhood is leading many to wonder who Rey's dad is, as The Last Jedi doesn't answer the question outright.
Now that she's aware of the struggle for power in the larger universe, Rey's no longer waiting for answers about her parentage and force abilities, she's searching. She's the one to find Luke at the very end of The Force Awakens, wanting to learn more about who she is. In the trailer for The Last Jedi, Rey tells an unseen person, "I need someone to show me my place in all of this." So where does she fit in?
It's pretty clear that even without training, the Force is extremely strong with her. ey and Kylo seem to have some sort of connection, and Snoke demands she be brought to him. Her past is unknown, even to her, but she intuitively knows a great deal, and has flashbacks to others' memories. Fans, of course, have already speculated on every possibility, some more plausible than others. So let's look at some of the stronger contenders for Rey's potential papa.
This one is the most popular theory by far. Most of the OG Star Wars centered around Skywalkers, and fans would love it if it turned out Rey continued the tradition. Both Luke and Rey had isolated desert childhoods with their parents kept a mystery. Both have strong use of the Force — Rey even seeks out Luke to train her. It doesn't help that actor Mark Hamill, who plays Luke, takes every opportunity to tease fans with the possibility. But if fans really believe Rey's story mirrors Luke, then her dad would probably be a major plot twist instead of the most obvious guess, right?
Again, fans want to keep Rey in that Skywalker lineage — here the Force power would come from her mom (which most fans posit is Leia — but hey, they split up after their son flipped Dark Side and he is a charming rascal). When Han and company fly the Millennium Falcon to the forest planet of Takodana, Rey exclaims, "I didn't know there was so much green in the whole galaxy," followed by what seems like a very guilty look from Han. Why would he feel guilt....unless he knew she'd spent her childhood alone on a desert planet after he abandoned her. If Rey is Han's kid, he would have wanted to hide her for safety after her older brother murdered all remaining Jedi. Though why wouldn't he hide with her? He is a smuggler after all...
This one doesn't make much sense for two reasons. First, Obi-Wan would be way too old to be Rey's dad given the timeline (he was an old man when he met Luke, and Luke's looking pretty haggard when Rey hands off that lightsaber). Second, Jedi avoid relationships and kids because attachment and relationships lead to feels, which can turn folks to the Dark Side (remember Anakin's emotional freakout over Padme?) Fans always find a way though - they say Obi-Wan had a brief fling, and the kid of that kid is Rey, making him not dad, but granddad. There's also the outlier possibility that Rey is Obi Wan reincarnated, but that's not exactly the same as a real dad.
Rey's powers are so strong, fans really want to tie her in to one of the existing Force lineages. And if it's not the Skywalkers, then let's look to Anakin's mentor, Emperor Palpatine. Her fighting style is pretty brutal, and she does seem to do what she needs to get what she wants. This one's got the same problems as Obi-Wan, including the fact he's extremely dead. But plenty of fan theories have him returning and hunting down his granddaughter, or even great-granddaughter.
Supreme Leader Snoke
Where there's mystery, there's fans willing to fill the void, as seen by all these theories. Not much is known about Kylo Ren's Sith master Snoke, so he could be anyone really, even Rey's dad. He's also strong with the Force, and if he's both Rey's dad and Kylo's mentor, that could be how Kylo seemed to know about Rey before he even met her.
Some Random Person
This, to me, is the most likely answer. Rey's dad is someone we haven't yet met in Star Wars, a new character that was either introduced in the background of The Last Jedi or will be introduced in Episode IX. Her past has been kept hidden for a reason, and that's likely because it's an important future plot point. Fans keep wanting Rey to be another Skywalker, but there's already another Skywalker — Kylo Ren. Remember him? He really is Leia and Han's son.
Sure, there's some deeper connection between Kylo and Rey, but it just doesn't make sense to be one of the major characters. It could be a Resistance member, or one of the Jedi killed by Kylo, though if her story really is mirroring Luke's, it's likely her dad was a higher-up in the First Order or Empire, a major-minor bad guy who'd be OK dumping his kid on a desert planet.
Yes, it sounds patently insane to say Rey was a virgin birth created by magic energy particles that control the universe. Except that's exactly how Anakin was born. Created by the midichlorians as Chosen One to battle the Dark Side and restore balance to the Force, it's not completely bonkers to suggest that with things currently out of whack, Rey's here to fill the same role. It would explain why she's naturally able to wield the Force without any training. Then again, it's a little too much of a retread, and wouldn't really add any satisfying narrative heft.
The tight-lipped secrecy accompanying every Star Wars movie means we probably won't find out who Rey's dad really is until Lucasfilm is good and ready to tell us. Until then, it'll be a lot of fun to keep guessing.