This article explores all of the popular theories surrounding the question of Rey’s parentage in the new Star Wars movies. It contains *MAJOR SPOILERS* for all of the new films and everything else in Star Wars movie canon. It also delves into some ‘Extended Universe’ lore.
Rian Johnson’s take on the events in The Last Jedi left many fans angry, confused, or disappointed. JJ Abrams, set to helm the next movie, also claims that Johnson’s take derailed his plans.
But what if the question of Rey’s parent’s identity is still open for debate?
In this May the Fourth be With You special, we explore the top 5 theories as to who might have given us the staff-wielding, Jakku-jedi Rey. The last theory is one of my own making and it’s a little out there.
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ALL STAR WARS MOVIES. IT ALSO CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE VIDEO GAME STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT II.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
Theory #1. Qui-Gon Jinn is Her Grandfather
May the Fourth be With You might be soured for many Star Wars fans this year.
After all, Abrams had different plans for Rey’s parentage, but Johnson’s changes directly interfered with those plans. Still, all is not lost. Rey’s heritage could still be “relevant”.
One of the prevailing fan theories is that Obi-Wan’s master, Qui-Gon Jinn, could be her grandfather. That’s right — Qui Gon Jinn, the world’s worst Jedi, may be related to Rey.
What’s the evidence for Qui-Gon and Rey being related?
First, they use similar fighting styles.
But more than that, Qui-Gon wasn’t too keen on the rules of the Jedi Order. He focused on a more naturalistic view of The Force i.e. the “living Force”.
He was also the first Jedi in a very long time to “become one with The Force” (read: turn into a Force ghost). But his untimely death caused Obi-Wan to become a strict Jedi code arbiter which, in turn, led to Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader.
The mirror created by having Rey be Qui-Gon’s granddaughter fits the Star Wars M.O. Qui-Gon wanted to train Anakin Skywalker, so his son Luke ends up training Qui-Gon’s granddaughter.
But, to be frank, I’m not sure how much I buy into this one.
Theory #2. Luke Skywalker is Rey’s Father
This theory is probably one of the most popular and obvious to work into the story. The prevailing evidence behind the theory involves Kylo Ren’s massacre at Luke’s Jedi camp for soon-to-be-dead younglings.
Though Kylo Ren successfully killed almost everyone, the theory alleges that Luke smuggled his daughter to safety on Jakku. That daughter, of course, would have to be Rey.
Rey’s solitary life on a desert planet with humble beginnings mirrors Luke’s own childhood on Tattooine. They share an affinity toward balance in The Force (or at least they did before Luke’s reaction in The Last Jedi).
As for the mother in this scenario, some think Mara Jade could fit the bill. Of course, she comes from the extended universe which, Disney has said, is no longer canon. Sad!
Despite Johnson’s revelation that Rey’s parents were “nobodies”, this came from Kylo Ren. He spent the whole last scene after the big Snoke fight using manipulative rhetoric against her. How can we trust what he says about Rey’s own parentage?
Still, in light of how Johnson diverted the plot, making Luke her father would feel cheap now. Thanks Rian Johnson.
Theory #3. Obi-Wan is Dad or Grandpa…or Something
This was my favorite theory about Rey’s parentage until the events of The Last Jedi.
After all, isn’t the universe done with the Skywalkers by now?
The evidence for Obi-Wan being Rey’s father extends beyond the fact that they both have crystal blue eyes and Posh™ British accents. They both use similarly defensive fighting styles, though Rey’s staff-based tactics differ from Obi-Wan’s lasersword defenses.
But Rey also displays Obi Wan’s mastery of the Jedi mind trick in The Force Awakens. When she sneaks around at Starkiller Base, she channels the same stealth Obi-Wan employs in A New Hope.
Others allege that the Star Wars conflict has always revolved around the Skywalkers and the Kenobis. With Kylo Ren’s real name being “Ben”, that would make Rey’s relation to Obi-Wan even more poetic.
As for the mother in this scenario (or perhaps grandmother), some have boldly suggested Captain Phasma. By the way, there’s no chance that her character is dead — not one single chance y’all.
However, Disney/Lucasfilm could opt to pull from the non-canon extended universe here. Obi-Wan’s main love interest is Duchess Satine Kryze, pacifist leader of the New Mandalorians.
Of course, some fans argue that all the evidence you need to link Rey and Obi-Wan is Rey’s ability to use Obi-Wan’s old lasersword.
Whatever the relation might be, this option is still possible in the next Star Wars film.
Theory #4. It’s Another Separated Twin Situation
So many people want there to be another twin separation since the extended universe already did it. Han and Leia had the twins Jacen and Jaina with Jacen turning to the Dark Side eventually. There is also an “Anakin Solo”, but he’s not important.
Fans think that Han and Leia could still have had twins, separating them at some point. Like after Ben Solo’s massacre at Luke’s Jedi camp for soon-to-be-dead younglings.
Han and Leia being Rey’s parents would explain Rey’s handy abilities with machinery and her Force sensitivity/visions. But there is one major hole in this theory.
They had to wipe Rey’s memory for safety so that Kylo Ren could not hunt her down. But….did they wipe Kylo Ren’s memory, too? He would probably remember having a sister after all.
Still, the theory has merit — especially since Rey and Kylo Ren can telepathically link up with each other. Though fans at first thought Snoke made this connection, the link persists even after Snoke dies.
Rey also seems to share some kind of unspoken bond with Leia. In light of Carrie Fisher’s tragic passing, one can only speculate how the series will move forward with that relationship.
As for Han being Rey’s father, this is somewhat likely. They both seem to share an affinity for junk and spaceships and they both understand the Wookie language. Rey also took Han’s death very hard, having idolized him for years before.
Making the final standoff between Rey and Kylo Ren a revelation that they are related has a poetry to it.
But Han and Leia being Rey’s parents seems especially unlikely given Rian Johnson’s retconning and Carrie Fisher’s unfortunate passing.
Theory #5. Battlefront II Ending Showed Us Rey’s Parents
For those of you who have played the video game Star Wars: Battlefront II, you probably already know about this fan theory.
Iden Versio and Del Meeko both defect from the Empire then fight (and live) through the Battle of Jakku. That’s where they develop a romantic relationship and have a daughter: on Jakku. This is obviously a very convenient set up for them being Rey’s parents.
Kylo Ren somehow finds Del Meeko, interrogates him, and warns no to pursue his family. “She is dangerous” Ren says, not specifying if he means Iden Versio or their daughter.
There are definite holes in this theory as Inverse points out, but it does line up pretty well.
Though tying in two characters in a video game to a major movie in the franchise? That seems too obscure — even for a film series that does not offer any in-movie background for Snoke or Captain Phasma.
Theory #6. Rey is a Force Avatar
This is my own personal theory, based on the lack of rules present in The Last Jedi. It’s definitely out there, but it does have some legs to stand on.
The idea for the theory came to me the more I ruminated about the scene where Rey goes to “the dark side” on Ahch-To island. She encounters a mirror that, once she goes into, shows her an endless line of herself.
The actions occur infinitely, always microseconds apart, and everything else is black.
Some might say that this is due to a memory block or the fact that Rey just doesn’t have a clue about her parents. But I think it’s because Rey is a creation of The Force.
Slap on your tin foil hats y’all — we’re about to get weird.
There’s a prevailing belief in Star Wars fandoms that Darth Plagueis willed Anakin Skywalker into being. He was “the chosen one”, meant to bring balance to the force, etc.
The theory alleges that Darth Plagueis influenced midichlorians to create “the ultimate Sith weapon”. Ignore the fact that midichlorians pretty much got retconned. The Force still works in mysterious ways.
What he got was Anakin Skywalker — a young boy, taken from his mother, and forced into a rigid life in some bizarre religion no one really understood. But, in some way, when Anakin became Darth Vader, he did bring “balance” to The Force.
The Jedi seemed to have “ruled” for a decent amount of time, so maybe the universe decided to tip the balance back towards the center. This theory also explains just how Force sensitive Rey is and how adept she is at using Force abilities.
This is where Rey as a Force avatar comes in: The First Order, despite being a “fringe” group, has blown up like 10,000 planets, and the Jedi are all, but extinct. This mirrors the reality in the prequels in that the Jedi Order was significantly bigger than the Sith/Empire.
On Ahch-To island with Luke, Rey wants to understand both sides of The Force yet she seems uninterested in whatever “power” the Dark Side claims to offer.
Maybe the reason Rey only sees herself in The Dark Side is that she, too, was created for a greater purpose: bringing balance to The Force.
One More Tinfoil Theory for the Road
Snoke is Darth Plagueis and Rey is the actual chosen one (not Anakin). Of course, this theory almost necessitates that Rey is of Skywalker blood.
Regardless, Rey’s parentage doesn’t represent the linchpin of the Star Wars plot.
While the message that she was a “nobody” has merit, it seems cheap given that the other film hinted at her parents being integral to her story and character development.
Only time will tell if Luke is a Force ghost, who Rey’s parents are, and whether or not time travel will somehow be introduced into the new franchise.