While Star Wars: The Force Awakens left plenty of questions unanswered, the biggest mystery of all is the identity of Rey’s parents. Since the film’s release, fans have tried to put pieces together to figure it out before Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters in December 2017. Over the course of the film, Daisy Ridley‘s character made it clear that she had a family who told her to stay on Jakku.
Was this her real family? Did they want her to stay on Jakku to remain safely hidden away from the Dark Side, like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda hid Luke Skywalker on Tatooine? Or did someone take Rey to Jakku for nefarious purposes in an attempt to keep her from getting in the way of his or her plans? Learning the identity of her parents would help a great deal to finding out the reason for Rey being stuck on that planet.
Here’s a collection of five popular theories. Some are obvious, some are surprising and some are just improbable.
1. Emperor Palpatine Is Rey’s Grandfather
This idea became popular after the above video was posted on YouTube. It’s the idea that Emperor Palpatine, the main bad guy in the first six Star Wars films, was somehow Rey’s grandfather. This doesn’t make too much sense because there is no mention of Palpatine having any kind of family in the current Star Wars canon. As this Reddit post points out, in order for this to be true, there would have to be an entire Palpatine family that we don’t know about.
In the video, the YouTuber theorizes that Rey’s fighting style is similar to Palpatine’s and that there are hints that she could just as easily go to the Dark Side as the Light in The Force Awakens.
However, there are times throughout the Original Trilogy where Luke also showed flashes of anger. The point in The Force Awakens could be to show that Rey doesn’t know how to control her anger. After all, as far as we know, she’s never been really trained by a Jedi.
2. Luke Skywalker Is Rey’s Father
This seemed like the most plausible idea, but there is evidence against this. In April 2016, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams told a crowd at the Tribeca Film Festival that “Rey’s parents are not in Episode VII.”
Also, just before Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: Bloodline was released, Lucasfilm story development executive was asked if it was “safe to say” that Rey wasn’t Luke’s daughter. “I think once the book is out for everyone to read, more people should weigh in on that idea,” Hidalgo responded.
Sure, people will believe this until Episode VIII confirms it, but it’s looking like Luke isn’t the father. Abrams’ comments could also rule out Han Solo and General Leia.
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi Could Be Rey’s Father/Grandfather
The idea that Obi-Wan Kenobi would go against the Jedi’s teachings by having a relationship that resulted in a child sounds absurd from all we know about the character in the canon storylines. But this is one theory that won’t go away because there’s a long list of evidence to support it.
For example, Rey heard Obi-Wan’s voice during her Force vision. She’s also only one of two heroes in the entire series to have a British accent. Why would was Ridley allowed to keep hers, but John Beyoga had to perform as Finn with an American accent? Why was Liam Neeson told to play Qui-Gon Jinn with an American accent in The Phantom Menace?
Other links between Kenobi and Rey seem like mere coincidences. Just because they wear similar outfits, doesn’t mean much. What else is Rey supposed to wear on a desert planet? Her outfit looks like Luke’s from A New Hope too. Another odd idea is that Rey sneaking around Starkiller Base is similar to Obi-Wan sneaking around the Death Star.
Still another hint that Obi-Wan and Rey are related is that Ridley once said in an interview that Rey’s solitude is an important aspect of the character. Obi-Wan also lived in solitude on Tatooine, although the main Marvel Star Wars series has revealed that he had plenty of encounters with tough characters during his 19 years on the desert world.
One aspect of Rey turning out to be a Kenobi that does sound interesting is that a final battle between Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) would mirror the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith.
4. Rey Is a Reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker or Was Created by the Force
A theory that popped up on a site called 9gag.com that sounds completely bizarre is that Rey is a reincarnation of Anakin. The site lists similarities between the two, like growing up on a desert planet, being a great pilot and being great at fixing things.
But the theory goes off the rails at that point. On one hand, the theorist suggests that Anakin had secretly learned reincarnation in an effort to save Padme. (So, why would Anakin reincarnate himself instead of Padme?) However, the theorist later writes that the Chosen One is a “legendary being” who is going to be reincarnated anyway.
If any of this really became true, it would be so far from what’s already been established about the Force and the Chosen One. The theorist also thinks that Anakin didn’t really bring balance to the Force in the end by saving Luke and killing the Emperor, therefore destroying the Sith.
The theory also claims that the visions Rey sees when she touches Anakin’s lightsaber are sparked because she’s really Anakin. But if that’s the case, why would she see the destruction of Luke’s Jedi Temple?
An offshoot of the theory that Rey doesn’t have biological parents comes is that she was a Force experiment.
5. Jyn Erso Becomes Captain Phasma, Who is Rey’s Mother – Disproved by ‘Rogue One’
The idea is that Jyn somehow becomes a foot taller in 40 years to eventually become the silver-clad Captain Phasma. Jones is 5’3″, but Phasma actress Gwendoline Christie is 6’3″. If you want to theorize that Phasma is Rey’s mother somehow, it might be better to forget about a Jyn link.
A Reddit user notes that Christie has suggested that Phasma will have a larger role in the next films. It was disappointing to see her so rarely used in The Force Awakens, but this could make up for that. The theory sounds crazy, but we are talking about fiction after all.
However, the entire theory has been disproved because (SPOILER ALERT) Jyn Erso died at the end of Rogue One. So, it’s impossible for her to be Rey’s mother.
Episode VIII, which is the next time we’ll see Rey on the big screen, opens on December 15, 2018.