In preparation for the upcoming new film of the franchise Star Wars: Rogue One (releasing in theaters in December of 2016), I thought that it would be a good idea (and an opportune time) to discuss the lineage of Rey from Episode VII: the Force Awakens. Arguably the most popular character of the new Star Wars era other than Finn and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (she is definitely mine), her lineage has been an issue of heated debate since the release of Episode VII: the Force Awakens. There are a lot of theories floating around out there, and with this piece I hope to address those I deem to be the most conceivable. Of course, keep in mind, although I love Star Wars I am not an expert; some would probably argue that I am not even an avid enough fan to have a voice in the matter. I do not collect merchandise, I have only read a handful of the books, and I have only recently begun researching and sorting out the canon vs. non-canon scriptures (which I must admit is still a bit unclear to me). However, I do watch the movies, all of them, almost to an obsessive level. And that includes the prequels, no matter how disappointing they may be. I have even recently started to watch the animated series of Star Wars: the Clone Wars and plan on watching Star Wars Rebels. So I am not completely inept; although, like I said before, I am not an expert. On a side note, I definitely encourage all Star Wars fans (beginners and experts) to visit Wookieepedia (starwars.wikia.com) for an incredibly in-depth history of Star Wars information.
Back to Rey! I will thus begin to put forth my personal top five theories in relation to her lineage. Other than one theory, which I believe I made up on my own (it’s possible it has already been addressed, I simply have not stumbled upon it during my research as of yet) the four others must be attributed to fellow Star Wars peers, although I may end up making extrapolations that have yet to be explored.
Before beginning the top five countdown, it is important that I address the boundaries of these theories. I figured I would try to adhere to Episode VII: the Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams’s statements on the matter as closely as I could. When he was asked who Rey’s parents are, he responded with this statement: “Rey’s parents are not in Episode VII. So I can’t possibly say in this moment who they are. But I will say it is something that Rey thinks about, too.” Alright, so he would later on recant this statement (to a degree) by saying, “What I meant was that she doesn’t discover them in Episode VII. Not that they may not already be in her world.” But I am going to go out on a limb here and say that J.J. Abrams was making an attempt to cover up his earlier statement and confuse fans even more. He realized that he may have put his foot in his mouth and narrowed down the possibilities too much, and therefore wanted to stir and muddle up the waters a bit. Either way, I take his first statement to be quite literal. Therefore, in my humble opinion, no characters exhibited in Episode VII: the Force Awakens are of Rey’s direct lineage (you will know what I am hinting at by direct in a moment!). So all of you who think I am gonna parade around in this piece asserting that Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, or any other character in the movie are Rey’s parent, I most certainly will not be. Without further ado, let us begin!
#5: Senator Bail Organa and, his wife, Queen Breha Organa.
So this probably seems like quite the stretch (even compared to the whole “Sith Connection” proposition, which we will get to later). But I have become incredibly attached to this theory, mainly because I thought it up by myself. Granted, it is possible that other people have thought of this as well, but like I mentioned at the beginning of this piece I did not find it anywhere during my research.
How did I come up with Bail and Breha Organa being Rey’s parents? Simply put, it all started with the first meeting between Leia and Rey during Episode VII: the Force Awakens. Following the destruction of Starkiller Base, Leia and Rey meet each other for the first time…and they do not say a single word to each other; they simply smile and intensely embrace as if they have known each other for years. I mean, what the hell? No introductions? No hello, nice to meet you, my name is…? It just seems incredibly odd to me; how would they know who each other was other than word of mouth? They literally have never seen each other before, let alone met.
My answer? Because as Rey’s adopted sister, Leia has known her since she was a baby. Sure, in all likelihood they probably did not spend much time together, but at the same time they still remembered each other.
The thing that jeopardizes this theory is the age of the two. Leia is 19 years-old in Episode IV: A New Hope, while in Episode VII: the Force Awakens she is 53 years-old. In other words, since Bail and Breha died on Alderaan while Leia was 19, the only way she could be Rey’s adopted sister is if Rey was at least 34 years-old. It is quite obvious that Rey does not look a day over 25 (in reality, Rey is 19 during Episode VII: the Force Awakens). Bummer, literally just debunked my own theory! I still find the first meeting between the two to be incredibly odd, hopefully their relationship will be further explained in future films.
#4: Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi
So I know that, technically, Obi-Wan could actually be considered a character in Episode VII: the Force Awakens. There is a lot of talk amongst fans that Obi-Wan’s voice can be heard in the scene where Rey has her lightsaber vision when she first touches Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, and also possibly in another scene that I simply cannot nail down. But I have watched the movie more than ten times and I still have yet to pick out Obi-Wan’s voice anywhere in the movie, let alone the lightsaber vision scene. So, for sake of argument, Obi-Wan is definitely a candidate in my book.
Alright, so since it is highly unlikely that “Ben” Kenobi was getting his Jedi-gigolo on while watching over Luke on Tatooine, I highly doubt that Obi-Wan is Rey’s father. With Obi-Wan’s extreme dedication to Jedi principles, once he became a full-fledged Jedi-Knight I believe he considered it out of the question to become romantically involved with anyone under any circumstance. But, what about when he was only a Padawan?
According to Wookieepedia, Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore and Obi-Wan developed an intense relationship while Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan were members of her personal security team during Obi-Wan’s time as a Padawan. During an episode of Star Wars: the Clone Wars this potential romance was intensely touched upon. Duchess Satine went so far as to tell Obi-Wan that she had always loved him. In return, Obi-Wan eventually stated that if she had asked him to be with her, he would have left the Jedi Order all together.
So say the romance did become sexual in nature, it is obvious that if Duchess Satine became pregnant with Obi-Wan’s child she certainly did not tell him, nor has the show hinted to the prospect that she has had any child at all, with anyone. Needless to say, if Duchess Satine did have a child by Obi-Wan she certainly would never have told him as she would have known how strict the principles of the Jedi were. Duchess Satine would not have wanted Obi-Wan to fall into disgrace, so I think it is safe to say she would have kept the child secret. Long story short, it is definitely not out of the realm of possibility that Obi-Wan is Rey’s grandfather; although, I must admit, this theory remains unlikely.
#3: Qui-Gon Jinn
Although an incredibly respected and well-liked Jedi Master amongst his peers, Qui-Gon was also known to be quite rebellious and a source of conflict within the Jedi community. Often he was known to develop his own interpretations of Jedi principles and certainly was not afraid to let his ideas and beliefs be well-known. That being said, would he really stray so far as to allow himself to become romantically involved with someone and wind up having children?
I do not believe it is out of the question. According to Wookieepedia, it is well known that Qui-Gon developed an incredibly close relationship with Jedi Master Tahl. This relationship is even said to have developed into a loving romance. To strengthen this love affair, Qui-Gon and Tahl eventually pledged their lives to each other. Following Tahl’s betrayal and eventual death, Qui-Gon went mad with rage and sadness, nearly falling into the Dark Side with his thirst for revenge.
So if Qui-Gon and Tahl did at some point have a child together, they would of course know full well to keep that child incredibly secret. In all likelihood they would have hid it away somewhere, in order that their attachment would not fully develop and their child would not ever be discovered by their peers. With this in mind, it is definitely possible that Qui-Gon is the grandfather of Rey. Although unlikely, more credence should be placed towards Qui-Gon than Obi-Wan due to the fact that Obi-Wan followed Jedi principles and rules of conduct far more intensely.
#2: the Sith Connection – Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious or Count Dooku
Trust me, when I discovered this theory I was initially thrown for a bit of a loop as well. It seems a little out of left field, but hear me out. First off, during the scene of Rey’s lightsaber vision in Episode VII: the Force Awakens I could not help but notice that the starship shuttle that drops young child Rey off on Jakku looks incredibly similar to the ones commonly seen with Count Dooku and his Separatists’s, Trade Federation built, droid army during Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and throughout Star Wars: the Clone Wars. They are almost completely identical ships. So what the hell would the Rebellion/the Resistance and Luke Skywalker be doing with a Trade Federation/Galactic Empire/First Order starship shuttle? No matter how I try to shrug it off, I simply cannot. Therefore, I think it is definitely possible that Rey owes her lineage to a Sith Lord, and not a Jedi. Call me crazy, but I think it may even be more likely. Especially when you look at Rey’s fighting style with a lightsaber.
During her battle with Kylo Ren in Episode VII: the Force Awakens Rey’s fighting style seems incredibly reminiscent to that of Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious during his battle with Mace Windu in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Both of their primary lightsaber fighting styles is that of, what I like to call, the spearing technique. They both engage in a plethora of jabbing-, stabbing-, thrusting-like motions. Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, during his fight with Mace Windu, literally overwhelms and kills three other Jedi with ease using this spearing technique. I believe it is more likely that Rey shares a lineage with Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious rather than Count Dooku; however, I think that they both are more likely to be the grandfather of Rey than any Jedi (sorry Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon!).
What encourages this belief even more is the fact that those who use the Dark Side do not seem to have any principles or mandates dictating what they can or cannot do in relation to romantic relationships and emotional attachments. If we are honest here, Dark Side users probably do not follow any strict set of rules, other than those guided by their own personal feelings and passions. Leaving Dark Side users far more likely than Jedi to produce children.
#1: Simply ONE of Luke Skywalker’s rescued Padawan learners.
I capitalized the word ONE here because, for whatever reason, I find it highly unlikely that Rey was the only Padawan that Luke Skywalker was able to rescue. Call it false hope, call it denial, but I refuse to believe that Rey was the only rescued Padawan and I hope beyond hope that others surface in the future.
Put simply, by far the most likely proposition is that Rey is not related to anybody of importance. In other words, her lineage has nothing to due with past Star Wars films and there has literally never been a character introduced anywhere within the Star Wars universe that has any lineage to Rey once-soever.
I know, kind of a bummer, but let’s face it: not every main character has to share a lineage with someone else. I mean, look where Han Solo took us, am I right? Arguably the most popular character of all, Solo does not share a lineage to anybody in the prequels and he is pretty awesome. Maybe Rey is just the next version of Han Solo. Even though I would rather that baton get passed to Finn or Poe Dameron; I think that the best character to have a lineage twist would definitely be Rey.
So there we have it! The top five theories that would explain Rey’s lineage that I have been able to discover. Please, feel free to leave thoughts and comments as to which theory you agree with the most as well as any other theories you may have heard of or developed on your own.
A quick honorable mention! Be sure to watch out for Jyn Erso, the primary protagonist, in the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One. She is definitely going to be getting some consideration as a possible lineage candidate. Although Daisy Ridley (the actor who plays Rey) has essentially already shot down the idea, it could work out to be be a pretty great twist…as long as Jyn Erso doesn’t die at the end of the movie that is.