None of us know who Rey, the new lead character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is or could be, but that doesn’t stop the Internet from rampant speculation. And while we won’t know for another couple of years if any of these theories is correct, we can look at the most popular theories and determine how likely they are based on what we know. This is pure speculation but if you’ve seen The Force Awakens it’s certainly the main question everyone is asking: Who is Rey? We look at the top four theories and analyze why they could be right or wrong. Spoilers if you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet.
Theory #1: Rey is Han and Leia’s Daughter
Why it could be so: We learned that Kylo Ren is definitely Han and Leia’s offspring. It could make a narrative sense that Kylo Ren’s sister is the one trying to battle or redeem him. The original trilogy ended up giving us Luke and Leia as brother and sister, so it could echo that with a different relationship. Kylo Ren is powerful in the Force and Rey is, too. In fact, Kylo Ren basically ends up teaching Rey, because she sees him try a technique and tries it herself against him.
What doesn’t work: There would have to be some screenwriting gymnastics to explain why neither Han nor Leia appear to recognize her or mention having a daughter. Kylo Ren is also about 10 years older than Rey, so they aren’t twins like Luke and Leia. When exactly did Ben Solo become Kylo Ren? Why would Han and Leia think it’s safer to abandon their daughter when they have the resources of an army?
Theory #2: Rey is Luke’s Daughter
Why it could be so: The movies have long been touted as being the story of the Skywalkers. So if Rey is the main character of the new movie, which she definitely is, could that make her a Skywalker by default? She inherits Luke’s lightsaber, just as Luke originally inherited the same lightsaber that was originally his father’s. Rey’s upbringing mirrors Luke’s to a degree – growing up a lonely life on a desert planet. The movie ends with Rey meeting Luke.
What doesn’t work: Rey and Luke may have grown up on a desert planet but they have very different motivations – Luke is desperate to leave and explore while Rey is insistent on going back in case her family returns. Would Luke hide his daughter without anyone to watch over her? Wouldn’t Han and Leia know Luke had a kid and if so, why wouldn’t they mention it at any point to Rey? Rey was separated from her parents as a child, not a baby, so she would probably recognize her father, yet she gives no indication that she has done so yet. And if Luke is her father, who could possibly be her mother?
Theory #3: Rey is Completely New
Why it could be so: It would certainly help the Star Wars story feel less small, a problem the story sometimes had with its Expanded Universe stories tying just about every background character into the story in some fashion. It would easily explain why none of the previous generation appear to know her and would give the movie free reign to do with Rey whatever they wish, without any continuity issues to worry about.
What doesn’t work: Star Wars has a massive backdrop, but the story follows a few key characters and their relationships with one another. That’s the nature of the epic. To completely sever any ties the lead character could have with the past seems unlikely based on what Star Wars has done so far. Rey’s Force sensitivity certainly makes it seem less likely that she has these abilities without any other family members being Jedi or Sith, based on what we know from the films.
Theory #4: Rey is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Daughter or Granddaughter
Why it could be so: Visually, Rey’s outfit is very reminiscent of Obi-Wan’s from the prequels. She also has a moment scaling a shaft in Starkiller base not unlike what Obi-Wan did on the Death Star in A New Hope. When she opens the chest at Maz Kanata’s place, she hears Obi-Wan’s voice (admittedly, along with Luke yelling Noooo! and something from Yoda). If she were a Skywalker, shouldn’t she hear Anakin? But she heard Obi-Wan (and they used audio from both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor). The lightsaber may have been Luke’s and Anakin’s, but Obi-Wan held it for almost 20 years, too. Finally, it would make an interesting narrative if we revealed that the Skywalkers and Kenobi’s have spent generations both training one another and battling one another – parallels to Obi-Wan training Luke and Anakin, as well as battling Anakin and Rey battling Kylo Ren. Obi-Wan’s hermit-like existence on Tattooine has echoes of Rey’s lonely existence on Jakku.
What doesn’t work: It would require a retcon to say that Obi-Wan had either Rey or one of Rey’s parents. There’s certainly a lot of time where we don’t know what Obi-Wan was doing and we assume he was just living as a hermit but perhaps started a family once the Jedi order fell? Why would Rey need to inherit Luke’s old lightsaber instead of the one Obi-Wan lost on the Death Star?
Uh… we’re trying to think of good reasons, but she’s totally Obi-Wan’s descendent. Rey Kenobi.