When Daisy Ridley was cast for Star Wars: The Force Awakens the waters began to swirl in the inevitable whirlpool of theories and speculation about her lineage. Many of us, on internet forums, podcasts and in social media dissected what little evidence existed and broke it apart atom by atom for clues. In those early days and for much of this past year the consensus was she must be the daughter of a legacy character and that she was the daughter of Han and Leia Solo. We had little to go on, but with the scant evidence we had it did make some sense. Whether it was Daisy Ridley sitting in between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in the official cast photo or her resemblance to the two legacy characters, many of us were at the time were willing to put our chips on the table.
The great thing about the spoiler mystery game is that it evolves over time as more clues and information becomes available. One of the first major clues about her lineage was of course the release of her character name in the TOPPS Trading Cards released last November. In that reveal we all noticed the deliberate exclusion of her last name, which sent the massive whirlpool swirling ever larger and faster. Rey was her name and many of us raised an eyebrow and slight smile as J.J. Abrams himself was putting his mystery box machinations into full swing. A deliberate removal of her name would surely mean that she was related to a legacy character. If not and she was indeed a completely new character without any tie in, they simply would have mentioned it. They didn’t and therefore the massive whirlpool of speculation deserves to exist. A bonified real mystery to solve.
The second reveal of great importance came from concept art leaks and in April during the annual Star Wars Celebration convention. During that panel it was revealed that Rey was a scavenger living on Jakku. Looking at the leaked concept artwork you could see the solitary life that Rey lived on that remote dangerous trading post. Living inside a blown out AT-AT walker in a land littered with hulking wrecks of a momentous battle long ago. Her existence on Jakku and more importantly her willingness to stay, teased and nagged at us spoiler hounds. It just didn’t make sense, if she was the daughter of a legacy character, why would she be alone in such a dangerous place and more importantly, why would she want to stay there.
The third reveal about Rey came about again from leaks, mainly from MakingStarWars.net about Rey and the Flashback sequence held in Maz Kanata’s pub in the second act. In that convoluted and still to this day, cryptic vision, Rey looks to survive Luke’s new Jedi Academy massacre by “The Seven”. With such a clouded and confusing sequence with little to no description, we descended into the theory that Rey was either a Solo or Skywalker and unknowingly to her parents and Uncle, survived the massacre. Which would explain why Han and Leia left her on Jakku, not realizing that their daughter has survived. It made sense and for many of us we went with that theory for many months. This would also explain why Han does not recognize her on the freighter in their first encounter. It is in the aftermath of this horrific event at the academy that Luke goes into seclusion under the belief that all of his students have perished, including his niece and nephew. This has been the theory that had gained the most consensus on some internet forums, albeit a very slim one.
The fourth and I believe the most important reveal about Rey has come just yesterday in a reveal on MakingStarWars.net premier podcast Now This Is Podcasting!. In their reveal, Randy Lo Gudice discussed from his sources a small rumor of Rey’s past.
“We heard an interesting rumor… and that her parents dropped her off on Jakku and she has been waiting for them to return”.
This new revelation is extraordinary and throws everything we thought we knew about Rey on its head and reveals a much deeper character story then we could imagine. Rey was dropped off by her parents, presumably for her safety. Which is suprising in itself as Jakku isn’t exactly Disneyland. It was also revealed in the podcast that the name “Rey” was indeed an alias to hide her true name while in hiding. We suspected her real name to be Kira, as that was discovered on the production set over a year ago. So here we have a young woman, left behind on a dangerous planet to go into hiding under a different name. A young strong woman waiting for her parents to return.
This new rumor spins that lineage whirlpool of speculation at a break neck speed. Rey knew her parents and her lineage and chose to stay on that miserable planet for their return. The first question that pops into this Authors head is how old was Rey when she was dropped off? If she was young surely her parents would have left her with a guardian, perhaps Lor San Tekka, the village elder living on Jakku, played by Max Von Sydow. A man who knew Luke Skywalker as revealed by another rumor from MakingStarWars.net earlier this week. An elderly man, who also just happens to be in the possession of Luke’s old lightsaber which Kylo Ren and The First Order desperately want. A man who was shown to be killed by Kylo Ren during the vision in Maz Kanata’s pub. A display which sent Rey running out of the castle and into the forest distraught and emotional.
It still amazes me how in the spoiler, speculation and theory game, one sentence can skewer an entire theory and have it bleed all over the place. With this new rumor, (that has never been brought up on forums, podcasts or social media by the way) we can take the theory that Rey is the daughter of Han and Leia Solo and lay it to rest. Slide it right off the plank and into the whirlpool down to Davey Jones locker. It’s done, it’s dead. There is no way she can be a Solo. If Rey was indeed the child of Leia and Han, they surely would have never dropped her off on the dangerous planet of Jakku and tell her that they would be right back and then not show up. It just wouldn’t happen by any stretch of the imagination. So if we insist of tying Rey as the daughter of a legacy character, then let’s look at the scant evidence in front of us.
Rey is not only a Force Sensitive but proficient in the art. She performs a Jedi Mind Trick to escape the First Order Star Killer base. She gets into a mind tussle with Kylo Ren and bests him. She shows us in the early part of the film her incredible dexterity leaping between burnt out Starship hulks. She is extremely good in a melee as seen in the freighter scene and others. These Jedi skills that she displays require training, even at some small level.
We now know (if the new rumor is to be believed) that she remains on Jakku to wait for her parents. Therefore her parents must have been loving and caring as she wouldn’t wait around for them if they weren’t. Han and Leia surely could not have been those parents because she would have been in better care surrounded by the forces of the New Republic. That leaves only a rare few legacy characters left.
If we decide to go with Luke being her Father, we know that Luke disappears about ten years before The Force Awakens, which would put Rey about eight years old when she is left on Jakku. Old enough to learn the basic ways of the Force and how to fight. Old enough perhaps, to understand why she must be left on that miserable planet. The only person that could have trained this young Jedi is Luke, as there are no other Jedi’s in the galaxy, with the exception of other students in Luke fledgling academy.
If Rey was around eight years old, she would have been left on Jakku with a guardian. Lor San Tekka knows Luke Skywalker as revealed by another rumor this week, where Leia sends Poe to question the village elder about Luke’s possible whereabouts. We also know that Lor has Luke’s old lightsaber – the question remains did it fall out of the sky or did he just have it all along. Then of course we know that Luke stays in hiding, which would explain why he doesn’t return to pick up Rey. It also may explain why at the end of The Force Awakens, Rey decides to return the Lightsaber back to Luke in the film’s finale. A task that Poe or anyone else could do.
Of course all of this is circumstantial and in all honestly I don’t believe there is any evidence of her being a child of Luke Skywalker. In fact I really wonder if we will find out her lineage at all in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yesterday’s news just reminds us all in the spoiler game that the board can change in an instant. What was regarded heavily as possible truth can be skewered and left bleeding on the floor.
For this Author the great surprise and joy is realizing that Rey is a character who has been dealt an incredibly bad hand in life. Where Luke might have felt the Galaxy passing him by, Rey has nothing. No Aunt or Uncle or work around the farm, but only survival and loneliness. The concept art of Rey sitting on top of her AT-AT home, looking at the sunrise with a hope for a better tomorrow, will be more poignant and meaningful than the farm boy from Tatooine. She will be complex and layered and we cannot wait to witness every minute of it.
Tell us what you think in the comments below. Do you think Rey is related to a legacy character, if so which one?