Hello. Once again, I’m running behind. Life happens. But, better late than never, here are a few thoughts on Rey:
Rey claims to be a nobody. But when The Force Awakens came out, her innocence, wit, and charm stole the show, and then she came out swinging against Kylo Ren. Nearly all of the marketing attention was on Finn—let’s face it, trailers have to be misleading—and even though I had high expectations for Rey she proved to be more amazing than I could have thought.
So, a few thoughts on Rey’s character: she’s adorable. She has an amazing, iconic outfit that doesn’t sexualize her (and also, that new outfit at the end of the film, DROOL!). She has hardcore self-defense skills. She’s tech-savvy and a good pilot. She is loyal and caring and fights for what she believes is right. Far Far Away Radio commented that unlike Luke, she didn’t have the comfort of a decent home for her upbringing, so she doesn’t take what she does have for granted and she isn’t whiny.
At the same time, she’s not a perfect person. She does make small mistakes with technical stuff, as we learned with the Rathtars. She also clings to the hope that the family that abandoned her will one day return for her. She is optimistic about their return but insecure about her own identity. The only thing she knows how to do in the meantime is to wait—survive and wait. In the heat of competition with other scavengers on Jakku, she’s learned that there aren’t a lot of people she can trust to stay around and be her friend (I do recommend the short novel Before the Awakening, if you want to learn a little more about Rey). Meeting Finn and BB-8 is a huge push out of her comfort zone. So when she encounters the lightsaber on Takodona, she initially rejects the call to the Jedi path, and through the whole film she struggles to come to terms with what the filmmakers seem to be implying is a huge destiny.
And believe me, there is a lot at stake with whatever Rey chooses for herself. The Jedi order that Luke was trying to rebuild was destroyed. Rey is powerful with the Force, and if she agrees to let Luke train her and help him restore the Jedi then she could make a huge difference. But if she goes to the Dark Side or chooses to go it alone, then Snoke and the First Order take over without opposition. Who knows, maybe Rey finds out that becoming a Jedi will not create the best outcome for the galaxy.
What Rey chooses for herself in the future will likely be based on what she discovers about her past. The questions is, who are Rey’s parents? I’m not terribly worried about when we’re going to find that out. As I mentioned in my previous post, pending that Rey is a relation to the Skywalker clan, then Leia probably told her before Rey went to find Luke. If that did not happen, then Luke will probably tell her before Episode VIII or at some point early during the film. I think the writers know better than to give us a repeat of Empire and have the reveal be part of the dramatic climax. I’m prepared to bet that we get Luke saying “Rey, I am your father” or Rey calling him Daddy during the first teaser trailer.
But I half-expected that question to be answered during The Force Awakens and it wasn’t–or if it was, it was not answered obviously or directly.
The most prevalent theory in the fandom right now is that Rey is Luke’s daughter. Considering the way that this new trilogy is being set up, it would be a mistake–some would say a crime–for that to not be the case. Rey is tech-savvy, a good pilot, and Force-sensitive, traits she has in common with both Luke and Anakin. The lightsaber that was used by both of them called to her. If the three of them are connected, then there has to be an implication of a familial bond.
If she was a Solo, it would take too much backstory to explain how Han and Leia had a daughter they didn’t say anything to. If she was a Kenobi (which she is not, because I don’t favor the idea of Obi-wan having a love child or descendants) that would also require too much explaining.
On the other hand, Rey was abandoned when she was five–old enough to remember who her parents are and where they came from. When Maz suggested that Rey could seek Luke to learn the Force, there was a suggestion that maybe he was related to Rey but not a strong one. And when Rey finds Luke on his island, they don’t give each other any sign of recognition. In The Force Awakens, Rey’s story is set up such that the evidence, little as there is, could be interpreted either way.
Let’s concentrate on the facts. The Force Awakens takes place roughly thirty years after the Battle of Endor. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren was born about a year after Endor, so that puts him at twenty-nine to thirty years old. Rey is about twenty.
I remember reading somewhere that Ben Solo was sent to train with Luke at about age ten. If Rey is twenty, she might have been born around that time. Rey was abandoned on Jakku at age five. Ben may have turned to the Dark Side during his teenage years, so if that happened when he was fifteen, then Rey being abandoned could be tied to the fall of Luke’s Jedi Order—take it with a grain of salt, but the timing checks out. Also, the Force vision showed flashbacks to some of those events. That could imply that they are connected.
I think Han Solo knew who Rey was but knew better than to say anything about it. Maybe he wasn’t sure. He saw a lot of Luke in her, though. Her innocence, also her refusing the job offer, made an impression on him. And then Maz went to find her right after Han told her about Rey. Don’t tell me that’s a coincidence.
If Luke Skywalker is Rey’s father, that creates a lot of questions about his character–and that creates more suspense for the fandom. When you think about it, Luke is actually one of the most complex and interesting characters in Star Wars. Luke’s struggle in the original trilogy centered on the conflict he had with a father who, to put it roughly, abandoned him on a desert planet, and trying to have a relationship with that father. What could possibly lead him to force his offspring to go through the same ordeal? Unlike Anakin/Vader, Luke hasn’t joined the Dark Side. But he may have had to make some hard choices.
It could have something to do with the mother, whoever she was. Rey mentions that she had parents plural. Something terrible must have happened to her. Maybe she influenced Luke’s decision.
But here’s one thing that DOES bother me: why Jakku? Yes, it’s a barren waste on the edge of the galaxy where nobody would think to look, but you shouldn’t leave a little girl there, especially with Unkar Plutt. At least on Tatooine, you have occasional settlements, nomads, and moisture farmers who would take better care of your kid than that. Whatever the reason for Rey being abandoned, her parents must have been desperate for her safety. In the meantime, I have faith that it will all make sense in the end.
Read More: Tumblr weighs in on Luke being Rey’s father (language)