Alright, with filming for Episode VIII in full swing, I thought it was time to go over some of the multiple options for Rey’s possible Jedi pedigree. In case you didn’t already put it together from the title, yes, I think Rey is going to be of Skywalker descent, specifically the daughter of the one and only Luke Skywalker, but I’m not against delving into other origin theories for our Force-strong heroin. So, if you’re anything like me (and, let’s be honest, all Star Wars fans), and have been pondering Rey’s backstory for over two months now (or years), then sit back and relax and see if anything I come up with blows your mind or just, well, blows…but hey, even if you think I’m off my gourd, a little thought-provoking Star Wars discussion is never a bad thing, right? Oh, and, in case you haven’t read the novelization of The Force Awakens yet, spoilers incoming…
What’s with the accent?
In so-called “real life,” the lovely Daisey Ridley has a British accent, so what’s the big deal with her having one in the movie? Well, in the Star Wars universe, that type of accent is generally only heard from the mouths of high-ranking Imperials and a certain incredibly important Jedi Master, so the character retaining the accent and not ditching it like John Boyega did with Finn is significant…but what does it mean?
I think almost everyone is on board with the broad theory that Rey’s Force-sensitivity comes from her lineage, but, as I alluded to (sort of), one popular theory is that she has an accent because Obi-Wan Kenobi is her grandfather or maybe great uncle (Gravity Falls-style, Grunkle Ben, that’s what’s up!) but I’m not buying what those people are selling…first of all, outside of the similarity in accent, there’s really nothing that binds the two together; now, if Jakku was actually Tatooine as we all expected it to be when the teaser launched, then I might give it some more thought; however, as it stands, she could just as easily (and more believably) be related to Qui-Gon or Count Dooku as Obi-Wan, but deciding she’s a Kenobi seems to be a sexier choice. I would argue, though, that Obi-Wan actually only has his proper accent because he was Qui-Gon’s Padawan, not necessarily because that’s how his family speaks, thus eliminating even that common ground. According to Ultimate Star Wars (page 171), Jedi younglings range in age from 4 to 8, so, even if we assume Obi-Wan was 8-years-old when he arrived at the temple (which I doubt, I imagine he was taken much younger) his home accent wouldn’t be set in stone and he would be more likely to pickup the accent of the person he spent the most time with in his formative years, his master, Qui-Gon Jinn (who picked up his accent from his master, Count Dooku…and let’s be honest, no one’s going to pick up Yoda’s unique way of speaking, so we’ll say how Dooku came to his accent is a grey area)…so now the question becomes: where’s the accent come from? And my guess is her mother.
Who’s your mommy?
That’s really the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Who is Rey’s mother? Okay, maybe the half-million-dollar question, with the other half being “who is Rey’s father” (*coughLukecough*), but I think the identity of her mother is a slightly more interesting piece to the puzzle: if it’s Leia, does Han not know? Is she not Han’s daughter? Why doesn’t she tell her before sending her off to find Luke? If Luke’s her father (we’re talking about her mother, I know, a little off-track here, but I’m building to something), first of all, does no one know? Can Leia not sense it, and, if she does, does she just let it go? And secondly, a much bigger secondly, who is the mystery woman that bore Luke’s child? Is she a character we’ve been introduced to, or will be introduced to…possibly in an upcoming anthology film? Or is she someone we’ll never know, a shrouded character whose backstory is years from being told? Then again, what if it’s someone we don’t know that has no familial bond with any current character, a brand new bloodline altogether? Or, further down the rabbit hole, what if there’s no mother at all?
Hold on to your butts for this one, but in the Star Wars The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary (page 9) it says that Jakku “once held a secret Imperial research base.” What if what they were secretly researching was a way to create a genetically superior army that would all be inherently strong in the Force…and what if Rey is their only successful product? And after spending so much of their time and effort on said project, what if the scientists had a change of heart and couldn’t bring themselves to fulfill their duty and turn the successful result over to be used as a weapon, so they left the young girl that they simply called “Rey” on Jakku before abandoning the research facility and fleeing the impending repercussions of what had by that time most likely become the First Order. Yes, it sounds crazy, but it also makes some sense; if the First Order had, in fact, been dabbling in cloning and/or genetic engineering, it would tie-in nicely with the jab Kylo throws at Hux when he suggests the First Order should have gone with clones instead of Hux’s raised-as-soldiers method.
And to add another wrinkle to this wild theory, what if she’s not just any genetically superior Force-strong creation, but one that was cloned from Luke Skywalker’s missing hand a la Luuke Skywalker from Last Command in Legends. If that’s the case, this crazy theory holds true and I still get to be right about Luke being her father (sort of…I know, not really, but sort of). But, let’s say we double-down this aspect and she’s not a clone from Luke’s hand, but a clone of his father, Anakin Skywalker…I wouldn’t put it past Palpatine to have been attempting to recreate a more intact version of his apprentice, and, even if that’s not the case, because of Vader’s condition it stands to reason that his DNA would be on file in the Imperial archives, and that technological advances in cloning would allow for that to be used in lieu of a living sample. Or, speaking of Palpatine, maybe they took a cue from another EU story and Rey’s a clone of the last Sith? (Darth Vader was destroyed when Anakin reemerged to save his son, so, technically, Palpatine was the last Sith.)
But why, you ask, incredulously, would a clone of either Skywalker or the Emperor turn out to be female? Well, perhaps to be smaller, more agile…equipped with the gift of feminine wiles, a tool that can be successful even where a mind trick is not…I would wager that, given full Sith apprentice training instead of the pseudo-training she received from a pawn apprentice, Asajj Ventress would have been a more formidable opponent than post-limb-loss Vader (a fully trained, fully equipped Darth Vader would have been the single most powerful being in the galaxy, regardless of who or what Snoke turns out to be). Or, perhaps, the plan was even more sinister than that…maybe the idea was to create a female clone so she could then carry a child that would then ultimately be the prized possession whomever came up with the idea was after…think of it this way, the clone would be the Anakin figure, created by science instead of the midi-chlorians, but, since his offspring turned out to be more powerful, the clone would be forced to bear a child that would, in theory, become the Luke figure; it would be like fighting fire with fire, so to speak. Now, like several of my own cracked out theories, I don’t actually think this is at all accurate, but I enjoy it, and would be fully on-board if it turns out to be true…as I’ve said, though, I’m totally team Rey Skywalker.
“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”
I took the Occum’s Razor approach and decided to let the story lead me to the simple conclusion that Rey is, in fact, Luke Skywalker’s daughter. The clues are all there, and, sure, maybe they’re too obvious and we’re being setup for a “I’m your father” moment in Episode VIII or IX, but I don’t think so. The lightsaber that last belonged to Luke calling to her, the island that Kylo Ren describes seeing that she dreams of her family being on is exactly where she finds Luke, her innate, untrained, incredibly powerful Force ability…it all points to a Skywalker lineage. Then, if you’ve read the book, you know that Kylo Ren knows who she is…I’m not sure what page it corresponds to in the physical novel, but on my 7″ Kindle Fire on Location 3987 it reads: “‘It is you,’ Ren murmured.”
Now, stepping back a moment, this blew me away when I read it, and I really hope it exists as a deleted scene on the bluray because I want to see this interaction take place…but, anyway, there’s a hint in the movie that Kylo knows there might be a special girl on Jakku when Lieutenant Mitaka informs Ren that their droid target escaped them on Jakku and Emo Ren proceeds to destroy the area around him with his lightsaber, asks if there’s anything else, is told about the assistance of a girl, and pulls Mitaka to him to physically choke him instead of Force-choking him (a nice touch, I might add), and yells, “what girl!?!?” I didn’t really give any significance to the interaction at first, chalking it up to escalated anger, until I saw the aforementioned line, especially reading into the italicized “is,” taking it to mean he had previously wondered if she was who he thought she could be but was only now sure…so how does he know who she is?
My favorite guess is that Rey was with her mother at wherever the new crop of Jedi were training when the Knights of Ren showed up to put an end to their activities…permanently. But, during the devastation, Kylo was faced with a young Rey, at that point unable to defend herself, and felt the pull to the light, a momentary weakness that bade him spare the young girl’s life. Upon finding her still alive, Luke asked Lor San Tekka to take Rey, whose mind he’d altered with the Force to block out the tragedy she suffered, to the far-off world of Jakku, where she’d presumably be safe from the evils of the First Order and the Knights of Ren, and the evil he feels he brought on her and everyone else. There’s also the option, if the clone theory pans out, that he’d know who she was because he would have been aware of the secret cloning program and perhaps guessed that a gifted girl from Jakku could be the missing, presumed dead successful experiment. But, again, I don’t put much (or any) weight into that theory, it’s just fun to discuss, but I thought it was worth mentioning that this bit of information doesn’t necessarily void the theory…so long live my crazy speculation! Anyway, the other, probably more likely option because the ages don’t necessarily line up for my favorite theory, is that Kylo was aware of Luke’s daughter, but, by the time the Knights of Ren came to destroy the new Jedi, she’d already been hidden away on Jakku, just in case such a thing might come to pass. Then, once again feeling the pull to the light, Kylo omits disclosing that he failed to find Luke’s daughter to Snoke, allowing her to remain safely anonymous…until, of course, he realizes that if Lor San Tekka was on Jakku that could mean he wasn’t there on accident, and that he was, in fact, planted there to watch over Rey, just as Obi-wan had been for Luke, but he wasn’t convinced until she managed to overpower his pull to Anakin/Luke’s old lightsaber.
So, there you have it, Rey is the genetically engineered clo…er, I mean, the daughter of Luke Skywalker, assuring a Skywalker is the next protagonist in the episodic Star Wars films. I think we’re still in for several surprises as far as the story goes, but I don’t think this is one. (You know, like who the hell is Rey’s mother, and who, or what, is Snoke.) I think they’re purposely leading us down this path because this is how it should be, how it has to be, really. The main saga of Star Wars is the story of the Skywalker bloodline, and, yes, I know that if she was Leia’s daughter she’d be just as much a Skywalker as if she’s Luke’s daughter, but I don’t think there’s any evidence to indicate she’s linked to Leia at all…their silent, knowing hug when Rey arrives at the Resistance base is one of mourning the loss of Han, with, perhaps, a familial touch in the Force neither of them truly understands. But I refuse to believe Leia would let her daughter go on thinking her family had abandoned her and send her off to find Luke. It just doesn’t ring true. Especially after she blames Ben’s fall on letting him go…she wouldn’t make the same choice again. So, with her father’s identity as Luke Skywalker secured (in my mind, anyway), the million-dollar question is, once again at full value, who is Rey’s mother? Ponder that over the next almost two years, and maybe as we get closer, if we’re given any further tidbits of information via Journey to Whatever the Next Title Is novels, etc., we’ll discuss some options at length…but, for now, leave it to open-ended wonder, and, while you’re at it, may the Force be with you…
Hold on, you have “the midi-chlorians” as an option in your poll for Rey’s parents, but you don’t even mention it as a possibility in your post…what gives? Okay, you’re right, you caught me…I actually put that option up there mainly as a joke, but it could be that Rey is actually the Chosen One that the Jedi suspected Anakin to be. You see, I subscribe to the theory that Anakin was created not by the midi-chlorians themselves, but by their manipulation by way of the dark side powers of one Darth Plagueis (or Palpatine, I’m not sold on which one actually did it). So, that would mean he’s a false Chosen One as he wasn’t chosen, he was created. Rey, on the other hand, could actually have been chosen to be created by the midi-chlorians because the Force could feel itself swirling out of balance. And, if that’s the case, everything that I mention that links her to Luke is actually just her overwhelming link to the Force connecting with his. And as for why she’s on Jakku, well, I imagine some (or most, probably) women wouldn’t take to becoming miraculously pregnant as well as Shmi did, so I’d find it quite plausible that her already freaked out mother, after witnessing some manifestations of Rey’s Force power that she had no control over, decided that she couldn’t handle the situation any more and ran from it, dropping her strange, magical daughter off at the first backwater dump she could find and getting the hell outta Dodge. So that, my friends, is the theory you subscribe to if you click “the midi-chlorians” option in the poll. This theory falls apart, though, when you find out that Kylo knows who Rey is…the only possible reason that fits that I can come up with is that Luke, from studying Jedi lore, comes across the story of the Chosen One and shares it with Ben, perhaps not even knowing that it had already been assumed that it was actually his father that was the Chosen One…so yeah, this theory is way off the rails, but you’re right, if it’s going to be a poll option, I should justify it, and so I did (sorta). I’m sure that option will quickly take the lead thanks to this brilliant piece of speculation…except not really…just click on “Luke & __________” because that’s the right answer…or is it?