One of the biggest questions the newest installment of Star Wars has raised is, who is Rey? Who is this Force-sensitive female who might be the next Space Messiah? With the recent release of The Force Awakens on DVD, nerdspiracy theorists all around the entire internet have started spouting off all sorts of theories—most of them plausible, some of them downright crazy—on who Rey's parents are. Well, Steve and I are here to break 'em all down for you and try to figure out how plausible they are using reason, science, and observational data, because we are veritable scientists of bullshit. Let's take a look at some of the theories...
1. Rey is Luke Skywalker's Daughter
BRANDY: The theory that Rey is actually Luke's daughter is one of the most pervasive theories on the internet. There's clearly some connection between the two of them—when Emo Ben gets into her head, she dreams of the island that we find Luke on at the end of the film. The genetic link would explain both her strong connection to the force, and why Han and Leia nearly immediately show affection to her- she's their niece. So who is her mother? Nobody knows, but some say the "rock" Luke is found standing in front of might be a grave. Maybe it's his wife's?
2. She's Leia & Han's Daughter, Ergo Kylo Ren's Sister
STEVE: Coming out of the film the second time, I thought for sure this was the solution. It makes so much sense... Why else would Han be constantly giving her fatherly advice? This dude just straight up murdered some space pirates, he's got no time for sass mouthed little girls from the desert. He knew in his heart of hearts that this was her because he gave the Falcon to Unkar Plutt in exchange for her and fabricated that whole "Plutt stole the Falcon from the Irving Boys, who had stolen it from Ducain" mumbo jumbo that became legend. He knew that if he's ever find the Falcon again, it was because of her. She's the ultimate good in the Force, due to being Leia's daughter whose Force powers had manifested themselves toward the dark side in her older brother Ben. Is it not possible that Luke did a straight up mind wipe on Ben before it was too late, clouding him from knowing he had a sister who would one day discover her destiny and rise to defeat him?
This has been my go-to for a while now, but I've got a better one in my back pocket I'm saving for my closing argument. Brandy, give us a third theory to Rey's identity...
3. She's a Kenobi (Obi-Wan's granddaughter)
BRANDY: First off, the accent. In a galaxy far, far away, a long, long time ago, she is the only good guy with a British accent. Even the actors who are actually British, like Liam Neeson and John Boyega, affect American accents (because for some reason, everyone in the past sounds like they're from Milwaukee). We hear both Ewan McGregor AND Alec Guinness' voices when Rey picks up the lightsaber—that's DOUBLE the Kenobi factor—and her costume echoes Obi-Wan's. We also hear Obi-Wan's voice saying, "Rey, these are your first steps." An encouraging voice preparing her for the journey to come... or a flashback to her grandfather helping her walk? (I know, that one is a bit of a stretch.) Further, during a recent Q&A, director JJ Abrams said Rey's parents weren't in The Force Awakens, which would rule out Luke, Leia, and Han. Do you have another theory, Steve?
4. She's Force Spawned
STEVE: First of all, don't put any stock in anything JJ says. Us Trekkers have been down this road with him before, and it ain't pretty. But I digress...
For the record, I think this is horseshit, but apart from "she's nobody," it's the only other theory even worth talking about I suppose. While I loathe the notion that Anakin's mother was basically impregnated by the force, I suppose it is canon and therefore opens the door to this possibility. Perhaps the force knew that there could be a great evil at play if Snoke and Kylo Ren can partner with the First Order, and it would be enough to wipe out any lightness left in the force. So therefore, the force spawned Rey, or at least impregnated her mother, so that she could represent the perfect purity of the light side. To paraphrase the great Tina Turner, we don't need another Space Jesus, okay? So for the record, I think this as completely implausible and anti-climactic as just saying that her parents were some nobody side characters that ran in the same circles as the Skywalkers and the rebellion.
Steve's Closing Argument
STEVE: For my money, I think she's Luke's kid, a theory I didn't like at first, but one which I've grown to accept when considering the overall implications of this decision on the Star Wars saga. The Phantom Menace's original speculated title was Balance of the Force, a notion which was discussed in the film and the subsequent prequels, but which honestly never really came to fruition, even with Anakin's redemption at the end of Jedi. To bring balance to the Force, I think that the Skywalker lineage has now produced two distinct Jedi warriors that each represent the purity of their side. There's no coming back from the murder of Han Solo for Kylo Ren, and honestly, another redemptive arc seems trite at this point in time.
Luke's kid versus Leia's kid in a winner take all battle for which side of the Force is stronger, however, is a much more dramatic and impactful way to resolve this issue of balance and the force. I think that those clinging to any vestiges of hope for their side will soon put it behind these two, setting up a hell of a showdown between Skywalker cousins in Episode IX. Or not? Brandy?
Brandy's Closing Argument
BRANDY: Rey is a Kenobi. I guarantee it. The Force is cyclical, and having a Skywalker train a Kenobi brings the entire franchise full circle. Plus, the accent bit cannot be an accident. And this sets us up for some really good interplay between Ren and Rey- if Kylo Ren worships Darth Vader during his SuperDickishBastardBurnVictimWithBreathingProblems phase, you can guarantee he has some aggro towards the Kenobi line for what he most likely perceives as attacks on Vader. (To be fair, Kylo Ren has aggro towards a lot of things.) I feel like Rey being Obi-Wan's granddaughter will bring balance to the force- Obi-Wan is too important a character in the series to not have a lasting legacy in the form of his offspring.
Looks like we'll have to wait to see who is right, and who owes Brandy an "I was wrong" beer, Steve.