Entertainment

This Crazy 'Star Wars' Theory About Rey's Past Is Also Totally Conceivable

rey parents theory obi wan
LucasFilm

With the premiere of the first The Last Jedi trailer, the eighth episode in the "Skywalker saga," the Star Wars speculation train is back in operation, and once again, star Daisy Ridley is fielding questions about her character's lineage.

Fans will recall that Episode VII: The Force Awakens introduced us to the lonely scavenger Rey, who was abandoned on the desert planet of Jakku as a child. Rey's parentage was a subject of debate even before The Force Awakens hit screens, and it's a question that continues to rile fans. Is she Leia's daughter? Luke's daughter? A descendant of Palpatine? The reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker?

Earlier this month, actor Josh Gad probed Ridley about her character's last name at a Star Wars Celebration panel. "Is your name Rey Skywalker?" Gad joked, then added, "Is your name Rey Kenobi?" The latter question was met with a fierce round of applause from the audience. "That's a popular answer, clearly," said a cheeky Ridley.

But is it more than just speculative? Could it be that Rey, our newest sStar Wars heroine, is actually the granddaughter of Obi-Wan? The evidence certainly stacks up, perhaps more clearly than any other posited option. Let's put on our tinfoil X-Wing helmets and consider the possibility of "Rey Kenobi."

han solo rey luke skywalker
LucasFilm

Rey is clearly not the child of Han Solo (and probably isn't Luke's kid either)

Prior to the release of The Force Awakens, the most potent fan theory was that Rey was the offspring of Han Solo and Leia Organa. Ridley bears a striking resemblance to Natalie Portman, who played Padme Amidala, Leia's mother, in the prequel trilogies. It would also align her with Kylo Ren, Han and Leia's son. In the old Star Wars novels, Han and Leia had twins named Jacen and Jaina, and although Disney paved over the canon-approved story after purchasing Lucasfilm, some fans thought the twin storyline might carry over. But The Force Awakens made it pretty clear that Rey isn't Han and Leia's child.

It's also unlikely that Rey is Luke's daughter. Wouldn't Han and Leia recognize their niece? Wouldn't Rey, who believes that Luke Skywalker is a myth and knows of his history with Han Solo, recognize that man as her father if that was indeed the case? And moreover, why would Luke just abandon his child on a desert planet without so much as a note or an encoded message? There are too many holes in the theory to answer cleanly. Perhaps Rey is a nobody after all.

child rey jakku
LucasFilm

But then why keep Rey's parentage a mystery?

If Rey is indeed a nobody, why keep her last name a secret? The importance of family has always been a key value in in the Star Wars saga. Indeed, Pablo Hidalgo, head of the Lucasfilm story group, confirmed on Twitter that Rey's heritage is important to her story.

"The theme of family, legacy, lineage and all that is always important in [Star Wars]," he wrote. "Sure, it's important in regards to Rey."

So if we can assume that Rey isn't simply a nobody, that she's not a Solo, and is probably not a Skywalker, who could she be that would still add weight to the story?

anakin skywalker obi-wan fight revenge of the sith
LucasFilm

The saga has always been about Skywalker vs. Kenobi

Both the original trilogy and the prequels deal with a Skywalker-Kenobi conflict. In the very first Star Wars film, we learn that Obi-Wan is a powerful Jedi master who watched over Luke on his home planet of Tatooine until he was ready to be trained in the Force. In the prequel trilogy, we see a younger Obi-Wan train Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker, much like he will eventually train his son. Even after Anakin assumes the title of Darth Vader and kills Obi-Wan, he remains important to the story. His Force ghost guides Luke in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

George Lucas once said that each Star Wars saga is "like poetry," and each stanza "rhymes." We already know that Kylo Ren has Skywalker blood. We also know that he was named after Obi-Wan, who went by "Ben" during his time on Tatooine. It would add a certain symmetry if the sequel trilogy was about the descendants of the Skywalkers and the Kenobis once again locked at ends. It would also be an extra knife to the gut of Kylo if Rey were both the grandchild of his namesake and trained by his uncle, as The Last Jedi trailer shows. Kylo already has to live up to two legacies, and seeing this random woman serve him on both fronts would be thematically rich and personally devastating.

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LucasFilm

There are also legitimate clues in The Force Awakens

In Episode VII, Rey experiences a "Force vision" when she grabs hold of Anakin and Luke's old lightsaber. After a series of flashbacks -- and potential flash-forwards -- she hears the whispered words, "Rey, these are your first steps." They're spoken by an amalgamation of Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy and prequel trilogy, respectively. ("Rey" was cut from the late Guinness' dialogue in A New Hope, whereas McGregor was brought in to record the second part.) It's curious that it's Obi-Wan who speaks out to Rey, and not Luke. Why would a dead Jedi master be concerned with the fate of this young woman? If he's her granddad, it would make plenty of sense.

rey jakku history
Lucasfilm

Daisy Ridley has also dropped hints

In one of Daisy Ridley's first interviews, she hinted that a major clue to her parentage is that her character is "solitary." Initially, this made it seem that Rey was the daughter of Han Solo, who's last name is a play on his solitary smuggler status. Now that we know that's not the case, the only other character who fits the bill is Obi-Wan, who lived in isolation on a desert planet for many years while he waited for Luke to grow up. Rey also spends her time alone on a desert planet. Coincidence?

obi wan and satine kryze
LucasFilm

Obi-Wan has loved before

Cartoon Network's animated series The Clone Wars showed us that Obi-Wan wasn't too beholden to the Jedi rule of remaining celibate. On that show, he had a relationship with the Mandalorian leader Satine Kryze, who later died in his arms. Many fans have speculated that Satine is the mother of Sabine Wren, a character in the franchise's other animated series, Star Wars: Rebels. If that's the case, could Sabine be Rey's mother? It's certainly possible, and the timelines fit. Or perhaps Obi-Wan had relations with another woman during his time on Tatooine, and his relationship with Satine set the table for other trysts. Either way, it's likely that Rey's actual parents won't matter so much as the legacy of her name.

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LucasFilm

Insiders hint that Obi-Wan factors into the sequel trilogy

Fans have been clamoring for an Obi-Wan stand-alone film since Lucasfilm's announcement of "anthology" movies. With the success of Rogue One, some assumed that an Obi-Wan film was imminent. But that's not the case, at least according to Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican, whose coverage of the newest Star Wars films has delved deep into the inner workings of the franchise. He recently appeared on the popular Star Wars podcast Rebel Force Radio where he hinted that Lucasfilm is waiting until the conclusion of the sequel trilogy to consider an Obi-Wan stand-alone because there's more to learn in the next two episodes.

"I have heard rumors that the one reason they haven't moved forward on Obi-Wan is that they're not done with Obi-Wan quite yet in the saga films," Breznican said. "So I wouldn't be surprised to see an Obi-Wan thing happen beyond Episode IX. I've already written that I think that Rey has some kind of connection to him -- family connection."

rey obi-wan connections
LucasFilm

There are plenty of other little winks and nods

Those looking closely can find other potential ties between Rey and Obi-Wan. Both excel at Jedi mind tricks. ("These aren't the droids you're looking for." / "You will remove these restraints and leave the cell with the doors open.") Both wear similarly colored and designed outfits. Both craftily sneak around Imperial bases. Both speak with Coruscant accents (seriously!). And, curiously, the same musical cue plays when both summon lightsabers in the midst of a perilous duel. (Obi-Wan in his battle with Darth Maul and Rey before she confronts Kylo Ren.)

Perhaps it's merely coincidence. You could draw similar comparisons between Rey and Luke, after all. But the likelihood of Rey as a Kenobi intensifies with every new glimpse at what's to come, especially with The Last Jedi trailer, which hints at a story that lays bare the failings of the Jedi order. Surely Luke's original mentor would factor into his disillusion with the factions of the Force. Who better to help him wrestle with that turmoil than the granddaughter of the man who led him down this path?

We're sure to learn more when The Last Jedi hits theaters this December.

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Lindsey Romain is a writer and editor living in Chicago. She covers politics for Teen Vogue and has also appeared in Vulture, Birth.Movies.Death, and more. Follow her on Twitter @lindseyromain.