The Last Jedi is coming! And guess who bought tickets the minute they went on sale? This guy.
So I was poking around the internet as I do, when I noticed a theory video from none other than MatPat claiming he knew who Rey’s parents would be. I had some issues with this video. Spoiler alert: he says its Han and Leia, but the “evidence” is shady at best. I’m sorry, but ability to fly a spaceship and having an accent are not hereditary.
I have a much better answer to this riddle that has plagued my 2017 year and it isn’t based on where people are sitting during a script reading, it’s based on cold, hard film making principles. Allow me to explain.
There’s a scene in The Force Awakens where Rey finds Luke’s lightsaber and has a force vision. I’m sure you remember it. It’s kind of a big deal. I’m not going to dissect the vision itself. There’s plenty of videos of people doing that. I want to talk about what people say when talking about this scene, and it’s a huge pet peeve of mine.
“The light saber called to Rey.”
NO! You stop it right now! Lightsabers cannot call to people. They do not have a will of their own. This is important because it is critical to understanding what I’m going to tell you next. You see, nowhere in the previous six films do we have a single incident of a light saber calling to anyone! Therefore, it IS NOT admissible in the most recent film. It doesn’t matter what happens in the EU or in any canonical Disney material outside of the films. Why? Because the films are the primary source material. Think of this as trickle down; what happens in the films can happen in the spin off, but not vise-versa. Obviously, in The Force Awakens, the force itself is leading Rey to the lightsaber and providing the vision. The lightsaber is inanimate.
Why does this matter? Because there are 3 serious contenders for Rey’s lineage. Luke, Obi-wan, and Han. Let’s talk about the Jedi first.
Luke’s story arch in the original trilogy finds him ascending from farm boy to Jedi Master. We never see a love interest in any of these films. Further, we are explicitly told that Jedi shy away from love as it is a path to the dark side. As a matter of fact, the ONLY Jedi we see fall in love and have children becomes the darkest of dark bad guys, Vader himself. I can already hear you saying “What about Ben? Luke has a son named Ben in some book!” See the previous paragraph. This happened outside the context of the source material films, therefore, it’s inadmissible. It doesn’t count. You will not see these films take a huge departure from all the previous film mythos like that. It’s bad writing and serves to devalue all of the previous content. Luke cannot and will not be the father.
Obi-wan suffers from the same set of circumstances. Obi-wan was a Jedi Master. Yes, we hear his voice when Rey has her vision, but this isn’t foreshadowing to say “I’m your father”, its Rey’s call to adventure from those heroes who came before her. (Google the Hero’s Journey if you want to better understand the call to adventure.) During the years between Episode 3 and Episode 4, when Obi-wan is killed by Vader, we are never presented any love interest. We are actually presented a story where one of the last surviving Jedi remains true to his teachings until his death. To say otherwise would tarnish Obi-wan’s reputation. Therefore, he cannot be the grandfather.
Your brilliant powers of deduction have probably revealed the answer to you by now, but I have to back what MatPat said and agree that Han is Rey’s father, albeit we arrived at this conclusion through different means. Han fits the mold perfectly. He’s known to have married Leia and sired offspring. This is not secret. And, unlike piloting ability and accents, force sensitivity is known to be hereditary. She would have gotten this from Leia, just as Ben did.
So what the heck happened to make everyone forget her?
Han seems to have sneaking suspicions about Rey during their interactions. It’s almost like he knows it’s his daughter, but doesn’t want to jump the shark. The Star Wars galaxy is far bigger than our own, after all. She could have been just one of the trillions of girls out there. You’d need C3P0 to calculate the odds of them finding each other. He even knew she was from Jakku, but I would assume he never knew where she’d been left in the first place. It’s likely that Luke saved her by leaving her with Plutt on the desert planet and never told anyone of her whereabouts. Not even her parents.
And that hug with Leia? I feel like we’ll get a little flashback scene explaining that.
All of these theories floating around, that Rey is the daughter of this guy or that guy, or that she is a clone, or whatever, don’t seem to have a lot of basis in the source material presented directly in the films. They rely on EU or legends or even video games. The films themselves are the real cash cow. If any theory goes against something claimed in the films (ie: Jedi don’t have kids) you can bet it won’t be accurate. And if any theory would only serve to tarnish a characters previous story arch (ie: Luke goes to the dark side) it won’t happen.
So there you have it. My money is on Han and Leia as Rey’s parents.
We’ll see if I’m right on December 15. I won’t spoil it for you.