Before The Force Awakens was released we had a ton of questions about who Rey was. Now we have seen the movie several times we STILL have a ton of questions about Rey. Who are her parents? Who left her on Jakku? What happened to her family? What was her life like before she was left on Jakku? And finally can we trust what she said about her past? We’re going to try to answer these with informed speculation, cut scenes, and additional information from the novelization.
Let’s start with the last question as it leads to the other answers. Can we trust what Rey has told us about herself? In short “no”, but that doesn’t mean she has been lying to her friends. Rey believes that her family is coming back to get her from Jakku, but they are not. In fact I don’t believe her family would have left her on Jakku with a junk dealer. Luke was left with his uncle and aunt, Anakin was with his mother even though he was enslaved, family is important in the Star Wars universe. That means someone else left her. We can assume then that Rey has repressed and/or created false memories of her pre-Jakku days. This could be a defense mechanism or just believing a story that was told to her by Unkar Plutt, either way she isn’t a great resource of who she once was.
There are two exceptions to her knowing her past and both were revealed to us through the Force. First, during the Force-vision which we discussed here. Since that article, Jeremy Conrad at Furious Fanboys gave us this new information, which boils down to the dead bodies that Kylo is surveying in the vision are not from the Jedi Academy but instead from the attack on Rey’s Clan. This would mean that Rey was present for the attack and survived it however none of her family that was present did. In the novelization we also have Kylo knowing who Rey is.
Rey appeared equally shocked that her reach for the device had exceeded his. She gazed down at the weapon now resting in her grip.
“It is you,” Ren murmured.
His words unsettled her: Not for the first time, he seemed to know more about her than she did about herself.
He also is concerned when he learns a girl from Jakku is now with BB-8, asking “WHAT GIRL?”. It also gives the possibility that Kylo left her on Jakku. I suspect this may be true. There is evidence in the novel that has been used to suggest someone else (family) leaving her on Jakku; however, I suspect the dialog takes place during a a different scene (I’ll explain below)
Kylo is also integral to the other vision of Rey, when he interrogates her he describes seeing an island in the middle of an ocean. Does that seem familiar? I believe this tells us she was with Luke when he found the First Jedi temple. Which leads us to our next question: who are Rey’s parents?
Before the movie was released we discussed the parentage of all the main characters. At the time we suspected Leia and Han were most likely her parents and Luke and a Mystery woman were the next most likely. Now we I believe can fully rule out Han and Leia and that leaves us with either Luke and mystery woman, or she is unrelated to the main characters. I believe she is Luke’s daughter, but if I am honest the odds are 50/50 for either scenario. However, if she is not his biological daughter I do believe Luke was a surrogate father to her. And here is why: This quote from the novel has been used to suggest that Rey was left on Jakku by someone she knew.
Once more she climbed to her feet, her chilled breath preceding her. From in front of her, not far away, came the sounds of battle: the cries of the wounded and the clashing of weapons. Then behind her, another voice. That voice.
“Stay here. I’ll come back for you.”
She whirled, glazed eyes desperately scanning the dark gaps between the slender trees, trying to penetrate the darkness. “Where are you?” She started running toward the voice.
“I’ll come back, sweetheart. I promise.”
We know Luke would not have left her with Unkar (Pablo Hildago twitter) but I believe “That voice” was Luke’s. So where does this take place? I believe Luke left her with either her real family or her mother and her mother’s family. This is Rey’s Clan that was destroyed by the Knights of Ren and who she was left with by Luke. But why would she say Luke Skywalker was a legend? We have seen her suppress her memories and more importantly Luke Skywalker would not have been Luke Skywalker to her. He would have been Dad.
Assuming the speculation is true then Rey had some Jedi training which is why she was able to pick up certain tricks and abilities. She has repressed herself, her skills and her past which helped to hold her back from becoming her best self. It is this journey we see in The Force Awakens.
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