Rey’s hairstyle is taking the world by storm. There are now many, many, more, and even more websites and videos that guide Star Wars fangirls on how to fashion their hair into Rey’s signature 3 bun style. No doubt this hair style is one of the biggest things since Leia’s original hairstyle in A New Hope. Only a unique hairstyle like this can match Rey’s excellence as a character in Star Wars.
1, 2, 3
Then I got thinking…is there any real significance to this? On face value, we see that in all three cases we were first introduced to the main female protagonist of a trilogy, and the number of buns corresponds to the number of the associated trilogy. That said, Rey was also introduced wearing a mask, but that is a topic for another post. I don’t necessarily expect Rey to have this same hair style throughout the rest of the trilogy. Her hair will change throughout just like the other main female protagonists. Nevertheless, this is still how we are introduced to each of them in their respective trilogies.
While many have taken this as evidence that they are all related, I hesitate to make that jump based on this comparison alone. Time will tell on Rey’s parents, but I still think it may say something more. I’m going to go out on a limb here and hypothesize that hair buns represent some sort of stature in the Star Wars galaxy. For example, Queen Amidala always had some intricate hairstyles full of elaborate buns and designs:
There are exceptions to this, but to some extent, with Queen Amidala being the furthest extreme, hair signifies status. Common folk that don’t have any association anything like royalty, the senate, or high class don’t have them. For example the waitress in Attack of the Clones didn’t have much going on in the hair category (just a rubber band holding it up):
Some of the female patrons at the bar in AotC had some hair buns, but this could be a high-fashion thing that you might see in a night club. Padme as a handmaiden inTPM had some braides going on, but she was disguised as the the handmaiden to royalty. When Anakin and Padme were traveling disguised as refugees in AotC, she just covered her hair. So then why would a desert scavenger, of all people, have her hair styled in such a specific style that requires a video tutorial to learn how to do it? Why not something functional like a ponytail, or just free-form like this early concept art for Rey?
The answer to this question is Rey didn’t come up with this style on her own. It was taught to her by her parents. We know this because of the vision that Rey has. The “Force-back” scene shows her as a little girl, and they even go as far as having the young actress playing Rey to turn her head slightly, letting the audience know that she had that same hairstyle when dropped off on Jakku:
So what does this tell us? Rey was given this hairstyle at a young age, and just like she waits for her family to come back to get her, she keeps the same hairstyle that she was dropped off with. Given the fact that this is a pretty intricate hair design, maybe it suggests a more sophisticated background for Rey. Maybe, she is even royalty like Princess Leia and Queen Amidala. After all, the name “Rey” means “King” in Spanish. That said, the burlap sack she was wearing tells a different story.
We have done a couple of articles about Rey’s clan, but something tells me that this hairstyle does more than just parallel the other trilogies like so many other parallels in Star Wars. It just might hint at an aristocratic past.