New Rey's Parents Theory Suggests Palpatine's Side Piece Met Tragic End

A 'Star Wars' mystery continues, but Rey Palpatine would be sloppier storytelling than if she were named Rey Skywalker.


Just when Star Wars fans thought they were out, they get pulled right back in. Because it’s the internet, people can’t seem to put to rest fan speculation about Rey’s parentage leftover from the mysteries of The Force Awakens. It’s great on Lucasfilm’s part, since people will continue to talk about the main Star Wars episodes until long after director J.J. Abrams’s movie broke box office records right up until director Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII breezes into theaters on December 15, 2017. But the thing that separates this theory from the others, that she’s Luke’s daughter or Han and Leia’s long lost child, is that this one seems more true than any theory yet proposed. So who is Rey supposedly related to this time? None other than Emperor Palpatine.

In an over 12-minute video, YouTube user Vincent Vendetta meticulously breaks down a theory that first surfaced on Medium, that says Rey’s sudden Force power in the movie is because she is Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter.

Here are the main points so you don’t have to suffer through the mouth-breathing voiceover:

  • Rey uses a similar lightsaber move as Palpatine.
  • The original script references her being tempted by the Dark Side during her battle with Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base.
  • Luke-as-Rey’s-dad is an obvious bait and switch disproven on multiple occasions in the movie and by prominent people like J.J. Abrams.
  • Rey’s accent links her to others with a similar accent, like Palpatine.
  • Rey was left on Jakku because Luke didn’t want such a Force-powerful individual to be co-opted by Supreme Leader Snoke just like Ben Solo. Plus, she’s seen the island Luke is on at the end of *The Force Awakens.
  • The movie’s novelization says Kylo Ren “knows” her because of her Force power.
  • Palpatine’s voice is in Rey’s Force dream.
  • She “looks pretty evil.”
  • The Skywalker vs. Palpatine dynamic has always been a part of Star Wars, and this time the roles are reversed, with a Palpatine on the Light Side and a Skywalker relative on the Dark Side.

It’s all very well thought out, and, like most of these Reys parents theories, it seems plausible. But there are also a lot of legitimately disqualifying factors at play.

Palpatine died 30 years ago in the Star Wars timeline, but Rey is supposed to be roughly 18 years old. This means that an entire generation of Palpatines will never be part of the story, unless a mother and relatives are shoehorned in later. This same mystery lover scenario kind of debunks the Luke-is-Rey’s-dad scenario because it’s just lazy storytelling.

Granted, there’s a ton of superfluous non-Canon garbage on places like Wookieepedia that include a Palpatine family tree, but nobody in their right mind needs to know about them. But who knows, Saw Gerrera is suddenly part of the big picture in Star Wars and should Kathleen Kennedy use her magic wand (lightsaber?) to suddenly decide to pick out a minute detail in Palpatine’s backstory to suddenly make official, then the joke’s on us.

Also, why would Luke just dump Palpatine’s daughter? He messed up by letting Kylo Ren get seduced by the Dark Side, but he wouldn’t stoop to the same levels as his own deadbeat dad and just straight up abandon a child on a desert planet.

But the bottom line of all this is that it’s just kind of a dumb waste of time to speculate about Rey’s parents at this point. The only pleasure to gain from this is a mean-spirited sense of I-told-you-so when the actual reveal happens in the next two Episodes. The real mystery is why people can’t be patient enough to just trust Rian Johnson to make with the parental surprises the next time around.

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