In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey tells BB-8 that she’s waiting for her family on Jakku, which is why she’s so determined to get back there, much to Finn’s disbelief. As much as anyone would seem to be happy to get off the backwater desert hellscape that is Jakku, family is one of the most enduring themes of the Star Wars franchise, so, of course, family is going to be important to the new heroine of that universe.
“Whomever you are waiting for on Jakku, they’re never coming back,” Maz Kanata tells Rey. Audiences don’t yet know who, exactly, left a young Rey behind to fend for herself on Jakku, but people have plenty of guesses.
Some are more viable than others. Ranging from the ridiculous (seriously, some people joke that it’s Jar Jar Binks or that she’s the love child of C-3PO and R2-D2) to the highly unlikely (that she’s related to a fringe character such as Ezra Bridger from Star Wars Rebels or Bastila Shan from the Old Republic universe), there are plenty of options out there.
While a lot of Star Wars fans had their bets set on Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story despite the actor’s insistence otherwise, that theory kind of exploded along with the rest of Scarif. And before you get all high-and-mighty with “Jyn could have given birth before she died,” let me point out that The Force Awakens happens over three decades after the Battle of Endor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and that Rey is nowhere near that old. She’s supposed to be about 19. Jyn is not Rey’s mother.
So, with that popular theory down the drain, here are 7 other characters the Star Wars fandom is certain are related to Rey.
7. Luke Skywalker
Alright, let’s get the most popular one out of the way first. There’s a lot to unpack for the Luke theory because it’s so dang popular. People really want Rey to be a Skywalker, as most of the Star Wars universe is based around the Skywalker line.
The idea that Luke is Rey’s father is fueled by a lot of things, but mostly by Luke actor Mark Hamill being a lil’ shit. Any time Hamill sees an opening for a Rey-is-my-kid joke, he makes one, lending a whole new definition to the term “dad joke.” The most recent jab was made at the 2017 Star Wars Celebration when Hamill introduced Rey actor Daisy Ridley as “my daugh—my colleague,” which the audience got a big laugh out of.
There are also a bunch of parallels to keep in mind. Orphaned kid left on a desert planet? Check. Who’s incredibly gifted with the Force for reasons unknown in the beginning? Check. Learns about the reality of the Force from an old, grumpy man (Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo, respectively)? Check. Goes on a world-saving adventure with a ragtag crew to fight against evil as the Force-wielding member? Check.
Star Wars fans have also pointed out that Luke’s lightsaber calls to Rey in Maz Kanata’s bar, which could either be the Force dragging Rey into the fight or a genetic connection to the lightsaber’s rightful owner.
Family tree potential: 4/10; Luke’s first words to Rey in The Last Jedi are confirmed as being “Who are you?” so either he doesn’t know her or he’s the biggest dick in the galaxy.
6. Han Solo and/or Leia Organa
Upon realizing that Han and Leia were never really all that great a couple to begin with and that they drove each other crazy more often than not, it makes sense why they didn’t stay together. It seems Ben’s move to the Dark side was the final straw. Some fans postulate that Rey is actually Han and Leia’s second child and that they abandoned her on Jakku to keep her safe from their negative influence and from Kylo Ren’s watchful eye. Kylo’s obviously a little disdainful of his parents (see: killing Han), so he might not have liked the thought of a baby sister. Being Leia’s daughter would also connect Rey to the Force in a big way, being the granddaughter of the Chosen One and all.
There’s also the possibility that Leia or Han is one of her parents. They were never married and, obviously, weren’t together throughout the whole 30 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Leia could be Rey’s mom or Han could be Rey’s dad, but just not with each other as the other parent. It’s sad, but true.
Family tree potential: 3/10; Rey hangs out with both Han and Leia in The Force Awakens and neither of them seem to know who she is. Like Luke, they’d be giant dicks if they were hiding this information from her the whole time.
5. Supreme Leader Snoke
People are grasping at straws trying to figure out every way possible to fit Supreme Leader Snoke into the Star Wars mythos. Him being the mysterious, evil entity that tempted Ben Solo to the Dark side isn’t enough. Being somehow related to Rey would, apparently, make him more palatable to some people. The thought behind this is that Snoke “stole” Ben from the side of good, so Leia and Han felt the need to “steal” something back — aka, Snoke’s child — in order to make things even. It’s the whole “eye for an eye” mentality at work.
Family tree potential: 1/10; Revenge isn’t the name of the game in Star Wars and no one knows enough about Snoke to come up with anything real.
4. Emperor Palpatine’s child
The idea here is that Rey has to come from a Force-strong family for her to be able to pick all this up so quickly. So, she’s either the new Chosen One (more on that later) or she’s related to… Palpatine? The Dark Lord of the Sith met his match in Return of the Jedi, but some Star Wars fans posit that he has returned. This lines up pretty well with the idea that Rey is going to go to the Dark side of the Force by the end of the new trilogy, referencing her naturally vicious fighting style in The Force Awakens. People also guess that Luke was the one to drop Rey off on Jakku to keep her away from her great-grandfather Palpatine.
Family tree potential: 4/10; Really, guys? You’re kind of convincing me here and it makes me uncomfortable. It would be cool to see Rey go all Dark side and follow in Palpatine’s footsteps, but it still feels unlikely.
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s child
One of the most pervading rumors is that Rey is a Kenobi. Old Ben’s had one of the most complicated backstories amongst the Star Wars cast of characters, and even though it’s forbidden for a Jedi to do the whole romance thing, that hasn’t stopped certain Jedi in the past (hey there, Anakin). The thought is that Obi-Wan canoodled with a lady, she gave birth to a child, and then that child gave birth to Rey. Obi-Wan died too long ago for Rey to be his own biological child, but the timing would still line up for Rey to be related to Obi-Wan in one form or another.
Family tree potential: 4/10; Most of this comes from people just really wanting to see Ewan McGregor reprise his role as Obi-Wan, but the timing lines up and Obi-Wan does have a history of willfully abandoning children on desert planets.
2. Some other random person
Back in December 2016, Ridley said, “I thought a lot was answered in The Force Awakens” regarding Rey’s parents. “Then after the screening I went for a drink with my agent and everyone, and we were chatting away and I realized that, ‘Oh, in their minds its not answered at all!’” She seems to think her character’s parentage is pretty obvious, which is why so many Star Wars fans seem attached to the idea that she’s a Skywalker, a Solo, or a Kenobi. But just because Ridley thinks it’s “answered” doesn’t mean it’s really been answered. Keep in mind that the actor is going to know a lot more than the public.
Most likely, Rey is a random chid of some random person in the Star Wars galaxy, a farmer or someone who never knew their family held Jedi potential until, one day, their daughter started exhibiting weird powers. The Jedi were all killed off and have been derelict for decades in the Star Wars galaxy, a sort of old, taboo tradition. Maybe her family was just scared of her and left her on her own on Jakku.
Family tree potential: 9/10; It would be 10/10, but we’ve got to account for the miraculous possibility that one of the other theories is true.
1. The Force
The Star Wars universe already has one miraculous conception via the Force, so why not make it two? Anakin Skywalker was the child of Shmi Skywalker and the Force, so why shouldn’t Rey be. Anakin brought balance to the Force once again, just as Rey seems to be destined to do on her current trajectory. Why shouldn’t Star Wars have a female savior this time around?
Family tree potential: 7/10; It’s happened before.