When it comes to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, there’s no shortage of galaxy-brained theories about how the entire Skywalker saga will resolve. (We’ve even come up with a few ourselves). However, one new fan theory about Rey’s ending in The Rise of Skywalker involving time travel and the Emperor is so ridiculous I actually kind of love it. And the more I think about it, the more I think it might be right — or at least plausible.
Hear me out: What if Rey is actually’s Anakin Skywalker’s mom?
Warning: This Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker theory is probably wrong, but on the off chance that it’s correct, this entire article is one big spoiler.
Rey = Shmi, Explained
Ok, so first, here’s the gist of this mind-bending theory, shared to the Star Wars Speculation subreddit by u/DarthCorleone, shared with the straightforward title: “Rey and Shmi are literally the same person.”
Basically, DarthCorleone posits that before the events of the The Phantom Menace, Emperor Palpatine figured out time travel using the world between worlds (more on that in a minute) and then searched in the future for a powerful Force user. When he discovered Rey, he popped out of a time vortex right around Rise of Skywalker and dragged her back into the past 75 years earlier (aka, right around the time Anakin was born).
At this point, Rey somehow escapes and “cuts herself off from the Force” like Luke did back on Ahch-To. She takes the name Skywalker as a tribute to her former Jedi master and ends up stuck on some desert planet, just like when we first met her on Jakku in The Force Awakens. “The last shot of the saga reveals a pregnant Rey/Shmi looking out at a twin sunset,” DarthCorleone writes.
As for how Rey becomes pregnant with Anakin, that’s unclear. According to Star Wars canon, the Emperor basically used the Force to create an immaculate conception (gross, I know). However, this theory argues that perhaps she becomes pregnant Kylo’s child before she travels back in time, which would create a whole other ridiculous sort of time loop in which Kylo is actually his own great-grandfather.
Wait, Since When Is Time Travel a Thing in Star Wars?
Pretty recently, actually. A little over a year ago, the animated series Star Wars Rebels introduced something called the “world between worlds,” a mystical plane of existence outside space and time that makes it possible to travel through portals in time and even alter the past.
In an episode of the cartoon titled “The World Between Worlds,” a Force-sensitive character named Ezra Bridger is able to access one of these portals via a Jedi Temple. Then he reaches through another portal into the past to rescue Ahsoka during a battle with Darth Vader. Afterwards, Ezra and Ahsoka find another portal that leads to Emperor Palpatine, who isn’t able to pass through but can see what’s happening on the other side and even attacks them using Force lightning.
So not only does time travel exist in Star Wars, but the Emperor is aware of it and seems interested in using it for his own evil intentions. In that case, it’s not so farfetched to think that the world between worlds might explain how Palpatine survived being thrown into that reactor core and how he’ll return in The Rise of Skywalker.
As for the whole Rey being Anakin’s mom thing. Well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing Star Wars has ever done.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20, 2019.