Unsettling 'Rise of Skywalker' theory reveals why Rey is familiar to Luke, Leia, and Han

Their ties to the scavenger of Jakku may date back to the pre-'Force Awakens' era.


Rey’s backstory is one of the most debated among the Star Wars fan community. While Star Wars: The Force Awakens hinted there’s a reason she’s connected to Luke’s blue lightsaber, The Last Jedi revealed she was nothing more than the daughter of “filthy junk traders.” Either way, Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker all had their reasons for helping this child of Jakku. An unsettling new theory offers an intriguing explanation for why Rey already seems familiar to all three original trilogy characters when she first meets them, and it could tie directly into the central conflict of The Rise of Skywalker.

Warning! Speculative Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker spoilers ahead.

After watching The Force Awakens, fans speculated that Rey may not have been as much a stranger to Han, Leia, and Luke as J.J. Abrams made it seem. Technically, Luke didn’t interact with Rey until The Last Jedi, but it’s hard to believe he would have trained her if she was a complete stranger to him.

The trio took a lot of interest in Rey, going the extra mile to help her in any way they could. Han gave her a job on his ship, Leia acted rather motherly toward her, and Luke trained her in the ways of the Jedi. Why do all of that with Rey and no one else?

Leia has been awfully kind to Rey in particular. 


Well, redditor u/WonMonkey may have found out why. The theorist suggests that Luke, Leia, and Han already knew who Rey was when they met her, and the trio may have had something to do with Rey ending up on Jakku in the first place. “Perhaps our heroes either stole her away or had someone (Zorri) take her for them to keep her from Palpatine,” the theorist writes.

Think about it. Knowing how protective Han is of the Millennium Falcon, there’s no way he would’ve just offered a a total stranger his ship, right? Han, Leia, and Luke may have hoped to protect her from Palpatine years before and felt bad about leaving her behind. Or, they somehow lost her en route to Jakku. That sense of guilt may explain why they all treated her with sympathy and kindness.

Maz Kanata offers Luke Skywalker's old lightsaber to Rey.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Even Maz Kanata, after asking Han about Rey’s origins in The Force Awakens, took an interest in Rey. It could simply be that Maz sensed the Force was strong in her, but perhaps there’s more to it than that. We know Maz can read people after simply looking into their eyes. If that’s the case, then there’s no reason to ask Han about Rey if Maz could already glean information for herself.

There’s also the fact that the scene cuts away before Han can even answer Maz’s question about who Rey is. Perhaps that was done to avoid letting the audience know about her ahead of time. Still, no matter the reasons for the familiarity, the theory certainly lends itself to the idea that Rey is at the center of the new Star Wars trilogy because she was never just a stranger from Jakku.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes to theaters December 20.

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