Star Wars Rey Story
Here’s what we know about the most mysterious character from Star Wars. Rey was either raised for a short time on Jakku by a couple of junk traders or dumped there without explanation when she was very young. If these junk traders that may have raised her were her parents, we’re not sure. Like I said, mysterious.
This we know. When Rey was still a child, the parents she knew left her behind on Jakku. The reason? Another mystery. Rey continued on with her solitary existence on Jakku as a scavenger, just to survive.
Star Wars Rey Story: The Force Awakens
Enter BB-8 (the droid to Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, who left important data with BB-8 to protect that information from getting into the hands of the First Order and Kylo Ren), and the Trooper Formerly Known As FN-2187. Let’s just call him Finn.
While escaping the First Order (who tracked BB-8’s location to a Jakku trade post) Rey, BB-8, and Finn climb aboard a piece of junk known as the Millennium Falcon for transport, which led to its previous owners being able to track it down to reclaim.
Enter Han and Chewbacca. It’s here that Rey learns that “It’s true…the Force, the Jedi…all of it.” – Han Solo
Rey’s first experience with the Force comes at the touch of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber (originally Anakin Skywalker’s), where she experiences a vision in the basement of Maz Kanata’s castle. Here’s a breakdown of everything Rey saw and heard when she touched the lightsaber:
After an attack on Maz Kanata’s castle, Kylo Ren captures Rey and brings her to Starkiller Base. Upon interrogation, they soon realize that Rey’s natural abilities to the Force are incredibly strong…so strong, in fact, that Rey learns quite quickly how to turn the tables on Kylo Ren in blocking his Force read of her, and begin to read the powerful and trained Kylo Ren.
Shortly after, Rey explores her newfound abilities once again by using a Jedi mind trick on the stormtrooper on her guard, to release her and drop his weapon on the way out.
Upon Rey’s escape from Starkiller Base (accompanied by Finn and Chewbacca), Rey and Kylo Ren (Kylo, who was injured by Chewbacca’s crossbow blaster in retaliation for Kylo killing Han Solo and later a saber shoulder blow by Finn), battle it out lightsaber-style.
Close to defeat, Rey takes a moment to focus, center herself, and find the Force to defeat Kylo Ren. Rey proved herself to be the fastest learner, most naturally gifted to the Force that we have ever seen.
In the last scene, we learn that has successfully tracked down the location of Luke Skywalker to Ahch-To, the location of the first Jedi Temple.
Star Wars Rey Story: The Last Jedi
Luke doesn’t want any part of it, but after some convincing, Luke Skywalker agrees to teach Rey three lessons of the Force (two of which he was able to follow through with in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but may be revealed in Episode 9).
It’s during this time that Luke discovers what he deems to be a temptation to the dark side of the Force. This fear of Rey being tempted to the dark side is heightened when he finds that her and Kylo Ren are somehow connected through the Force. This connection was later revealed to be initiated by Supreme Leader Snoke as a means to manipulate Rey into surrendering herself.
Lesson One: The Jedi Don’t Own The Light
Luke teaches Rey that the Force is everywhere, in everything. Therefore, the Force is too big to belong to anyone, including the Jedi. Luke explains, “To say if the Jedi die the light dies is vanity, don’t you see that?”
Lesson Two: The Legacy of the Jedi is a Failure
Luke says that “The legacy of The Jedi is failure, hypocrisy, hubris.” He says that, for all of the Jedi’s good intentions, they allowed the Sith, the Empire, and the First Order to rise to power. It is this failed legacy that Luke is trying to protect Rey from.
Lesson Three: Unknown (will hopefully be revealed in Star Wars Episode 9)
Before Luke can teach Rey the third and final lesson, he and Rey get into a fight when Luke discovers her and Kylo together, and Rey is under the impression that Luke Skywalker was to blame for turning Kylo to the dark side.
After some conflict resolution, Rey goes off on her own to try to turn Kylo Ren back to the light side, claiming that she saw it happen. Well, what she thought she saw was not the whole story to come.
The whole story of what was to come would be Rey and Kylo Ren coming together to defeat Supreme Leader Snoke and his royal guards. What Rey soon learns, however, is the Kylo only does this to gain more power and rule to galaxy to his own liking. He would prefer to do this with Rey by his side, but Rey succeeds in this test of dark side temptation despite her clear feelings for Kylo, and so ends one of the best Star Wars scenes ever.
Luke Skywalker had his moment, as well, as he distracts Kylo so that the Rebels can escape via Force Projection, then gives himself up to the Force, as Obi-Wan Kenobi had done in Star Wars: A New Hope. Rey attempts to comfort Leia by saying that Luke met his end with “peace and purpose”.
We soon learn that Rey stole the ancient Jedi texts from Luke before he (and Yoda) decided to burn them. Rey does have what is required to learn the ways of the Jedi via the texts, but what is a Hero’s Journey without a mentor? I’m personally hoping that ghost Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi is the guide for Rey in Episode 9.
Fun fact: The burning tree that held the Jedi texts made the shape of the Jedi Order logo as it burned.
Star Wars Rey Parents
There are still a ton of unanswered questions about Rey’s past that will hopefully be answered in the upcoming Star Wars Episode 9. Let’s take a look at the most burning question. Who are Rey’s parents?
Best Rey Parents Theories
Rey Learned the Truth About Herself in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Kylo said that he saw who Rey’s parents were. “They were filthy junk traders who sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead, in a paupers’ grave in the Jakku desert.”
On the surface, this theory holds up. It was confirmed by both Rey and Kylo in their visions, or at least Rey’s brief vision and what Kylo admitted to seeing. Kylo Ren could’ve been using this information or knowledge of what it meant to Rey to mislead her…to manipulate her, or even to allow her (from his perspective) to let the past die.
That said, their was an all-in parallel of this idea at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi when the slave boy used the Force to move the broom, then looks up to the sky as if to say that there’s a hero in all of us.
Even Ryan Johnson has said that in Rey’s journey to the darkness of the cave vision, to face her greatest fear, she realizes that she has only herself to rely on. Well, that may or may not be a solid foundation for this theory. It doesn’t necessarily mean that, just because Rey has only herself to rely on, that her parents were nobody of significance to the story.
Is Luke Rey’s Father?
Assuming Rey is a part of one of the known Star Wars lineages, let’s start with the most obvious theory. Here’s what we know. Luke formed a Jedi Academy that was destroyed by his nephew, Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) . Where was this Jedi Academy located? The location of Luke’s Jedi Academy was never divulged. Why? Maybe it’s possible that Luke formed his Jedi Academy on Jakku.
If Luke’s Jedi Academy was on Jakku, that would mean that Luke, at some point, met someone, fell in love (birds and bees…yada, yada), and had Rey.
Some things that point to this being true.
- When Rey picks up Luke’s lightsaber at Maz Kanata’s castle, Maz says “That saber called to Luke and his father before him, and now it calls to you.”
- Rey is a naturally gifted pilot who grew up on a desert planet, just like Luke and Anakin Skywalker.
Here’s where this theory falls short. If Luke were Rey’s father, it would mean that Ben Solo, Luke, and Rey were all on Jakku at the Jedi Academy, but both Luke and Kylo Ren showed no sign of familiarity with this planet upon mention. Luke has learned to control his feelings, so it’s possible that he withheld his emotional response, but with Kylo’s temper and emotional conflict, we definitely would’ve seen some sign of emotional response upon him nearing Jakku and realizing that “the girl” was from there.
Another point worth mentioning is something else Maz said in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She said, “The ones who left you on Jakku, they’re never coming back. But there’s still someone else who could.” To which Rey responds, “Luke”. In my opinion, this makes it pretty clear that there’s a chance Rey can convince Luke to come back from isolation (at that point in the story), but that he is not her father.
And just to tie this one off, J.J. Abrams has said “Rey’s parents are not in Episode 7.”
Is Obi-Wan Kenobi Rey’s Grandfather?
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that Obi-Wan Kenobi could be Rey’s grandfather, or at least a relative.
- British accent: Let’s assume Rey is the granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi. This would explain Rey’s British accent. It is unlikely that her accent could be a coincidence. The filmmakers made the conscious decision to do away with Finn’s British accent, but not Rey’s? In a universe where there are so many interlocking storylines and central lineages, choosing to give someone a British accent in this story is unlikely to have been a coincidence.
- Rumors of the upcoming Kenobi: A Star Wars Story movie: With the introduction of the non-chronological, additional Star Wars stories like Rogue One (which introduced the idea of the tracking-through-light-speed technology used in Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Solo: A Star Wars Story, it would make sense that soon after we discover that Rey is a Kenobi in Star Wars Episode 9, Disney releases Kenobi: A Star Wars Story to explore this story and how Rey came to be stranded on Jakku.
- Quotes from those who would know: Pablo Hidalgo, the Creative Executive at Lucas Film, has said “The theme of family, legacy, lineage and all that is always important in SW. Sure, it’s important in regards to Rey.” He also says, “Kylo is the Skywalker in the Force Awakens, right? We know that already.” and in regards to Rey not being Luke’s daughter, “I think that once the book is out for everyone to read, more people should weigh in on that idea.” Mark Hamill also said this in regard to Rey’s lineage, “It’s a family saga.”
- The clothes: Nothing needs to be said here, just see for yourself.
- Jedi mind trick: Obi-Wan Kenobi’s signature Force move was the Jedi mind trick. You might remember his famous line, “These aren’t the droids you are looking for”. Another example is in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones when he said, “You want to go home and rethink your life”. Upon first realizing her abilities (and without training), Rey was able to use this Jedi mind trick on the stormtrooper on her guard in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to escape.
- In Star Wars: A New Hope, Kenobi takes Anakin’s old lightsaber from a chest and hands it to Luke. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey takes the same lightsaber out of a similar chest at Maz’s castle and hands it to Luke in the last scene.
- In Rey’s vision in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she hears Obi-Wan Kenobi speak to her…and there are several examples of the Skywalker family having the ability to reach out with the Force to one another. Kenobi did speak to Luke in the same way, but he was already a mentor of Luke’s prior to that connection.
- Like Pablo Hidalgo said, we already have a Skywalker in the story – Kylo Ren. As the Skywalkers and Kenobis have such a great history of partnership, friendship, and tragedy, it would stand that we should also have a Kenobi in the new series.
Is Rey a Child of the Force?
Emporer Palpatine tells the story of Darth Plagueis, the Wise, to Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
“Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.” – Emporer Palpatine
Is it possible that either Darth Sidious (who learned everything he knows from his old master, Darth Plagueis) or Supreme Leader Snoke had that knowledge and used that knowledge of midichlorian manipulation to create Rey? This, of course, would’ve taken place prior to the knowledge that Ben Solo had dark side tendencies, so perhaps Rey was created to be the new Darth Vader.
Or was Rey created by Master Yoda or Kenobi to rival the powers of Kylo Ren and bring balance back to the Force?
If Rey is a child of the Force, that would mean that “mother” junk trader became pregnant by a Force miracle, and “father” junk trader was left to wonder how it could’ve happened. Maybe Rey caused so much turmoil in this junk trader relationship, that they left her on Jakku to start anew. But I digress.
Solving the Mystery – Luke Knows the Truth About Rey’s Parents
One thing that should help solve the mystery of who Rey’s parents are is being able to prove that, even if Luke is not her father, he knows who Rey’s parents are.
Fact 1: Luke Skywalker cut himself off from the Force until just before Rey’s mirror cave vision.
Fact 2: Luke Skywalker would like the legacy of the Jedi to die. He believes that the Jedi legacy was one of disaster, having allowed Senator Palpatine and the Empire to rise, not to mention the First Order.
Multiple Reys Interpretation:
The multiples of Rey and her interactions with them suggest that she is on a path. The timing of the snaps from Rey to Rey was perfectly timed for a reason. Well, what is time but a series of events or “snap”shots. The past, present, and future are nothing more that snapshots along a timeline. In essence, Rey’s destiny is already written.
It is in the time that Luke opened himself back up to the Force, that he realizes who Rey is and who her parents are.
Is it a coincidence that minutes after Luke opened himself back up to the Force (after connecting again with Leia), Rey’s vision suddenly comes to a grinding hault? Rey’s vision in the mirror cave may not have revealed that she is alone, as it may have seemed, but revealed that Luke Skywalker knows who her parents are, sees that knowledge as her call to destiny, and prevented that knowledge from reaching Rey before its reveal.
Luke believes that if Rey knew the truth about her family, she would be going down the path of the Jedi (or worse), starting the cycle of destruction all over again. So he interceded and stopped the vision quest..then proceeded to run down the mountain screaming “Rey!”.
After Luke and Rey’s confrontation, Rey leaves Ahch-To and Luke goes to burn down the Jedi texts. Why? The obvious answer is that he wants the Jedi and what he considers to be their hubris to end, but looking at the sequence of events that just took place from the perspective of Luke keeping the truth of who Rey’s parents are from her, Luke is continuing that train of thought.
Luke is trying to protect Rey from the truth and from living a Jedi existence. There is more to this story that will hopefully be explored and divulged in Star Wars Episode 9.
Star Wars Rey Personality Traits
Rey is determined, persistent, adventurous, optimistic, resourceful, proactive, bold, kind, and a little naive.