Fans have been speculating about who Rey’s parents are since before Star Wars: Episode VII was released. Incredibly strong with the Force despite no training, raised on an isolated desert planet, and a mechanical whiz, Rey is something of an enigma. And unfortunately, we have to wait at least another year to find out who her parents are and why she was left on Jakku. Most people believe that Rey is either the child of Han and Leia or Luke and a “mystery woman.” Prior to the release of Rogue One, many fans were speculating that Jyn Erso was going to be Rey’s mother; now, we know that to be impossible.
Which brings us to the question; who actually is Rey’s mom? Sadly, there are only a handful of women in the Star Wars films, and with the exception of Leia, none of them fit the bill for Rey’s mother. Some fans believe Rey isn’t even a member of the Skywalker family–which doesn’t make a lot of sense, given that Star Wars is a story about the Skywalker family, but at this point, anything is possible.
Since we have a long time to wait until Episode VIII and an even longer time to wait until Episode IX, we have plenty of time to speculate about Rey’s parents. Here are just a few of the most bizarre theories floating around the internet.
15. Mara Jade
Fans of the EU will be familiar with Mara Jade. In the extended universe, Mara Jade was Force-sensitive and trained in the Dark Side by Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine made her the Emperor’s Hand. She was tasked with many special assignments, including (but not limited to) assassinating members of the Rebel Alliance and corrupt Imperial politicians and officers. Palpatine tasked her with spying on Darth Vader. Mara learned of Darth Vader’s obsession with Luke Skywalker. Mara began to hope that Vader would betray Palpatine so that she could kill him and take his place.
When Palpatine was killed, he sent a message to Mara through the Force telling her to kill Luke Skywalker. Luke helped Mara move past her attachment to Palpatine and turn away from the Dark Side. They have a son–interestingly enough, named Ben.
Mara Jade is- spoiler alert- killed by her nephew, Jacen Solo, when he turns to the Dark Side. Fans have speculated that in the new canon, Luke married Mara Jade (or a similar character) and had a daughter with her–Rey. Kylo Ren killed his aunt (just like Jacen) and either hid Rey on Jakku or Luke was able to hide her first. Perhaps Mara Jade even hid Rey herself before she was killed by her nephew.
14. Doctor Aphra
Doctor Aphra is a character who appears in the Darth Vader comics. She’s similar to Mara Jade in that both are badass women who have a knack for assassination, but unlike Mara Jade, Aphra is still alive and kicking (at least, for now…). Once a criminal, Aphra fell into Darth Vader’s good graces and became his right hand man, doing the dirty work he couldn’t be seen doing.
In the latest comic, Aphra is captured by the crew of the Millennium Falcon. Cover art released from the upcoming issue shows her fighting alongside Leia–so she’s probably switched sides. Maybe Aphra is a second attempt at a Mara Jade–a bad guy gone good who overcomes her inner darkness and finds the light. And maybe Aphra, like Mara, will fall for Luke and have a child with him–Rey. At least, that’s the theory. Unfortunately we don’t know enough yet to judge whether or not this is a likely outcome and why, if it is true, Aphra left Rey on Jakku, if she did at all.
13. Rey Kenobi
Some fans have posited that Rey is not a Skywalker, but is, in fact, a Kenobi. There are several variations of this theory; in some, Rey is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter (since his definitive death in A New Hope makes it impossible for him to be Rey’s father). In others, she is his niece or great-niece.
Both are possible, but they strain credulity. Obi-Wan did hold a torch for the Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze in Star Wars Rebels, and some fans have speculated that they had a child–possibly Sabine, also a character in Rebels–and that child became one of Rey’s parents. Perhaps Obi-Wan even met a woman on Tatooine and, now that there was no Jedi Order to reprimand him for forsaking his vows, he had an affair with this woman and they had a child.
The basis for this theory is tenuous: the argument is that both Rey and Obi-Wan have English accents, both are particularly adroit at using the Jedi mind-trick, and the voice talents of both Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness are used in Rey’s vision with the lightsaber.
12. The Force
A more interesting (but less realistic) theory is that Rey does not have a father and was instead conceived by the Force. It’s not without the realm of possibility; Anakin Skywalker was conceived by the Force, and he was one of the most powerful Jedi in history. Fans believe that because Rey is incredibly powerful despite her lack of training, she must have Anakin’s midichlorian count–which would only be possible if she was conceived by the Force. Anakin was conceived to bring balance to the Force, and maybe in the same way, Rey was also conceived to fully achieve that balance.
Of course, this still doesn’t explain who her mother is. We know it isn’t Jyn Erso, and it probably isn’t Leia. Possibly Rey was born to a character we haven’t met yet–but if that’s the case, who left her on Jakku and why?
11. Palpatine’s Granddaughter
Okay, this one is really crazy. In an argument that lacks convincing evidence (indeed, lacks any evidence), some fans have posited that Rey is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine. There doesn’t seem to be a lot behind this theory except that it would be a “cool” idea. Rey is Spanish for “king”, which some fans believe could be a reference to her royal grandfather. And that’s…really all anyone can come up with.
These fans believe that Luke left Rey on Jakku after Kylo Ren turned to the Dark Side, afraid of her family and of her potential. But this doesn’t make sense–assuming Palpatine had a family that survived the fall of the Empire, how would his granddaughter find her way into Luke’s care? And why was Luke only afraid of Rey after Kylo Ren turned to the Dark Side and not before? And surely Luke, of all people, would know that your proclivity to turning to the Dark Side doesn’t come from your family–as the son of Darth Vader, Luke should know that better than anyone. So why would he fear that Rey would follow the path of a grandfather she never knew?
10. Snoke’s Descendant
This theory is a play off of the Palpatine theory but is somehow even more ridiculous. Basically, some fans believe that the mysterious Snoke had a child who was not Force-sensitive, and depending on how old Snoke is, he may have had a grandchild or great-grandchild who were also not Force-sensitive. And then one of his descendants had Rey, who is quite clearly Force-sensitive and could be the heir that Snoke had waited for for so long. In some variations of this theory, Snoke’s daughter or granddaughter has sex with Luke, making him the father of Rey. When Snoke rose to power, Luke brought his daughter (and Snoke’s heir) to Jakku so that Snoke and Kylo Ren would not be able to find her, and then Luke hid out himself so that he could not endanger Rey and vice-versa. Kylo Ren would have known about Rey, and either he wanted to destroy her or he wanted her to help him team up against Snoke and become a master in his own right.
9. We Haven’t Met Her Parents Yet
We’re not sure what’s more annoying about this theory: the fact that it exists or the fact that there’s a solid foundation for it.
While some people are going above and beyond to connect Rey to just about every character that’s ever appeared in canon, some fans have found a far simpler theory- that Rey’s family hasn’t shown up yet. Maybe Rey really is just a nobody. She could be the child or grandchild of a former Jedi. Maybe she’s the first person in her family to be able to use the Force. Maybe her family is insignificant and all that matters is where she’s going, not where she’s come from.
Except that just doesn’t fit the Star Wars narrative. Star Wars has always been a story about the Skywalker family. Luke finding out that his father is Darth Vader is a huge turning point in the original trilogy, and just as The Force Awakens parallels A New Hope, we can reasonably assume that Rey will discover the truth behind her family in the next couple of films. If Rey’s background was meant to be insignificant, then The Force Awakens wouldn’t have made such a big deal about the mystery of her past and why she was left on Jakku.
8. Ezra Bridger
The Rey Bridger theory seems to be more of a crack theory than anything, but it’s worth talking about here. The protagonist of the animated series Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger was born on the day that Sheev Palpatine declared the galaxy a Galactic Empire over which he would rule. Orphaned and left on his own at a young age, Ezra was a street-smart urchin who had “strange abilities” he later discovered was the Force.
While many have hypothesized that Ezra will die at the end of the series, a few have wondered if Ezra will actually survive and become Rey’s father. Some have even gone far enough to suggest that when Yoda says, “No, there is another,” he may have been referring to Ezra–pretty far-fetched, all things considered.
It goes without saying that it’s highly unlikely the Star Wars franchise is going to bring an animated character into the fold and expect everyone to watch the series in order to understand his significance, but hey, they can dream.
7. Mon Mothma
It’s no secret that there aren’t many women in Star Wars. Disney has come under fire recently because of the lack of female characters, and while they are making strides, they’ve got a long way to go.
Most fans want Rey to be related to characters we’ve already met–preferably both of her parents would be established and beloved characters. If Leia isn’t Rey’s mother, that leaves approximately one female character we’ve already met who could potentially be Rey’s mother: Mon Mothma. The Chandrilan diplomat is the only other female character we’ve met who survived the rebellion, and because of this, some fans are inclined to believe she’s Rey’s mom. Some have contested that Luke is the father, while some of the more playful fans have posited that it might be Wedge Antilles.
And sure, it’s possible that the women of Star Wars have longer life spans and reach menopause at a later age, but when you consider that Mon Mothma was around the same age as Padmé Amidala, that means she’s old enough to be Luke’s mother, and assuming Luke is into older ladies, that means she’d be in her 50s at least by the time she gave birth to Rey.
6. Galen Or Lyra Erso’s Sibling
Many fans were disappointed after seeing Rogue One because it meant that Jyn Erso cannot be Rey’s mother. However, some fans have done a lot of reaching to prove that Jyn and Rey are still related–just not mother and daughter. This theory claims that Galen or Lyra had a sibling, and that sibling is the grandparent of Rey.
We’ll be brutally honest–it’s a boring theory. Sure, it could be true, but the big reveal would just feel like the big reveal of Spaceballs. “What’s that make us?” Rey might ask Kylo Ren. “Absolutely nothing,” he would reply. If Rey is that distantly related to the Erso family (and she might be, for all we know), that isn’t going to be a big enough moment in the ensuing films, and the way The Force Awakens has built up the mystery of her parentage, we know it’s going to be pretty big.
5. Kylo Ren
Some fans think Rey is a Skywalker and a Solo, but not in the way you might expect.
Some have (logically) pointed out that neither Han nor Leia seem to treat Rey as their daughter, and surely Luke would not have abandoned his child on a desert planet, yet Rey cannot be the central character of the sequels if she isn’t a Skywalker. The solution? Rey must be Kylo Ren’s daughter.
I know, it’s crazy.
The idea is that as a teenager, Ben Solo fell in love with a girl and had an illicit child with her, not unlike Anakin’s own disastrous relationship with Padmé. Possibly Luke forbid the relationship, or Snoke had convinced Ben that something bad could happen to Rey or her mother. Perhaps this was the catalyst to his turn to the Dark Side. Fans of this theory believe that either Kylo Ren left her on Jakku to keep her away from the other Skywalkers, or that Luke stole her and left her there so that Kylo Ren couldn’t get to her–not unlike Luke being hidden on Tatooine.
The theory might actually have some merit if it weren’t for the timeline. The Force Awakens takes place about thirty years after the Battle of Endor (that’s the end of Return of the Jedi for those who can’t remember), and it’s implied Ben was conceived and born directly after the close of Episode VI. So that makes Kylo Ren 29 or 30. J.J. Abrams has confirmed that Rey is 19 at the beginning of The Force Awakens, so if Ben Solo is really her father, that would mean he was 10 or 11 when she was born, and while that isn’t completely impossible, it certainly wouldn’t happen in this franchise.
4. Leia And Kes Dameron
If you thought the other theories were crazy, get ready for this one; ambitious fans believe that Rey is Leia’s daughter, but not Han’s. The man who they believe is actually Rey’s father? Rebel Alliance sergeant Kes Dameron–the father of Resistance pilot Poe Dameron.
In this theory, fans have pointed out that Han and Leia’s relationship seemed like it was strained before their son turned to the Dark Side. Perhaps the death of Kes’s wife, fellow pilot Shara Bey, made him seek comfort in the arms of another strong woman–Princess Leia. Perhaps things had already been strained between her and Han and her affair with Kes only further drove a wedge between them, one that would completely split them apart after Ben became Kylo Ren. Perhaps she and Han were already separated. Whatever the case, fans believe that the product of this affair was Rey, and not only did Leia intentionally leave her on Jakku, but she sent Lor San Tekka to live on the same planet and watch over a la Obi-Wan keeping an eye on Luke on Tatooine. Han must know who Rey is, and that’s why Maz Kanata asks him and why he has such a pained expression whenever he looks at Rey.
3. Shmi Skywalker And Qui-Gon Jinn’s Descendant
This theory would actually be kind of cool, but it would be really, really hard for Disney to pull it off. Many who saw The Phantom Menace noticed the chemistry between Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker, which was no mistake–early drafts of The Phantom Menace have Qui-Gon and Shmi having an affair. What if, after Qui-Gon left with Anakin, Shmi gave birth to a second child? Watto may have sold the child, or he may have only agreed to sell Shmi to Owen Lars but not her child. Either way, perhaps Rey is a descendant of that child, making her a Skywalker without having to overcome the obstacle of explaining why Luke or Leia would have left their child on a desert planet.
Again, it’s a cool theory, but it probably isn’t true. It would take a lot of work to explain Rey’s lineage, and it would take even more work to explain how and why Rey ended up on Jakku, and frankly we just can’t see that feasibly working out.
2. Captain Phasma
This theory is absurdly stupid. Similar to the Mon Mothma theory, this rose out of the realization that there are only a handful of women in Star Wars, and only a handful of that handful could be Rey’s mom. Some fans believe that Rey’s mom is not Leia (or Mon Mothma) but is, in fact, the ruthless Captain Phasma.
This theory is very vague, largely because so little is known about Captain Phasma, and as a result it has several variations. The biggest one is that Phasma was the wife of Luke, and he intended for her and Rey to go to Jakku for safety after his nephew turned to the Dark Side. Instead of staying with her daughter, however, Phasma abandoned Rey and joined the First Order because…well, no one has been able to give a clear answer yet. In some variations, Phasma is even the daughter of Obi-Wan, drawing the Rey Kenobi theory into play.
In another variation, Phasma was simply a woman trying to make it into the big leagues of the First Order, and having a child would have prevented her from playing with the big boys, so she abandoned her child on Jakku. Rey just happened to be Force-sensitive.
Why are there so many variations of this ridiculous theory? Well, as some fans have argued, Phasma is one of three women we have met who could be Rey’s mom–and she is the only one who has a British accent. Yeah…
1. She’s A Clone
We saved the most bizarre for last. For those who don’t like any theories about Rey’s parentage, they’ve found a solution: Rey is a clone. Yup. A clone.
No one can entirely decide who she’s supposed to be a clone of, however, which is probably the biggest reason this theory can’t be taken seriously (that, and it’s completely crazy). Some say she’s a clone of Anakin Skywalker. Others think she’s a clone of Luke, and still others believe she’s a clone of Leia.
Clones aren’t totally out of place–we’ve seen that cloning can and does happen in this galaxy, and fans of the EU are unlikely to forget Luuuuke. But why would any of the Skywalkers be cloned? What possible purpose could that serve? Do clones have midichlorians? If Rey is really a clone of any of the Skywalkers, why wouldn’t Disney use the same CGI that they used to bring Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia circa A New Hope back for Rogue One?
It’s a lazy garbage theory, and if by some horrible twist of fate it’s true, we’re going to start our own Rebellion.