Who's that girl? People have been quoting the same Madonna song ever since the first teaser for the long-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit the internet. Even after the film's release, the past of main protagonist and aspiring Jedi Rey is clouded with mystery.
But those folks at Lucasfilm know damn well what they're doing. They didn't give us half the answers we expected in the thrill-ride that was Episode VII. No, they kept the anticipation alive for Episode VIII, which is slated for release in December of 2017.
So, for the next year or so, we're gonna spend of spare time sorting through potential backstories for our favorite multilingual, starship-flying, staff-and-saber wielding girl genius. Here's a look at the five most popular theories about Star Wars's Rey.
1. Rey Solo
The most popular pre-Force Awakens theory was that Rey would be the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia, which we now know would also make her the sister of Ben Solo/Kylo Ren. Despite a few name changes, this would certainly have drawn a parallel to the Expanded Universe stories in which Han and Leia begat a set of twins, one of which turned to the Dark Side.
Lucasfilm played off the popularity of this theory, releasing a great deal of footage of Han and Rey in their promotional material. Since the film's release, however, this theory has been widely disregarded by many aspects of the film, including Han's death and the apparent unfamiliarity between the Original Trilogy heroes and Abrams's new heroine.
We suppose it could still be true, but the reveal would prove rather disappointing given the interactions we saw in Episode VII. The chemistry was there, but it would be quite a letdown to learn that the friendly banter was the closest Han ever got to his daughter.
2. Rey Skywalker
The other major candidate for Rey's fatherhood before The Forcce Awakens's release was Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Knight around whom the film seemed to revolve. Many viewers still speculate that a familial reveal will take place in their fateful meeting come the start of Episode VIII.
However, that theory has lost a great deal of fan appeal, as the vast majority of audiences don't seem to want Rey to be related to the Original Trilogy's big three. Luke is expected to teach Rey the ways of the Force and guide her to the discovery of her true lineage, but we aren't too keen on the name Rey Skywalker.
It is still worth mentioning that Luke does seem to recognize Rey when he meets her. Perhaps they have met in a capacity which she does not remember, as her memories don't seem to travel farther back from the Jakku junkyards. Hopefully, Skywalker will provide a satisfying answer to all of our questions.
3. Rey Kenobi
Another fan theory that lends gravitas to the rapidly-growing strength of Rey's abilities is that she is a descendant of the late Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Seen as the death of Alec Guiness and the apparent irrelevance of the character seem to make an appearance impossible, this theory would be an interesting way to incorporate the fan favorite back into the saga.
Despite the Prequel Trilogy's reveal that Obi-Wan, like his fellow Jedi, were trained not to give into emotional urges such as those of love, it is possible that in the years after the Republic's fall, Obi-Wan's various encounters could have led to the conception of a child. Afterall, Obi-Wan's activities between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope remain 100% unknown, so we really don't have anything to debunk this theory.
If Rey is in fact the granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi, another question will certainly rise - who were her parents? What happened to Kenobi's child and who was his/her spouse? And, naturally, you can't ignore the question of who managed to infiltrate the old Jedi's heart. It seems that this theory would actually provide more questions than answers.
4. Rey Palpatine
A recent theory that has been exploding around the web is that Rey could be a descendant of the OG Sith Lord, Emperor Palpatine. Having been the mastermind behind all of the treachery our heroes fought against in the first two Trilogies, wouldn't it just be fitting for him to be responsible for the events of this one?
Had the Emperor conceived Rey, a great deal of dramatic tension would be added to the characters' plights in Episodes VIII and IX. Naturally, an aspiring Jedi like Rey would be terrified to accept that the villainous Palpatine was her father, and upon accepting it, would likely struggle with the same decisions Luke did in Return of the Jedi - fighting against an evil that your family represents.
Being related to Palpatine would serve as a possible explanation to the dark urges and aggression that drives Rey through her battle with Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. It would also provide skepticism to Luke and other characters aware of her ancestry who would have to decide whether such a warrior should be trained. Out of love for the character, we obviously hope she comes from a more respectable family, but you never know. Rey may be the light at the end of that long, super dark tunnel.
5. Rey, The Chosen One
Perhaps the most popular theory regarding Rey's ancestry is that she is a reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker. Many believe that whenever the balance of the Force is disrupted, a new Chosen One is born, and since the balance was certainly thrown off with the rise of the First Order, Rey was created to restore peace in the galaxy.
This is an interesting theory, as it brings the overall saga to a full circle and also links Rey to the Skywalker family without taking the easy route of directly relating her to a particular character. This direction would also save the filmmakers from the hassle of creating parents for Rey, which is probably a good thing, as the expectations for such characters would most certainly be much higher than what we would receive.