Everyone loves a brain-twister; something that makes them really think. This is the exact reason hundreds of thousands of #StarWars fans have spent hours upon hours swapping their online theories as to who exactly the parents of new protagonist Rey are. By this point we've seen every theory take a few hits, watched the rise and fall of the Rey Skywalker-Erso theory, and witnessed as the people in the know ripped our beliefs out from under us.
Out of all of these online theories — of which I have read many — almost every one has gaping loopholes. Here I've complied a short list of assumptions that immediately weaken any Rey theory when they claim an assumption to be fact.
1. Assuming Rey Must Be Her Birth Name
The above image is of the helmet Rey places on her head at the beginning of The Force Awakens. "Raeh" is the translation of the name on this helmet. This helmet belonged to Captain Dosmit Ræh — an X-wing starfighter pilot with the Tierfon Yellow Aces. This pilot was Rey's childhood hero, as mentioned in Rey's Survival Guide:
When I was a kid, I liked to make up stories about Captain Ræh — about who she was and what planet she might have come from.
Rey might not be Rey's birth name. She might have simply taken on her hero's name — a different spelling of the same phonic pronunciation. Who knows if Rey even remembers her own birth name? If she does nobody's telling.
2. Assuming Rey Knows Anything About Her Life Before Jakku
There seems to be a lot of evidence suggesting it to be improbable that Rey has a recollection of her life prior to Jakku, in fact, #TheForceAwakens seems to deem it impossible.
Rey: "Classified? Me too. Big secret."
Logically, if Rey remembered who she was she wouldn't need to stay on Jakku. Maz points out that all Rey has left is "hope," the belief that her family will come to Jakku in search of her one day, and even that hope is beginning to fade. If Rey had anything at all she remembered that could help her track down her family — such as her name or the name of the planet she came from — she wouldn't need to sit on the sand and wait for them — she could go find them.
Rey's Survival Guide:
I don’t know how I got here, or why. But I know it was a mistake — and somebody out there will make things right, someday. It’s a mistake that I wound up on Jakku, and I know there are people out there who are trying to fix that mistake. When they do, they’ll find me and take me to where I belong.
3. Assuming Rey's Parents Left Her On Jakku Themselves
This assumption is widely held as canon because of Rey's dialogue in The Force Awakens.
Rey: "My family. They'll come back, one day."
This dialogue doesn't actually exclude the possibility that Rey was left by someone unrelated to her. Rey indicates her belief that someone will come back to her, not that they will come back to Jakku. There is a difference. It is also important to remember Rey is not necessarily a reliable narrator, especially since she was merely seven or so years old at the time of her abandonment. Even if the footage we saw of a young Rey calling out to the ship that abandoned her is the truth of what happened, it doesn't mean the people on board were her family. Perhaps she simply realized in that moment her chance of getting back home was leaving, especially if her kidnappers had promised to take her home eventually.
In the commentary for The Force Awakens J.J. Abrams actually specifies that Rey was "taken" from her family, this indicating the opposite of what is suggested in The Force Awakens.
4. Assuming That Spin-Off Material Has Any Influence On The Plot Of The Films
I have seen multiple parties use material released by Lucasbooks as proof that certain theories have no credit. In particular, the lack of any reference to another child by Leia or Luke in Claudia Gray's Bloodline being used as evidence against Rey being of Skywalker lineage.
It's pure fallacy that Lucasfilm would reveal anything of substance in a spin-off novel. The writers more than often have little idea where the franchise is going; they simply write with a clear outline of what canon information the audience is aware of in that moment. More than that, you actually can't trust that plot points used in a novel won't be overwritten in a subsequent film, the audience for the novels is tiny compared to that of the global audience for the movies, using their contents as prime evidence is a bad idea.
5. Assuming Maz Knows More About Rey Than Rey Does Herself
Maz is very insightful and she has a clear affinity for the Force, but she is not clairvoyant. In the scene where she confronts Rey about her importance she tells Rey that her family is never coming back for her. Many took this moment as proof that this is Maz exercising some sort further knowledge concerning who Rey is, especially since at the end of her most recent scene she's seen to ask Han, "Who's the girl?" If you were to believe Han also knew more than he was letting on then then it's fair that you would assume Maz then does also. However, there is no evidence either Han or Maz knows anything more than Rey has told them.
Maz's words, instead, come from Rey herself. Maz interprets the truth in Rey's eyes, the same way she interpreted the truth in Finn's. Maz can see in Rey's eyes that the girl has come to realize her family is not coming back for her; it's been too long, they would have returned by now if they could. What is clear is that Maz can feel Rey's power and knows she must be trained in the ways of the Force; the identity of her family is immaterial to this realization. She simply encourages Rey to go to Luke and leave all thought of her origins behind her, for it is not family but the Force that is her belonging.
6. Assuming That Rey's Parents Being 'Not Important' Means She Can't Be A Skywalker
One of the few quotes that has come to shape the outlook of Star War's fans when it comes to the origins of this new protagonist is something Rey actress Daisy Ridley said during an interview with MTV, as reported by ScreenCrush.
"I think the amazing thing about ['The Force Awakens'] is that Finn and Rey don’t come from anywhere, and they find a place. So to me, it’s funny that people think it’s so important because I don’t really think it is.
In the wake of this the internet exploded with claims that this was proof that Han and Leia probably weren't her parents, and Luke couldn't be, because the original trio are indeed "important." This outlook relies on an extremely narrow view of the connotations of this quote. What Daisy Ridley is trying to convey is that overall Rey's parentage is not necessarily important to her journey — there is so much more to Rey than where she came from and audiences should be able to appreciate that.
7. Assuming Luke Can't Have Had A Family Because It's Against The Jedi Code
Do I really have to explain this one? Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi. There's no one around to police him and no reason to believe he didn't rewrite the rule book. We never saw Yoda or Kenobi tell Luke he couldn't have children. There is absolutely nothing to substantiate the claim that Luke kept to the edict of an old Jedi order that perished prior to his birth.
Check out this video for more looks into who Rey's parents could be, to be explored in Episode VIII:
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(Sources: Screen Crush)