Ever since The Force Awakens was released, fans and journalists alike have been scrambling to find out just who Rey's parents are. Abandoned on Jakku at a young age, the mysterious scavenger stole our hearts, and even as Rey forges forward into a bright future in #TheLastJedi, we are hoping that the sequel trilogy will reveal the secrets of her past. But we may not have to wait that long to find out who Rey's parents are, if this latest report from the #HanSolo movie is anything to go by.
Emilia Clarke's Role Revealed
In an interview with Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire) about his role in Han Solo, the actor revealed to Vanity Fair that his character plays a pivotal role in introducing two of the film's leads:
"[He's] a link between Han Solo and Emilia’s character, Kira."
The name Kira should be familiar to #StarWars fans, and has already sparked much speculation about a possible connection between Clarke's character, and Rey — as she was initially called Kira. Way back before #TheForceAwakens was released, multiple set leaks pointed towards Kira being the female lead's name; after the release, it was confirmed by the concept art book that Kira was the name for Rey right up until shooting, and that she was still referred to as Kira on set. This has lead many fans to speculate that Kira may be Rey's real name, before she was abandoned on Jakku.
With Emilia Clarke's character being called Kira in the Han Solo movie, we're left wondering if this means she has some connection to Rey. After all, Lucasfilm didn't hide the fact that Rey's name was originally Kira, so they must have known people would draw this conclusion. So is this just a red herring, or will Han Solo introduce Rey's mother?
Timeline wise, it all checks out... just. We already went over this back when we thought that Rogue One's Jyn could be Rey's mother (but unless those Bacta Tanks have got really, really good, there's no way she's coming back from that movie's explosive ending). It all depends how old Clarke's character is in the Han Solo movie. If she's in her late teens — like the Skywalker twins in A New Hope — then she could have Rey 20-odd years later.
Narratively, it would be satisfying for Rey's mother to be someone new, but also someone we've met before. Introducing her mother in an anthology movie before the sequel trilogy ends would tie the films together and create a mother-daughter saga, which is much rarer than any story to do with fathers. This would also allow #EmiliaClarke to cameo later, in a flashback or with some age makeup.
The Other Options
Of course, as desperate as we are to discover Rey's parentage, that doesn't mean that every white, brunette woman in the Star Wars movies could be her mother — though there are a lot of those. While having Clarke's character be related to Rey would justify her casting over the women of color who were considered for the role, it would also be somewhat contrived, and might not go over well with audiences.
So who else could Clarke's Kira be? Well, thanks to Star Wars authors' obsession with that name, we have plenty of candidates. Clarke's Kira could be a descendent of Kira Carsen, an ancient Jedi Knight who featured in the Knights Of The Old Republic video game. Thanks to references to characters in this game in the new Star Wars canon, it seems that the events within it are still part of canon — until Lucasfilm tells us they aren't. Passing first names down generations isn't just a family tradition in the real world, it's also something that happens a lot in Star Wars, so this is a remote possibility.
However, Kira may not be Clarke's character's first name, but a title. Such is the case of the House of Kira, a noble family that married into the Onderon monarchy. Leaders of a clan called the Beast Riders, members of the House of Kira were interesting characters in the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, popping up in several different novels and comic series. Granted, that makes them no longer canon, but plenty of characters from the EU have been reintroduced to it — in fact, Rogue One's Saw Gerrera, who previously appeared in the animated series The Clone Wars, hails from Onderon.
Oh, and if Clarke's character is a member of the House of Kira, that would explain her fancy robes in this leaked set photo.
Bearing a striking resemblance to Leia's look in A New Hope, Kira and Han meet Woody Harrelson's character in a white and gold room that brings to mind ideas of nobility, royalty, and high class... perhaps the characters are assembling in Kira's family home?
Of course, with plenty of other Kiras floating around the Star Wars legends (there's even a whole planet named Kira), it could be that Clarke's character is connected to none of them. It seems that this has been a popular name choice among Star Wars creators for a long time, so it's unsurprising that Lucasfilm finally chose the name for a movie's lead character. And as for that strange connection between her and Rey, well, we'll just have to wait and see if this is just a red herring or not.