It's been a subject of much contention since #StarWars7 was released — just who is Rey? The simple scavenger girl who turned out to be a badass Force-wielder didn't just win our hearts in The Force Awakens, she also sparked one of the biggest mysteries in Star Wars history.
Whether you're siding with Team Rey Skywalker — or if you really like the idea that she's a Kenobi — it all comes back to what happened before she was abandoned on Jakku. There seemed to be hints in Star Wars Episode VII that Rey had a childhood history with the Skywalker-Solos, from Kylo Ren hissing "what girl?" to that poor Imperial officer, to Leia and Rey's bafflingly familiar hug
The clear solution seemed to be that both Kylo Ren and Leia knew Rey as a child, and therefore recognized her when she reappeared. And although JJ Abrams has now officially shot down this theory, he may have just confirmed a major plot point.
Kylo & Leia Never Met Rey
In the audio commentary to the new Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens blu-ray, Abrams confirmed that before the events of the film, Kylo Ren had never met Rey.
"One of the new relationships that we were focusing on was between Kylo Ren and Rey. They’ve never met but he's heard of this girl."
As he previously explained to SlashFilm, Abrams later reiterated that Leia had never met Rey either, and their compassion for each other was because of their shared strength within the Force, and their awareness of each other's grief.
This all seems pretty cut-and-dry, but what's interesting is that Kylo Ren was aware of who Rey was before he met her. Of course, Abrams may have just been referring to the scene in which the hapless Imperial officer briefed Ren on BB-8's escape from Jakku, but considering Ren's extreme reaction, it's likely that he already knew who Rey was. And that's a pretty big deal, because this might just confirm a popular rumor we've heard about #StarWars8.
Why Was Rey Abandoned?
It all comes back to why Rey was left on Jakku in the first place. Many theories about Rey's identity revolve around her Force sensitivity, speculating she was abandoned because after Kylo Ren massacred Luke Skywalker's Jedi students, he might come after Rey next.
If Kylo Ren had heard about Rey before they met, then this could have been because of her Force abilities. After all, those who are powerful in the Force can sense others like them, and that's been a key part of the Star Wars story since A New Hope. Just like the Skywalker twins, the reason for Rey's abandonment may have been her Force sensitivity — a fact Rey herself wasn't even aware of until her vision in Maz Kanata's castle.
But what if this wasn't a simple case of Kylo Ren sensing Rey's power in the Force? There could be another reason for him knowing about her before he met her.
Based on some set leaks in June, it seems as though Rey's destiny is greater than a simple matter of who she's related to: She may well be the Chosen One, a reincarnation of the very first Jedi. Sure, this theory's pretty out there, but there were some key hints in a new canon comic that support it, and it would also explain why Kylo Ren had heard of Rey — or rather, the new incarnation of a legendary hero.
Alternatively, Kylo Ren could have heard rumors of Luke Skywalker's secret daughter. Or perhaps she's the daughter of someone who knew how dangerous Kylo Ren was, and so abandoned Rey for her own safety. Or heck, maybe Rey was created in a lab by Supreme Leader Snoke, and Kylo Ren stumbled across his master's evil scheme while surfing the First Order intranet for tips on greasy hair management.
Hey, it's Star Wars. Anything's possible.
Tell us in the comments: How do you think Kylo Ren knew who Rey was?