Here's the thing: we can figure out exactly who Rey is just by watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Crazy, right?
Yes, yes, we all want Rey to be Luke's daughter or Han's secret lovechild or Leia's immaculate conception setting forth a new chosen one (look it up), but none of these theories necessarily work because...well, they're a little obvious.
Not only that, but we have to remember that the "big twist" we'll get in Star Wars: The Last Jedi has to make sense based on information that's being set up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rey can't be tied to Star Wars lore minutiae. None of the younglings would get it. Well, some would, but not most.
The LIGHTSABER Theory gets around that pesky detail by pointing out that the key to Rey's backstory is actually Luke's lightsaber. And the "forceback" scene (Rey's vision at the movie's midpoint) tells us just about everything we need to know. Well, the important details, anyway.
This theory gets a tad complicated, though, so here's my full video on the subject. At 15 minutes, it's a mouthful, but I think you'll find reason to keep the time scrubbing. I'll add a quick FAQ below the fold. Enjoy!
What Is The LIGHTSABER Theory, And How Did You Come Up With It?
This past weekend was Star Wars Celebration, so I've been in a particularly Force-sensitive mood. I sat down with some friends for yet another viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and began to notice a few strange occurrences.
First, I found it bizarre (as usual) that so much coincidentally Luke-centric lore happened to be on Jakku. The Church of the Force, Lor San Tekka being a close friend of Luke, and the Millennium Falcon, etc. The villages are so close to each other, enough for BB-8 to run into Rey and set off this whole adventure.
With this in mind, I paid closer attention than ever to how Han, Leia and Maz talked to Rey (and around her). Then, during the "Force vision" scene, it all clicked. I literally paused the movie. Looked around the room and declared: I FIGURED IT OUT.
In a nutshell, The LIGHTSABER Theory proposes that the Force vision scene outlines the big reveal we'll get in The Last Jedi, and it paves the way for the central themes and conflicts that will occur between our main characters, specifically Kylo and Rey. It properly sets up a compelling antagonism that will tee up this saga for a new generation of Jedi and Sith.
You can read the full theory and evidence at my personal site, but here's the crux:
I strongly believe based on the movie that one or both of Rey’s parents were Luke’s Jedi apprentices and that they’re among the bodies we see in front of the Knights of Ren. An alternate way to interpret this is that Luke ends up giving the lightsaber to Rey’s father or mother, believing them to be the rightful heir to the Jedi and angering Ben Solo because Luke doesn’t trust him to carry on the legacy. This would be huge for a villain who’s been set up to revere his grandfather. Luke might even suspect Ben is slowly being seduced to the Dark Side by Snoke as he picks his successor.
After surviving this encounter, Luke leaves Rey on Jakku to protect her from the First Order and Kylo Ren, who might suspect another Force sensitive is around. Han, Leia, and Maz would know about Rey because of her parents, but they’re not as familiar with her as Luke is. This would explain why Kylo seems to find Rey so familiar, yet he clearly doesn’t know who she is when he talks to Supreme Leader Snoke.
And this even explains why Kylo gets so angry, especially about Rey using that particular lightsaber, which he recognizes the first time he sees it. He wants to be like Vader, and Anakin’s lightsaber is his key to getting there. This would serve as the real source of conflict between Kylo and Rey. Kylo believes himself to be the rightful heir to Darth Vader by blood, but Rey is his natural enemy because she is heir to Luke Skywalker by the sacrifice of her parents, Luke’s true successor(s).
How Do You Know Rey's Parents Aren't Skywalkers Or Solos Or Kenobis?
I don't know 100 percent for sure, but I do know the Force. Sorry, I mean screenwriting. These aren't twists that would be satisfying for fans who came into this franchise with The Force Awakens as their entry point. It would be a detail of the greater Star Wars lore that isn't nearly as accessible as something that was introduced in Force Awakens. The trick is that the screenwriters wisely planned for this by throwing all manner of red herrings our way.
I think you're supposed to walk away from The Force Awakens believing Rey to be the product of another Darth Vader-esque twist. But this is one of the greatest movie twists of all time. To upend it, The Last Jedi has to be a little sneakier with how it guides you to believing one thing while totally missing the obvious. Enough so that when the twist is revealed, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Why Did You Write An FAQ By Yourself?
What Is The First Thing You'll Do If The Theory Is Proven Wrong?
Depends on how I'm proven wrong. If it turns out to be something better than what I've proposed, that will be the best case scenario. If they opt for the obvious or go with something fringe like Rey being some Plagues/Chosen One reincarnation, then I'll roll my eyes and maybe write some fan fiction you'll never read.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15th, 2017.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments. And be sure to connect with me on Twitter: @JonNegroni