[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) has finally been released and it was pretty darn spectacular. Living up to fan hopes, Star Wars 7 blended nostalgia perfectly with a thrilling new story. Finn, and Poe Dameron were amazingly characterised, with Rey standing out as the Star Wars Saga's new main protagonist. The film ended on a high note, as she embarks on a new adventure, but are there more surprises yet to come?
Warning: this article is full of spoilers. And I mean FULL. So scroll down at your own risk. We've even put a handy video in to block the view!
Rey's role in Star Wars Episode 7 was crucial, as she discovered her Force powers and helped the Resistance fight The First Order. But what does the future hold in store for her?
A Hero's Journey
Rey's journey the most emotionally charged of the entire film. Beginning on Jakku, we discovered that Rey wasn't just a scavenger but was living in abject poverty, trading junk for minimal food rations. Her loneliness was palpable, as she waited in vain for her family to return.
"I know all about waiting. For my family..."
But when Finn crash lands on her planet, Rey's life changes forever, and her journey to become a hero is one of the highlights of The Force Awakens. In fact, even the title could refer to Rey's slow discovery of her powers: after initially trying to run away from the responsibility, Rey harnesses the Force to defend herself again Kylo Ren's torture. Oh and by the way, that scene was one of the most beautifully crafted and subversive of the entire Star Wars saga.
"You're afraid... that you'll never be as powerful as Darth Vader"
Rey's final battle with Kylo Ren was an incredible climax, paralleling Luke Skywalker's battles with Darth Vader in the original trilogy. This also subtly positions Rey as Kylo Ren's nemesis, and possible redeemer.
As the film concludes with Rey reaching out to Luke, we are left wondering if there's more than symbolism that connects these two characters...
"Luke, You Are My Father."
The possibility of Rey being Luke Skywalker's daughter has been theorised since her character was first announced, and there are plenty of clues in Star Wars 7 to imply this might be the case. Let's break them down.
"So you're the girl I've heard so much about."
Kylo Ren's fascination with Rey is pretty understandable, as she has a strong natural Force talent. But even before he's sensed her full potential, it seems possible that Kylo Ren already knows Rey. When General Hux is delivering the news that The First Order lost BB-8 on Jakku, and that the droid was seen with Rey, Kylo Ren says "what girl?" in an intriguingly concerned tone. Hmm...
How does this connect back to Luke Skywalker? Well, we'd definitely have to draw conclusions but it's likely that if Luke had a daughter, Kylo Ren would be very interested in persuading his cousin to join the Dark Side. So there's that.
The other potential clue to Rey being a Skywalker was her final moment with Leia. Although the two had never actually previously met, as soon as she saw her, Rey embraced the Resistance general. This could just be because Rey had a close connection to Han Solo, and felt guilty for his death at the hands of his son. Sensing Leia's grief, it's natural that Rey would want to reach out to her. Again, if we want to draw conclusions, it's possible that Rey also sensed that Leia is her aunt.
The Evidence Against
Ok, there isn't really any evidence so far to suggest Rey is Luke Skywalker's daughter. And actually there's a strong piece of evidence against this theory: the timing doesn't make sense.
Luke Skywalker has been missing for a long time, that much we know for certain. And we know that he disappeared just after Ben Solo turned against him, and became Kylo Ren. Judging by Kylo Ren's age, this couldn't have been more than 8 years ago. As Rey was abandoned at age 5, and it's fair to say that Rey is in her early twenties, then she was left on Jakku about 15 years before The Force Awakens begins.
This is still a very vague piece of evidence, and Star Wars has taken some logical liberties with plot points in the past (see also: Leia remembering her mother in Return Of The Jedi despite the fact that Padme died in childbirth). But aside from the clues, I'm personally hoping that Rey is NOT Luke Skywalker's daughter, and here's why.
New Generation, New Stories
Having Kylo Ren as the son of Han and Leia was a good move on the part of writers JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. This establishes an emotional connection to the original trilogy, as well as some symbolic parallels.
But having Rey as Luke Skywalker's daughter? That would just feel repetitive at this stage, as Star Wars is rife with "you and I were related all along!" plot twists. At this point, a bigger twist would be if Rey is a completely new character, with no familial ties to any original trilogy characters.
Also, the possibilities for her parents' backstory are endless: were they forced to give up their child? Were they kidnapped by The First Order? Or did poverty and starvation drive Rey's parents to cast her aside? Rey's origin story could be one of the most interesting plot points of Star Wars Episode 8, and personally I'm hoping the writers don't fall back on a tried and tested (and repetitive) plot twist.
On the other hand, it would be pretty cool to have Rey and Luke embark on father/daughter adventures, and that would also serve to balance Ben Solo's rejection of his family. Either way, The Force Awakens set up an excellent story that will no doubt continue to be awesome until the saga concludes!
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