I'm presuming, if you're reading this, that you've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you haven't, get off the Internet where spoilers live, and go watch the movie first.
Let's dive right in, in typical fashion of stream of consciousness.
What we know
We know that Rey was left on Jakku with Ankar Plutt. He was holding her hand when the ship that dropped her off left her there. We know whoever dropped her off there was male, and that she was told they would come back for her. That has been some time, she was a child of perhaps 4 or 5 years.
We know she believes that it is her family, and she still held onto the belief that they are coming back - although Maz basically gets her to admit that she knows, deep down, they aren't coming back.
She has a core world accent (English).
It is obvious that Rey is super strong with the Force.
There are several identities regularly banded about for Rey, the following list are the ones I believe it is clearly possible to DISPROVE with a certainty.
- Luke Skywalker's Daughter
- Han Solo / Leia's Daughter
- Obi Wan's Daughter
First up, no big heading, she simply cannot be Obi Wan's daughter. Forget the Jedi attachment thing - Obi Wan died the year of the Battle of Yavin. Rey was born approximately 15 ABY (after). Doesn't work guys, she's not Obi Wan's daughter. Moving on.
The Forceback / Flashback
Rey is drawn to Anakin's / Luke's lightsaber. When she gets near it, she experiences a flashback scene, which has been pored over in fine detail on many a forum and discussion thread. We're afforded a really nice breakdown of this scene in Alan Dean Foster's Novelisation of The Force Awakens.
Now look at how it is described:
This particular snippet is of interest, as it describes the scene that depicts Luke Skywalker. Not sure? His arm and the same sleeve is at the end of the movie. It's Luke Skywalker.
Of note? "Materials with which she was not familiar". If she'd met Luke Skywalker, or trained with Luke, even once.... she'd have seen the arm before, she'd be familiar with the materials. This is pretty conclusive, where all other points of evidence given are pretty circumstantial.
Here Rey once again hears the voice she heard when she was left on Jakku. She heard it when she was a kid, and when she hears it now, she recognizes it again. I think this particular voice is missing from the movie.
That person who left her can't therefore be any of the people that she meets and hears speak during the events of TFA. Since she heard Obi Wan's voice during the Force-back, it can't be Obi Wan.
It can't be Han, she'd notice the voice immediately.
It can't be Ben/Kylo, again, she'd have noticed immediately the moment he spoke to her.
What do we know about where she's from?
We don't have any idea, but we *could* take an educated guess at her ancestry based on her accent.
Also, Rey has a little doll made up to look like a Rebel pilot, and she has this Rebel pilot helmet as well. Let's presume that she got those from whoever dropped her off, as that's probably a fair presumption.
We see this ship drop her off (excuse the picture, it was taken with this potato I had laying around). It's not an A-Wing the engines are the wrong color, in the wrong place, it's not any ship we've seen in the star wars universe before. It does have blue ion engines.
The only thing we know for sure is it is a midsize craft powered by twin Ion engines - probably similar in size to the phantom shuttle from star wars rebels.
This really doesn't give us much to go on. The possibilities are endless, but there is something we've not yet discussed - where she was born.
Shara Bey (Mother of Poe Dameron) is gifted one of the Force-tree fragments by Luke Skywalker. She plants that in the forest by her new home on Yavin 4. There was a colony there.
I think it's fairly unlikely she's Poe Dameron's sister, though Poe may have developed some Force sensitivity from living so close to that tree (which may explain why he is so amazing in the cockpit) - but also, if any other families lived nearby and had a child then they may be force sensitive. Rey may have been born there, others, too.
Since Shara and Kes Dameron settled on Yavin 4 as a new colony, it may be reasonable to presume that other Rebels settled there too. Rey may be a child of another well-known Rebel fighter, someone like Wedge Antilles (who was in all three original trilogy movies and subsequent games), who was considered to appear in TFA, but who was not in the movie.
“They asked me but it just would have bored me.”
Denis Lawson, The Courier May 2014
The rebel pilot helmet she has is a Rogue Squadron helmet. Wedge was from rogue squadron. The next movie they are doing is about Rogue Squadron, too. Maybe that's a thing, maybe not. Maybe she found it in wreckage, the fallout from the battle of Jakku.
So, where does that leave us?
Either way, it seems fairly likely she's no Skywalker. Whoever she is though, it's probable that when her Force sensitivity was discovered, she was being sent for training - when something awful happened en route. She got dropped off hurriedly - and whoever it was that thought they were coming back - but never made it.
She's heard of Luke Skywalker because she was told stories by her parents growing up, she knew them as a kid, but on Jakku, nobody knew these stories, so she grew up believing the Jedi and Luke Skywalker to be a myth (corrected by Han).
It's possible she just doesn't remember anything, and that her mind has been wiped somehow.
When Kylo is searching her mind, he finds something, but is blocked from seeing what it is. Kylo has an idea who the girl is. Snoke does not.
"This scavenger - this GIRL - resisted you?" - Snoke to Kylo
Later, Kylo has his idea confirmed, when Rey is able to pull the lightsaber towards herself, exceeding his reach for it.
Sadly, or excitingly, Kylo never shares his theory with us. He knows something that Leia does not, that Han does not, that Snoke does not, that we do not.
Maybe Kylo has had a vision of this girl, who knows. His daughter? Pretty unlikely.
Ultimately, we're dealing with a core secret here, a core character - there's intentionally very little information for us to work with - not that this usually stops conjecture or theorizing. If she was a Dameron, that could give the franchise another is-this-romance-no-wait-thats-my-sister-noooooo moment, like it had with Luke and Leia, which could be fun.
We wouldn't be being totally open to this if we weren't to admit that its possible Luke doesn't KNOW he's got a daughter, either. Though, that would be rather strange.
All of that said, if you want my favorite theory? I'd love it if she turned out to be Rey Antilles.