STAR WARS 7: THE FORCE AWAKENS is now part of film history. Already the top grossing movie in the United States and currently sitting third worldwide, THE FORCE AWAKENS is being hailed as the best film to join the franchise since 1980. But despite its enormous success, it leaves many questions unanswered. Chief of which is, "Who the heck are Rey's parents?"
Theories abound on the Internet, most concluding with obvious choices like Luke Skywalker or Han and Leia. Many posit a yet-to-be-seen unknown character. Some have even theorized Rey's mother is Gwendolyn Christie's Captain Phasma. But the most intriguing theory to date is that Rey is the granddaughter of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, as seen in this video:
But that may just be the half of it. What if two separate theories are right at the same time? Considering a few clues, sprinkled with a dash of logic and speculation, what if Rey is both a Kenobi AND a Skywalker.
Far-fetched, maybe. Fanboy-delusional, probably. But bear with me while I delve a little deeper. It would certainly explain Rey's proficiency with the Force. We've already seen the evidence supporting Rey's connections with Kenobi OR Skywalker. But why couldn't it be both? The timeline is actually quite simple, and it resolves most of the obscene coincidences that occur in THE FORCE AWAKENS. But the tough part is how to tie everything together. How can we make it work? Here is one way it could have happened:
Near the beginning of the Clone Wars, Lor San Tekka, an adventurer and explorer according to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary", discovers the location of the first Jedi temple. As a devout believer in the righteousness of the Force, San Tekka informs the Jedi Council of his discovery ("If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist!" ―Jocasta Nu). Once it is revealed that the Sith have returned, the Jedi, foreseeing their eventual demise, begin to secretly transfer their archives and artifacts from Coruscant to this original temple on Ahch-To.
After the execution of Order 66, three people in the entire galaxy now possess the knowledge of the first Jedi temple's location on Ahch-To: Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Lor San Tekka. As fellow conspirators in the relocation of the Skywalker twins, Yoda and Obi-Wan include Bail Organa in their plans. Organa finances the flights of Kenobi and Yoda, and the three instruct San Tekka to return to the Jedi temple with a few trusted Force followers to watch over the Jedi archives (or perhaps a powerful, sought-after Jedi relic) and prepare for their ultimate return. San Tekka remains in service to Organa until the destruction of Alderaan some 20 years later.
Isolation on Tatooine
During Obi-Wan's time on Tatooine, perhaps four years or so after his arrival, he eventually tires of his isolation and seeks companionship. The Jedi are effectively extinct, plus he realizes that Anakin's turn to the Dark Side was facilitated in part by the Order's embargo on personal attachment, so he figures "why not?" After his wife dies in childbirth, a grieving Obi-Wan realizes that he can no longer fulfill his oath to watch over Luke and be a good father. He also fears for his daughter's safety if she is discovered no less than he fears for the Skywalkers' safety. So he decides to live the remainder of his life as a hermit, and send his daughter to the safest, most secluded place he can think: the original Jedi temple to be raised as an acolyte in the Church of the Force (Visual Dictionary).
Rebirth of the Order
Once the Empire is defeated, it is obvious that Luke is instructed by Kenobi and Yoda to rebuild the Jedi Order, but what we don't know is where Luke's academy was located. This theory speculates that Luke built his academy on Ahch-To itself. What location would be better? This is the most secret place in the galaxy. It is arguably one of the most Force-filled locations in the galaxy. And it obviously has history with the Jedi Order since the original Jedi took root there.
So if San Tekka is involved as theorized above, it's no stretch that Yoda and Kenobi could reveal to Luke that everything he will need is housed on Ahch-To, and that an old ally is there waiting for his return. Lor San Tekka assists Luke in recovering the Jedi lore, which is also mentioned in (you guessed it) the Visual Dictionary. After all, there is evidence Luke already knew the location of the first Jedi temple prior to his disappearance, despite the fact that Han said he had gone to search for it. The mere existence of Artoo's map implies Luke knew where he was going before he left. If Luke was the only one who knew where he was going, then it's a safe bet that Luke created the map himself. And how does one make a map to a specific location if one does not know one's destination beforehand?
Once Luke arrives, he immediately begins his work. As he recruits new talent, assisted by Lor San Tekka (an adventurer once more), he brings them there secretly, never revealing the location even to his own sister, Leia. Over time, he falls in love with with the daughter of Kenobi, who is five or six years his junior. A decade or so after the fall of the Empire, Skywalker and Kenobi have a daughter of their own.
During this time, Luke has taken his nephew, Ben Solo, to be trained as a Jedi. Before arriving at the academy, Ben already struggles with his internal feelings. He probably had already been approached by Snoke before arriving on Ahch-To, which is one of the reasons Leia pushed to send him to his uncle in the first place. (This may have been part of Snoke's ultimate plan — to plant a sympathizer within Luke's new academy in hopes of finding the location of Ahch-To, and any secrets hidden there.) After Rey is born on the island, which she later visualizes as a memory, not a vision of the future, she is loved by everyone — even her cousin.
But Ben is jealous of Rey's natural ability. Ben decides to augment his own power by experimenting with the Dark Side, communicating remotely with Snoke to learn its secrets. He and his closest friends in the academy begin practicing the dark arts, eventually forming a fraternity known as the Knights of Ren. When the Knights finally decide to succumb completely to the Dark Side, as instructed by Snoke, Ben has second thoughts. Despite his misgivings, he assists his brothers in wiping out the entire New Jedi Order, even going so far as to kill Rey's mother (whose grave marker we may have already seen).
But just as one of the other Knights is about to deliver the death blow to Rey, Ben has a change of heart. He kills at least one of his brothers, as seen in Rey's vision, and tells Rey to run. She runs to find Luke defending Lor San Tekka, and the two escape to Jakku as instructed.
Meanwhile, Luke defeats what is left of the Knights of Ren. He captures a few of them, including his nephew, and takes them back to the New Republic to stand trial for their crimes. Han and Leia are mortified. Han's story about Luke feeling responsible is true, so Luke decides to retire from everything. He will, of course, always be there if things get too out of hand, but in the interim, he will return to Ahch-To to recover anything that is salvageable and worth retaining, to grieve over his losses, and maybe even to stand guard over some yet-to-be-revealed ancient power that is sought by Snoke and the First Order (which would perhaps explain his willingness to send Rey away).
Before heading back to Ahch-To, Luke creates a map to the Jedi temple and uploads it into Artoo, foreseeing a time when his assistance would be needed more than ever. He programs Artoo to sleep until triggered by Rey (or the lightsaber). He then asks Han for a favor, and borrows the Millennium Falcon to deliver the map fragment to San Tekka ("You'll know when to use this...") and to say goodbye to Rey on Jakku. He barters the Millennium Falcon to Unkar Plutt for an unmarked vessel, much to Han's surprise, then flies off to return to Ahch-To to bide his time. He contacts Han one last time to apologize, and says, "If anybody asks, just tell them Ducain stole it." (He plants the same lie with Unkar Plutt.) Under the cover of returning to smuggling, Han begins to search the galaxy for Luke, his ship, and eventually for his son.
Enter the First Order
Upon hearing rumor that the Jedi are all but extinct once again, the First Order, under the instruction of Snoke, frees Ben Solo and the Knights of Ren. Outraged when he finds out that Ben (now Kylo Ren) does not know the location of the temple, and that he has failed to kill Luke (Ben never tells Snoke that San Tekka and Rey escaped as well), Snoke shames him, comparing his failure to that of his grandfather, Vader. Ren becomes obsessed with finding the location of his former home, and begins scouring the galaxy to create a map of his own using files recovered from the Empire. He eventually hears rumor that Lor San Tekka is alive, and infers that he may hold the key to finding Skywalker. San Tekka feels the time is right, contacts Leia, and the rest is history.
Just to recap, below is a rough timeline of the events concerning Rey's history (using the Battle for Endor as an epoch):
45 BBE: Anakin Skywalker born on Tatooine; Sifo-Dyas commissions Kaminoans to build clone army; birth of Lor San Tekka
36 BBE: Invasion of Naboo; appearance of Darth Maul; Jedi discover existence of Sith; Anakin delivered to Coruscant
27 BBE: Discovery of Ahch-To by a young Lor San Tekka; Jedi informed of First Temple's location; Count Dooku leaves the Jedi Order
26 BBE: Clone Wars begin in earnest; Palpatine granted emergency powers; Jedi begin moving archives from Coruscant to Ahch-To
23 BBE: Order 66; Darth Vader commits first Jedi massacre; rise of the Empire; birth of Luke and Leia; Yoda exiled to Dagobah; Obi-Wan exiled to Tatooine; conspiracy formed between Yoda, Kenobi and Organa
22 BBE: Bail Organa bankrolls the formation of the Alliance; Lor San Tekka commissioned to return to Ahch-To; Lor San Tekka gathers followers of the Church of the Force to inhabit and guard the first Jedi temple
18 BBE: Kenobi weds on Tatooine
17 BBE: Birth of Kenobi's daughter; death of Kenobi's wife; Kenobi's daughter sent to Lor San Tekka on Ahch-To
4 BBE: Battle of Yavin; Death Star destroyed
1 BBE: Battle of Hoth
Battle of Endor: Death of Anakin Skywalker
1 ABE: Birth of Ben Solo; Battle of Jakku; Luke Skywalker's last battle; Skywalker saves Unkar Plutt; Unkar Plutt owes Skywalker a life debt
2 ABE: Luke Skywalker instructed to rebuild the Jedi order on Ahch-To; Skywalker meets Kenobi's daughter; Skywalker and San Tekka begin secretly recruiting new Force users
4 ABE: Skywalker and Kenobi's daughter fall in love, eventually marry
6 ABE: Ben Solo's thoughts troubled by Dark Side tendencies (perhaps under telepathic influence of Snoke); Ben Solo sent to train with Luke
6-11 ABE: Luke continues to build new Jedi Order, scouting the galaxy and bringing new recruits to the island secretly; Ben Solo learns quickly, but his mind is still conflicted
11 ABE: Rey is born on Ahch-To
11-16 ABE: Rey quickly learns the ways of the Force, surpassing even her cousin; Ben Solo is jealous; formation of the Knights of Ren; continued telepathic communication with Snoke
16 ABE: Second Jedi massacre; Knights of Ren victory short-lived; escape of Rey and Lor San Tekka to Jakku; Knights of Ren defeated, captured and delivered to the Republic to stand trial; Luke Skywalker uploads fragmented map into Artoo, borrows the Millennium Falcon to rendezvous with San Tekka and Rey; Skywalker instructs San Tekka to keep a distant watch over Rey, and supresses her memory so that she cannot accidentally remember her identity; Skywalker barters the Millennium Falcon to Unkar Plutt and leaves Rey in his care to fulfill his debt (Plutt does so grudgingly); Skywalker returns to Ahch-To
17 ABE: The First Order frees Ben Solo (now publicly Kylo Ren) and his Knights from their imprisonment on Hosnian Prime; formation of the Resistance; Han Solo accepts the long-term, secret mission to locate both Skywalker and Kylo Ren under the guise of a smuggler
17-30 ABE: The First Order scours the galaxy and any remaining records from the Empire to piece together a map to Ahch-To; Lor San Tekka's location remains a mystery; Rey's identity remains hidden
30 ABE: The First Order learns of the location of Lor San Tekka and realizes it finally has the missing information to find the Jedi temple; San Tekka contacts the Resistance, knowing his fate is already sealed; Rey inadvertently leads the First Order directly to Ahch-To because she pilots the easiest ship in the entire galaxy to track...
Bonus Food for Thought:
I don't have any good theories revealing the identity of Snoke, nor do I have any clue how he is connected to the Solos. Han and Leia both seem to know of Snoke's involvement in the turning of their son, so that would suggest he was an acquaintance of sorts at some point, especially if we consider Ben Solo's estimated age when he began training with Luke. I was wondering if the term "First Order" might be a clue. On the surface, it just sounds like an intimidating name for a totalitarian regime led by a power-hungry supreme leader. But what if "First Order" means something more? What if Snoke is laughing in the face of both Jedi and Sith alike claiming, "Oh, you foolish little Force users. The Order to which I belong long predates your petty religions." What if Snoke was to Palpatine as Morgoth was to Sauron? What if Snoke belongs to a literal First Order — a precursor god-like race of higher beings whose power we cannot even begin to imagine?
Update (March 1, 2016):
So I've discussed this theory at length with many people in the Star Wars online community. Most seem to enjoy the theory, but feel that it would require too much exposition to set up. I took that as a challenge and came up with a few script pages that could allow for this theory to happen and only requires a few spoken lines. These are obviously not real, but it was a fun project. If a conversation like this were to happen early in the movie, it would set up a later conversation regarding Rey's history, as she is the other escapee alluded to by Luke: