*Warning: This article contains spoilers for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS and STAR WARS: VADER DOWN*
Of all the Star Wars theories drifting around the Internet recently, those surrounding Rey's parentage have been the most abundant. Is she a Kenobi? Is she Anakin reincarnated? Is she another 'Child of the Force'? With so many theories lurking around, many of which point to her being a Skywalker in some shape or form, nothing is certain at this point.
There still doesn't seem to be one obvious answer as of yet, but while Rey's mother has until now remained a mystery, there's been pretty conclusive evidence that Rey is in fact the daughter of Luke Skywalker, including her striking resemblance to the rest of the Skywalker family. And so, for the purposes of this theory, we are going to assume that Rey is Luke's daughter. While the rest of them are a lot of fun, it's pretty clear that this one is, at the very least, a realistic plot device.
With Rey's father all but confirmed as Luke, the question is no longer, "Who are Rey's parents?" but rather, "Who is Rey's mother?" In the Legends canon, Luke married an ex-Imperial agent named Mara Jade, with whom he later had a son, Ben Skywalker. Mara Jade was extremely popular despite never appearing on screen and still frequently appears on fan made lists for best characters. Many were devastated by the loss of Mara Jade, but it seems her possible replacement may be even more interesting than she ever was.
Introducing Doctor Aphra...
Doctor Aphra was introduced in Darth Vader #3, the ongoing Marvel series that follows the Dark Lord of the Sith between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. She began as Vader's right hand woman, doing the dirty work that her master couldn't be seen doing. She was also the owner of two droids, 0-0-0 and BT-1, who often had a tendency to go on casual killing sprees when there was nothing much else going on.
Aphra, much like Mara Jade, has developed a cult following since her debut with many fans, myself included, hoping for a solo comic book series sometime soon. However, during the huge six issue crossover event, Vader Down, which saw the titular villain take on the entire Rebel Alliance, Aphra was captured by the crew of the Millennium Falcon, with no way of contacting her old master.
Marvel has since released the cover art for their next few issues and Aphra is clearly shown fighting alongside Princess Leia herself in an upcoming adventure. Could she have swapped sides during this battle?
So with Doctor Aphra on the run from the Empire and hanging around with the crew of the Falcon a lot more, who's to say she won't develop a friendship with a certain blond Force user that she'd spent so much time researching? Even if she's still just trying to get back into Vader's good books, I'd say it's extremely likely Luke and Aphra are going to have some bonding time over the next few issues.
And why wouldn't they get along? They both have an unusual respect for their droids and both have a reason stay away from Darth Vader. They're both excellent pilots, skilled mechanics, and are both willing to put their necks on the line for what they believe is right.
And who's to say it'll end there? When the war's over and Vader's dead, Luke and Aphra would have no reason to hide anymore. Who's to say they don't settle down on some planet somewhere and start a family? Much like with Luke, Rey shares many characteristics with Aphra, from her commanding attitude to her fearlessness in the face of the Sith.
Both Aphra and Rey seem to have been inspired by the same concept art by Star Wars legend, Ralph McQuarrie. Here is McQuarrie's concept art from a time when Luke Skywalker could have been a female character.
Many of The Force Awakens's designs were influenced by his early work, and this is certainly true when it comes to Rey's outfit on Jakku. This is also the case with Doctor Aphra, which could also be a clue to Rey's lineage.
All I'm saying is: APHRA IS TOTALLY REY'S MOTHER!
I mean have you seen how similar they look?
Having Aphra around would also answer a lot of other questions raised by The Force Awakens. For example, it's highly unlikely Luke would have told Ben Solo about all those evil deeds his grandfather committed, especially as he had very little experience regarding Darth Vader. Aphra on the other hand spent many months with him and saw the very worst he could do. Could Ben have learned all he knows about his idol from his cool Aunt Aphra?
Of course, this is all speculation. Aphra's story could take a very different direction, explaining her absence in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. However, for the time being I'd say it's a pretty solid theory.