I know this subject has been discussed all over the internet, and you're probably wondering what I could possibly bring to the table that hasn't been said before.
The thing is. I've never seen a complete and comprehensive list of all the evidence to support the theory that Rey is Luke's daughter, which is the most popular theory of them all and for good reason.
What I want to do is not only present you with such a list, but also give you some counterarguments against the theory which I will address one at a time.
I will also list a couple of other popular theories about Rey's parents and try to debunk them as best as I can.
The evidence will be listed in two ways. First I will list all the evidence in The Force Awakens itself. The second list will be of all the evidence outside of the movie.
Evidence found within the movie:
- Rey has spent most of her childhood on a desert planet just like Anakin and Luke. It's not Tatooine but the parallel is clearly there.
- She has a floating speeder vehicle just like Luke had.
- She has a natural talent for fixing everything technological and mechanical just like Anakin and Luke.
- She's an excellent pilot without any training or experience. Again, just like Anakin and Luke.
- Rey's offered a job on the Millennium Falcon by Han Solo just like Luke in A New Hope.
- The Skywalker lightsaber, made by Anakin and used by Luke, calls to her. Maz Kanata specifically mentions this.
- Rey imagines the same island Luke is on.
- When she Force pulls the lightsaber out of the snow the Binary Sunset theme is heard. The music is also considered Luke's Theme, due to the music first being used with Luke looking out at the sunset, and it's connection with not only the Force, but with Luke as well. By the way, who else pulled that lightsaber out of the snow with the Force in The Empire Strikes Back? Exactly.
- She's extremely powerful with the Force which lends credence to the theory that she must be a Skywalker. Let's not forget that she defeated Kylo Ren who also has Skywalker blood.
- When Rey arrives at the Resistance base R2-D2 suddenly wakes up. She also sees Luke putting his hand on R2-D2 and doing something with him in her Force vision. Coincidence? I don't think so.
- Why did Leia sent her to Luke? If Rey is just some random character Leia surely wouldn't trust her to go see her brother. Remember that Leia is obsessed with finding Luke. She wants to bring him back. Rey must be someone that's able to bring Luke back. The only person more important than Leia that fits this task would most likely be Luke's offspring, Rey. If she is Leia's daughter then she would have told her this at the base. However, if Leia is Rey's aunt then she would want her father to be the one to tell her. By the way, in case you're wondering. It's clear that Leia knows who Rey is. The hug that she gives her says a lot. She at least feels some kind of connection. A family connection.
- When Rey offers the lightsaber to Luke the Binary Sunset theme is heard again. Also, the symbolism of his daughter bringing him his father's lightsaber that he used is beautiful, poetically speaking. By the way, the look in Luke's eyes is pretty emotional. One could argue that it's the reaction to the lightsaber but I highly doubt that. Besides, if she's not his daughter this scene would loose a lot of its emotional impact and significance.
- During the end credits you can hear Rey's theme playing mixed up with the Binary Sunset theme.
Evidence found outside of the movie:
- Luke comes from the Latin Lux which means "light". Rey's original name was going to be Kira which is derived from the Sanskrit Kiran meaning "a beam of light". Rey sound like ray, as in a ray of light. A Rey of Luke? Star Wars has always been based on ancient mythology. I doubt this is just a funny coincidence.
- Rey and Luke have the same number on their trading cards, and they're both on their speeder. Hmmm...
- One of the promo pictures of Rey has her in a near identical pose with the lightsaber as Anakin from Revenge of the Sith. Coincidence? You decide.
- The official The Force Awakens poster has Rey and Kylo paralleling each other. Again, just another funny coincidence or a clue to shared ancestry?
- During the second trailer for The Force Awakens we can hear Luke's voice-over from Return of the Jedi about the force being strong in his family. Originally he said this to Leia, but it's been edited differently like he's telling it to someone else. My bet is that it's a clue about Rey being his daughter.
- Kathleen Kennedy has said that the Star Wars saga trilogies will always be about the Skywalker family. Technically Kylo Ren is a Skywalker but he's named Ben Solo. I don't think he's going to be the only one of the Skywalker lineage that remains for future stories. We need another one that does have Skywalker in its name, and the old characters are not the main focus anymore. It's obvious that Rey is the new main protagonist. Kennedy also said that Rey is the new generation's Luke Skywalker. You can easily find these statements on Google. Trust me, they're legit.
Counterarguments against the theory:
- "It's too obvious" I see this one all the time. What a lot of hardcore Star Wars fans don't understand, and yes this argument is almost always coming from hardcore Star Wars fans, is that Star Wars is meant for everyone. Everybody, whether they're young or old, should be able to enjoy a Star Wars movie. It's also mainly pitched towards kids. It's always been this way. It's what makes Star Wars, well...Star Wars. Even younger audiences are supposed to understand the story. Just because J.J. Abrams directed The Force Awakens doesn't mean that suddenly the plot is going to be like an episode of Lost. By the way, for most moviegoers Rey being Luke's daughter isn't too obvious at all. It's only "too obvious" for us die-hard fans because we probably will pick up on every little detail. This argument also assumes that Rey's parentage reveal will be a plot twist in the next movie. This is not necessarily the case. Although I think the writers will not be able to resist to put some form of the iconic "I am your father" line in there.
- "Jedi don't have children" This is another argument I see all the time. First of all, that was the case in the old Jedi Order. We don't know if Luke kept that part of the Jedi Code or not. In the Expanded Universe he did have children, and yes I know that it's no longer canon but we at least know they borrowed from the EU, because Kylo's real name is Ben which was the name of Luke's son in the EU. Anyway, it seems to be a pretty weak argument in my opinion. Especially when you weigh it against all the evidence.
- "Luke would never leave his daughter with Unkar Plutt" This argument of course assumes that it was Luke that left Rey on Jakku. However, we don't know that. It's perfectly possible that someone else entirely left her there. I find the theory that Kylo left her pretty interesting. You can see a clue for this in her Force vision. I'll let you guys do the internet searching to find out what I'm talking about. ;) By the way, Lor San Tekka was on Jakku, and he wasn't that far away from Rey's location. Isn't it curious that a man that is knowledgeable about the Skywalker family was so close to her? Especially when he had a piece of Luke's map in his possession.
Other popular theories:
The Solo theory
It's still possible that Rey is somehow the sister of Kylo. I admit that this is probably the most likely possibility aside from her being Luke's daughter. However, there are some serious problems with this theory that the Luke theory just doesn't have. First of all, Han must have recognized his own daughter. If he did, why didn't he say anything to her about it? I know some people say Kylo may have mindwiped him but come one, that's a bit of a stretch. Maybe Leia didn't tell him that they had another child? It's possible but a bit out of character on Leia's part if you ask me. And like I've already said, why doesn't she tell Rey she's her mother at the end then? Did Kylo mindwipe her too? I just don't see this theory working compared to the Luke theory. If it does turn out to be the case they'll have to do a lot of explaining.
- The Kenobi theory
This theory is quite popular and just won't die. The entire basis for it is the fact that we can hear Obi-Wan's voice several times in Rey's Force vision. However, this doesn't mean anything. Yoda's voice was in it as well. And guess what, they were both masters of Luke. By the way, never did Obi-Wan ever had a child as far as we know of. It requires way too much explanation and retcons. The only way I see this working is if Rey is Luke's daughter and her mother is somehow the daughter of Obi-Wan. I would love for that to be the case but I don't see it happening.
- The random theory
This theory postulates that Rey's parents aren't anyone we know, yet. This could be possible but it also requires a large amount of explanation. Not only does it not weigh against my evidence, it just seems incredibly unlikely. Why was she then just left on Jakku? What's her connection to Luke? Was she just a former apprentice? Why the emotional reaction from both Luke and Leia? Why would Leia send her to Luke? If her parents are just random people then why not show them in her Force vision? This theory raises so many questions it hurts. Not only is there zero evidence to support it, all the evidence we do have seems to point somewhere else. Also, would the writers really make Rey just a random character? I don't think so.
- The Force theory
This theory is the same as what happened with Anakin. That Rey is a product of the Force itself. Just like Anakin. A number of people believe this but I don't buy it for a second. Most people didn't like the whole "virgin birth" from The Phantom Menace. Besides, they're staying as far away from the prequels as possible. Not only that, would they really do the same thing again? I think we can quite confidently rule this one out to be honest.
- Other theories
There are tons of other theories out there. All of them lack any evidence. Theories ranging from she's somehow related to Palpatine to she was created by Snoke. Or she's a clone, the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker, a descendant of Qui-Gon Jinn, or somehow related to Kanan Jarrus or Ezra Bridger from Rebels. Or she's the daughter of Galen Marek from The Force Unleashed, which isn't even canon. None of these theories have any weight behind them. They're way too contrived and require an extraordinary amount of explanation. Also, the vast majority of people who go to theaters have never even heard of some of these characters. The writers aren't going to do this just to please some Star Wars freaks. I also think it's highly unlikely that characters from cartoons will appear in major movies. There will be a couple of tiny easter eggs at best. It's clear some people are making this way too complicated.
There you have it. I've given you every reason why I believe Rey is indeed Luke's daughter. If anyone has additional evidence or counterevidence that they would like to share please do so in the comment section. Have a nice day, and may be the Force be with you.