Star Wars: The Force Awakens Director J.J. Abrams almost set the internet on fire. During the first Tribeca Talks event at the Borough of Manhattan Community College Friday night, Abrams responded to an audience member’s question, “Who are Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) parents?” His answer surprised everyone. While not confirming her lineage, his shocking response put to rest many of the prevailing fan theories up to this point. Except one major one. Here’s what he said to the crowd.
“Rey’s parents are not in Episode 7. So I can’t possibly tell you who they are at this moment. it may sound like an autosave. But all I will say is that this is something that Rey thinks about, too.”
Shortly after J.J. Abrams made this bold statement, he recanted some of what he said. His statement might not be entirely true. He claims he misspoke, and tells EW a different story. He explains himself, causing even more confusion.
“What I meant was that she doesn’t discover them in Episode VII. Not that they may not already be in her world.”
A lot of fans have speculated that Rey is a Skywalker, and is Luke’s (Mark Hamill) long lost daughter. That fan theory made the most sense. Why else would Luke’s lightsaber call to her? And then fly into her arms to duel Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) during the pivotal forest battle scene at the climax of Episode Seven? Other’s believe that Rey is the daughter of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). That seemed like a stretch. It’s hard to imagine Leia not remember giving birth to a second child.
But we can’t entirely throw those theories out the window, as Abrams has already warned us not to take him at his word. Even if he didn’t clarify his statement with EW, he has been known to lie about these things. Just look at his attempts to cover up Benedict Cumberbatch’s identity as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. He boldly stated that Khan was not in the movie leading up to its release on a number of occasions. It seemed as though J.J. was being forthright tonight, especially after he jokingly chastised the young audience member who asked the question. The mystery thus gets much deeper. Let’s say Luke, Han, and Leia are not her parents. Then who in the galaxy spawned Rey? Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy has always said that the new Star Wars trilogy will be about the Skywalker family. Could it be that Rey is a Skywalker from another mother, an unknown character yet to be introduced?
After digesting this news, a less popular fan theory has become more likely. Rey, when she has the Force vision at Maz’s (Lupita Nyong’o) castle, also hears the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s a faint voice over combining Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor, that says, “These are your first steps into the Force.” Why would Rey hear Obi-Wan if she had never met him? It’s now looking more likely to me that Rey is a Kenobi. Why else would she hear him and have the lightsaber call to her, if she’s not a Skywalker? Obi-Wan’s lineage has never been discussed, but he was up to something during his exile on Tatooine, before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Though, does the fact that his voice is heard in The Force Awakens eliminate him too?
This major reveal by Abrams adds more sizzle to the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That story takes place decades before Rey’s birth, but introduces a host of new characters. The main one being Jyn Erso, who people strongly believe to be Rey’s mom. Though, she would have to be in her 50s or 60s at the time of Rey’s birth. Perhaps Jyn Erso is Rey’s grandmother? After all, where is Jyn in the original trilogy if she played such a key role in the Rebellion? It’s entirely possible that a plot element in Rogue One will be instrumental in Rey’s eventual conception. We know that Darth Vader has a major part. Could Obi -Wan also be making an appearance? It’s all conjecture at this point, but damned exciting stuff. Shortly after the Rogue One trailer came out, Daisy Ridley denied that Jyn was Rey’s mom. The actress also claimed that Rey might not be a Jedi. It’s clear that the cast and crew are having a lot of fun with this at the expense of fans.
One final note regarding Abrams Tribeca talk. He also let it slip that Mark Hamill was disappointment at only having one scene at the very end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It goes to show that even the primary stars of the Star Wars films have no idea about what will actually end up in the final cut. Let the speculation abound. J.J. Abrams has certainly given us something to ponder.