12:00 pm EST, December 21, 2015

Star Wars investigation: Who are Rey’s parents?

We’ve scoured the far reaches of the Internet searching for answers.

If you’re anything like us Star Wars crazies over here at Hypable (endearingly crazy, I should add) then you were left with more questions than answers after watching The Force Awakens this weekend.

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Who exactly was the “old friend” at the beginning of the movie? How did Maz Kanata acquire Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber? And perhaps the most frustrating question of all: Who are Rey’s parents anyway?

The mystery of Rey’s parentage is something The Force Awakens dances around for the better part of the movie, so much so that every time her strength in the Force is mentioned, we feel like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Considering Star Wars has always been a series about servicing legacies, it seems inevitable that she must be a Skywalker… right?

Well, since The Force Awakens didn’t make it clear, we’ll be left wondering until 2017, at least. But being the impatient lot we are, we’ve Hermione Grangered the possibilities by taking a deep dive into the most prominent fan theories floating around at the moment and evaluating the pros and cons that each one provides.

These are the four most popular theories for Rey’s parentage:

Rey is Luke’s daughter

Rey Jakku

After spending the better chunk of the first half of the movie trying to convince us that Rey was a chip off of the old Han Solo block, The Force Awakens seemingly pulled a bait and switch on us halfway through, spending the later half of the movie dropping signs suggesting Rey was actually the spawn of the lost Jedi himself, Luke Skywalker.

That Rey is Luke’s long lost daughter seems to be the overwhelming theory at the moment, and for good reason considering that by the end of the film most obvious signs seem to point this way. Maz Kanata heavily hints towards Rey’s connections towards Luke Skywalker, telling her that the family she’s waiting for on Jakku isn’t coming back… but Luke still can. In Maz’s cantina, Luke’s former lightsaber calls to Rey, and later on during the final fight, Luke’s lightsaber favors Rey over Kylo Ren. On an overall story level, if Rey is Luke’s daughter, then with Kylo Ren as Leia’s son, this would set up an interesting rivalry between Anakin Skywalker’s two grandchildren.

As a whole, Rey’s story arc in The Force Awakens heavily mirrors Luke’s own in A New Hope, with her even setting off to discover her Force abilities with her own Yoda after the death of her original Obi Wan mentor. But besides the major plot points hinting at her connection to him, it’s Rey’s own innate personality that is the most damning evidence towards her connection to Luke.

Because despite her loneliness and suffering, Rey isn’t yet hardened by the world. She’s an optimist, even amidst the face of overwhelming defeat. She wants to believe the best in people. She inspires hope in others. She’s got that sweetness and naiveté that Luke always had going for him — an innocence that lights up and inspires the people around them to want to be the best version of themselves.

Which is why we have to ask ourselves, if Rey is Luke’s daughter, then what in the world was she doing on Jakku in the first place? In many ways, discovering Rey is Luke’s daughter would open more questions than it would answer. Who is her mother, what happened to her, and why should we care? And perhaps more puzzlingly, what would inspire Luke — the man who couldn’t give up on his Sith Lord father — to abandon his very own daughter on a desert planet with seemingly no intention to return?

Which brings us to our next theory: that Rey is Kylo Ren’s sister

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