The following is a guest post by Glenn Stein.
Even before The Force Awakens left the question unanswered, people have been speculating as to who are Rey’s parents. Theories have flooded the Internet, but the biggest problem is that they only answer that one question.
Beyond the question of who Rey’s parents are, there are many others:
Who knows who Rey’s parents are?
Who left her on Jakku? Why?
How did the Millennium Falcon get there?
Why doesn’t Rey know that she has Force powers?
Who does Kylo Ren think she is?
Why do they send Rey to convince Luke to come back?
There are many instances where the story cuts away from people who might be about to discuss Rey’s ancestry, notably when Maz Kanata asks Han Solo, “Tell me about the girl,” but what if the first such conversation happens before we even meet Rey?
Simply put, my theory is that Luke Skywalker is Rey’s father and Lor San Tekka played a pivotal role in hiding her. Leia and Rey’s mother are the only other people who know. To protect Rey, she has been raised by her mother with infrequent contact with Luke. Rey is led to believe he is a myth to prevent her from revealing that he is her father.
Eventually, Rey’s Force powers manifest to the point that the mother contacts Luke. Luke picks her up and returns with her to his Jedi Academy to find that the Knights of Ren are murdering all the other students. The first thing Rey sees when she gets off the ship is Kylo Ren killing the last student. Luke knows he can’t protect Rey and fight the Knights of Ren, so they flee, but not before her cousin sees that Luke has a new student.
Luke can’t take her to Han and Leia because that is the first place that the former Ben Solo would look. For guidance, he and Rey go searching for the first Jedi temple. When they find it, Rey is awed by the beauty of the planet. Having just lost his nephew to the dark side, he is hesitant to train her himself and also realizes it’s no place to raise a child. He recruits “The Traveler”, Lor San Tekka, for assistance. They hire Ducain to steal the Millennium Falcon using Luke’s entry codes. Ducain delivers the ship to them and he is fed the story that the Irving Boys stole the ship from him.
Luke and Rey rendezvous with Lor San Tekka. Luke cuts out the piece of the galactic map that shows the final hyperspace jumps to reach Ahch-To and erases it from Artoo. He places the map piece and information about Rey on a storage device. He gives it to Lor San Tekka and Luke uses the force to suppresses Rey’s memories of him. They part ways. Luke tells only Leia about Ben and Rey because Han is away. Luke leaves Artoo with Leia and goes to Ahch-To while Lor San Tekka goes to Jakku. He makes a deal with Unkar Plutt to watch over Rey and the Falcon is collateral for later payment. He tells him to say that he stole it from the Irving Boys who stole it from Ducain. Lor tells Rey that her family will come back for her. He adds Rey’s location to the the storage device and hides it on Ottegan. He returns to Jakku where he joins a village of followers of the Church of the Force a short distance away. This conceals his ulterior motive: he can watch over Rey like Obi-Wan Kenobi watched over Luke on Tatooine.
So how does this line-up with the movie:
“Luke Skywalker has vanished.”
As The Force Awakens begins, the Resistance and the First Order are only searching for Luke. No one is searching for Rey. Lor San Tekka, an old family friend of the Organo-Solo family, has the map to Skywalker. He has only just returned from Ottegan when Poe Dameron arrives to collect it. However, before he can tell Poe about Rey, their conversation is interrupted by BB-8 and the arrival of the First Order.
“...get as far away from here as possible.”
BB-8 doesn’t follow Poe’s order. The logical interpretation would be to go as fast as possible in as close to a straight line as possible in one direction. The map of Jakku in the Galactic Atlas confirms that not only is the path to Rey’s AT-AT nowhere close to a straight line, it is not on the fastest path to Niima Outpost. It would be too obvious if BB-8 just showed up at Rey’s AT-AT, so Teedo capturing the droid serves as a misdirect. Rey tells BB-8 to go to Niima Outpost, but is he even looking for a settlement? BB-8 insists on going with her even though that would be further disobeying Poe’s order. We just assume the “classified” mission that BB-8 is on is returning the map to Poe; maybe it’s finding her. Rey thinks she will be delivering the droid to Poe; she doesn’t realize that BB-8 will be delivering her to the Resistance.
“I know all about waiting... For my family.”
While this could indicate that a group of relatives is coming back for her, it more likely means that she doesn’t exactly know for whom she is waiting.
“What a piece of junk!”
Luke Skywalker is not impressed when he first sees the Millennium Falcon; Rey calls it “garbage.” While Rey knows the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in 14 parsecs and has a tremendous amount of familiarity with the mysterious freighter at Niima Outpost, she doesn’t know that this particular freighter is the Falcon. Either she doesn’t know the Falcon is a YT-1300 or she has no reason to even consider that the Falcon would be on Jakku; Han and Chewie sure didn’t. One thing she does know is that Unkar Plutt made a modification that keeps the ship from going to lightspeed. This seems like something you would do to keep somebody from stealing the ship, especially if you don’t plan on using it yourself. “This ship hasn't been flown in years!” seems to back that up.
“I've been thinkin' about bringing on some more crew.”
What’s important here is what Han doesn’t say. He doesn’t ask, “How long have you been on Jakku?” Rey knows the answer as she’s been marking the days. If you knew that a girl went missing around ten years ago, wouldn’t that be one of the first things you would ask? Such questions are asked in the YA novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan.
“Tell me about the girl”
The best reason to cut away here is because Han is just going to tell her what we already know: Rey is a mechanically-inclined young woman who stole the Falcon from Jakku.
“Rey, these are your first steps”
The vision starts with the lightsaber battle from thirty years ago and ends with a vision of the future. If the vision is chronological, it is important that the end of the Jedi academy precedes Rey being left on Jakku.
“The girl I’ve heard so much about.”
“And somehow, you convinced the droid to show it to you. You. A scavenger.”
“She's strong with the Force, untrained but, stronger than she knows.”
“You are her.”
These lines from Kylo Ren support his awareness of a missing force-sensitive girl and the eventual realization that Rey is that girl. The final quote, from the novelization, comes right after Rey catches the Skywalker lightsaber.
”At night, desperate to sleep... you imagine an ocean. I see it -- I see the island…”
Once we reach Ahch-To, we can see that it is the place about which Rey has dreamt every night, so she must have been there before. This will help her find Luke, but no one knew this when they chose her. The Rebellion recruited Jyn Erso to gain an audience with Saw Guerrera; the Resistance isn’t going to send a complete stranger to Luke whose only connection to him is the Force. The goal is for Luke to come back, so the best choice is Leia. The only reason not to send his sister is that you have someone else similarly important to Luke, like his daughter. While Luke knows Chewbacca, the wookiee stays with the ship when they reach Ahch-To.
“The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power, too.”
This rephrasing of lines from Return of the Jedi was never part of The Force Awakens. So why include it in a trailer? Just like in Jedi, it only makes sense in the context of telling someone who either doesn’t know they have that power and/or know they are related to you. Leia knew neither; Ben Solo knows both. Like Leia, Rey doesn’t know about her family or her ability. The trailer only makes sense if Luke is saying this to her. Since Han doesn’t have a missing child, she must be Luke’s.
So while none of this definitively proves that Luke Skywalker is Rey’s father, there is certainly a preponderance of evidence that he is. Don’t be surprised if one of Rey’s first lines in The Last Jedi is along the lines of “I think you’re my father” or “I’m your daughter.”