I never know how to start these things. The biggest two questions having watched Star Wars The Force Awakens concern Rey's Parents and whether Han Solo actually died.
Wait a second, there's also Snoke's identity. So, the three biggest questions having watched Star Wars The Force Awakens concern Rey's Parents, Snoke's identity and whether Han Solo actually died.
I forgot - what has Luke been up to? The four biggest questions having watched Star Wars The Force Awakens concern Rey's Parents, Snoke's identity, whether Han Solo actually died and what the hell has Luke been up to.
I'll come back in again.
Among the things left hanging from Star Wars The Force Awakens there is the unanswered riddle of Rey's parentage.
Let's draw a kind of diagram to help us rule in certain possibilities and rule out others. If only there were a name for that.
It's easy to see why the weight of opinion is behind one of Leia or Luke being one parent, they're the obvious candidates, and Leia has at least [nudge, nudge] produced one child. We can immediately strike those guys out - and a bunch of others besides - as none other than J. J. Abrams gave n Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival in which he stated "Rey's parents are not in Episode VII." Definitive.
Who does that leave as potential candidates on our 'diagram of inclusion and exclusion'?
The Jedi might be a good start, being as they're all good sorts and strong in the Force. Aside from the blindingly obvious reasons, ie she's white humanoid [excluding the likes of Yoda, Ki-Adi Mundi and, dare we suggest it, Mace Windu], established canon does not portray Jedi Knights or Masters fathering or bearing children. And as Order 66 supposedly cleaned them out, there would need to be a monumentally absurd retcon to bring any of these guys into the reckoning.
Except Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yes he's dead and Force ghosts can't get jiggy (that we know of). He did however spend a lot of time watching over his one-time apprentice's child. Though there would need to be a back-story constructed to explain how a dyed-in-the-wool Jedi found the time in their busy 30-odd-year schedule of waiting around to enter into a relationship, he does have some kind of previous in the form Satine Kryze. Ok, so it's not documented that they got it on but it speaks to Obi-Wan having urges that needed satisfying. So he's in, albeit as a grandfather.
"What about 'fallen Jedi'?" Ok. So this is the path of Count Dooku, for example, formerly the apprentice of Yoda and Master to Qui-Gon Jinn. His is the stand-out canonical example of this type of character and, lest we forget, he is sans head which would make it some feat. However, in The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan speaks to Qui-Gon of non-adherence to the code, which makes me wonder whether, though earlier we already largely discounted Jedi as a group, there's a glimmer of hope for their former brethren or possibly sistren. And as the Order 66 clause doesn't apply, this would be the neat, logical path to a nice Force-rich heritage.
The current penchant for re-treading old ideas leaves the viewer wide-open to the notion of the 'Force Birth' and the associated nightmare of re-living the Midichlorians. The other somehow-related but somewhat more palatable possibility is that someone learned the teachings of Darth Plagueis the Wise and 'created life'. This would have the dual impact that the story of Plagueis would be further developed in canon, which fan base would doubtless lap up, while further moving away from Midichlorians madness. There is a further wild-and-wacky possibility quite widely touted that Snoke and Plagueis are one and the same somehow, which could unify these theories. This whole train of thought is a long-shot however, luckily, due to the extent of the likely adverse fan reaction that would ensue.
Of course, because Sith are not bound by Jedi codes they're free to do whatever they like, though there's no canonical reference to this. Does rather bugger up the rule of two, but that's an aside. So this would open up Anakin Skywalker (if he slaughtered children he could definitely put himself around) and Palpatine as possibilities, if only to create an alternate arm of the Skywalkers or further the Palpatine lineage.
Due to the aforementioned Abrams Episode VII quote however, together With the fact that the audience is never treated to the heredity of any other character in the universe outside of the Skywalker family, it could just be Rey was born to ordinary folk like they all were. As completely unsatisfactory an explanation as this might be from an entertainment perspective, William of Occam would most likely be in full support.
Of course, this is one part of Rey's back story, the other blanks to be filled in include whether she was trained in the Force previously to the events of The Force Awakens and simply not old enough to remember Luke (did he take her to Jakku, for example), and is the staff just a staff when it looks wholly reminiscent in parts to other items we've seen in the films.....oh no, it's happening again.
Answers on a postcard please.
Thank you for reading,
(Original Draft by @Randomitable with credit to Anderson Green)