Not so long ago I floated and idea about Rey's origin in The Force Awakens and now I think it's become a full on theory. Check out this week's Star Wars Insights...
The enumerated Star Wars movies are the story of the Skywalkers. The prequels dealt with the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker, the original trilogy looked at Anakin's redemption through his children, Luke and Leia, and I'd suggest this new trilogy, which kicked of in December with The Force Awakens will look at Anakin Skywalker's legacy, a legacy we will experience through the prism of his grandchildren. This theory will be a broad pass at the new movie's stories, who the key players are and what part they might play. The main focus will be to pin down where Rey came from...
Anakin The Chosen One
Anakin Skywalker, we learn in the prequels, is the chosen one. A mythical, prophesied "child of the force" who's destiny was to bring balance. Now, I could get lost in a huge Star Wars Insights just about that, but we know it all so where's the fun? The real question about this prophesy is how should we interpret it?
Did Anakin fulfil his destiny when he helped the Sith all but wipe out the Jedi? Did he bring balance when he returned from the dark side to destroy the Sith? Or was it Anakin's destiny to bring balance in another way?
There could be an argument made that Anakin's fathering twins brought balance. Especially if one of those twins was dark and one light side.
Anakin wasn't totally evil. His fall to the dark side was motivated by fear. Fear of loss. It was this fear that made him susceptible to Palpatine's manipulation. We have just heard in the new season two trailer for Star Wars Rebels, Anakin ask Ahsoka, "Ahsoka, why did you leave? Do you know, what I've become?" Anakin is a victim. He is a victim of his own insecurity, his jealousy and his hubris. Anakin is lost inside a beast of his own creation. Like someone trapped in a deep dark well. His children save him from that fate. Luke enters the darkness to retrieve his father, whilst Leia, who wouldn't know of her lineage until the end, would dismantle the machine that swallowed Anakin. The Empire.
Leia The Light
Leia, protected from the knowledge that she was Anakin's daughter until the end, might be the light side offspring. She fiercely fights against the tyranny of the Empire with a selfless devotion that continues through The Force Awakens. What little we have witnessed of Leia's force use is gentle, passive and heroic. We see her use the Force to find Luke in Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, and in The Force Awakens we see her feel the loss of her son's "soul" when he takes his father's life. It's a moment that calls back to Obi-Wan as Alderaan is destroyed. Is she Anakin's offering to the force, a pure light side being?
Luke The Dark
Conversely, Luke walks a fine line between light and dark from as early as Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Luke enters the tree cave aggressively, he draws his weapon first during his force vision, and again when that vision becomes a reality on Bespin. In Star Wars Episode VI The Return Of The Jedi Luke is tempted by the dark side and eventually gives himself over to it, barely managing to claw his way back and plead for his father's help. This might be the moment of compassion that pulls Anakin back. It could also be seen as a sign that Luke's darkness is the balance to Leia's light, and this is the balance Anakin was destined to bring.
Now I'm not suggesting Luke is evil, or has ever been evil. I don't deal in absolutes. I'm suggesting Luke chose to came back from the darkness before he lost himself. But Luke and Leia aren't the last in the Skywalker lineage...
We learn in The Force Awakens that Leia and Han had a son. We learn that Ben Solo was a force sensitive child with issues. Issues Leia felt only Luke to help resolve. They sent Ben to Luke's school to train as a Jedi.
Luke spent the years following the Battle Of Endor seeking ancient Jedi Temples. Luke wanted to find a way to rebuild the Jedi order and with the help of Lor San Tekka, Luke found an answer and started a school to train Jedi.
And here is where the heart of my theory comes into play. Luke wanted to build a new Jedi order based on the dictates of the old, other wise why search for temples? It's therefore reasonable to think Luke would remain an unattached, monastic student of the force. As in, no wife. But I do believe he had a child. I think Luke used whatever ancient method Darth Plagueis used to create Anakin to create life himself. I'd suggest that life is Rey.
I'm suggesting Luke created Rey from the Force the way Anakin was created, and that when he brought her to his school, she outshone his pupils, especially Ben. This jealousy might have caused Ben to follow Anakin's path and allow him to become manipulated by a dark force user, Snoke. Now, whether he is Plagueis or not, Snoke has designs on Ben Solo, possibly because of his closeness to Luke, but certainly due to his ability to use both the light side and the dark side of the force. Was this part of Anakin's Legacy? Could the Balance, promised in the prophecy, be young Jedi who are both light and dark side users? Like Luke?
Ben soon falls under Snoke's spell and becomes Kylo Ren. We don't know the timeline, but I'd estimate that Ben was about 16 when he became Kylo Ren and Rey was about 6, based on what we see in Rey's vision. Perhaps The Force Awakens is about a decade on from this point.
We see in Rey's vision that she is about to be slaughtered by a warrior. I'm suggesting this warrior is one of the Knights Of Ren and that the red blade that kills the Knight, effectively saving Rey, was Kylo Ren's. Why? Well I think Kylo Ren wants Rey to live. Not just because they are related, but because he has designs on her as a Sith apprentice later in life, when he has become powerful enough to overthrow Snoke. This is reminiscent of Anakin's desire to overthrow Palpatine. I think it was Ben Solo/Kylo Ren who left Rey on Jakku, maybe he took her there on the stolen Millennium Falcon and left that as part payment to Unkar Plut, along with a Jedi mind trick, for Plut to watch over Rey and keep her safe until his return. He would have used the force on the young Rey to suppress her memory of the force and convince her to remain on Jakku, with a promise of a returning family.
The Church Of The Force
A lot seems to happen on Jakku. It's no coincidence that Kylo Ren finds himself back on Jakku a decade later retrieving the map that leads to Luke. The Map is in the possession of Lor San Tekka, and old ally of Luke Skywalker who spent time with Luke looking for the Jedi Temples. Why is Lor San Tekka on Jakku? The village he lives in is full of members of the Church Of The Force. My theory is that they have established a community on Jakku simply because Luke Skywalker's offspring is living there in secret. Could this be why Lor San Tekka reaches out to the Resistance? Does he think now is the time for Luke to return, because he has powerful young Jedi to train and together they can face the First Order?
Why would Luke retreat into hiding? When we finally meet Luke in the closing moments of The Force Awakens, we see him standing on a cliff next to a small head stone. Is this a memorial to the daughter he assumed was murdered during the Knights Of Ren attack on the new Jedi school? Did Luke think Rey, the life he had created purely from the Force, was dead and all was lost?
When Lor San Tekka realises that Rey is that child, he sets in motion events that will lead to his death, but to the return of the new Jedi.
We see Kylo Ren struggling with Rey. He seems to recognise her, to fear her ability and later we see him attempt to recruit her to his cause with promises of Force training. This opens Rey to the Force and she becomes an unstoppable foe. Is she dipping in to the dark side when she confronts Kylo Ren? Like Luke facing Vader in Star Wars Episode VI The Return Of The Jedi. Many have asked, "How can Rey handle herself against Kylo Ren?" The answer is complicated.
Firstly, when Kylo Ren killed Han Solo, he believed doing so would make him stronger. It didn't, it weakened him. As Han died, so did the last of the light in Kylo Ren. Leia felt it as Kylo felt it. Kylo Ren was weaker when he faced Rey.
Secondly, Rey, if she is truly a child of the force like Anakin, is extraordinarily powerful. Fear of her motivated a young Ben Solo, and this fear resurfaced when she summoned her ability during their final confrontation.
Lastly, Snoke wants her. Snoke issued instructions to Kylo Ren to bring Rey before him. Kylo must know he has little choice here, turn Rey to his design, or take her to Snoke and hope for the best.
Is the legacy of Anakin Skywalker, the deliverance of children who are both light side and dark side? Are the Grandchildren of Anakin the future of the force? This seemed to imbue Ben Solo with a quality valued by Supreme Leader Snoke.
I believe Rey was Luke's creation through the Force, an experiment that triggered events that lead to the fall of the new Jedi. He believes she is dead when he goes into hiding and the galaxy starts to search for him. Lor San Tekka learns that Kylo Ren took Rey and hid her on Jakku, where he establishes a settlement for the Church Of The Force. There he reaches out to the Resistance with news that Luke can be found and Kylo Ren becomes aware that Rey is back in play. This forces his hand and leads to his losing the last of the light side that resided within him. This was the quality that Snoke valued the most.
Ben Solo/Kylo Ren's story in the new trilogy may be one of redemption. Could Rey's fate be to follow Anakin's path? A path that leads to the dark side? Might we see a reversal between out hero and our villain in the new trilogy? Only time will tell.
Thank you for reading,