In episode 28 of the Talk Star Wars podcast we got to talking about whether Rey might be a Solo. Most people seem keen to give Rey to either Luke or to Han and Leia. Nobody seems to feel she could just be an original character with no familial ties to our original trilogy heroes. But if she isn't a Solo, why did Han and Leia react the way they did to her. Read on for more....
There are two moments that seem to lead people to the conclusion that Rey must be the long-lost daughter, or the long-thought-dead daughter of Han Solo and General Leia Organa. Even though Star Wars Bloodline, Claudia Gray's wonderful novel that gives us a look at Han and Leia, six years before the events of The Force Awakens, does nothing to indicate a trauma like having lost a daughter in the previous decade.
The two moments are as follows.
Han Solo Gives Rey A Strange Look
On the Millennium Falcon, when Han, Chewbacca, Rey, Finn and BB-8 arrive at Takodana, Han glances over at Rey with a look of, what can only be described as pity. It follows Rey's line, "I didn't know there was this much green in the entire galaxy." Many people seem to think that this is Han coming to the realisation that Rey is his long lost/long-thought-dead daughter. But if that is the case, why is this never again referenced?
It seems more likely to me that Han's look is motivated by the same thing that causes Leia to give Rey a really awkward hug when she arrives on D'Qar toward the end of the movie. Which is our second moment people use to support the Rey Solo theory....
Leia Hugs A Strange Girl
So Leia embraces Rey at the end of the movie. That doesn't mean she's her mother. We know that Leia understands who Rey is. Rey is the reason Finn was so eager to head to Starkiller base. We can assume Leia knows that Rey showed enormous courage in helping Finn and BB-8 escape Jakku. So she will have respect for this young woman. We also know that the editing room is littered with The Force Awakens clippings.
When Harrison Ford was injured on set, the production broke for a couple of months. In that time J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan tinkered with the screenplay. We can assume that some of the structural changes effected Leia's story, because we were missing that Maz passes Leia the Skywalker Lightsaber scene from the trailer. It's fair to assume that Leia having the Skywalker Lightsaber would have meant it was she who then passed it to Rey, in order for it to be taken to Luke. So there is, by implication, a deleted scene (shot or otherwise) that would have expanded Leia and Rey's time together onscreen. Perhaps the original structure of The Force Awakens built toward the moment where Leia embraces Rey.
Even if we overlook those elements there is an easier explanation to why both Han and Leia react the way they do to Rey in The Force Awakens. The simple fact is that Han and Leia went to war to prevent more children ending up in the very situation Rey finds herself in on Jakku. Enslaved, isolated and hopelessly lonely. That look Han throws Rey on the Falcon, could be a look of pity mixed with regret. Regret that the blood our heroes spilt in the original trilogy couldn't prevent Rey from ending up alone. Perhaps it's this feeling that motivates Han to get back in the game and help the resistance. There are, after all, people who need help....
It's a pity that people want to tie Rey and her fate to those of the characters we know and love from the older films. And that's not limited to Han and Leia either. I've heard that Rey might be Luke's daughter or Poe's sister or Palpatine's daughter or even Obi-Wan's granddaughter. Couldn't Rey just be Rey. Like Anakin was just Anakin. A backwater child with nothing, propelled into this amazing adventure? Why do we feel the need to tie everything together so neatly? I remember that being an issue with the prequels. Anakin built C-3PO, how convenient. Chewbacca met Yoda during the Clone Wars, wow. Doesn't this stuff make the Star Wars universe feel small. What if Rey is just a girl, with no family, caught up in events that dwarf and intimidate her. Wouldn't that be cool?
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Is Rey a Solo? A Skywalker? Or could she just be a new character propelled by elements beyond her control, onto the path of the hero? I prefer that myself.
Thank you for reading,