5 of the best Star Wars: The Force Awakens theories on Rey’s identity, ranked

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Dec 31, 2015, 8:29 AM EST

Though it brought back more than a few fan favorites, arguably the best part of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was all the new blood J.J. Abrams tossed into the mix — and no one stood out quite as much as Rey.

Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Played by Daisy Ridley, the mysterious Rey stumbles into the war between the Resistance and First Order when she meets up with a droid carrying a critical piece of information (sound familiar?), and goes on to play a key role in the Resistance’s victory in taking down Starkiller Base. Not bad for a scavenger, right? But, though we got a few hints along the way, Abrams made a point to not actually tell us who the heck this Force-sensitive young woman actually is

Not surprisingly, Rey’s mysterious parentage has generated more than a few fan theories in the weeks since the film’s opening. From the Skywalker clan, to other former Jedi, there are myriad options. We’ve parsed through the most credible (based on what we learn in the film), and narrowed it down to five of the most likely (maybe) options on the table. Check out our take on the theories below, ranked from least likely to most likely, and give us your best guess on Rey's real identity.


Rey is just a random, Force-sensitive hero

Sure, in the real world, this one honestly makes the most sense — as new heroes rise whenever there’s a bad guy to take on (i.e. Poe Dameron). But, just about everyone is connected (and related) in the Star Wars universe. The serendipity is beyond ridiculous when you consider the happenstance that Leia’s droids would wind up in the possession of her secret brother in the original Star Wars, but hey, that’s the world we live in. For The Force Awakens, Abrams & Co. seem to be sticking to that theme (See: Ben Solo), so it stands to reason Rey isn’t just some random character. But, it’s possible. Perhaps, with the Dark Side spreading, the Force-sensitive Rey just had her proclivity awaken to counter that evil? Possible, but it’s not the sexiest storytelling twist. So, we’d call this one the least likely.


Rey is a former student who studied under Luke as a child

She obviously has no memory of it in The Force Awakens, but this could fit. Rey picked up her Force abilities very quickly, so some (forgotten? repressed?) former training could explain that. We know Luke was mentoring a new generation of Jedi, and aside from the fact that Kylo Ren messed it all up by turning to the Dark Side, we don’t much else about that young class. Did Kylo kill them all? Did Luke train anyone else after that happened, maybe one more class that could’ve included a young Rey? There’s also the fact that, when Kylo was poking around in Rey’s brain, he told her she dreamed of an ocean and an island — kind of like where Luke has set up shot the past few decades. Perhaps she had been there as a child, and those dreams were really distant memories?


Rey is a relative of Obi-Wan Kenobi

This one is fun. We all know Luke’s lightsaber was drawn to Rey, something that apparently hasn’t happened since he disappeared. The obvious implication here is that Rey is a Skywalker (we’ll get to those theories in a second), but what if Rey is a legacy of the other major Jedi family — the Kenobis? Hey, Ben held on to that lightsaber for quite a while, too. It’s certainly possible that Obi-Wan may have fathered a child at sometime, and Rey’s age lines up fairly well to potentially be his long-lost granddaughter. There’s also the decision to use audio from Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan in the film, with the line “Rey, these are your first steps.” Sure, he was Luke’s mentor — but maybe he’s literally speaking to the next generation Kenobi?


Rey is Han and Leia’s daughter

There’s nothing Star Wars loves more than a nice brother-sister twist, so this is certainly near the top of the list. The ages don’t really match up, and Han doesn’t seem to be aware if he has a daughter, so it’s obvious they’re at least not going the twin route here. But, there’s some major evidence for this one, most obviously the fact that Rey connects so closely with Han, and they are very much alike (not to mention her Skywalker-esque proclivity to the Force). So, how could it work? We know Han left after things went sideways with Ben, but what if Leia was pregnant when he left, and she didn’t tell him? The ages would match up fairly well, and it’d stand to reason Leia might consider putting any second child into hiding, after what went wrong with the first one. There’s also that hug they share at the end of the film, which is sweet, but at this point Leia has never even met Rey. Could there be a closer connection, here?


Rey is Luke’s daughter

If not a brother-sister twist, we could still get a young Skywalker vs. Skywalker face off with cousins. Obviously, this seems to be one of the options the film is setting up, to some degree (why else would Rey go to get Luke, and not Leia?). Much of the past 20+ years are a mystery, in regards to what Luke has been up to, so it’s certainly possible he could’ve fathered a child that would’ve been put into hiding. It could explain why Rey dreamed of an island (maybe she grew up there as a child?), and would certainly explain why Luke’s lightsaber was drawn to her. It would also explain why she took so quickly to using the Force — being the child of the strongest Jedi in existence would do that, you know. Oh, and Kylo’s reaction when he heard a young woman was helping BB-8 escape? Maybe he knows something we don’t about a missing Skywalker child?