15 fan theories about who Rey is in the 'Star Wars' universe (2023)

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Kirsten Acuna



  • Warning: There are potential spoilers ahead for "Star Wars."
  • "Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker" is in theaters December 20. Many are wondering once again whether or not we'll finally learn if Rey is a Skywalker.
  • Insider rounded up the many fan theories on who Rey could be. The answers range from Obi-Wan Kenobi's granddaughter to the possibility that she isn't related to anyone in the "Star Wars" universe.
  • Update: You can read our full breakdown on who Rey is in "The Rise of Skywalker" and why it was the right choice for the saga here.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

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One of the biggest questions "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" left unanswered was the identity of Rey, the young scavenger from the desert planet of Jakku.

Since 2015, "Star Wars" fans havecome up with a lot of theories on who the young girl can possibly be. The speculation goes waybeyond whether Rey's a Solo or a Skywalker (or even a Kenobi).

"The Last Jedi" provided us with some sort of answer as to Rey's parentage, but a lot of fans still aren't buying it. It didn't help when "Star Wars" fan Simon Peggsaid "The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams had something different in mind for Rey's parents. It definitely isn't helpful that the title of "Episode IX" is "The Rise of Skywalker" when Luke recently became a Force ghost.

(Video) VIDEO: 15 fan theories about who Rey is in the 'Star Wars' universe

So who's Rey?

Insider searched through the many theories we could find about the mystery girl — some are pretty feasible and some of them are truly out there. Hopefully, Abrams will give us some clarity in "Episode IX."For now, keep reading to see theories fans have to explain Rey's heritage.

Rey isn't related to anyone.

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How it goes: Kylo Ren/Ben Solo tellsRey that she knows the truth about her parents and that she's known it all along. She just doesn't want to accept it. When she stays silent, Ben tells her she's nobody, revealing her parents sold her for drinking money.

"They were filthy junk traders," Solo tells her. "You have no place in this story. You're nobody. But not to me."

Why people don't buy it:This is it? This was the big reveal?

Many were bummed to hear Rey wasn't related to anyone.Rey seems so connected in the Force to Ben, Leia, and Luke in "The Last Jedi" that it seemed odd she wasn't related to any of them in some way. Then again, you would think that if Rey was related to any of the three that they would instantly make that connection and no one seems the wiser.

Was Kylo Ren just lying to Rey in order to get her to turn to the dark side? Perhaps.Since Abrams apparently had a different idea for Rey's parentage and will be directing "Episode IX" it will be interesting to see whether or not he changes up this reveal.

Why it could be possible:Revealing Rey came from nothing is a very Disney-friendly message. Anyone can be a Jedi. And the very end of the film supports this theory, too.

We're introduced to a Force-sensitive boy on Canto Bight. His existence emphasizes that there are a bunch of Force-sensitive children out there who can come from any corner of the galaxy.

As my colleague Kim Renfro points out, Rey is a more compelling hero if she comes from nothing. You can read her full explanation here.

Rey is Luke Skywalker's daughter.

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How the theory goes:Rey is Luke's daughter. She's a natural pilot, just like the other Skywalkers,isnaturally strong in the Force, and Luke's lightsaber calls out to her in "The Force Awakens." At the film's end, it looks like Luke instantly recognizes Rey and has a connection with the young girl.

Why people don't buy it:Some fans think this is too obvious of an answer for Rey's heritage. Then there's the fact that Rey doesn't seem to be aware of Luke Skywalker at all when Finn mentions him. Despite any looks Skywalker may have had at the end of "The Force Awakens," in "Episode VIII," Skywalker has no idea who Rey is and even asks her who she is and why she has come to visit him.

The title of "Episode IX," "The Rise of Skywalker," certainly throws us off since Luke is gone now. Perhaps the title is referring to Ben Solo/Kylo Ren, Luke's nephew, or someone else. It would be interesting if "Episode IX" decided to retcon Rey's story and say she is a Skywalker after all and that Kylo lied to her in "The Last Jedi." That still wouldn't explain why Luke doesn't know her, though.

You can read more on Rey possibly being a Skywalker,here.

Rey is Han Solo and Leia's daughter.

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Another big theory is that Rey is the daughter of Han and Leia, making her Kylo Ren's sister.

How the theory goes:Prior to Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, the accepted "Star Wars" canon included one of many novels which featured Han and Leia's twin children named Jaina and Jacen. The one twin, Jacen, fell to the dark side. Though the novelizations are no longer canon, many believe Lucasfilm may be loosely adapting Jaina and Jacen as Rey and Kylo Ren.

As well, Rey and Han seemvery similar. Not only were the two finishing each other's sentences in "The Force Awakens," but Rey also had a knack for mechanical engineering similar to Han.

(Video) 15 Crazy Star Wars Fan Theories That Actually Came True

Why people don't buy it:It's extremely strange that Leia and Han never mention having a daughter in "TFA." Sure, maybe they never speak of her because they thought they lost her long ago, but in the novelization the two refer to Rey as no one special but "the girl."

You can read more on Rey being a Solo here.

She's Obi-Wan Kenobi's granddaughter.

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The last major theory that has been growing on us in the past few months is that Rey is a Kenobi.

How the theory goes:There's a lot of time in between "Star Wars: Episode III" and "Episode IV" and some think that after Obi-Wan went into hiding that he may have had a love interest. There's some evidence to support this since he falls for Duchess Satinein the animated series "The Clone Wars."A lot of people also point out that she has an accent similar to Obi-Wan's.

Fans think there are a lot of hints to Kenobi and Rey's connection. For instance, when Rey first comes in possession of Luke's lightsaber she hears a multitude of voices including Obi-Wan's (both Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness). Sure, Anakin's lightsaber may have called to Rey, but Obi-Wan was in possession of it the longest. People also see her use of a Jedi mind trick eerily similar to the delivery of Kenobi throughout the "Star Wars" saga.

Furthering the theory is that Disney reportedly has plans for an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie.

Why people don't buy it:Kenobi doesn't seem like the kind of person to break the Jedi code for a woman.It would also be weird for the series to skip over an entire generation of the character's history.

You canread more on Rey being a Kenobihere.

She's the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine.

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How the theory goes:A theory on Medium points to Rey's similar fighting style and her rage. It's also pointed out that her character's theme music is similar to that of the Emperor's. Rey is most likely too young to be Palpatine's daughter. He died before she was born, but it's possible that if he had a child, that Rey could be his granddaughter.

You can read the full theory here.

Why people believe it: If you listen to the theme music for both Rey and Palpatine, some fans think there are similarities."Star Wars" composer John Williams is known to tie together the theme music of characters who are related. You can listen to a mix here and decide for yourself. However, others have thought Rey's theme also shares similarities to Darth Vader's Imperial March.

It's worth noting that Palpatine's voice can be heard in Rey's Force vision. (But let's be honest, a LOT of voices can be heard in Rey's vision.) In addition, Rey is seen approaching Palpatine in one of the "Rise of Skywalker" trailers.

You can read every hint that Rey was a Palpatine here.

Rey is a Skywalker and a Kenobi.

15 fan theories about who Rey is in the 'Star Wars' universe (7)


How the theory goes:Others have a theory which combines the Kenobi and Skywalker theories. Maybe Kenobi had a daughter who ended up with Luke Skywalker and Rey is their daughter.

Why people don't buy it:Again, it's hard to imagine that Obi-Wan Kenobi would go against the Jedi code to pursue a relationship and have a child, which would put a wrench in this theory.

Rey is Anakin Skywalker.

15 fan theories about who Rey is in the 'Star Wars' universe (8)


Yes, you read that right. One of the most bizarre theories claims Rey is Anakin reborn.

How the theory goes:Rey is a reincarnation of Anakin's spirit. It explains why she's so naturally strong in the Force, is a good pilot (like Anakin), and has Force visions (again, like Anakin).One fan on YouTubenotes how Anakin wanted to find a way to cheat death to save his wife, Padmé. While he didn't save Padmé, maybe he did find a way in death to come back.

(Video) 10 Star Wars Fan Theories Better Than What We Got

The theory notes this is why Rey resemblesAnakin's mother, Shmi, and why we can hear Vader's breathing in her Force flashback.

Why it's probably not the case:Thistheory is really out there. However, alot of people are actually open to the idea for its originality. The real question though is whether Disney and Lucasfilm would really go down the reincarnated road.

Rey is Obi-Wan reincarnated.

15 fan theories about who Rey is in the 'Star Wars' universe (9)


How the theory goes:Redditor Somario11 came up with this theory:

"I think Rey is Obi Wan's spirit reborn more so than a relative. It would give bigger weight to Obi Wan's line to Vader that he will become more powerful than he can imagine. Luke and Obi Wan learned how to bring him back to life like in the story that the Emperor told Anakin. Thus, Luke will be training Rey who is Obi Wan's spirit."

The problem with this theory: If Rey really is Obi-Wan reborn, why would she be hearing multiple versions of his voice in her head along with Yoda and Palpatine?

Rey is the daughter of Benicio del Toro's character DJ in "The Last Jedi."

15 fan theories about who Rey is in the 'Star Wars' universe (10)


How the theory goes: Rey is the daughter of DJ.

Redditor Darth_Hodor believes the actor is playing a version of a character from the animated show "Star Wars: Rebels" called Ezra Bridger.

"The theory I've come up with is that Ezra fell to the dark side. He joins forces with Snoke and together they start manipulating the Jedi starting with Ben Solo. Foreseeing this, Luke hides Rey from her father, and in retaliation Ezra, through or with Kylo Ren, destroy the Jedi Academy. Luke flees and Del Toro is left without knowing where his daughter is hidden."

You can read the full theory here.

How believable the theory is:It seemed like it could be feasible before the film's release.In April 2015, "The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams told a crowd at the Tribeca Film Festival Insider attended that Rey's parents were not in the movie. But Abrams has been known to misdirect audiences before.

After seeing "The Last Jedi," it seems like DJ doesn't seem like the sort of person to plant roots, unless he had a daughter and abandoned her on Jakku.

Rey is the real chosen one, willed to life like Anakin.

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How the theory goes:Back in "Episode III," fans noticed that Yoda suggested Anakin may not have been the chosen one spoken of in a Jedi prophecy.

Some thought Snoke was Darth Plagueis (read more on that here) and that hewilled Rey to life just as he willed Anakin to life through an immaculate conception. Others thinkLuke helped will Rey to life. After the First Order came to power, Luke went into hiding and went in search of the Jedi temples. There, it took him about a decade to figure out how to bring about another Jedi.

Why people don't buy it:In order to will a Force-sensitive being to life, someone would need to manipulate Midi-chlorians, organisms in all living things. When a being has a significant amount of Midi-chlorians, they'll be Force sensitive.

The problem here is that fansscoffed at the idea of the Midi-chlorians when they were introduced in the "Star Wars" prequel series.It's tough to imagine Disney would want to bring up something which upset fans of the franchise, especially when it looks like the company is trying to focus on catering to the fans. J.J. Abrams, "The Force Awakens" director, had evenaddressed he wasn't adding Midi-chlorians to "Episode VII." It doesn't seem like they would suddenly start.

Rey is Darth Vader's granddaughter.

15 fan theories about who Rey is in the 'Star Wars' universe (12)

Screenshot/Empire Strikes Back

How the theory goes:Anakinhad another child during his reign as Lord Vader and Rey is his granddaughter.

The problem with this theory:It's not a foreign concept to think Vader could have fathered other children. But if he willingly had other children, he probably would have known about them and would have tried to bring them to the dark side, like Luke. If he never knew about them, that would make more sense. However after the death of Padmé, Vader's first love, it's difficult to imagine Skywalker having a relationship with anyone ever again.

(Video) HUGE NEWS About Future Star Wars Movies! Yes, Rey Is Back...

Rey is Darth Vader's great niece.

15 fan theories about who Rey is in the 'Star Wars' universe (13)


How the theory goes:Anakin's mother Shmi had another child with her husband Cliegg Larsand Rey is the great niece Vader never knew about.

The problems with this theory:Not only was Shmi older and probably beyond child-bearing years when she met Lars, but she also died in "Star Wars: Episode II." If she had any other children, we either would have seen them in the prequel trilogy or original trilogy with Luke Skywalker on Tatooine under the care of Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen.

Plus, Anakin was born of an apparent immaculate conception. If neither Shmi nor Lars are Force sensitive then any child of theirs probably wouldn't be strong in the Force either.

Rey is the daughter of Captain Phasma and Poe Dameron.

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This is where we start to get into some really crazy territory.

Here's how oneuser on a StarWarsnewsnet forum describes this theory:

"TFA intentionally holds back Captain Phasma, and plays up the pseudo sibling theory of Ren and Rey. I am predicting that even Rey will think or mistake Leia as her mother and that Phasma will kill her and then reveal she is Rey's Mother. "No, I...am your Mother!" Can you almost see it? The father possibly being Poe Dameron who had a likely tale of being thrown from the crashed tie-fighter."

Why this seems far-fetched:The user goes on to say Phasma is the child of Leia and Luke Skywalker. That's where the theory fell apartfor me. Also, it's not really clear why/how/when this supposed hook up with Poe Dameron would come about. (While he's taken prisoner at the start of "The Force Awakens"?)

Rey is the daughter of Captain Phasma and Luke Skywalker.

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People really like their Captain Phasma theories. Since "Game of Thrones" actress Gwendoline Christie plays the first Stormtrooper, fans believe her role has to have a greater significance.

How the theory goes:In the old"Star Wars" canon, Luke eventually falls for and marries Mara Jade, an assassin-turned-Jedi originally sent to kill him as a last wish by Emperor Palpatine.SomethinkLucasfilm has taken some liberties and have made Phasma into thenew Mara Jade and that Phasma may have been either Luke's wife or a one-time romantic interest.

Why people don't buy it:Too much of this doesn't make any sense. Astwo fans point out on Quora, Stormtroopers aren't allowed to have families (not that rules have ever stopped anyone before), there are no hints at this whatsoever, and it seems silly to make the few women in "Star Wars" all related to each other. In "The Last Jedi," it seems

Rey is a clone.

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AP Photo

How the theory goes:One "Star Wars" theorist believesEmperor Palpatine could have cloned Luke after he decided he wouldn't go to the dark side.

"I've heard that maybe she is a clone of Luke Skywalker by his severed hand. Emperor Palpatine could have got that hand (and) got the DNA," popular "Star Wars" theorist Mike Zeroh said in a YouTube video from March.

Near the start of "The Force Awakens," Kylo Ren notes there's still the ability to make a clone army if necessary, so we know clones can pop up in future films.

The problem with this theory:Honestly, this is just really out there.

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