Beware: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens abound in this post.
One of the most exciting aspects of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is that it not only enthralls and intrigues, it sparks discussion. J.J. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan crafted a screenplay that poses a lot of questions for the Star Wars universe, and while it answers plenty of them, it also leaves a number of major plot points and character details up for discussion. Of course, this is the nature of the beast when you’re making the first film in a new trilogy—you want to set the next two parts of the saga up with a solid foundation that leaves room to grow. But it’s also a hallmark of Abrams’ filmmaking. He has long held that the question is always more interesting than the answer, using his infamous “Mystery Box” as an example, and in The Force Awakens, Abrams and Kasdan find a pretty wonderful balance of satisfying the audience while also leaving some major questions unanswered.
One of the biggest unanswered questions in Star Wars: The Force Awakens pertains to Daisy Ridley’s phenomenal new character Rey. She is undoubtedly the hero of this new trilogy, and in keeping with the tradition of Luke Skywalker, she joins the action of The Force Awakens by leaving her home planet behind with zero familial ties. However, over the course of the movie, we learn that Rey was not only abandoned as a child by her mysterious parents (entrusted with what looks to be Simon Pegg’s Unkar Plutt), but she also possesses incredibly strong Force abilities. Given that the Force runs very strong in the Skywalker family and this is, you know, a Star Wars movie, there’s reason to believe her parentage has some major ties to the Original Trilogy. The question then is: who are Rey’s parents?
I think there are four main possibilities, but before getting to that, I’d like to address the question itself. To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure Abrams and Co. knew the answer when they posed the question of Rey’s parentage. I’ve no doubt Abrams has an answer for himself, but since he didn’t answer it in the context of the film, it could conceivably be left up to producer/Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy to firm up with either Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson or Episode IX co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow. That would certainly allow Johnson and Trevorrow to craft their stories without being tied down to specific mythology just yet, or even change things up had they begun with one answer and then decided another was more appropriate given the story they decided to tell. So as we speculate on just who Rey’s parents are, keep in mind that it’s entirely possible that an official answer is still in flux.