Star Wars, Star Wars Episode VII, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker, Rey

What if Rey’s Not a Skywalker? What if She’s a Palpatine? Not So Crazy…

The assumption regarding Rey’s parentage is that she is the daughter of Luke Skywalker.  I would actually like this to be true because, let’s face it, Luke has had a crappy life and being reunited with his daughter would be heart-warming stuff.  However, out of all the crazed alternate theories circling the InterTubes, THIS makes sense.  I’ll leave it to you all (and by that I mean Peter and I) to hash out on the message boards, but watch the video and here’s an excellent breakdown of the points by Andrea Romano from Mashable.

Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Ever since Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out in theaters, there has been a lot of speculation about the truth behind Rey’s lineage.

Honestly, no one would be surprised if Luke Skywalker ended up being her dad — which is exactly why he is least likely to be the father.

Since the truth has yet to be revealed, fans are left to speculate, and every character from Obi Wan Kenobi to even Han Solo have been named as Rey’s M.I.A. bio-dad.

But perhaps the real question we should be asking is, “who’s your grandpa?”

One theory, which originated on Medium, has been broken down by YouTube user Vincent Vendetta, that points to Emporer Palpatine as Rey’s grandfather — revealing the truth of her Force-wielding powers.

Here’s how it breaks out, more details are in the video above and on Medium.

1. Her fighting style is almost exactly the same as Palpatine’s.



Rey and Palpatine are the only two characters to use a forward thrust with a light saber. In fact, the first time you see both of them fight, they both use this as their first move. Choreography is never an accident.

2. Rey has a special relationship with the Dark Side.



Rey’s anger comes out in many ways. On Jakku, as she’s being interrogated by Kylo Ren and during her final battle in the forest. Vendetta even points to the film’s script where it says specifically where she is tempted to kill Kylo Ren but stops.

The novelization of the movie also mentions an “unidentifiable voice” that urges Rey to kill Kylo Ren, which people have theorized to be Palpatine, instead of Supreme Leader Snoke.

3. Luke is a predictable choice.



The amount of heavy-handed pointing that has been done toward Luke being the father makes any affirmation of that theory poor storytelling. It’s expected. More over, it makes practically everyone in the move a Skywalker. We need some tension.

Additionally, in the Star Wars novel, Bloodline, it states that Leia was in contact with Luke when he was creating the new Jedi academy, so she would have known if he had a family.

Besides, Han and Leia didn’t even recognize Rey when they met her again — pretty sure they’d know their own niece no matter how long it’s been and no matter how deep a secret they wanted to keep.

4. Rey has an accent.



John Boyega and Daisy Ridley both have English accents and yet, Boyega had to change his for the film. If you remember, Palpatine also had an English accent.

5. Rey was left on Jakku for a reason.



Rey was sadly abandoned on Jakku because she had to be hidden. Because Luke found out Snoke was meddling with Ben Solo, he had to make sure Snoke couldn’t find her. Hence, she had to be left on a remote planet where no one could find her.

6. Kylo Ren knows her.



When Rey Force-grabs the lightsaber, Kylo Ren mysteriously “knows” her. This may be because they met as children at Luke’s new Jedi academy — but Rey doesn’t remember. This is unsettling to Rey.

7. Palpatine’s voice can be heard in Rey’s Force vision.



There’s little reason for Palpatine’s voice to manifest itself to Rey unless he has a connection to her.

Vendetta even points to a moment when Kylo Ren actually saves Rey’s life. This may be because he is aware of her true identity, and since Ren has given into the Dark Side, he definitely wants her alive so that they can rule the galaxy together as Darth Vader wanted.

8. Rey is positioned somewhere in the middle.

Star Wars Star Wars Episode VII, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren, Finn, Rey, Poe Dameron, Han Solo, General Leia Organa, Starkiller Base, Captain Phasma, BB-8, Maz Kanata, C-3PO,R2-D2, Millenium Falcon, The First Order, Chewbacca

The imagery for the film also tells a story. While Vendetta says Rey “looks pretty evil,” (we would just say “determined”) on The Force Awakens poster, she is positioned slightly off toward the middle-left. You might say she’s not evil, but definitely being tempted by the Dark Side.

9. It’s just good storytelling.



Star Wars has always been about a Skywalker versus a Palpatine (“Anakin vs. Palpatine, Luke vs. Palpatine, Kylo Ren vs. Palpatine”). As Vendetta points out, this time the roles are reversed, with a Palpatine on the Light side, but the sides are still very balanced — just like the Force, you might say.

It’s complimentary to the first trilogy, it makes a good story and it’s reflective of every great saga every told. We say this one has legs to stand on.

Star Wars Episode VII, Rey, BB-8, Daisy Ridley

4 thoughts on “What if Rey’s Not a Skywalker? What if She’s a Palpatine? Not So Crazy…”

  1. 1. Their fighting styles are similar for the same reason Harry’s wand is related to Voldemort’s, and the same reason Luke’s face was inside Vader’s helmet during the Dagobah vision.

    2. Luke had a special relationship with the dark side. Anakin too.

    3. Predictable it may be, but Star Wars is the story of the Skywalkers. The protagonist has got to be one. It doesn’t matter how many supporting characters are Skywalkers too.

    4. All the Imperials other than Vader in ESB have English accents. Not to mention Obi-Wan and Threepio.

    5. and 6. There are other possible explanations.

    7. She is a Skywalker, and temptation goes with the territory. Palpatine’s voice is there as a danger, and a threat.

    8. The poster was created by an incredible artist as we know, but he did not know where the story was going, and I have a hard time believing JJ instructed him on where to place Rey in the image, just to create the most subtle clue in the universe that I have ever heard of.

    9. Rey needs to be a Skywalker because this story belongs to that family. If she’s not a Skywalker, that is bad storytelling in the extreme. I’m glad that ancient cultures were not preoccupied with plot twists when they created their legends and myths about noble lineages.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are my completely subjective feelings on the subject:

    I did not want Palpatine resurrected in the sequels, and I did not want to learn that there was another arch-villain behind him, either waiting in the wings or serving as a puppetmaster. Both scenarios would have severely diminished one of the greatest villains of all time, and Luke’s incredible victory over him. Palpatine’s story needs to be over.

    Also, no matter how many great SW movies are coming, I want the first six, the ones with a single creative mastermind behind them, to remain pure. I want the OT to remain a standalone work, that can be enjoyed apart from the coming deluge. The originals are about Darth Vader, and Palpatine is the arch villain. I wouldn’t mind a standalone about a young Palpatine, where we get to see his early machinations and he serves as a dynamic physical antagonist. But the saga needs to move on.


    1. I still tend to think that she’s Luke’s daughter, but this is the best of the alternate theories that I have seen so far. I don’t know that it diminishes Palpatine to have a descendant in the series, nor is Kylo any less a Skywalker just because he has it on his mother’s side. Devil’s advocate, though, I want her to be Luke’s kid. It’s an interesting notion that the Skywalker is the villain and the Palpatine the hero, but I don’t know. There are a lot of those clues that can be interpreted multiple ways as to why Kylo knows her, why she was left on Jakku, etc. That Leia was in contact with Luke and knew nothing of Rey is a big hole. That, combined with the uncanny similarity in the fighting styles (yes, many could have been trained like that, but no one else we’ve ever seen has been) lend the theory more credence than others. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s how it’s going to go, but there are some serious questions that need to be answered because just saying she’s Luke’s doesn’t add up with all the clues (that we know of yet). But the speculation is part of the fun of being a Star Wars fan.


      1. It’s always possible that Kylo Ren will grow into a more nuanced, ambiguous character over the course of the next few films. And I’m not talking a last-minute conversion at the end of episode 9, like with Vader. If Ren deepens and finds his humanity, it’s OK if he turns out to be the sole new-generation representative of the Skywalkers. It’s not likely that scenario will happen, however, given that he murdered one of the most beloved characters in the history of film, who also happened to be his father. Also, Kylo Ren seems to be completely out of his mind, which is not a trait generally given to villains we are supposed to relate to.

        Because that’s the big issue. It’s not enough to be a Skywalker, you have to be the POV character too, the one everyone can project themselves onto, the one undergoing the Hero’s Journey. Star Wars is a myth, and if Rey is the daughter of a secondary character, or a semi-metaphorical villain like Palpatine, it somehow starts making the story elements seem random. I’ll be very disappointed if Rey is not Luke’s kid.


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