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Someone else's very interesting Rey idea

I ran across this theory on Tumblr today which posits a very interesting question.

To wit, what if the "family" who left Rey on Jakku was Kylo Ren, after he couldn't bring himself to kill her?

Now, I'm not 100% in agreement with all this person's points, but some of them are mighty persuasive, not least being:

Unkar was not a guardian - she was practically trapped in a role as an indentured servant with barely enough to eat. Does this strike you as a situation a caring parent would leave their child in even temporarily? I don’t care how desperate the parent was - there’s no way they couldn’t have found someone more suitable to look after her. No, this, to me, looks like something a stupid, panicking teenage boy would do who’s in way over his head.

I haven't mentioned it in my previous post or any of the comments because I hadn't made it make sense in my head, but Rey's stubborn, dare I say compulsive, insistence that she has to stay on Jakku has the ring of a belief imposed on her from outside. I haven't been able to come up with a scenario in which I can buy that being Luke's doing, but the ham-handed work of panicky teenage Kylo? Absolutely. And I can also easily buy him tampering with his own memory to further erase the evidence of his betrayal/failure.

There are logistical issues that I'm having trouble seeing a way around at this point, particularly how/when -- presuming this is his little cousin we're talking about (I'm not convinced they're siblings, but it's still plausible) -- he got to Han and Leia and Chewie too.

But it's interesting, and I figured some of you would think so too.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 22nd, 2015 02:41 am (UTC)
I entered the theater not only unspoiled, but having been (unintentionally) insulated from any and all discussion or speculation. (From the previews I knew there was the Black guy in a Storm Trooper outfit [but they're clones, right? So he's probably pulling a Han & Luke hiding-in-the-outfit thing?] and there was a chick who looked kick-ass, and a red light saber of utter stupidity [Live blades coming out of the hilt? WTF? I mean it looks nifty, but how do you even make a decent practice swing without cutting yourself? And why provide two handy blades for an opponent to jab right into you in close quarters?!?!? There's a reason you don't see metal swords with razor-sharp daggers for a hilt. Are you on crack, dude?]. I also knew the original cast was coming back in at least somewhat-extended cameos (although I thought BB-8 [shaped like a B.B. and/or an 8-ball, I take it?] a replacement for R2, and frankly was surprised to see R2 and C3pio there at all.

Plus I'd heard *only* good things coming from those who'd seen it. Beyond that, I was a blank slate. (Which I mention, because Lizbet had to tell me which things were actual kept spoilers and which were identified or strongly suspected before it premiered. I knew I kept her around for something! ;-)

Coming out of the theater my main question was "So who *is* she?" I kept having trouble going through matching ages to such things: Are they doing the twin thing again with Kylo Ren? She's an instant favorite with Chewie and can pilot the Falcon by instinct--is that pointing to Han? But before long they've spent too much time together for it not to have come up in some fashion. (I can barely justify a dying Padme managing to hide a twin, I'm not buying a live Leia doing it.) Or is she Kylo Ren's daughter?, are the ages plausible? making her their granddaughter?

I'm really interested that they didn't even hint at clearing that up (although I'd argue that if nothing else Anakin/Luke's lightsaber connecting so strongly with her suggests she *is* part of the family somehow.) I was left with the most likely head cannon being that she's Luke's (with someone we don't know [yet?]).

Now I admit, I didn't go back to the post you quote. (And you're getting the full force [*rimshot*] of my first discussion of any of this with anyone but Lizbet, so do pardon the babble!)

I'm not sure about the points above, though. Unkar (the trader behind the food counter I take it?) was clearly no guardian; she was on her own, essentially scavenging in the streets to survive. The thing is: We don't know how long she was like that. She could have been left with someone at least reasonably responsible at ~5, who then died on her 5 or so years later. I don't see her having scavenged from the start--she simply wasn't old enough to do anything worth paying in food for, so someone was there to get her into double digits. But if she loved her family, was traumatized to be left by them, and either got passed around or treated like the abandoned orphan you toss bread to for most of her life, I can see her fixating on her original family, not on whoever she was left with (and isn't there now).

And her determination to stay on Jakku really read to me as a child's determination and belief. "You be a good girl and stay here and we'll come back for you, I promise!" to a child that age being abandoned caused her to connect her family, rescue from her crappy life, and staying put so they could find her into a mantra that long outlived its usefulness. (Clearly they'd have been back before now if they could have/were going to, and she acknowledges that in an adult way when she's forced to think about it, but a lifelong life-line of hope picked up from one comment as they left her I think completely explains her determination to stay.)

The family she was left by can't have been Han and Leia, because it would have been revealed by now. (There's no reason to deliberately hide it. Also I can't see them leaving her vulnerable and not coming back/checking on her.)

[lord... I really did babble! :-/ ]...
Dec. 22nd, 2015 02:42 am (UTC)
I'm still pretty much stuck with Luke's kid, who he either never knew about or thought was taken care of by her mother('s family), [No, he wouldn't have gone without checking in on her for over a decade, I don't care how much he wants to get away from it all.] Although, frankly Kylo Ren is making more and more sense to me, if only in terms of her falling through the cracks as far as the family is concerned.

If Ben Solo had his big Force/psychotic break at about the time he was confronted with her existence, I could see a panic-and-run from him (and who knows what's been messed up in his head or memories at this point), which would also explain the rest of the family never knowing. He also might just not have known himself.

The sticking point is very much "who would have just left her there for over a decade?", but I think that's fairly easily answered: What if "Old Ben" had been unexpectedly killed before the first movie? He knew about both Luke and Leia. The Organas knew, but they were dead of Death Star by then. If something had happened to Yoda (or he'd just never moved his butt out of the swamp), no one would have ever known Leia was in this as something other than a Princess/Senator.

All it takes is hiding her sheer existence from the family (i.e., Luke or Kylo never knew; or Kylo panicked, didn't tell, and forgot) and an intermediary (the Organas, or Luke's "aunt and uncle"). If someone (say, her mother) originally left her (as an infant?) with a reasonable party, who then died... and then died/never returned herself, it solves the "who left her there?" problem all around.

However the "panicked, Darkside-bound, surprised teen father angle does work too.... hmmmm.....

I really need a new icon...

Edited at 2015-12-22 02:43 am (UTC)
Dec. 22nd, 2015 03:07 am (UTC)
I gauge the age difference between Rey and Kylo to be around 10 years (which tracks more or less to RL -- currently Daisy Ridley is 23 and Adam Driver is 32). I think I've heard it's supposed to be ~30 years after RotJ, in which case he couldn't be much more than that. But if that's not for sure, then I could buy him being that few extra years older.

She looks about 4 or 5 in the bit of the vision that seems to be a memory of being left on Jakku ("Come back!"), so I'm DYING to see if she recognizes Luke now that she's actually seen him, since no one else seems to have rung any bells for her. At that age, if she knew him, she should. But she could very easily be his and not have known him, at least not at any age she remembers.

(And wow, do you not need to apologize for babbling. You definitely haven't gotten to my other post if you're apologizing for babbling. :-D Val: Overthinking Star Wars Since 1981.)

Edited at 2015-12-22 03:23 am (UTC)
Dec. 22nd, 2015 04:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, see that was my thought: I'm not always good on ages, but they seemed too close to me. (But apart enough not to be twins.) I've heard that "32 years" is supposed to be the gap between RotJ and TFA, which is six years shorter than the RL timeline. So yeah, I'm assuming he can't really be over 30, making her as his daughter a 15yo at best. Much as I like the "panicked teen" theory, the math just doesn't work.

I still don't see Luke ditching her for good. I'm sticking to my "never knew" (or *just possibly* "left her in good hands and assumed she was still"...maybe with a side of "if I visit/check on her I'll draw attention to her and doom her", etc.) So her recognizing is possible, but I'm really going to want smack Luke something awful if he actually was one of the ones leaving her (and then completely walked away).

(No I haven't... Must fix that. Only 1981??? ;-)
Dec. 22nd, 2015 04:18 am (UTC)
Well, before then I was content to just bounce around and love the shiny shiny FUN. Kylie took shape in my head literally on the drive home from Denver to see Empire (though I never wrote anything down with her or RPed her until I started going to MW*C seven years later), and it just got more out of hand from there. :-D

I have a vivid memory of looking out the backseat window and playing with syllables in my head until I came up "Kylie Renoren" and decided it sounded like it fit in the universe. I was (a) slightly annoyed when it turned out to be a real name not uncommon in Australia (i.e. when Kylie Minogue hit the US charts, and (b) amused as all hell when found out one of the characters in TFA was named Kylo Ren.

I'm leaning toward Luke not knowing too, though I can envision the "don't draw attention to her" thing. I have a feeling I'll want to smack him regardless -- for other things left unattended if not specifically for that -- but I'll give him a chance to show how broken he is or isn't first. :-)

Edited at 2015-12-22 04:24 am (UTC)
Dec. 22nd, 2015 05:53 am (UTC)
Well, o.k., fair enough. :) [I was 7 when I saw the original in the theater--and all I remember from it is *ennndlessss* star ships zooming around and around and around and not having any idea what was going on and wondering if they would *ever* be done. ;-) I saw it again later, but I never did see Empire until the week before Jedi, when they brought it back to theaters (remember when you had to catch a movie in the theater or not at all?), and then only once. In all honesty I imprinted on Jedi at 14. (And saw it like 4 times. :)]

I have a feeling I'll want to smack him regardless

And that gets the same knee-jerk response I have to the CA:Civil War trailer with Tony talking about sometimes just wanting hit Steve: "Well who doesn't, really?" ;-)
Dec. 22nd, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
It didn't get to the UK until December (we saw it shortly after Christmas, I think), so I was 8. And I didn't really understand much either, but words cannot express how much I wanted that lightsaber. I grasped very little of what "Jedi" meant, but oh, I wanted to be one!

Luke is one of only a tiny handful of male characters I ever identified with. Usually it was "give me a girl who does stuff, or I'm going over here." And they did give me a girl who did stuff, and I loved her and went as her for Halloween, but from the get-go I was really all about Luke. I have to laugh when people tell "who got to play whom on the playground" stories, because I was always Luke (until we started making up OCs). Mostly because I was rampaging the neighborhood with almost all girls, so the arguments were about who got to be Leia. :-D

"Well who doesn't, really?" ;-)

Nobody I know. This is why Mara was good for him, and I fear for his psychological state in a universe without her. If Rey is his, all I ask is that her mom got to whack him upside the head a time or three when he needed it -- i.e. when he paralyzed himself with second-guessing, or took himself too seriously, or just determined on doing something DUMB.

He has a sister who excels at that sort of thing... with everyone but him. Leia snarked at him when they first met, but went out of her way to be kind from the moment Ben died. And later she was too overwhelmed by the Huge Fateful Things he was dealing with to offer any opinion.

Edited at 2015-12-22 07:11 pm (UTC)
Dec. 23rd, 2015 03:04 pm (UTC)
With Rey being left on Jakku alone...TO me, when they first showed her cleaning off the part she found, it looked like she gazed fondly at an old woman working with her. To me, it seemed like a part of the film was cut out that maybe explained that this woman took care of Rey since she was a kid. At least, that's how it seemed to me.
Dec. 23rd, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC)
I read that as being struck by the prospect of that being her in another 50 years, since she's just barely starting to admit to herself that they're not coming back for her.

But I like that thought. At the very least, it's taken a village to raise her (even though she's isolated now), and that woman is part of her village.
Dec. 24th, 2015 12:10 am (UTC)
Didn't Luke say "your father and his father before him," ruling out pretty much anyone but him? Or did I dream that?

Assuming I did - Kylo wouldn't have had to invade people's memories ('cept maybe his own) if he had just faked her death really well. My protege killing his kid sister on the way Darkside would send me to the islands of not-Ireland, too.
Dec. 24th, 2015 12:30 am (UTC)
In her vision? I didn't catch anything like that, but there's a LOT going on. He didn't say a word when he was on screen.

My protege killing his kid sister on the way Darkside would send me to the islands of not-Ireland, too.

Yeah, I wouldn't blame Luke for that one particle. And after 15 years presumed dead, I wouldn't expect anyone to recognize her all-grown-up by sight. Though if Leia is open enough to her abilities to sense Han dying, I feel like she should have some inkling about Rey when she's right in front of her.

Then again, one could argue that she comes by that obtuseness honestly -- thinking of the joke circa TPM that went something like "I sense... something..." -- "You just tortured one of your kids, and the other one just showed up with your old teacher and the droid you built when you were nine. You should be having a damn stroke!"
Dec. 24th, 2015 11:33 pm (UTC)
I read one theory that pointed out similarities between Rey and Obi Wan. (Pulling his mind trick on the stormtrooper, being the one to climb around on the sets, etc.) I think that author was still in favor of the Luke's-daughter theory, but was suggesting she could be Obi Wan's granddaughter on the unknown maternal side. So many possibilities. :-)
Dec. 25th, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC)
Not to mention living off on her own for years just waiting. Which no Skywalker in the history of ever could be expected to do. :-D

The more the Kenobi possibility is brought up, the more I like it, while still being mostly in favor of Skywalker. Both at once might be a little too neat, but I think I still might like it best of all.

I have a slight stumbling block because, while Obi-Wan (following in his master's footsteps) rarely hesitated to bend the rules, I don't know if I can see him outright breaking that one. But if he did, it would give him a reason to have never mentioned to Luke that "Oh, BTW, we were supposed to be celibate, so you exist because Anakin went off and got married in secret." If he sowed some oats of his own at some point, he'd have that much more reason not to judge Anakin for that particular infraction (which he never really did), and to believe (rightly, IMHO) that's something that needs to change in the new incarnation of the Jedi.

And if he did have a daughter out there somewhere, it's not even a little bit of a stretch for her to have turned up when Luke started actively seeking Jedi candidates.
Dec. 25th, 2015 10:48 pm (UTC)
I'm so torn among all the theories, because some of them are based on storytelling choices where the filmmakers may have simply wanted to evoke a specific mood without implying more and yet ... Daisy Ridley looks so much like Queen Amidala (though she actually reminds me more of Sabé than Padmé, she particularly favors Keira Knightley when she does her stubborn-face) that I want to think she just *has* to be her granddaughter, yet that might have had nothing to do with her casting.

I also want to draw parallels between costuming choices. The Skywalkers were very black and white and Rey's outfit reminds me more of Obi Wan, but again it also logically fits a desert character and the costume designers might not even *know* the answer to the questions we're debating.
Dec. 26th, 2015 03:38 am (UTC)
she particularly favors Keira Knightley when she does her stubborn-face

And her smile. And her voice/accent.

Which, I realized today, is another checkmark in the Kenobi column, since Obi-Wan's was the only English accent on the side of the Rebellion in the original trilogy.

Her outfit is reminiscent of Obi-Wan, but also of Luke in ANH. Even the arm wraps echo his leg wraps. Thinking as a designer, I'm sure they're intentionally alluding to both, while also fitting into a tradition of "desert people" costuming that extends beyond SW. She wouldn't look out of place running around Abydos with Skaara and his buddies, for instance.
Dec. 27th, 2015 12:49 am (UTC)
Just went and saw Episode VII in the theater again (with a friend who hadn't seen it yet) and I am now at right this moment re-watching the original. I'm all giggly with nostalgia.

I feel we can safely rule out Rey being someone that Han and Leia know by name or appearance, but Kylo Ren's temper tantrum about losing the droid seemed to get worse when he was told "a girl" helped in the escape. So I think it's possible he is aware that a Force-gifted girl was on the planet, whether he was responsible for her being there or not. But it's also possible he was just annoyed that there was one more rebel running around making life difficult. (There are SO MANY possibilities and I half believe all of them.)
Dec. 27th, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC)
(There are SO MANY possibilities and I half believe all of them.)

Right there with you. Isn't it fun?? :-D
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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