Nearly a year ago, the Star Wars franchise returned to the screen after an 11-year absence with The Force Awakens, the first film in Disney’s expansive return to the galaxy far, far away. It was a huge success, both breaking the record for highest domestic box office and largely earning the approval of a demanding fan base.
A key bit of the success of The Force Awakens was the movie’s heroine, Rey. Played by newcomer Daisy Ridley, Rey was not only the first female to serve as the main protagonist of a Star Wars movie, but emerged as an iconic character, especially among female fans. This happened despite the film revealing almost nothing about Rey’s origins, parentage, or any other solid background information about the character. Now, a new fan theory posits where Rey came from, and how she came to be living on Jakku alone with uncommon skills in the Force.
According to a Reddit post (via Comicbook.com) Rey’s background and Force sensitivity has a simple explanation: Rey is royalty. The theory, put forward by user The_Playboy, is that since the Star Wars canon is full of examples of the Empire/First Order seeking to wipe out various royal families allied with the Rebel Alliance/Resistance, that may be what happened to Rey as well:
“At this point we know for sure that some of the monarchs survived the Imperial regime. This is where my theory comes in. I think Rey is from a royal family, from a planet unknown to the audience. The First Order invaded Rey’s homeworld, and wiped them out. Maybe a group of loyal guards escaped with the young Rey, and left her on Jakku for her own safety.”
The theory makes sense, even if it’s not the most specific explanation of Rey’s origins — it doesn’t claim that she’s the child or descendent of any specific character or family, or plot out a specific birthplace or chronology of her birth. Another clue supporting this, as pointed out by a commenter on the post — “Rey” means “king” in Spanish.
It’s pretty clear that Rey has some origin of significance, and that fans are going to discover it in one of the future Star Wars movies. It probably won’t be the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — although who knows, maybe the standalone film will give us a clue or two — but Star Wars: Episode VIII is just over a year away. Perhaps we’ll discover more about Rey’s background during, or after, her first conversation with Luke Skywalker.