The Star Wars franchise came back with a vengeance last year, after a decade-long absence from theaters. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, the first Star Wars movie released under the Disney banner, showed that audiences were eager to get back into this universe, and J.J. Abrams was given the task of brining back original trilogy Star Wars characters for a new adventure with plenty of fresh faces. The most notable new addition is Force Awakens protagonist Rey (Daisy Ridley), a character whose parentage and background remains shrouded in mystery for the time being.
Fans have theorized that Rey could be related to Luke, Han, Leia, or even Obi-Wan, but the answer to the question of her parentage won’t be answered until Star Wars: Episode VIII arrives in 2017 (and even that’s not a given yet). However, in the Blu-Ray/DVD commentary for The Force Awakens, Abrams appears to have confirmed the lack of any previous relationship between Rey and either Leia or her (and Han’s) son, Kylo Ren.
The Tumblr account mummiesandlightsabers got its hands on said commentary slightly early and went through it very carefully. While it has transcribed a large portion of Abrams’ quotes from the commentary concerning key scenes in The Force Awakens, there were two instances where he revealed Rey had no pre-existing relationships with Ben Solo/Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) or his mother Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). When the scene starts of Kylo searching the woods of Takodana for Rey, this is what Abrams had to say,
One of the new relationships that we were focusing on was between Kylo Ren and Rey. They’ve never met but he’s heard of this girl.
The key phrasing there is that “they’ve never met,” but what about Leia? The first time Leia and Rey share the screen, a loving embrace is shared, but Abrams also says they have never met and this moment was because of their connections to the Force and Han.
But this moment, I think, is actually lovely and the idea that these two women who’d never met knew of each other, and they’re both Force-strong and they’re both bound by their loss and their strength.
If Abrams’ word is here is to be taken as the truth, then this could significantly change the perception of Star Wars fans when discussing the possible larger universe connections Rey’s past has. Well before the movie came out and even after, one of the most popular theories had Rey being the daughter of Luke and being another one of his padawans alongside Kylo. However, with Abrams saying the two have never met before and this is a new relationship that will be explored further moving forward, this theory becomes even less likely. This does not clear up why Kylo reacts with such anger when first hearing a reference to Rey, who at the time is only referrenced as a girl on Jakku, or how in the novelization he says, “It is you,” as though there is an already established relationship or connection between the two.
Since any previous connections to Kylo are now off the books, it would also make sense for her and Leia to have never met either. Even if she was Luke’s daughter, there would be a chance that they never would have met, but given Leia’s ability to tap into the Force, she could have felt her presence before. Once again, with Abrams saying they have never met before, not only does her potential relation to Luke dwindle, but also dismisses the theory that she was the daughter of Han and Leia. Thanks to The Force Awakens, this is not the biggest shock, but should be the final nail in the coffin for this theory.
There are still plenty of possibilities for Rey’s background to connect to the larger universe, but these quotes also seem to push the idea that Rey is just inherently powerful in the Force. It still does not answer the questions of who left her on Jakku, how she is so quickly able to learn and grow in the Force, or why Han is quick to accept her into his crew, but those will have to be answered at a later date. For now, any theories regarding Rey’s backstory will have to steer clear of ties to Leia and Kylo, but hopefully fans will have an official answer on her heritage come next year.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on Blu-ray and digital. The 3D Blu-ray hits stores November 15, 2016.