Rey’s parents are nobodies, at least if Kylo Ren is to be believed, but there is still a way that she can become a Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IX. Ever since the character was first revealed, there’s been an insane amount of speculation as to her parentage.
In the build-up to The Force Awakens, and for two years afterward, the questions reigned: Is she Obi-Wan’s granddaughter? A descendant of Palpatine? Connected to Jyn Erso? The theories were innumerable, but above all was the idea of Rey being a Skywalker, whether that meant being Luke’s daughter, Leia’s, or something else entirely.
The Last Jedi finally answered the question. Her parents were nobodies who sold her off for drinking money. They’re in an unmarked grave on the junkyard planet that is Jakku. Some fans might still hold hope for a reversal, but it seems unlikely. Rey being a nobody makes sense for Disney’s Sequel Trilogy. But it doesn’t mean she can’t also become a Skywalker.
- This Page: Skywalker Is More Than Just A Name In Star Wars Canon
- Page 2: Theory: Rey Takes The Title Skywalker In Star Wars 9
Skywalker Is More Than Just A Name In Star Wars Canon
When you hear the name Skywalker, you immediately think of Luke. You might also think of Anakin. The name is intertwined with the two most important people in the entire galaxy. It’s a family, but canon has made it much more than that. The novel Thrawn: Alliances centers on Grand Admiral Thrawn and his relationship with Anakin Skywalker. One part of the story tells of their first meeting when Thrawn first encounters the Jedi Anakin. The other part sees Thrawn and Darth Vader sent on a mission by Emperor Palpatine, set just before A New Hope.
The majority of that mission takes place in the Unknown Regions, where a new Force power is unveiled. The only way to safely navigate to the Unknown Regions is with a Force-sensitive pilot. Like a Jedi deflecting a blaster bolt, only someone with a connection to the Force can predict the incoming threats of the warped hyperspace and chart the safest path. The Chiss have a name for people with this ability: 'Skywalker'. It's a new addition to canon, but it fits with what we've seen previously, such as Luke's great piloting ability merged with his link to the Force.
Star Wars Rebels has also hinted that Skywalker is much more than just a family name. Its approach isn't as literal as Thrawn: Alliances, but still adds to the mystique around the name. When exploring the Jedi Temples and caves in season 4, a number of the drawings suggest people coming from or leaving up to the sky. There's a clear link drawn between these people and Force-users, thanks to the fact they're found in a Jedi Temple, and a couple of the characters at least look like Yoda. This means people might have referred to these Force-users as 'sky walkers'.
What Does The "Skywalker" Saga Really Mean?
Star Wars Episode IX doesn’t just end the Sequel Trilogy; it also ends the entire Skywalker Saga. That’s why both Luke and Leia are returning so that they can see out what they helped start. But what does ‘Skywalker Saga’ even mean, really, in the context of this trilogy?
Leia goes by the name Organa, and has only been a supporting character thus far. Luke had a major role in Episode VIII, but he also died at the end of that movie. That means this new trilogy has just one main Skywalker with a clearly defined, centralized three-film arc: Kylo Ren. Or put another way, the only Skywalker left in this saga is actually called Solo, and is the overarching villain of the piece to boot. It hardly fits with the heroic, legacy-fuelled way Disney is branding it.
The heroic lead, meanwhile, is Rey, a woman who doesn’t even have a surname. This is hugely important to the themes of the Sequel Trilogy. By making Rey the last of the Jedi, and the galaxy’s newest hope, it’s a direct rebuke of the notion of lineage. It’s saying that heroes don’t need to come from this one special family, but that anyone in the galaxy can be special. It’s a message rubber-stamped in The Last Jedi by Broom Boy, but it starts with Rey.
That itself, though, is what George Lucas originally started with. In 1977, Luke wasn’t part of the galaxy’s most midi-chlorian friendly family. He was a humble farm boy with dreams of bigger things. He was the audience’s viewpoint; the Everyman. Over the course of the Original and then Prequel Trilogies, with the reveals of Anakin and Leia, of a child born by the Force and so on, that messaging became something else. It became the Skywalker Saga. That works well enough for the middle, but looking at the beginning and end, it actually feels a little at odds with itself. By making it more than just a family name, it can encompass everything, and become a true Skywalker Saga.