There were a lot of questions in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that went unanswered. While the answers to some of them are slowly coming to light, others won't be revealed until Star Wars: Episode VIII at the earliest. The biggest of these, of course, is exactly who Rey's parents are.
Fans have speculated a lot about Rey's parentage, with most theories having her be the child (or grandchild) of one of the characters from the original films. A few of those theories may have been debunked, however, as director J.J. Abrams recently caused a stir saying that Rey's parents didn't appear in The Force Awakens.
Speaking during a Q&A with Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival, Abrams was asked about Rey's parents. While it's obvious that he wouldn't give away that sort of information in advance of its planned reveal, he went further and said that the parents weren't featured in the film at all. He went on to explain:
"Rey's parents are not in Episode VII. So I can't possibly in this moment tell you who they are. This is all I will say: It's something that Rey thinks about too."
Obviously, Abrams' comments caused an uproar, as they ostensibly debunk nearly every popular fan theory on the subject. However, EW caught up with the director to see whether or not he could (or would like to) clarify his statement. What Abrams followed-up with certainly alters the "not in Episode VII" comment considerably. Abrams said:
"What I meant was that she doesn’t discover them in Episode VII. Not that they may not already be in her world."
Even if Rey simply "doesn't discover" her parents, it doesn't necessarily mean Abrams' comments aren't interesting. There are two ways to look at what he said. If Abrams' answer just means that the characters in question weren't revealed as Rey's parents (which now seems most likely), that would pretty much put all theories back on the table. If by "discover" Abrams meant Rey doesn't interact with or meet them, then that could still change things and rule out key players like Han, Leia, and even Luke.
While it's not quite the bombshell ruling out several likely suspects, there's a chance some slick wordplay is involved where even Abrams' clarified statement might still be leading theorists astray, and that there's something completely unexpected coming in regard to Rey's parentage.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.