The Nrdpls Star Wars Theory by: Chris
At this year's family Christmas dinner, one simple comment put us onto a path of theories that we think could (or should) explain Rey's background and lay the groundwork for episodes VIII and IX. The comment: "What if Rey's parents were bad?" Major spoilers ahead, turn back now if you need to. Otherwise,
It would have been easy to simply dismiss the comment but we entertained the idea just long enough to string together some plot lines that I think are pretty strong and would love to see fleshed out on the big screen.
Up to this point, most fans have been wrestling with the debate about who Rey's parents are. The likely candidates are Han and Leia, Luke and an unidentified woman, or a couple that has yet to be identified. Maybe the parents haven't been identified yet, but maybe they're not the good force sensitive parents we may have assumed to this point. What if Rey's parents were on the dark side?
If that's true, how does she end up with Luke? We think that maybe Rey's force sensitive parents were somehow involved with the Knights of Ren. We don't know much at all about them yet so we don't know if Kylo started them or has ascended to the leadership position of the Knights. Either way, we figure her parents were somehow involved and that's how Kylo has knowledge about her existence. Kylo knew her parents and knew they had a child that could be very powerful with the force. But how did she get separated from her parents?
We didn't come up with a final version of these events but it goes a little something like this. During Kylo's betrayal, Luke is left facing off with Kylo and his Knights while everyone else has been slain. During the epic showdown, Luke strikes down Rey's parents. Or, an alternative version is that he encounters then in a more private encounter where their daughter may have been nearby. Maybe he's hunting down the Knights or something along those lines. After striking down the parents, Luke cannot bring himself to strike down a child, especially one in whom the force is powerful. He decides to take her away and use his Jedi powers to convince her that he is her family now and proceeds to leave her on Jakku with trusted friends that know how to keep secrets. He promises he will return and that becomes her memory of the events that left her on Jakku. After her parents are slain, the First Order remains on the lookout for their missing child. So, when Kylo reports to Snoke about his wound and battle with Rey, they come to the conclusion that she belongs with the First Order and hatch a plan to turn her away from Luke.
We felt that this revelation could lead to what we think is a necessary internal conflict that Rey must face as the lead protagonist. Somewhere, maybe towards the end of episode VIII, the truth is revealed to Rey, presumably during an encounter with Kylo and/or Snoke in an attempt to sway her away from her teacher Luke and over to the dark side. Learning of her parent's death, Rey becomes torn and doesn't know how to feel towards Luke and what he's done, especially after lying to her about her parent's and his connection to her. The doll, the helmet, all part of a lie to reinforce her connection with him.
Here's where it gets even more crazy. Their attempts to sway Rey succeed!! How mind blowing would it be if they flipped the much-beloved protagonist completely and she turns to the dark side at the end of Episode VIII? We're talking about the kind of reveal we had in Episode V when we learn the truth about Vader and Luke. We also think this would be a PRIME opportunity to turn everything on its head as we watch Rey make her final turn to the dark as she's striking down Luke to avenge her fallen parents.
That's not the only flip that happens either. With the redemption theme that is strongly prevalent in Star Wars, Kylo also finds his way back to the side where he truly belongs. He's clearly already conflicted but we presume he doesn't know the truth about the Grandfather that he admires so much. The only person that can reveal the truth to Kylo is Luke, so during an encounter between them, Luke reveals that in the end, Vader was redeemed and came back to the light. This increases Kylo's internal conflict until he eventually returns to the light and he and Rey do a dosie-do and eventually change sides. It may not be long in movie time terms but in pivotal moments these characters make decisions that would contradict their starting dispositions.
If this were to play out, Kylo is the one who saves the dark turned force weilder. Kylo, Luke's original student, saves the day in the end the same way his grandfather did. We think this could also explain why Maz knows about her existence. She certainly seems like someone that would have ears on both sides of the conflict so she could know about the search for the missing girl and decides to nudge her in the direction of the light instead. Rey gets various visions relating to her history upon touching the light saber but it's not a fully formed picture. And if you remember, upon seeing the visions she pulls away and is a bit repulsed, as if maybe she got a taste of the truth but didn't understand it. All she has to work with is the memory implanted in her by Luke. This also explains the final scene of VII. Luke realizes that the pivotal moment has arrived but he doesn't know what she knows. He doesn't know if she's there to embrace him as her only remaining "family" or destroy him as the murderer of her parents.