After “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” fans were left with a host of mysteries to ponder until the next film. Chief among them was Rey’s heritage. Now, a very convincing new fan theory suggests a surprising bloodline.
Various parts of this theory have been floating around, but YouTuber Vincent Vendetta put all the clues together in a 12-minute-long video that presents the case that Rey is the granddaughter of… Emperor Palpatine.
Yep, the main villain of the first two “Star Wars” trilogies. Here’s his case.
According to this theory, Rey is a descendant of Emperor Palpatine, one of the most powerful Sith of all time. Luke Skywalker knew this when he took her in to train her at his new Jedi academy at a very young age, but deserted her on Jakku for her (and the galaxy’s) safety when the evil Snoke began to turn Kylo Ren to the Dark Side.
Thematically, this theory makes a lot of sense. It would be an incredibly boring and obvious “twist” if Rey was just Luke Skywalker’s daughter (and the video actually makes a compelling case why she isn’t), but having Palpatine in her family tree is both surprising and relevant — her history matters.
Plus, that way there’s a great bit of thematic mirroring from the original trilogy (and even the prequels). Whereas before it was a Skywalker on the Light Side facing a Palpatine on the Dark Side, now the roles would be inverted.
There’s evidence that Rey and Palpatine are connected within the film too:
Rey’s fighting style is very, very similar to Palpatine’s.
The two perform a lot of the same moves, including a repeated thrusting attack that nobody else in all the “Star Wars” movies is seen doing. The side-by-side is quite convincing, if subtle, and when combined with other bits of evidence the resemblance is even more striking.
We see Rey dabble with the Dark Side.
On a couple occasions — like her first experience firing a blaster — Rey gets angry in a familiar way. It’s like when Luke unleashes his inner rage against Darth Vader in “Return of the Jedi.” Rey could be connecting with the Dark Side (and in the process, her roots). The script for “The Force Awakens” explicitly says that Rey debates killing Kylo Ren during their duel, but stops herself because she is on “the edge of the dark side.”
The script for “The Force Awakens” explicitly says that Rey debates killing Kylo Ren during their duel, but stops herself because she is on “the edge of the dark side.” The official novelization reveals that an “unidentifiable” voice in her head urged her to “kill him.” The specter of Palpatine, perhaps?
Rey has a British accent, just like Palpatine.
This is a minor connection, but the theory does note that John Boyega, the actor who plays Finn, also has a natural British accent, but he adopted an American one for the film while Rey did not.
Both Kyle Renn and Luke Skywalker appear to know her already.
Kylo Renn seems very, very keen on finding “the girl,” and seems to know quite a bit about her latent Force abilities. Luke knows her for sure — both the script and novelization make it clear that he knows who she is when she turns up at the end of the movie. His look is one of caring and fear, perhaps because he knows that his attempts to hide a Palpatine from the possible influence of the Dark Side have failed.
Rey hears Palpatine in her Force dream.
It’s somewhat distorted, but it’s there. Parts of the dream also strengthen the idea that Kylo Renn knows her.
Really, you should watch the whole video to get the full story. Yes, 12 minutes is a long time, but trust us — it’s worth it, and chances are you’ll be a believer by the end.
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