Why Rey is Lando Calrissian’s Daughter
WARNING: major spoilers ahead. If you happen to be one of the few people in the galaxy that HASN’T see The Force Awakens, turn away now.
Who is Rey?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens left us with many questions, but without a doubt, the biggest one is “Who is Rey?” Stranded on Jakku, waiting for her family to return, of course we all first thought that Rey is the daughter of Luke Skywalker. Duh. This is the obvious answer: the lightsaber, the striking similarity to a younger Carrie Fisher and Natalie Portman, the final scene with Luke, etc. And the fact that Star Wars has always been about the relationship between parents and children, and more specifically, the Skywalkers.
All too easy. Right? Not quite. After some consideration, I’m convinced that this is all a red herring. As I’ll illustrate here, when closely analyzed, the facts clearly point to one very clear answer: Rey is the daughter of Lando Calrissian! What?! I know, at first it sounds like crazy talk, but let’s take a closer look at the facts and I think you’ll too admit that this is the most logical AND satisfying answer.
Many have speculated that Rey is the granddaughter of Obi-wan Kenobi, because Obi-wan’s voice (both from original Obi-wan Alec Guinness and new Obi-wan Ewan MacGregor) is heard in her vision after picking up Luke’s lightsaber. But we also hear the voices of Luke and Yoda, and the breathing of Darth Vader, so I think it’s pretty inconclusive to use any of that as evidence. One thing we do see, however, is Rey in Cloud City. From the leaked script and the novelization, we now know for certain that the lighted corridor Rey finds herself in is none other than Cloud City, where Luke lost his hand and his father’s lightsaber. While some might say this is pointing to Luke, I think a more obvious connection is that Rey has some deeper relationship to that place. And who created Cloud City? Lando Calrissian, of course.
The Millennium Falcon
Real Star Wars geeks know that before it was Han Solo’s ride, the Millennium Falcon belonged to none other than Lando Calrissian. In Return of the Jedi, Lando finds himself once again at the helm of his old ship; in fact, he’s the last one we see flying it. Besides Rey’s lineage and how they have Romanesco broccoli in space, one of the great mysteries of The Force Awakens is how the Millennium Falcon ended up on Jakku. Rey offers an explanation to Han Solo, that so-and-so stole it from so-and-so, and that it finally ended up in the hands of Unkar Plutt (the “half portion” guy, played by Simon Pegg), but this seems a bit suspicious. How likely is it that this ship ended up in the possession of the very same person that is also Rey’s guardian? Coincidence? I say neigh.
We know that Han Solo is not Rey’s father: there’s no indication in the film that he or Leia is aware of having another child. And we know that SOMEONE had to leave Rey on Jakku with Unkar Plutt. Life on Jakku is pretty rough, and it’s likely that whoever dropped off Rey would have to convince Unkar Plutt that it was worth his while to take responsibility for this girl. What appears to have happened, then, is that Lando, knowing that he has to hide Rey, stole the Millennium Falcon from his friend Han and used it as payment to get Unkar Plutt to take on Rey, while at the same time telling Plutt that he must never reveal Rey’s background to her, for her own safety. As such, Plutt makes up a story about how he got the Falcon, which he tells to Rey. It all fits together quite nicely.
More evidence: at the end of the film, Rey flies the Falcon alongside Chewbacca, and appears to be the new captain. Only one other character besides Han has been the captain of the Millennium Falcon: Lando Calrissian.
Rey and Kylo Ren
Without question, the biggest surprise in The Force Awakens was that Kylo Ren is really Ben Solo, son of Han and Leia, grandson of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. It’s clear there’s some pretty big beef between Rey and Kylo Ren, and we will likely see them face off again in future movies. It’s been said how amazing it would be if Rey turns out to be Luke Skywalker’s daughter, making the battle between Rey and Kylo not just between the Light and Dark Sides of The Force, but between cousins, both grandchildren of Darth Vader.
But, if we consider that Rey is the child of Lando Calrissian, it sets up an even bigger showdown. We all remember how Lando betrayed Han Solo in Cloud City, handing him over to the Empire and Boba Fett to be frozen in carbonite and given to Jabba the Hutt to become his favorite decoration. We see Han and Lando make up, but you have to think that Han harbored some pretty serious animosity for his former friend’s betrayal. Chewbacca, as well, is probably still pretty pissed at Lando. If Rey is Lando’s daughter, then what we have is Han Solo’s son facing off against Lando’s daughter! A pretty epic rematch to finally settle this generations-old score.
Rey and Finn
Here’s perhaps the most compelling piece of evidence of all. As a kid, one of the most exciting parts of the original Star Wars movies, besides all the gun fights, starship battles, and adventure, was Luke’s budding romantic relationship with Princess Leia. For those of us who saw Star Wars before Return of the Jedi came out, remember: we didn’t know that Leia was Luke’s sister, and so there was a real romantic tension between Luke and Leia. Besides the reveal of Darth Vader as Luke’s father, Leia turning out to be Luke’s sister was, for many of us, just as big a reveal and a shock.
Now, we know that The Force Awakens is patterning itself off the original movies; the film mirrored the plot of Episode 4 almost exactly. And it’s setting us up to think there’s some kind of a romantic relationship between Rey and Finn. It’s obvious that Finn has a thing for Rey from the beginning, and while on the run from the First Order, he nervously asks, when she says she has to return to Jakku, if she has a cute boyfriend there. Finn risks his life later in the film to rescue Rey from Starkiller Base (although she seemed to be doing just fine on her own), and the emotions between the two of them in the final scenes battling Kylo Ren and as Rey departs to search for Luke all point to a strong emotional bond, something more than just friendship.
Finn’s lineage is also in question. It’s assumed that he’s just some random guy. Due to his race, it’s been speculated that he’s the child of Lando Calrissian; but other things in Finn’s background make this more than just a possibility. Finn was abducted as a baby by the First Order, and we know that at the end of Empire Strikes Back, the Empire had basically taken over Cloud City, and likely left troops behind to watch over the city. When the Empire fell, in the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi, we see the citizens of Cloud City celebrating the Empire’s demise. We also know that Lando intentionally kept Cloud City as kind of a Wild West-type town, free from the oversight of the Empire and, ostensibly, continued this as the New Republic came to be. It makes sense, then, that as the First Order grew in power, knowing that the citizens of Cloud City had no love for the Empire, and that it’s a remote place not affiliated with the New Republic, that they’d go there to steal children to become the next generation of Stormtroopers. All of this points to the very real and plausible conclusion that Finn is in fact Lando’s long-lost son.
So it’s clear that J.J. Abrams is setting us up to think that Rey and Finn are going to grow into more than just friends. Well, if the new movies are going to mirror the original trilogy, just as Luke and Leia started off in what appeared to be a budding romance, so to for Rey and Finn. For all of us that grew up with the movies, we had to grapple with what it would be like for both Luke and Leia to suddenly realize that, not only are they siblings, but that they kind of had the hots for each other! When it’s finally revealed that they are brother and sister, everyone’s first thought after “Wow! What a coincidence!” was “Whoah, they totally almost hooked up?!” For most of us, this was our first introduction to incest, and led to us asking ourselves, “How weird would it be to kiss my brother/sister?” and to make sure we knew who the parents of our first boyfriend or girlfriend were. Think how awesome it would be if a whole new generation of Star Wars fans had this same experience, and what a shame if they missed out on this epic twist/moral conundrum.
The Evidence Against
Of course, you’ve probably been sitting there since reading the title of this post with what would seem to be the most obvious and damning piece of evidence against this theory: Rey is white! While I admit this is a bit of an onion in the ointment, after some consideration, I think we can work around this. Yes, at first glance, Rey does appear to be white. But we don’t know much about Lando’s background, or, of course, who Rey’s mother is. It’s entirely possible that Lando is from a multiracial background, and, if Rey’s mother was white, Lando as her father is plausible. Even more, we don’t really know what constitutes race in the Star Wars universe; Rey’s mother could be from a human-like species that can breed with humans, but has very strong DNA. All this is to say that yes, while Rey on the surface appears to be white, it’s entirely possible (and given all the evidence above, probable) that she is Lando’s daughter.
So that’s it. I realize that this analysis might be a little nerdy and require some in-depth knowledge of the Star Wars universe, but when you examine the facts, it’s really the only theory that makes sense. There’s really only way to find out: we’ll have to wait until Episode 8 when, in all likelihood, this will all be revealed, and be the biggest twist yet for a saga already known for its big surprises!