Ever since Rey’s introduction to the Star Wars universe with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans have debated her origins. Some say she’s a child of Luke Skywalker while others claim she’s the child of Ben Kenobi. These theories and more were brought to an abrupt halt when the divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released, however. In this film, Rey seeks to explore her mysterious origins while trapped in the Mirror Cave on Ahch-To yet receives no clear answers. Things are complicated further when Kylo Ren essentially tells Rey she comes from nothing, a claim that may have been false and simply an attempt to hurt Rey. In either event, it’s interesting that Palpatine aka The Emperor will be returning in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and there’s a connection with Rey via Jakku.
The Emperor’s Observatory
The Emperor’s observatory on Jakku was a secret project intended to aid in a contingency plan if Palpatine was killed. This contingency, called The Contingency, was to manipulate remaining commanders, governmental representatives, and fleets of both the Empire and Rebellion/New Republic so they’d have a final battle on the planet Jakku. Once on Jakku, Palpatine orchestrated for the planet to be destroyed which would have “cleansed” the weakness of both governments while a new Empire was rebuilt by Palpatine’s successors. In Palpatine’s eyes, this was a way of punishing both sides of the war even in death yet the plan didn’t go off successfully and the First Order rose from the Empire’s ashes.
The actual observatory itself was a subterranean bunker hidden by the sand climate of Jakku. Droids and turrets were also implemented for security defenses and the only way to access the observatory was a hidden entrance. Inside the facility are detailed maps of the Unknown Regions which includes navigational suggestions along with data from probes sent by Palpatine. Deeper within the observatory was a borehole that would play the integral role of destroying the planet. Overall, it was a large bunker filled with Sith artifacts, research data on the Unknown Regions, and the means to destroy the planet if necessary.
What We Know About Rey
Rey is a mysterious character, to the extent nobody knows her real name. Early in the production of the character her name was instead Kira, with noticeable similarities to Jaina Solo Fel (twin sister to Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus) who was the daughter of Princess Leia and Han Solo within the previous canon. From early concept art and production notes, it was intended for Rey to be a tough loner with an affinity for engineering and piloting starships. With Rey’s story, people saw certain similarities with both Anakin and Luke Skywalker’s beginnings. For all three characters, they’re introduced to the audience on a desert planet with ambiguous origins relating to their family. What was interesting was her visions of events seemingly unrelated to a past on Jakku. This involved seeing the Knights of Ren during their attack on Luke’s Jedi Academy and connection to Anakin’s lightsaber.
She’s also said to be the light side balance to Kylo Ren’s dark side, so together they could bring balance to the Force and galaxy. This has a unique potential as Kylo Ren is also the current Supreme Commander of the First Order while Rey is a leader within the Resistance. During Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey finds an isolated Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To. While disillusioned by past Jedi and personal failures over history, Luke still trains Rey to become a Jedi. After receiving Luke’s basic training and further independent studying with Jedi texts, Rey became the hope for a new era of Jedi by the conclusion of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The Skywalker Conspiracy
During the highly praised Darth Vader comic series from Marvel Comics, fans got an interesting look into the perspective of Vader. Besides exploring the previously unseen adventures of Vader, we received confirmation about Anakin’s mysterious parentage. While he has no biological father, Anakin’s birth was the result of manipulation of the Force by Palpatine. In Star Wars canon, it ‘s well known that Palpatine studied the manipulation of midichlorians under his master Darth Plagueis. The biggest achievement of this manipulation was believed to be immortality which beyond an extended lifespan was reached via transferring consciousness to a new body, something Palpatine did in the previous canon.
With how it could apply to Rey it stands to make sense that Palpatine may have continued experiments after Anakin’s birth. Especially after discovering Anakin and the unfortunate injuries that limited him as Darth Vader, it’s likely Palpatine decided to make a “new” Anakin. He looked to replace Anakin with Luke throughout Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, so it wouldn’t be a shock that a master planner such as Palpatine would have other plans in case that didn’t work out. Recent additions to the canon such as Star Wars: Battlefront II have teased Palpatine’s influence and potential return before his confirmation to appear in The Rise of Skywalker. Having Palpatine influence Rey’s backstory and the entire trilogy would be an interesting way to connect all nine films. The biggest problem with this theory is the time difference between Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.