Luke standing at what appears to be a grave on Ahch-To. Who’s grave is that?

One of the hottest Star Wars mysteries fans won’t give up on is: Who are Rey’s parents? It’s a hot topic because it matters. She is strong, really strong, with the Force. That doesn’t happen by accident. There are tons of theories out there, and J.J. Abrams has already told us they will address her lineage in Rise of Skywalker. Here’s what he had to say:

“I will say that we knew, going into this, that this movie, it had to be a satisfying conclusion. And we were well aware that that’s one of the things that’s been out there. I don’t want to say that what happens in Episode 8 [didn’t happen]. We have honored that. But I will say that there’s more to the story than you’ve seen.”

J.J. Abrams

There’s always more to the story. It’s time to dive into some more popular ideas on it. Let the theorizing commence!

Is Rey a Skywalker?

Rey and Luke
The most likely theory is Rey is a Skywalker

At the end of The Force Awakens, there is a very brief clip of Luke standing before a pile of stones on Ahch-To while Rey trudges up the hill to find him. One of those stones is standing upright and appears to be a headstone. Who’s grave is that? It’s an older theory, but a nagging one.

Luke seems especially melancholy over this site. Why is that? Could be one of two reasons. First, he brought his father’s remains here and buried him. Or… he buried someone else close to him.

Star Wars Legends: Mara Jade

If Rey is a Skywalker, then the grave has to belong to Mara Jade (or her new canon equivalent). As Ahch-To is the site of the first Jedi Temple, it is likely there are several important and powerful ancient Jedi buried there. It would have been sacred ground that is literally soaked in the Force. It would only be appropriate if Luke buried his wife (or his father) there upon their death.

Luke appears to not recognize Rey when they meet, but that could be a ploy to protect her. He’s cut himself off to the Force, however Kylo and Snoke are still swimming in it. If he lets the Porg out of the bag by welcoming her like a dear old long-lost dad, they would know it and she becomes a huge target. The whole purpose of leaving her safely behind would be for nothing. Plus, he looked angry that she had his light saber. He had no choice but to toss it over the cliff to keep her from finding out the truth!

However, since he asks her multiple times, “who are you?” when she confronts him on Ahch-To, it is unlikely Luke is her father. His confusion over her identity seems genuine enough.

What if Luke just doesn’t remember her?

Star Wars Flashback
Could Rey have been a youngling at Luke’s academy?

Here’s another theory that plays into what we’ve already seen on the big screen. We know some of what Luke was up to after the events of Return of the Jedi, starting his own academy and all. Then Ben Solo brings it all down and Luke goes into exile. Ben was not the only student. Plenty of Jedi survived Order 66, so it’s possible some of Luke’s padawans survived Ben’s purge. It is said he and his followers killed the others who didn’t join him. What if he didn’t get them all?

It’s possible Rey was an incoming youngling to Luke’s new Jedi Academy, and after the uprising of his nephew, he dropped her on Jakku to hide her from Ben and the Knights of Ren. The Knights have been noticeably absent in the first two films. Maybe they’re out hunting down those who escaped. Rey and Kylo are about 11 years apart, which would make a late-teen Ben Solo going dark be about the right age apart from little abandoned Rey.

Young Rey
Rey looks about five or six in this photo, making Kylo around 16 or 17 years old at the time.

Luke would have sought safety for any survivors of the academy. If Ben left survivors, Luke woould have made sure they were safe and hidden. Perhaps she was one he saved, and maybe there are more.