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‘Star Wars’: The Force, Emotion, and the Power of Family

Star Wars The Force Awakens, Disney

Yesterday, news broke that J.J. Abrams commented on whether Rey’s parents were in The Force Awakens, which brought up an interesting question for me. Why can’t Luke Skywalker be Rey’s father? In the run-up to the release of Star Wars The Force Awakens, Kathleen Kennedy (LucasFilm President) insisted that Star Wars was a Skywalker story. Does this meant that the big story arc of the Star Wars Saga is the rise and fall of the Skywalker family? If this is truly the case, that would mean that Rey would have to be a Skywalker. This would also explain why the costume designers went with a costume for Rey that looked close to what Shmi Skywalker (Anakin’s mother) was wearing in The Phantom Menace.

The Jedi Order and Love

Users of the Force, LucasFilm
Which side would you choose? Image: LucasFilm

In order to answer these questions, we really have to go back to the beginning of the Jedi Order. The Jedi Order was founded in 25,783 BBY. (For those not in the know, BBY mean ‘Before the Battle of Yavin 4’, the first major battle won by the Rebellion. This is a common way of dating events in the Star Wars Universe, Where you will see years tagged with BBY or ABY, with the actual Battle being year 0.)

Although the SW Expanded Universe has been scrapped by Disney, they still are following a few key things that take place. In the SW EU, there are Jedi who marry before the prequels, and after the events of Return of the Jedi. Around 4,000 BBY the Jedi Order began to ban marriage. Around 4,000 BBY is a loose year, because if you look at Knights of the Old Republic there are married Jedi and these games take place between 4,000 and 5,000 BBY. So, we can deduce that this directive took some time to implement.

Clouding the Heart

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, LucasFilm
Anakin has been lost to the Dark Side in ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith’. Image: LucasFilm

We know that by the time of Episode II, marriage was forbidden. We hear Anakin address this. So, why would the Jedi forbid marriage? Is it because they are just a bunch of Space Monks? Well, sort of, but not really. The Jedi counsel forbid marriage, because emotion attachment clouds the thoughts of a Jedi, and lead to anger, fear, and regret: all things that lead to the Dark Side. We could probably go further to say that Jedi are trained at a young age, and young people act with emotion. It was used as a way to teach young Jedi how to control their emotions.

It is not love that will drive you to the Dark Side of the Force, but rather the fear of losing that affection or having it taken from you. This is also why force users are taken from their families at a young age, before family attachments grow. The Jedi are their only family, and the Jedi Temple is their home.

Emotion Drives Us

Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, LucasFilm
Luke looses a hand in his battle with Vader, but the big shocker comes right after in ‘Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back’. Image: LucasFilm

Yoda tells Luke Skywalker that emotions cloud judgement and lead to the Dark Side. We see Darth Vader trap Luke more than once by using the love for his friends against him. First, in Empire Strikes Back, we see Yoda plead with Luke to continue his training and not rush to the aid of his friends. We see the same thing again in Return of the Jedi, when Vader lures Luke to attack by using Leia.

Luke, like his father before him, became a Jedi at an older age than normal. This left the door open for both Force users to be consumed by emotion. When Luke puts the Jedi Order back together in the EU, we see that he has no choice but to allow marriage and attachment, because he was just using what he had. Force users were all ages then. To forbid marriage at that time would have prevented the Order from happening.

After the Return

Star Wars The Force Awakens, Disney
Rey walking through the deserts of Jaaku in ‘Star Wars The Force Awakens’. Image: Disney

In the EU Luke gets married. J.J. Abrams and Disney have stated that the Star Wars EU is being rebooted, and the EU is no longer canon. Abrams is following little things that were taking place in the EU after Return of the Jedi. This means that in the new trilogy Luke could have once been married. We know that he put the Jedi Order back together, and things went really bad, which is why he exiled himself.

It is completely possible to believe that Luke is Rey’s father, and that is his ship we see flying off in The Force Awakens. Rey is also beginning to learn the ways of the Force at an older age, just as Luke and Vader both did. Ben Solo started young, so is it such a stretch to believe that we will see this same thing again in Star Wars?

The Ways of the Force

Yoda told Luke that the Force is strong in the Skywalker family. We cannot overlook this statement. Ben Solo is a Skywalker, but what if the Force brings another Skywalker to keep the balance? It is an interesting thought to ponder. I would also set Rey up to say a line that I love from the original trilogy: “I am a Jedi Knight, like my father before me.”

Star Wars The Force Awakens, Disney
Rey and Kylo Ren showdown in ‘Star Wars The Force Awakens’. Image: Disney

The last thing thing to focus on is the subtle use of memories in The Force Awakens. When Rey touched Luke’s saber she hears Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, the main Jedi Mentors of Anakin and Luke. Maz Kanata is wise and very old. She finds it peculiar that Luke’s lightsaber calls out to Rey. Also, Ben Solo says that Luke’s lightsaber belong to him, but if Rey is Luke’s daughter, then it really belongs to her. If we go back to where Kathleen Kennedy says that Star Wars is a Skywalker story, then the only conclusion that we can draw is that Luke is Rey’s father. This would explain why he is surprised to see her on Ach-To. It would also bring the path of this famous lightsaber full circle.

These are just some of my theories, let me know in the comments your thoughts.

Brad Repka

I am an avid lover of all things Movies, TV, Games, and delicious other randomness. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comment!
  • Shannon

    I’m not all into the Star Wars universe but I’m forced in by Wyatt and my first thought was that Rey had to be Luke’s daughter. She fits the criteria to be a Skywalker and that bloodline has the force so strong, as does she….I guess we will see.