Spoilers and speculation regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens follow. You’ve been warned.
Ever since the film’s release in theaters last month, fans have anxiously speculated about the identity of Rey, the obscure female scavenger whose unexplained Force awakening anchors the film. How does an untrained girl with no knowledge of the Force end up holding her own against the vicious grandson of Darth Vader?
The prevailing theories suggest that Rey is the daughter of either Luke Skywalker or Leia Organa, and thus a continuation of a Skywalker legacy which has defined the saga. But there are serious flaws with those possibilities. Under what circumstances would a heroic figure like Luke Skywalker leave his child abandoned and uncared for on a desolate world? Han Solo offers no indication of knowing who Rey is or having any personal connection with her home planet of Jakku. And the diminutive smuggler Maz Kanata indicates a clear distinction between Rey’s family and Luke Skywalker.
Other theories suggest that Rey is related to some other prominent Force-user, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi or the fallen Emperor Palpatine. From there, ideas start to get really trippy. Some think that Rey may be an immaculate conception brought into being by the Force itself, as was Anakin Skywalker. Taking that notion further, the below video speculates that Rey may be Anakin physically reborn.
Unlikely though the theory may seem, the notion of a reincarnated Anakin makes a hell of a lot of sense. If Rey is Anakin, then this new trilogy of films continues as the first two did, the saga of a Chosen One prophesied to bring balance to the Force. All of Rey’s relationships would take on a powerful new dynamic. In Luke, she would find both mentor and reconciled son. In Kylo Ren, she would find a disillusioned fanatic with fresh reason to despise her. Looking back upon her relationship with Han Solo, she would find a peculiar reconciliation with past victims. If Supreme Leader Snoke turns out to be the enigmatic Darth Plagueis, as the prevailing theory suggests, Rey could present the ironic fulfillment of his quest for immortality.
You have to admit, there’s a poetry to it. Certainly, the concept of reincarnation would fit in with the many other Eastern religious themes reflected in the Force.