TLDR: She was created by the Force.
Let’s start with the other options. It is certainly possible that she is a new character, not related to anyone we’ve met before–but this seems overwhelmingly unlikely. Discounting that, there is only a short list of people who could be her parents:
- Han and Leia
- Luke and someone
- A child of Obi Wan Kenobi
Han and Leia:
The simplest explanation would involve her being born to Leia after Ben became Kylo and Han left. That way Han and Chewie don’t know about her, and she would theoretically have reason to hide Rey.
- The ages don’t match up. Rey was at least 3 or 4 when abandoned.
- I don’t buy that Leia would abandon her daughter (Padme had to die to explain hiding Luke and Leia).
- I don’t buy Leia not telling Han.
- Rey says specifically that she is “waiting for her family”. Not her mother. Not even her parents. Her “family”.
Luke and TBD
Did Luke have a baby? Putting aside that the only woman we’ve ever seen Luke hitting on was his sister, is it possible? I suppose it is, but I think the only way it would work is if Luke wasn’t aware of the pregnancy.
It would be predictable and boring. It has been established that you can sense familial relationships through the force. When Rey walks up to Luke on the island, they would immediately know they were long-lost father and daughter. If that was the way the story was going, I think it would have been given to us in that closing scene. (imagine it ends with Luke saying “I am your father”!)
Obi Wan Kenobi’s Granddaughter:
This seems a little farfetched. It involves creating a relationship for Obi Wan, creating a child Obi Wan is unaware of (otherwise Luke/Leia wouldn’t be the only hope), and then that child abandoning Rey. They could certainly create all this–and maybe give us a middle-aged Obi Wan solo movie along the way, but this seems very, very unlikely.
A Child of the Force:
Here’s why I think she’s the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker…
- The movie’s title. Obviously a whole lot of thought went into it. It seems pretty clear that the “awakening” that Kylo and Snoke discuss is Rey. So why not call it “The Jedi Awakens”?
- Her reaction to the lightsaber. In A New Hope, we clearly see that when you pick up a relative’s lightsaber, nothing special happens.
- Her family left her on Jakku. As noted early, she clearly says “her family”. I think the best explanation for this is that we will never hear from/about her family again. I don’t think you can come up with a redeemable story for why they abandoned her–so best to never meet them.
- It will be GREAT tension with Kylo. She is the reincarnation of the person he worships?!?
- Rey has identical technical/mechanical skills to Anakin.
Hedging my bets:
The only thing I can’t explain is why Han feels like he knows her. And what does Han tell Moz when she asks who the girl is?
Excited to find out!