Warning: spoiler alert for Star Wars: The Force Awakens applies to whoever still needs one.
After addressing a few consistent critical reactions to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I turn my attention to the reams of articles being written about the character of Rey and who her parents might be.
Depending on what you read, Rey is either Luke Skywalker's daughter with an unknown mother, Princess Leia and Han Solo's forgotten daughter due to some crazy mind-wipe, the grand-daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi by way of a "I don't need to follow Jedi code anymore" love affair, a descendant of Emperor Palpatine simply because her lightsaber stab style is similar (yikes!), or yet another "immaculate conception" of The Force like Anakin Skywalker.
My crazy crackpot tongue-in-cheek theory is that Rey is the long lost sister of Poe Dameron because she has a "Rebel Pilot" doll in her shelter and seems to be an equally amazing pilot (although I gather current Star Wars Expanded Universe explains she may have this skill due to years of time on Jakku studying manuals found during her scavenger hunts, which may also be how she understands Wookie and Droid).
Adding to my theory is the idea that Expanded Universe storytelling also has Poe Dameron's mother's name as "Shara Bey" and "Rey Bey" is the kind of "sing-songy" name that can occasionally pop up in Star Wars movies.
I highly doubt my theory is anywhere close to true, but it's fun to toss in the mix.
Interviews with the filmmakers seem to indicate they did not fully map out the story arcs of this new trilogy while prepping The Force Awakens. So, clues for just about any outcome to Rey's parents are all over the place.
For me, one of the more interesting clues to the possible "Luke/Rey" father-daughter connection is the re-use of a section of a music cue called "Burning Homestead" from the original 1977 film.
In The Force Awakens, this music cue plays when Rey is able to "Force call" the lightsaber to her during the climax. In the original film, it plays over the images of Luke seeing the charred bodies of his aunt and uncle.
Despite the fact that Luke doesn't verbalize his decision to leave Tatooine until his next scene, is easy to assume the decision came at the moment he saw his family destroyed.
The re-use of the music cue underscoring that moment in Star Wars indicates Rey's own "moment of choice" in The Force Awakens carries equal weight. It could be said this is the moment she firmly chooses to follow her own "new destiny."
Although what may turn out to be "the family lightsaber" calls to her earlier in the movie and leads to a "Force Vision" which includes Luke's voice, the music score choice when Rey finally takes the saber is not a mere echo and makes a familial connection even more likely.
To me, this is all the more interesting because the music cue is a direct lift or "tracked" from 1977; it's not a new recording.
Composer John Williams has re-recorded arrangements throughout the Star Wars films to nearly identical effect and with equal power. With all the new variations and recordings of "The Force Theme" used in The Force Awakens, why was this music cue -- and only this cue -- "lifted" if the connection between the two movie moments wasn't intended?
The film-makers had to know aficionados of Star Wars music like me would catch this and apply reason to the choice.
Overall, the speculation as to Rey's parentage has probably relegated it to becoming the least interesting or surprising aspect of the future episodes.
Where the big reveal in The Empire Strikes Back was (in 1980) a colossally unexpected and terribly shocking one, the reveal of Rey's parents is likely to be met with a big "ho-hum" because one of the answers being speculated on right now is likely to be correct!
I certainly don't intend to be a buzzkill. Speculation is always fun and the makers of The Force Awakens clearly invited the speculation.
Even so, unless the filmmakers have a really terrific idea up their sleeve and none of the current speculation turns out to be accurate, there will be no element of surprise when this story aspect resolves itself.
There will be some faction -- and all the blogs out there indicate a pretty sizable faction -- of the audience who will have a "Yeah... I saw that coming" reaction when the reveal finally occurs in Episode 8 or 9. It could become a "who guessed it right?" game as opposed to an organic story moment.
I can almost see the eye-rolls in 2017 or 2019 now.
The idea of the foregone conclusion, the expected, or the predictable has the potential to hurt or diminish Star Wars storytelling; doubly so if the filmmakers also repeat the "hidden sibling" motif.
Family reveal seems to be part of what makes the Star Wars saga tick. Even so, while I said in my last blog that the repetition or "echo" of beats in The Force Awakens was fun and didn't bother me, if this particular element is repeated, things might be going a little too far.
In a way, I rather hope the disclosure of Kylo Ren's parents winds up being the only use of the "shocking family reveal" in this trilogy.
Others may not have found that surprising, but I did. After months of pre-release speculation and a bit of a "fake-out" that Rey might be Han and Leia's daughter, Kylo/Ben being their son certainly wasn't on my radar.
Regardless of how it plays out, the "why?" of Rey's abandonment on Jakku, the "what?" does it mean for her, and the "how?" it affects the rest of the current story will undoubtedly have to be much more interesting in order for the "who?" to really matter.