Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Who’s the New Skywalker Family Member?

Luke and Leia are getting a Skywalker relative. Who is it?

the force awakens

So in case you missed it, the Costco Connection, a magazine sent to members of the warehouse store, scored a scoop from Lucasfilm exec Kathleen Kennedy.

“The Saga films focus on the Skywalker family saga. The stories follow a linear narrative that connects to the previous six films. The Force Awakens follows Return of the Jedi and continues that generational story. The Anthology films offer opportunities to explore fresh characters, new storylines and a variety of genres inside the Star Wars universe.”

So on one hand, yes, there have been rumors since the very, very beginning of Star Wars Episode VII that it would center on offspring with Skywalker blood. Before the Expanded Universe was officially decanonized, many fans (including me) said, “Oh yay! We get movies about Jacen and Jaina Solo!” (Who are Han and Leia’s twin children in what’s now Star Wars Legends.)

Jacen-Jaina-Solo

But even after that, the rumors persisted that Episode VII would center on a female lead who was intimately connected to the Skywalker clan.

Part of that has been borne out already: Daisy Ridley is all over the teaser trailers as the character Rey (no last name given) and is one of the three leads for the new trilogy. But what Kennedy’s comments bring back up is the fact that Rey, or some other character who has yet to receive a surname, could be the child of either Luke or Leia. In fact, someone almost certainly is.

So here’s a game to play with your friends: bet on not only who is the new Skywalker, but how they’re connected to that legacy. To make things easier, here’s some odds on the likely scenarios:

 


Rey is Han and Leia’s Daughter – 4 to 1


rey the force awakens

The Argument For:

  • This is a progressive world we live in and all, but it still takes two. Who is the only couple we know of? Han and Leia.
  • It lines up with all the early rumors about re-shaping former Expanded Universe stories into a new tale, preserving an homage to one of the fan-favorite EU characters for those who care.

The Argument Against:

  • If Rey is their daughter, what’s she doing in all the native Jakku garb? Easy enough for her to be dressing for the mission, but unlike Finn, she looks like she belongs there.
  • If the point of the new trilogy is to continue the Skywalker saga in a direct line, this doesn’t technically fulfill that requirement. There were always supporting characters, but from the prequels to the originals, the handoff is from Anakin to Luke.

Rey is Luke’s Daughter – 9 to 2


rey luke anakin

The Argument For:

  • Unlike Han and Leia, Rey as Luke’s daughter continues a direct line.
  • It makes more sense with the plot – if Luke is missing (as rumors suggest), then Rey would obviously be the one to go looking for him as it seems from the trailers she does.

The Argument Against:

  • Who’s the mother? Luke doesn’t seem the promiscuous type. Unless Rey is the product of some weird Star Wars tech and/or Force phenagling, that means we need another woman somewhere. There’s precedent – Luke was married to Mara Jade in the EU…but it’s the EU, so that’s no longer canon.

Finn is Luke’s Adopted Son – 10 to 1


star-wars-force-awakens-john-boyega-light-saber-trailer-watch0-ftr

The Argument For:

  • Finn does have Luke’s lightsaber, and it’s rumored that artifact is a major part of the plot. If there’s anything that solidifies the chain of Anakin to Luke to someone new, it’s the inheritance of that lightsaber
  • Not only that, photos have shown Finn wielding Luke’s lightsaber. There are lots of rumblings about Rey being Force-sensitive, but Finn is the only one who’s shown evidence of it so far. And yes, this matters because the second teaser made a big deal about the Force abilities of the Skywalker line

The Argument Against:

  • When talking about the Skywalker lineage, especially by invoking, “My father has it. I have it. You have that power, too,” from Return of the Jedi, the movie is setting up the expectation of blood relation. That said, one of the focuses of this trilogy when it was in development was to bring in a more diverse cast in both gender and ethnicity. Making Finn the heir to Luke would be a great way to show that Star Wars is for everybody. So I guess I’m arguing in circles, other than to say it just seems like a less-likely answer than some of the others.

 Kylo Ren is Luke’s Son – 12 to 1


kylo ren the force awakens

The Argument For:

  • Kylo Ren is obsessed with Darth Vader. The assumption has been that this has to do with Vader being the last of the Jedi (other than Luke), but what if it’s familial? What if Luke messes up raising his kid, so the child goes off in search of wisdom from the only other historically significant family member who’s not on Luke’s side (meaning not Leia)?
  • According to J.J. Abrams himself, Kylo Ren (or at least the “Ren” part of that) isn’t the character’s birth name, but something he adopted after joining the Knights of Ren. Why would that sort of detail be significant if the character’s real name wasn’t meaningful?

The Argument Against:

  • We don’t have much indication yet as to how much the other characters know about Kylo Ren and who he is, particularly the heroes of the story. He seems like he could be well known-enough that others would piece together the puzzle if Luke did/does have a runaway son.

Kylo Ren is Luke’s Clone – 20 to 1


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The Argument For:

  • Ok, we know that Adam Driver doesn’t look much like Mark Hamill at all, but genetic manipulation seems well within the realm of possibility. Cloning is already a thing in Star Wars
  • It would explain why Kylo Ren is so obsessed with Darth Vader.
  • Abrams said Ren is “fierce” and “ragged,” while writer Lawrence Kasdan called Ren, “full of emotion.” That sounds a lot like a slightly meaner version of Luke had he not been found by Obi-Wan.

The Argument Against:

  • Adam Driver doesn’t look a thing like Mark Hamill. For all the “Kylo Ren is a dark reflection of Luke Skywalker” theories going around, a literal version of that theme just doesn’t seem in the cards.
  • If someone could make one clone of Luke, there’s no reason they couldn’t make more. They might not chose to make them all at once, but a Metal Gear-style narrative about all the clones of a storied warrior doesn’t seem like a very Star Wars thing to do.

General Hux is Luke’s Son – 50 to 1


General Hux The Force Awakens

The Argument For:

  • Squint your eyes and Domhnall Gleeson looks quite a bit like a young Mark Hamill.
  • “Never tell me the odds!”

The Argument Against:

  • Hux is a General in the Imperial Navy. Does he get that role as a spawn of the guy who killed Vader and the Emperor?
  • Hux is about the 3rd or 4th tier villain in the film. Any son of Skywalker has to figure in more prominently.

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