When Daisy Ridley first took on the role of Rey, she was more than aware of how big this character was going to be. As part of the Star Wars Universe, most characters become incredibly important even if it’s just as part of the lore. But did she know how obsessed with her heritage that fans would become? Millions of fans have researched, theorized and worked themselves into a frenzy about who she is, who she could be related to or descended from. While there’s no complete confirmation that we’ll get any of those answers during The Last Jedi, we’re all hopeful that we’ll have more revealed about the Force user.
But thanks to various books and confirmations from the actors themselves, we do actually know quite a lot about Rey already without realizing it. There are plenty of intricate details that have been written about her that help round off her character even more. So in this list, we’re covering everything from her time on Jakku, her origins in the creation of the Star Wars franchise and even what other important characters in the universe think of her. Get ready for The Last Jedi with 15 things you never knew about Rey.
15. SHE SPEAKS WOOKIEE
And no, it’s not just because she’s friends with Chewbacca. Using a computer that she pulled from an old Y-Wing, Rey managed to teach herself Shyriiwook — the language of the Wookiees. And when she came across some of the species on Jakku, she was able to communicate with them because of what she learnt.
It was these Wookiees who told Rey about the adventures of Chewbacca and his partner Han Solo during their fight against the Empire. They even told her about their role within the war, especially Han being a General amongst the resistance. So although she was isolated on Jakku, she was still aware of the wider Galaxy around her. It’s useful that she can speak Wookiee, since she’ll be spending more time with Chewbacca after the death of Han Solo at the hands of Kylo Ren.
This discovery is related to one of the numerous theories about Rey and her parentage. This one is spawned from the idea that she’s related to Emperor Palpatine in some way, whether that’s as his granddaughter or some other nefarious relation. And it all lies in the true meaning of her name.
In Spanish, Rey translates into ‘King’. Which led many fans to gather behind the theory that because there aren’t any actual Kings in the films but there is an Emperor, it could signify her link to the villainous Sith. Whether this is true remains to be seen, but we’ll just have to wait till The Last Jedi to see if we get any answers. If it does come to fruition, it’s definitely a clever way of foreshadowing the reveal.
13. INSPIRED BY INITIAL LUKE SKYWALKER DRAWINGS
When George Lucas realized that his story didn’t have any female characters at all, he asked Ralph McQuarrie to try switch over the initial ‘Luke Starkiller’ character over to a female version. And this is the design that he came up with. Visually, she shares some similarities to Rey from when we first meet her in The Force Awakens.
The most obvious point, are the goggles on her head. And then her costume seems to be fashioned from similar beige colored rags like Rey’s final outfit that we see her wear throughout the film. Looking at her this way, it seems that Rey has been in the concept stage for many years. Who knows what other concept art will have influenced things going into the next film?
12. HER SPEEDER IS BUILT FROM AN X-WING
Rey survives on the harsh planet of Jakku by scavenging parts from the graveyard of ships and exchanging them for food from Unkar Plutt. But travelling to and from the graveyard on foot would take hours in the unbearable heat of the planet. So Rey build her own speeder to save time and give her some independence.
And parts of her speeder was built from the wreckages of X-Wings. Specifically, a combustion chamber, swoop afterburners and repulsor lifts — as they’re called in The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary. Since the planet is littered with crashed Starfighters from the Battle of Jakku, it’s no wonder that Rey made full use of the parts just waiting to be scavaged. She also scavenged from Imperial ships too, so it’s interesting that the blend of both sides has been part of her story since before she even came across the Force.
11. SHE WROTE A SURVIVAL GUIDE
Because Jakku forced Rey to be vigilant at all times, she’d gotten used to being hungry and learning the ways of the planet just to survive. But when she wasn’t scavenging for food, she did have some spare time to herself. She spent that time writing a survival guide that eventually transformed into an observational journal once she left the planet with Han Solo and Finn.
The Survival Guide detailed various locations on Jakku, explaining the dangers of them all as well as what could be found there for other scavengers to make use of. She also told an interesting story about Unkar Plutt leading a hunt to Carbon Ridge for a rumored Imperial Lab. The Survival Guide was part diary, part instruction manual that initially passed the time for Rey when she wasn’t scavenging.
10. SNOKE IS TESTING HER
We barely know anything about Snoke. Only that he’s been running the First Order, he’s played by Andy Serkis and also seems to be very old. That’s about it. But he’s going to be a formidable opponent for Rey and the other characters during The Last Jedi. In fact, he’s going to be testing the young Force user. What for exactly, hasn’t been revealed.
But Daisy Ridley herself has spoken about Rey’s relationship with Snoke. According to the actress, when she meets the evil puppet master, it will be “one of those tests for Rey. And when I say testing, it’s the worst use of testing ever.” That sounds quite ominous, but it sounds like Rey will be put through some traumatic experiences in The Last Jedi.
9. CAPTAIN DOSMIT RAEH
Being a child on Jakku wasn’t particularly fun. Still forced to fend for herself, Rey found solace in the fun she made for herself. When scavenging she found a Rebel helmet as well as an old uniform that she made a doll out of. Rey would pretend that she and the Rebel Captain were traversing though Jakku looking for other lost Rebels.
The Rebel Captain herself flew an X-Wing as part of the Tierfon Yellow Aces during the Battle of Jakku. And even though Rey no longer played games pretending she was with the pilot, occasionally she wore the helmet like we saw in The Force Awakens. Keeping the doll and the helmet were Rey’s own way of keeping Dosmit Raeh’s memory alive on the harsh planet.
8. SHE WASN’T IMMACULATELY CONCEIVED
There are countless theories regarding Rey’s true heritage and how it will play into the future of the Star Wars Universe. She’s been tied to numerous people, from Palpatine to Obi-Wan. But one of the most popular theories is that she was immaculately conceived thanks to the Force.
But thanks to Daisy Ridley herself, it’s been confirmed that she most definitely has actual parents. Whether they’re actually alive or not is an entirely different question. During a conversation with ScreenRant, she dismissed the Immaculate Conception theory as a joke rather than something that could be taken seriously. So don’t be expecting any Force/Midichlorian explanations during The Last Jedi. But she does quickly brush off the Obi-Wan theory…let’s not read into that too much.
7. SHE SAW THE ISLAND ON AHCH-TO IN HER DREAMS
The central plot of The Force Awakens was the hunt for Luke Skywalker. Nobody knew where he was after he shrunk away into forced exile after the destruction of his Jedi Academy. But by the end of the film Rey found him on an island on the planet Ahch-To. But she’d seen this place before.
When Kylo Ren interrogates Rey, he looks into her mind and sees the dreams she has when she’s asleep. Telling her that “you imagine an ocean. I see it. I see the island.” It’s no coincidence that an island in the middle of an ocean is exactly where Rey ends up by the end of the film. The book Rey’s Story even confirms that Rey recognized the landscape as the one she had been dreaming of.
6. TALENTED ARTIST
Because she had plenty of time to kill living on Jakku, not only did Rey compile a survival guide for any would-be scavengers, but she managed to capture the things that she observed whilst living there. It was a way of occupying her time but also passing on her knowledge of what to look for.
She sketched many different things that she came across on the planet, different star ships, the Rebel helmet she had discovered and even BB-8 once they had met. She also sketched various creatures and aliens that she worked with or came across during her scavenging time. But once she left the planet it became a journal and she sketched other things, like the Millennium Falcon. Artist, writer, force user… is there anything Rey can’t do?
5. HELLHOUND TWO
One of the most iconic visuals from The Force Awakens was seeing the downed AT-AT Walker that had become Rey’s home. The Walker itself was designated Hellhound Two. During the Battle of Jakku, Odavia Anaru used a rocket launcher to fire upon the Walker, hitting the weak points with all six rockets. The Rebel fighter pilot died in the destruction.
Rey lived in the troop portion of the Walker, making use of the space to use as her bedroom and kitchen. And because she was scavenging around other ships and parts, she managed to utilize sections from a downed TIE Fighter. Adding those parts to the mechanics of the AT-AT meant she could craft a makeshift generator to give her some power. It’s no wonder she managed to survive on Jakku with a resourceful nature like this.
4. SHE CAN SPEAK DROID
When A New Hope first introduced us to droids, they all communicated in a series of beeps and whistles, aside from C-3PO of course. The audience has to simply guess what some of the droids are saying just from the answers and lines from other characters. And even though Rey doesn’t have any droid companions up until The Force Awakens, she can understand their language.
She taught herself the binary language of the droids using the same computer that she learnt the Wookiee language from. It’s clear that she had a lot of time on her hands when she wasn’t scavenging through the wastelands. The skill definitely comes in use with BB-8 around. And now that R2-D2 has finally woken up, it wouldn’t be surprising if she talks to him too.
3. KYLO DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO THINK OF HER
It’s clear that during The Force Awakens, Kylo and Snoke were already vaguely aware of Rey. Snoke was definitely aware that she’s important just from how urgently he was asking “What girl?” before Kylo kidnapped her. Although Kylo might be bitter about that final fight on Starkiller Base, he isn’t sure what to make of the young Force user whatsoever.
When speaking to ScreenRant, Adam Driver discussed what Kylo thinks about her; “I think it’s more of a question mark. I don’t think he’s really landed on any kind of answer about what his opinion is of her. I think there’s just, there’s something that he recognizes that maybe no one else does I would say. But he hasn’t, I don’t think it’s something that he’s resolved in his mind.” From what we can tell from the images and trailers, he’ll soon make his mind up.
2. TRAINED ON A FLIGHT SIMULATOR IN HER SPARE TIME
For a girl who never left Jakku, she was an incredible pilot when she was flying the Millennium Falcon. She pulled off some daring moves that managed to keep herself and Finn alive. So how exactly was she able to? Whilst some think that she gained these abilities from being the reincarnation of Anakin, she actually taught herself.
According to the Rey’s Story book and The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel, Rey spent hours teaching herself how to fly on an A-Wing simulator. She learnt about various types of ships, their capabilities, their engines and how to repair them. Not only did she learn about Rebel ships, but Imperial ones too. Little did she know how important these skills would be later on in her life. They certainly kept her alive.
1. SHE WON’T BE ‘GOOD’ OR ‘BAD’
When The Force Awakens blasted its way into cinemas across the world, everyone assumed that Rey, Finn and Poe were all the new good guys. They’re charming, they’re fighting against evil and they’re part of the Resistance. However, that may not be the case for Rey.
Daisy Ridley was recently asked on Good Morning America about the potential shift to the Dark Side. She answered very cryptically; “the lines are less clear as to, like, good and bad. Rey is trying to find out about herself and about the universe, and those questions don’t entirely fall to good nor do they entirely fall to the bad. She’s trying to do her own sort of personal growth and I think what’s amazing is the end of the film, however that does end, it’s more rich. If it’s always good, the outcome isn’t as important as it might be.” Oh.
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