The following post was sent as a message by reddit user quietansible and we were so impressed we asked to post it. It lays out a very cogent argument for why whether Rey’s father is Luke matters in The Last Jedi.
I realize that I’m roughly six months late to the party, but I wanted to acknowledge the remarkably thorough work that you and your collaborators did with your theory. I think that you all were onto something, and I hope that some element of the theory proves to be true in IX.
I’ve kicked the theory around on occasion, too, and it seems like it would be the most effective way – perhaps the only way – to redeem Luke and justify his interactions with Rey. If the theory is true will make everything that occurred on the planet more gratifying, complex, and tonally far more the way that Star Wars as been in the past.
Interestingly, one scene that would be imbued with a far deeper level of significance is a deleted one, in which Rey ran to the nuns’ aid, believing that they were in danger, but it turned out that Luke was speaking figuratively to test her.
If Rey’s parents are no one, when she loses her patience with Luke and says that she used to believe in his legend but was wrong to have believed, the scene is interesting but ultimately of little consequence, as it would just make Rey seem sharp for its own sake.
However, if Luke is Rey’s father, the scene becomes fair more complex. To start, Rey’s criticism and impatience would be cutting Luke deeply, because Jedi master or not, he’s her father. In line with what you wrote, his behavior and disposition would not have been what it seemed at all: it would have been an act of self-sacrifice and subterfuge. It would also contribute to Rey’s character development in IX, because she would have something personal to care about: her failure to recognize her father for who he was right in front of her, and her loss of her father.
Further, Luke’s self-imposed exile would have a unique, Yoda-level significance, and it would do a far better job of justifying his seeming (?) disconnection from the Force. After all, if he was truly disconnected from the Force, how could he have speared the fish, or suddenly Force projected himself light years across deep space?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Luke’s expression at the end of the scene would be much more meaningful, too. Luke would have found himself in a triple bind. If he’d told Rey who he was, it would have endangered her because Kylo (and Smoke) would have sussed it out; if he’d trained her extensively, he’d have been encouraging her to pick a side, which now sets her on a path that isn’t really in line with what he’s learned about the Force’s nature; last, if he doesn’t train her at all, he’s potentially denying her knowledge that could help her.
Even worse, he’d be dealing with something that all parents do: knowing that in a moment when he actually tried to let his guard down and start developing some kind of rapport with her by introducing some levity, it completely backfired. He’d be looking at someone who was the spitting image of him when he met Yoda on Dagobah, but he couldn’t tell her.
Anyway, as I said, your theory is something else. If the writers are kicking the theory around, I hope that that it doesn’t go the way that some people speculate that Darth Jar Jar went, because it’d make TFA far more meaningful. Guess we’ll see what happens in IX.
Very nicely stated, and you’re not late at all!