The Force Awakens: Why Rey and Kylo Ren Are Not Siblings

*The below will contain spoilers for the Legacy of the Force (Not-Canon) series of novels as well as a mild spoiler from the Shattered Empire comic (Canon)*

It’s one of the most popular theories out there surrounding The Force Awakens, that Kylo Ren and Rey are brother and sister. More specifically that they are going to essentially be an adaptation of Jacen and Jaina Solo, Han and Leia’s twins from material that is no longer canon. Here’s why I don’t think it’s likely that they’re twins, much less siblings.

First and foremost it seems to be just way too convenient. I would maybe say lazy even, if J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were to just pluck that idea from what is now called Star Wars Legends. The reason I say this is because in the Legacy of the Force novels, Jacen falls to the dark side of the Force and becomes Darth Caedus. This obviously seems to mirror our hero Rey being Jaina and Kylo Ren being Jacen/Darth Caedus, it’s right there, I get it. With that said, the marketing campaign and the usual blanket of secrecy J.J. likes to surround his projects tell me that it’s too obvious, too easy to see through, for them to essentially be Jacen and Jaina. Oh, not to mention Luke and Leia already being twins. It’s been done.

Jaine Solo and Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus
Jaine Solo and Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus

Now, just because I doubt they are brother and sister, I could see them possibly being related as maybe cousins. Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm, said recently in The Costco Connection that “the Saga films focus on the Skywalker family saga.” Clearly at least one of our newcomers to the franchise are going to be of Skywalker lineage. Before we jump straight to Rey and Kylo Ren though, let’s narrow it down first.

poe2Outside of Kylo Ren and Rey, Poe Dameron would probably seem like the next most likely candidate to be a Skywalker. That is if you haven’t been reading Shattered Empire, the relatively new comic that just finished its four-issue run. The comic starts during the end of The Battle of Endor and largely tells the story of a Rebel pilot named Shara Bey. I’m not going to go into great detail about the comic, but you find out that she’s married to another Rebel named Kes Dameron and together have a young boy named Poe. As this comic is part of the new official canon, we can eliminate Poe from contention as we know who his parents are and neither of ’em is a Skywalker.

Shattered Empire 1

Finn is another option though it is unlikely simply due to race. Not to say impossible by any means. On The Force Awakens panel at San Diego Comic Con this year, J.J. said they didn’t write Finn or Rey to be any color. We also largely have no idea about what’s transpired over the last 30 years since Return of the Jedi ended. Though he does wield a lightsaber in the trailer, he certainly doesn’t seem as comfortable with it as Kylo Ren does with his.

The Force Awakens GIF

The last notable new human character we know of is General Hux with The First Order. This to me also seems unlikely as we have had no indication as of yet that he has any kind of Force sensitivity, not to mention that he has hardly been featured in any of the trailers. I’m not going to include Captain Phasma for consideration as I don’t know that anyone has explicitly said she is human and we only have ever seen her in full armor.

That brings us back to Kylo Ren and Rey and I do think there’s a chance that they are cousins. One of the Kylo Ren toys has lines of dialogue and one of them is “Is it true…you’re just a scavenger?” This is most likely directed at Rey considering she’s a scavenger on Jakku and indicates that Kylo Ren at least knows of her, even if they don’t know each other.

Also, as pointed out by many, the official film poster that was released over the weekend shows Rey and Kylo Ren side by side, while Rey’s staff and Kylo Ren’s lightsaber are essentially parallel to one another. I don’t think this is completely by accident.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Movie Poster

So with all that in mind, I could see Kylo Ren maybe being Han and Leia’s son with Rey maybe being Luke’s daughter. Perhaps Kylo was once a pupil of Luke’s before being seduced by the dark side and joining the Knights of Ren, which is what causes Luke to go into isolation, as all signs point to him not showing up until closer to the end of the movie. Maybe Luke doesn’t know about Rey, maybe her mother was stranded on Jakku after the battle there, but before her birth and Luke didn’t know about it.

Of course there’s also the possibility that they aren’t related and only one of them is carrying on the Skywalker legacy. If that’s the case my money is on Rey because Kennedy talked at SDCC15 about how the franchise would be featuring more strong female characters, both good and bad. Not to mention she’s been the focal point of the trailers and is definitely the most prominently featured character on the poster.

So there’s the breakdown! What do you think? Did I make a better argument for them being brother and sister or against it? Who do you want to see carry on the Skywalker line? Be sure to leave a message and let us know!

For more from a galaxy far, far away check out our thoughts on The Force Awakens trailer and be sure to watch Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels! For more movie news you may be curious as to what Guillermo del Toro is doing next!


Images: Lucasfilm, Marvel, Del Rey

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41 thoughts on “The Force Awakens: Why Rey and Kylo Ren Are Not Siblings”

  1. Cousins is what I’m leaning towards if the two are related. One theory I came up with is that Kylo Ren is Han and Leia’s son and that he was abducted by the First Order at a young age and indoctrinated by the Knights of Ren. Because when you’re a Vader-worshiping dark side cult, having Vader’s grandson in your ranks probably does a lot for morale.

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  2. Great observations and ideas. I too doubt they are siblings. However, JJAbrams has been known to rehash previous franchise material, while denying it during production. Just look at Star Trek Into Darkness (or whatever it was called). An absolutely forgettable reinterpretation of The Wrath Of Khan. Kasdan has always been great for polishing a script, but he’s never really been one to dissuade a creative partner from their particular focus. Personally, I suspect there will be a connection (to the Skywalkers) and that the dynamic of that relationship will bring Luke out of his Kenobi-like hermitage.

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  3. My theory – Kylo and Rey will fall in love.
    The writers have already played the family card in this trilogy, and there’s no way they would re-hash the “No, Rey, I am your brother” line…
    As soon as Kylo took his helmet off I could see he’d stepped straight off a Jane Austen set. Watch TFA again – pay careful attention to the way that Rey and Kylo interact. The spark between Rey and Finn is a red herring – they’re clearly much more like best buddies.
    There will certainly be something to turn Kylo to the good side, and falling in love with Rey is just that.

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    1. I thought exactly the same thing when I stepped out of the cinema…and my brother thought I was crazy…but Kylo and Rey falling in love is a new and fresh angle in the whole saga…Kylo could be like the anti Anakin…Anakin was drawn to the dark side because of his love for Padme, Kylo could be drawn to the light through his love for Rey, this is entirely possible

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      1. Glad I’m not the only one – my friends also called me crazy which is why I came here… had to find someone who didn’t fall for the Rey/Finn setup

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    2. It’s an interesting theory but personally it’s hard for me to see that happening at the moment. I’ve seen the film 5 times now and I just don’t see a spark between them as of now whereas I did think there was a something there between her and Finn. Personally though, my money is on Rey just being Rey and not “with” someone else. I think Disney and Lucasfilm really want her to be a really strong female character and somehow I don’t think they’ll muddy the waters so-to-speak just to include a romance…not that you can’t have strong female characters in relationships, I just think they’ll want to not distract from more important plot points.

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      1. That’s exactly the vibe I was getting from the movie. I’m guessing they may have been childhood friends in the past as well (which explains why Rey was saved and left on Jakku). I’m guessing the next movie may have a situation where they are both in mortal peril and have to work together for mutual survival – and then they develop a grudging respect and understanding…. it takes off from there

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    3. I believe she is Luke’s daughter. It would most certainly add some controversy and a very interesting plott line if they are cousins who fall in love. It;s taboo in America but accepted in other parts of the world.

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  4. If you have seen the clone wars then you know where Lucas was heading with the force, the way of the sister (the light) the way of the brother (the dark) and the way of the father (the true way of the force) hopefully master skywalker has learned this at the 1st temple and will let Rey in on it in part 8, if Disney and J.J. don’t change that.

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    1. This is something I had not considered. I have watched The Clone Wars and the arc you’re referencing is actually my favorite of the entire series. At this point I think it would be hard to sell me on Rey being Kylo Ren’s brother given what we’ve seen in The Force Awakens, but this will be maybe the one thing that could make me think that maybe they will turn out to be siblings.

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    1. They are brother and sister, and that is obvious from the way they are portrayed. Rey is younger, and Kylo Ren probably abducted her and abandoned her at Jakku. Their parents had given her up for dead.

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  5. Rey = Luke Skywalker
    Fin = Han Solo
    Poe = Princess Leia
    BB8 = R2D2
    Han Solo = Obi-wan
    Rylo Ken = Darth Vader
    Snoke = Emperor
    Luke = Yoda

    Rey/Luke is an orphan who has use of the force. Fin/Han is not affiliated with either side, but is chased by First Order/smugglers. Poe/Princess Leia gives BB8/R2D2 (who ride in the back of the x-wing) the important message that leads the plot forward of Luke’s location/”You’re my only hope.” Han/Obi-wan is a source of wisdom from the past who allows Rey/Luke to accompany them on their smuggling routes/dangerous quest (Han also names his child Ben, another reference to Obi-wan or “Old Ben”. However, Han/Obi-wan sacrificially dies at the hand of Rylo/Darth Vader, who, though an evil badass, is always under the finger of Snoke/the Emperor. Rey/Luke survive the battle with Rylo/Vader, to later begin training with Luke/Yoda.

    Rey and Poe are either siblings, but not from Luke, or it’s another point of departure from A New Hope (Luke is now a woman. Leia is now a man. Maz, who one could stretch to argue is Jabba the Hutt, is kind.).

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  6. Great breakdown, though missing some key points that I think further validate they are not siblings but perhaps related:
    1) When Rey runs into Leia, they don’t say anything, just embrace… the way they look at each other and hug is clear implication they know each other from the past. I think if it were a mother/daughter encounter, it would have been evident, but the manner in which it played out, in my opinion, is conclusive that they are NOT mother/daughter, but that they definitely have a common past.
    2) Too many interactions between Rey and Han for there NOT to have been some recognition of father/daughter relationship. Key point here… Han didn’t seem to know her, but Leia did. So… this is perhaps some plot twist in the future where Leia knew of Rey but Han didn’t, some secret sibling plot between Luke and Leia to keep Luke’s daughter a secret or something along those lines.
    3) There is something very telling about the dialogue between Han and Leia on their mutual regret of letting Ben go off to training alone. IF they had also abandoned another child of theirs (Rey) at a very young age and not known anything about her, that would have caused even more regret and been a topic of discussion as important for them as the loss of their son to the dark side. Something like, “damn we really regret letting our son go with Luke to train, but we REALLY screwed the pooch abandoning our daughter in the desert… we really suck as parents!” Of course the conversation didn’t go that way, and there is great regret for BEN, but not for anyone else… and that’s because there are no other kids to talk about among them.
    4) Final point I’ll make is that Luke’s lightsaber “called” to Rey. She was led right to it, and when she held it, she saw visions of things of the past. Would make sense that someone of same bloodline would have that ability (like Luke ‘calling out’ Leia while hanging from Cloud City in ESB.

    So… All things considered that I stated above, my money is on Rey being Luke’s daughter, that Leia and her know each other due to some secret plot to hide her for reasons yet unknown, and that explains the regognition of Leia/Rey on their encounter and the reason Rey is who finds Luke’s lightsaber.

    Wild card is the old dude at the beginning of movie… the one Po goes to in order to get map to find Luke. Obviously he is tied to Luke to have sole possession of his whereabouts, which implies he may have also been an important figure in context of The Force… Perhaps HE is tied to Rey from a bloodline perspective and we just haven’t been given visibility to it yet (gotta wait til next movie!!)

    One other comment on a point you made. It seemed going in to movie that the perception was the Finn was Force sensitive. I was surprised that during the movie I saw no indication of that. You mentioned the wielding of the lightsaber pretty well, but that explained away quite well, in my opinion, with the duel Finn had with the stormtrooper wielding that electric baton (or whatever it was). Seems stormtroopers are trained in close quarters combat with that weapon, so using a lightsaber at least at a basic level should have come naturally to him based on his stormtrooper training.

    Sorry for long response, thanks for reading.

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    1. I agree, there’s plenty in the film that indicates that Rey is definitely NOT Han and Leia’s. However, I couldn’t include that in this article as I wrote it about 2 months ago. I agree with your point at the end though, that Finn’s ability with the saber isn’t that hard to believe when it seems stormtroopers get some basic CQB training.

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    2. Rey and Kylo Ren are definitely brother and sister

      Balance of the force between Good and Evil, both being drawn by either side..

      Rey is stronger than Kylo which is why Sno wants her to be brought before him and why she became force sensitive without any true training

      As for why Leia and Han Solo didn’t recognize her as their daughter or why there was no parental interaction.. HELLO that’s been done before

      Darth Vadar interacted with Leia in Episode 4 & 5 but had no clue that was his daughter..

      Rey had to many similarities to Han Solo and Leia but little to none with Luke other than the light saber calling to her.. Which is easy to explain since it originally belonged to her grandfather Anakin Skywalker

      The other important hint was that Rey was present to watch Kylo kill Han Solo which would be insignificant if she was actually Luke Daughter..

      It’s much more plausible Rey is the younger sister of Kylo and her uncle Luke would seek to train her in a way different from how he failed with Kylo..

      If Rey was Luke daughter he would’ve trained her from the beginning

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  7. Ren and Rey being siblings is not “too obvious.” It’s still being debated weeks after the release of the film. Think about it this way: what is the only difference in the spelling of their names, and why is that symbolic?

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    1. I think, especially in the wake of the film’s release, it’s even safer to say that they absolutely are not siblings. Rey has far too much interaction with Han and Leia for them not to mention it. Or for Han and Leia to not mention a daughter when they’re talking about their son.

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      1. Darth Vader interacted with Leia in both episodes 4 and 5 and never knew it was his daughter

        Luke and Leia both interacted and couldn’t tell they were siblings

        In fact it was the emperor who had to tell Darth Vadar that Luke was the lost offspring of Anakin Skywalker

        Very plausible Rey is the younger sister of Ren who they assumed was dead or killed which would be reason for not being mentioned

        Rey also being present to watch Kylo kill Han Solo makes more sense if that’s her father.. If she was Luke’s daughter Han wouldn’t even be related to her

        Also Kylo mentioning “he’s like the father you never had” makes more sense regarding his jealousy or envy to a sibling

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  8. Who’s voice is heard in the dream state when Rey touches Luke lighter. Someone is holding her back as a shuttle is flying off sounds to me like ren

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  9. I’m thinking you nailed most of the movie well in advance.. and probably.. into the second movie as well. Outstanding effort. That being said, I wouldn’t rule out Han and Leah just yet, it’s most likely Luke’s daughter, but there is always the possibility that Han and Leah thought their younger child died when Ben turned… they just may not know who she is, but Leah may sense it, judging from the long and very family like embrace at the end of the movie and the fact she and Han were finishing each others sentences.. If I had to guess, I’d say Luke, but I agree, the story is about the Skywalker family so she’s one or the other. I don’t see her as a twin though, if she’ han and leah’s she was still very young when Ben went to the dark side. Probably 10-12 years age difference.. and don’t tell me that’s unreasonable.

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  10. Are the prophecies concerning the chosen have their origin in the Lightside or Darkside? Why were such fortresses built? to protect or to hide the prophetic record? Is Anakin Shmi’s only unexplained child? We’re there twins? What role(s) have the medichlorians played? are there favorites? At what point did Luke marry Mara Jade? was Mara his first? What lies beneath the sands of Jakku or Illyrium?

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  11. Mike makes some excellent points but the failure of Han or Leia to recognize their daughter is not decisive if she “went missing” as a very young child. Ren has already announced Darth Vader as a grandfather, so we know Rey and Ren are related. This episode sets up the next film: Rey obviously is going to get trained by Uncle Luke Sky and at some point will confront Ren. How this will be resolved is not clear: the equivalent confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader did not result in either being killed, for example. Moreover, Darth Vader ultimately redeems himself by dying in the course of killing the Emperor, so there’s no reason ex ante to rule out the possibility of redemption for Ren either. That said, the confrontation would be more “epic” and poignant if posed as a clash between brother and sister than between mere cousins etc. It would put new meaning to the term “sibling rivalry” (and note there is no parallel term for “cousin rivalry”).

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  12. Here are some theories of mine:
    1. Rey could possibly be Luke’s daughter. Think about it. She was left on Jakku and her parents never came back for her. Maybe Luke Decided that he needed to drop her off somewhere in order for her to stay alive while The Order was looking for him. She is very strong with the force, too. Something about this theory doesn’t really seem right. It feels like this plot doesn’t quite add up.
    2. Kylo Ren and Rey are siblings. I know it goes against a lot of other theories but in the books Leia and Han had twins. They’re both very strong with the force but fight for different reasons. Maybe Han and Leia dropped her off on Jakku after Kylo Ren turned to the dark side in attempts to keep her safe. Again, there’s a part that doesn’t really make sense. Why would Han and Leia hide it from her? Wouldn’t she remember certain aspects about her family? The film never mentions anything about her having a brother, either.
    In conclusion, I’m not saying that any of this is certain but they do piece things together a little bit. Perhaps we’ll find out when Star Wars Episode 8 comes out!

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    1. Just a thought.
      3) Rey and Finn are siblings. Rey is clearly in tune with Luke and his saber. Jedi’s are strong but they aren’t known for having the ability to wipe minds completely and selectively. So she isn’t Han and Leia’s kid. So who is finn and who are his parents and why is he able to fight with a light saber effectively and at times in superior ways against a jedi that can stop storm trooper blasts. Why is it that kylo can sense him at the beginning of the movie and stops to stare at finn? I bet he’s got jedi mojo and unless finn is the long lost relative of Mace, an easier explanation *could* be that his mom and Luke made a baby. He was picked up during the whole first temple incident when Luke sent his kids away to not be hunted down and killed by that solo kid (currently the weakest force using bad guy of the star wars movies).

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  13. I’m pretty sure the writers don’t know how to write original work anymore (or they are too scared to do so). My prediction is that Rey and Finn are bro/sis both born to Luke and his wife whom he met while training jedis but was killed by that annoyingly weak solo kid, Kylo. It’s the only possible way to believe a janitor storm trooper can pick up a light saber and not just fight even a weak jedi but INJURE him. I’m just like if we see yet another death star/planet i’m going to riot…..

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  14. First off, to end the speculation that Rey is Lukes daughter, Luke wouldn’t have a child.
    He’s trying to rebuild the Jedi order, a true Jedi master (of which Luke is the last and final one) doesn’t have a spouse, let alone children.
    (You can’t build strength from weakness)

    I believe there was enough evidence to show that Rey is Kylo’s sister.
    Rey shows a huge mechanical aptitude throughout the movie, much like how Anakin was. She shows great skills in flying, and blaster weapons, just like Han. She shows Han’s courage to just rush in, regardless of the danger, Luke doesn’t have that in his nature.
    Kylo, when reading her mind, talks about how she feels, Han is like the dad she never had, and that Han would’ve disappointed her.
    And last but not least, let’s not forget Luke and Leia are twins, so it’s not much of a stretch to believe that Kylo and Rey are also twins, that have been separated as well.

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  15. You forget to mention all of the specifics surrounding Kylo Ren and Rey. The way that Kylo Ren interacts with Rey and how he first learns anout her is extremely important.

    For example, when Kylo Ren finds out that BB8 is with a young female, Kylo Ren get extremely upset and says “What girl?” He then severely attacks a control panel with his lightsaber. In this instance, the movie seems to give away that Kylo Ren knows exactly who Rey is.

    When Kylo Ren eventually does find Rey, which he does very quickly although she is running through the wilderness, he doesn’t attack her nor does he kill her which he easily could have. Instead, he takes her hostage.

    While hostage, Kylo Ren treats Rey completely different than he treated Poe. Poe was tortured, beaten and threatened just so Kylo could find the location of the droid. No such things happened to Rey even though she had the exact information he was seeking. He seems to know a lot about her already and seems to try to make her feel vulnerable and sad to join him instead of hurt her to get what he wants.

    Not to mention the fact that the entire time Kylo knows about Rey, he begins to feel a pull toward the light side. These are clear signs that Kylo does care about Rey in some way. He knows who she is, and feels enough for her that he was almost willing to give up the First Order when she came (back?) into his life.

    Next there’s Rey and the lightsaber. If Rey wasn’t a Skywalker, it wouldnt make any sense for the lightsaber to call out to her. She also sees Kylo’s ship in her vision and she is screaming up at it as a young girl. (The people who left her behind?)

    According to the reminisce between Han and Leia, they account that Kylo killed all of Luke’s students. What if one of those students was Rey, and what we have seen so far would make sense. Leia and Han believe Kylo killed his sister and so when Rey shows back up in their lives, they feel parental to her but don’t know why and aren’t able to put the pieces together.

    Rey, of course, doesn’t know any of this and has probably forgotten what her parents look like by now, but she does feel that Han is her father- which Kylo seems to tease her about a little. (Coincidence, I think not!)

    What we know of Jakku is that the Millenium Falcon is on the planet and Unkar Plutt is a First Order conspirator. Seeing that Rey is screaming up at Kylo Ren’s ship in her flashback, this could mean that Kylo purposely left Rey at Jakku to keep an eye on her and also make sure that Han and Leia don’t try to contact her.

    Someone else said in the comments section of another article that Queen Amadala had one bun, Leia had two, and Rey has three.

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  16. Falling in love?! Never gonna happen. They are definitely related and I’m thinking Rey is the younger sister. She was put on Jakku to protect her after Ben turned into Ren. At the very least they are cousins. He knows her from their youth.

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