In The Force Awakens:

Rey departs in the Falcon towards the end of the film, Leia and Rey haven't met yet (as far as we have seen on screen), yet she walks right up to Leia and hugs her; both sharing a look like they know one another.

Is there a connection there? I did think that it could be because of

Kylo killing Han, they're both upset

but Rey wouldn't have known that Leia knew Han, let alone romantically, surely?


4 Answers 4


Alan Dean Foster's novelization explains it, kinda:

Following in the Wookiee’s wake, an exhausted Rey found herself greeted by a cheering crowd. Leia Organa was in the forefront, accompanied by a pair of droids. Rey recognized BB-8 immediately, and wondered at the identity of the gleaming golden protocol droid at his side. Instinctively, she headed toward Leia.
No general now, Leia took the young girl’s face in her hands. Though brokenhearted at the deaths of Han and so many brave pilots, Leia was grateful for the deliverance of the Resistance. In spite of the presence of the crowd that was looking on, the two women embraced without embarrassment or hesitation. Then, with tears falling, they moved inside.


  • Rey headed for Leia on instinct. The fact that she was with BB-8 - her friend - probably helped.

  • Leia knew who Rey was, of course, and was glad she was saved from almost certain death when the Starkiller base was destroyed (until Poe disobeyed orders and saved them)

  • They were both emotionally exausted and in need of a hug.

    It may sounds overly stereotypical, but it's a typically big comfort thing for many women, so makes sense to put it in the film. It's a powerful visual and emotional statement of comfort and closeness.


And the WGA script just confuses things more:

The two women move for each other. And Leia takes Rey's face in her hands. Despite her heartbreak, she is grateful. She embraces Rey. A mother's embrace.

Problem is, this could mean simply "she embraced Rey like a mother would", or it COULD mean "She's Rey's mother". So not too much incontrovertible information added.

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    Changed answer due to this being canon text and not speculation. Thanks DVK, I've noticed that book has helped a lot :P I might have to purchase myself! Dec 24, 2015 at 20:59

I'm fairly certain that they

have / are bonding over their mutual affection towards Han. As well as their mutual grief about his passing. Ren explains Rey’s feelings towards Han as Han is replacing her non-existent father.

I'm certain that Leia would have picked up on Rey’s feelings as

her and Han have known each other for decades.

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    Yeah but at this point in time I don't recall Han ever mentioning his relationship with Leia to Rey. So she has literally got off the ship walked up to a complete stranger and hugged them. It's just that look which was peculiar to me, like they can sense that the other is force sensitive. (Which is in turn playing into my wild theory that Luke is Reys Dad. But that's a whole other can of worms) I was just curious if this has been commented on previously (Unlikely) Or if it gets commented on in the very near future given full release. Dec 17, 2015 at 10:56
  • @Josh Ah, you mean when they arrive at the Resistance headquarters for the first time? Jedi's could sense the force in people without being related to them, it's also possible that Rae had huge respect for General Leia. Dec 17, 2015 at 10:59
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    @Josh: “ I don't recall Han ever mentioning his relationship with Leia to Rey” But you may recall Rey having some knowledge of Luke Skywalker, and the events of the first trilogy — including the Millennium Falcon. Han and Leia were apparently fairly senior members in the organisation that fought and beat the Galactic Empire. Their relationship, or at least some conception of it, might well be somewhat public knowledge. Dec 17, 2015 at 11:47
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    @PaulD.Waite That is a very good point and a massive oversight on my part. Also thanks for cleaning up my post, looks much neater how you did it :) Dec 17, 2015 at 11:55
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    I think that both Leia and Rey being force sensitive also plays a part. Like maybe they can feel each others emotions.
    – Ivo
    Dec 17, 2015 at 15:35

J.J. Abrams has been asked on why Rey and Leia hugged at the end of the film and stated in an interview that it was both a "reunion" and a "first meeting" between the two. He further stated that both Leia and Rey were force sensitive, and thus, sensed that they were both grieving for Han:

... So I tried to have Chewbacca go off with him and focus on Rey, and then have Rey find Leia and Leia find Rey. The idea being that both of them being strong with the Force and never having met, would know about each otherthat Leia would have been told about her beyond what we saw onscreen and Rey of course would have learned about Leia. And that reunion would be a meeting and a reunion all in one, and a sort of commiseration of their mutual loss.

What we don't know is how much Leia was told of Rey and how that implies with Rey's identity to make it a "reunion." But I did note of how similar it is to J.J. Abrams' statement of Kylo Ren also knowing of Rey, despite not having met her previously:

One of the new relationships that we were focusing on was between Kylo Ren and Rey. They’ve never met but he’s heard of this girl.

I'm sure this will be solved and answered within The Last Jedi but for now, we'll have to wait and see. All we know is that the hug between Rey and Leia was that of two force sensitive people mourning a mutual loss together.


My suspicion is that she is Kylo's sister. There are some pretty huge clues in my eyes throughout the movie.

  • The fact that Leia's old ally, who has known Kylo for a very long time, is either from Alderaan or has known Leia long enough to still consider her royalty just happens to be on the same planet as Rey? My theory is he was asked to look out for Rey.
  • Kylo only takes his helmet off twice in the film which I consider pretty significant considering he obiviously does not want anyone other then Snoke to see his face, see the scene with him and Snoke when Hux walks in. He only takes his helmet off after Rey calls him monster/creature (can't remember the exact word she uses) in a mask. The other time with Han.
  • When mind reading her he says something along the lines of you think Han is the like the father you never had, you will be disappointed. I fully believe at that point he knows who she is, so if she was Luke's daughter and he knew it why would he say that? To me it doesn't make sense, then if I'm wrong he must not know who she is at that point but the fact that he didn't mind torture her like Poe, the fact that he takes his helmet off when she says that says to me he knew who she was.
  • I definitely think as the film goes on Han he either knows who she is or begins to recognise her. When she says how green that planet is to me a look of guilt passes his face, if it is guilt why would he be guilty over Luke's kid being hidden? And at the age she was hidden he would have likely hardly known a thing about her or not known her at all. Also then when she tells him her name there's a very emotional look on his face, if he did not know her or if she was Luke's kid why would he have such a emotional look on his face upon learning her name? Then when Maz asks him who the girl is the film intentionally cuts away.
  • Han does not want her to return to Jakku, he wants her by his side after hearing her name (and in my opinion recognising her) remember earlier on in the film he wants to drop them off at the nearest space port.
  • Kylo Ren to me seems reluctant to kill Rey. Why not in the Forest use the Force to pull her to him (as he had done earlier on in the film with a troop) then stab her with the Lightsaber, also when he has got her on the edge of the cliff push her off inside of pleading to train her before she meditated and was obiviously able to gain the upper hand? He had just seriously wounded Finn and if he did not know her which if she was Luke's daughter and hidden away at the age she was he would hardly know her or not know her at all why not just kill her? He just killed his own father it doesn't make sense to me he would show mercy to a cousin he barely knew or did not know or to someone he did not know at all and didn't have any family connection to.
  • Her and Rey recognise each other in the end obiviously through the Force and have an emotional hug. Remember at that point no one has told Rey of Han's connection to Leia. Also she ignores Han's best friend Chewie to go straight to her! Why would she ignore her friend and Han's best friend to go straight to someone she doesn't know from a bar or soap or if she was Luke's daughter at best barely know her considering the age she was left on Jakku. The film then doesn't show us any conversation between the two about what happened and the next we see them they are holding hands.
  • She inherits the Falcon and Chewie, if Han died and the only child he had was Ben why would the Falcon go to her? Wouldn't it go to Chewie or at the very least Leia? Anyway I'm probably totally wrong but I guess we'll have to wait two years to find out!
  • She also seems to have a vast knowledge of the Falcon without ever haven't been on it if she was not Han's daughter. Remember Leia is a Skywalker, Anakin/Luke's saber could be calling to her through those blood lines.
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    Some of those points are fully contradicted by known canon. For example, the last one (knowing Falcon) is explained in novelization: she surrepticiously studied its details while the junk dealer owned it. He didn't kill her because he got curious about her (and canon fully confirms he didn't know who she was before) and wanted to convert her to the Dark Side Dec 24, 2015 at 18:25

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