Does Rey ever indicate that she is unaware of her parentage?

Do we have any proof that she doesn't know who her parents are?

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Rey's familial ties in “The Force Awakens” Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 10:22
  • @Gallifreian - No part of that question (or its answers) address the point of this question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 10:24
  • @Valorum - something Rey thinks aboutand she doesn't discover them were good enough for me to conclude that she's not very familiar with them, to say the least. You're right though, it's not a duplicate. Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 10:28

3 Answers 3


From Rey's Story

Absentmindedly, Rey mimicked the mother’s loving gesture, softly stroking the salvage in her hand. Rey had no memory of her parents. She didn’t know why they had taken her to Jakku, or why they had left her there. For all she knew, they were long dead. Yet Rey couldn’t help hoping that one day a transport would arrive and her parents would walk down the ship’s ramp and back into her life.

The Force Awakens: Rey's Story

  • 7
    Note that not having any memory of them doesn't preclude her from at least knowing their names.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 10:26
  • Wait so then what about that scene where it shows her watching some ship take off? I always thought that was her parents leaving her as a little girl, in which case she'd have at least some memory of them. Maybe not who they were as people, but she was likely old enough to know their names at the very least. I'm just confused on this part of it, I guess.
    – Pleiades
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 4:48
  • @Pleiades - If a ship taking off is the extent of her memory of her parents, I can understand why she thinks she's got no memory of them.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 7:31

Between the materials given to us from both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Rey's general knowledge of her parentage can be deemed vague, inconsistent, or minimal. Ultimately, we'll have to wait and see the final result when Episode IX is released in theaters around December 2019. As of now, from the expanded material of The Force Awakens and the film itself, we are basically told that Rey either doesn't remember them at all or remembers very little of them.

The Force Awakens: What We Know about Rey and Her Parents

From the expanded materials and the film The Force Awakens itself, we are told Rey's knowledge of her parents, abandonment, and lineage is very limited.

Within the film, we receive a total of three scenes that mention Rey's parents (either directly or indirectly). The first scene is when Rey frees BB-8, he states his identity is classified and Rey curiously replies with:

Classified, really? Me too. Big secret.

This is obviously stated sarcastically but it could be Rey poking fun at her own limited knowledge of her own background. The next scene is when Rey and BB-8 arrive at Niima Outpost and BB-8 has just finished telling Rey that he is waiting for someone. It is interesting to note that in Rey's response she never mentions any particular family member (aunt, cousin, uncle, grandparents, parents, sister, brother, etc) leaving her nor directly states that her parents left her on Jakku, only her family (which is extremely vague).

Don't give up hope. He still might show up...whoever it is you're waiting for. I know all about waiting. For my family...they'll be back...one day.

The next scene mentioning Rey's abandonment is when the Skywalker lightsaber calls out to Rey on Takodana and Maz has to tell Rey an awful truth she denies: whoever left her on Jakku is never returning for her. However, Rey's knowledge of her parentage is never mentioned here, only the truth of her abandonment. So just from watching the film itself, we (as an audience) aren't told much about her family and it seems Rey herself doesn't have much knowledge on the matter either.

Within the expanded written material for The Force Awakens, Rey's knowledge is discussed more thoroughly and from what is mentioned, it would appear that Rey, herself only remembers little things such as her parents' voices but not direct and clear memories of them. In Rey's Story, we are told that Rey doesn't have any memories of her parents and furthermore does not know why she was abandoned on Jakku. It also states that she does not know if they are even still alive:

Absentmindedly, Rey mimicked the mother’s loving gesture, softly stroking the salvage in her hand. Rey had no memory of her parents. She didn’t know why they had taken her to Jakku, or why they had left her there. For all she knew, they were long dead. Yet Rey couldn’t help hoping that one day a transport would arrive and her parents would walk down the ship’s ramp and back into her life.

This is further supported within the novel, Rey's Survival Guide, in which we are told Rey doesn't know how she was left on Jakku nor does she mention anything about her parents: their identities, appearances or memories. It's very vague.

My name is Rey. I've been here my whole life, scratching out a living with the lost and broken. I don't know how I got here, or why. But I know it was a mistake--and somebody out there will make it right, someday. That means I need to wait for them. And that means I need to survive....Because it will happen one day. I can't tell you when or how, but I know it will -- I can feel it. It's a mistake that I wound up here on Jakku, and I know there are people out there who are trying to fix that mistake. When they do, they'll find me and take me to where I belong. Until that happens though, I'll wait.

The novelizations of The Force Awakens do inform us that Rey remembers the voice of a family member/parent who left her on Jakku and the junior novel still establishes that though Rey can recognize the voice, she cannot remember the face of the person speaking. In the offical novelization of the The Force Awakens, we are given pieces of dialogue from the family member who left her on Jakku:

Around her now: barren, snowy woods, the sounds of unknown forest creatures, and a conviction that she must be losing her mind. Once more she climbed to her feet, her chilled breath preceding her. From in front of her, not far away, came the sounds of battle: the cries of the wounded and the clashing of weapons. Then behind her, another voice.

That voice. “Stay here. I’ll come back for you.” She whirled, glazed eyes desperately scanning the dark gaps between the slender trees, trying to penetrate the darkness. “Where are you?” She started running toward the voice. “I’ll come back, sweetheart. I promise.”

“I’m here! Right here! Where are you?” No response. She started forward again, running, only to be brought to a sudden halt by a figure appearing without warning from behind a tree.

In the junior novelization of The Force Awakens, we are given a similar scene but in a bit more context:

"Stay here. I’ll come back for you, sweetheart. I promise."

‘Yes, I’m here, I’m here!’ Rey shouted. Her eyes popped open and she looked about the walker. BB-8’s dome lights glowed on low illumination. The doors were shut. Nothing in her home was out of place. As always, there was no figure to the voice. She’d been haunted by a dream. Or a nightmare. At this point in her life, she couldn’t decide what it was. All she knew was the voice came and went as it pleased, sometimes staying absent for months. But when she least expected it, the voice would return, never leaving her alone permanently. Never.

Someone spoke behind her. Calm, kind, and eerily familiar. “Stay here. I’ll come back for you.”

Rey did not want the owner of the voice to come back. She wanted the speaker to stay. ‘I’m here! Right here! Where are you?’

As in her dreams, she heard no reply. She continued to dash through the forest, not giving up in her search.

Within these novelizations, we are given more clarity on Rey's awareness of her parents: she remembers little details such as voices. However, she still does not remember what they looked like ("there was no figure to the voice") and it remains unclear what other little details she does remember (example: their names).

J.J. Abrams in the commentary for The Force Awakens Blu-Ray release hinted that Rey may have actually been taken from her original family and then placed in the care of Unkar Plutt:

She is being confronted with truths about the Force, about her past...She realizes the cries she heard were actually her own cries, as a young girl being taken away from her family.

If this is the case, this could explain why she doesn't remember much of her family to begin with.

The Last Jedi: What We Learn About Rey's Parents

The Last Jedi seemed to keep intact that Rey's memories of her parents still isn't fully reliable, but did contradict some details of her abandonment on Jakku from the already established material from The Force Awakens:

After a scene with Kylo Ren, in which he flat out states that Rey's parents threw her away like garbage, Rey goes to the dark side cave on Ahch-To and asks the mirror to show her who her parents are ("Show me my parents"). Two shadowy figures merge into one, which is revealed to be Rey herself. After this, we see Rey clearly distraught and feeling "alone." Rey stating that they were "nobodies" could be in her point of view: they are nobodies to her. She doesn't fully remember them.

However, The Last Jedi does mention a different side to Rey's abandonment and her memories of the event as

In another scene with Kylo Ren, he prompts her to talk about her parents and says she "has always known." Rey then states that "they were nobodies." Kylo Ren then expands on the topic, clearly wounding Rey emotionally: they were junk dealers who sold and abandoned their child for drinking money. They are dead, buried in paupers' graves on Jakku.

This statement does contradict The Force Awakens as

Rey remembered very little of them and wasn't a slave to Unkar Plutt. This is clearly stated by Rey in the novelization of The Force Awakens: " I am an independent operator, scavenger of the metal lands, free of debt and beholden to no one. Least of all to a small-time trader named Plutt." In the expanded material from various books, we are clearly told that Rey doesn't remember how she ended up on Jakku nor why she was abandoned. While The Last Jedi may seem to support the idea that Rey doesn't remember her parents, it doesn't seem to further establish Rey's limited knowledge of her abandonment from what was presented from The Force Awakens.

Adjustments were also made in The Last Jedi novelization by Jason Fry regarding a more specific detail Rey seemingly remembered about her parents:

We can also see that in The Last Jedi novelization by Jason Fry that the voices Rey heard, the voices that promised to come back for her was her own voice: "She knew only what she feared and what she feared was the truth of the voice from her dreams, the dream that haunted her since the day her parents had abandoned her on Jakku. 'Stay here. I'll come back for you, sweetheart, I promise.' That was not the voice of her mother or her father as she had long convinced herself. The voice...was her own. She had imagined that voice and repeated those words over and over as a child, and eventually it became a part of her reality...even her dreams."

However, Rian Johnson has already laid groundwork for Episode 9 expanding and developing Rey's lineage even more in his interview with Huffington Post:

Anything’s still open, and I’m not writing the next film. [J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio] are doing it. With all of these movies, Obi-Wan’s whole speech about a certain point of view always applies, so I think that you have to always think about the context of how information is given. But for me, dramatically, that’s why that reveal at that moment made sense.


Rey could still be very unaware of her parentage and it's entirely up to JJ Abrams and Chris Terrio on how they will write and finish this particular arc for Rey. We'll just have to wait and see how Episode 9 concludes. However, what we can say for certain about Rey's family and her knowledge of them from the materials provided is this:

a) Rey seems to remember nothing of her family/parents; she does not remember what they look like nor does she have any memories of them in particular. They just mysteriously abandoned Rey on Jakku and she's just been waiting for them the majority of her life. In The Force Awakens, Rey is clearly in denial; knowing they're not coming back but still holding onto a hope that they will return for her.

b) Rey did not know the circumstances why she was left on Jakku from The Force Awakens expanded written material. However, this seems to have been contradicted in The Last Jedi.

  • Excellent answer I'd just like to add Rey "finding out" about her parents could have been Snoke/Ren manipulating her cos they know that's where she's vulnerable, it isn't necessarily true. Though again it could also be true who knows until IX. (Also sorry if your answer covers this it was long so I only skim read it!)
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 9:25
  • @TheLethalCarrot Thanks :) I never covered any aspects of manipulation on the part of Snoke or Kylo within my answer as it is pure speculation at this point but I do agree that Kylo's statement may not be true. We'll just have to wait for Episode 9 to be released in two years :( Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 16:01

In the movie, Rey says to BB-8 directly that details about her family are the secret, and that this family one day will come back to Jakku for her.

So she may know, but she indeed keeps the secret and does not disclose anything more in the movie.

This somewhat contradicts another answer based on the Rey's Story. Maybe she simply does not know much.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.