From The Force Awakens we know that the following events took place at some time between RTOJ and TFA.

1) Rey is abandoned on Jakku by someone.

2) Ben Solo is seduced to the dark side by Snoke, joins/creates the Knights of Ren and betrays Luke Skywalker, the man who has trained him up to this point.

I guess there is a good chance that the answer will be obvious come Decemter 15th, but I wondered whether there is - as of now - enough canon information to figure out which of those two events happened earlier. I have gathered so far:

In her flashback, Rey does not look older than ten years old, when she is abandoned. Actually she does not look older than the young Jyn Erso in Roque One, who was known to be eight years old at that time. Since Rey is born 15 ABY, this would mean that event 1) did not happen after 25 ABY. This is of course only a reasonable assumption and not a confirmed fact.

During the events of the canon novel 'Bloodline', which is set to take place 28 ABY, Leia is at least not aware of the fact that Ben would have already turned to the dark side. Furthermore it is stated that Ben does not even know that he is the grandchild of Darth Vader up to that point. But Leia never talks to him during that novel, so I would not take it for granted, that Ben is still Ben at that point.

However, assuming that Leia would immediately feel Ben betraying Luke and killing his trainees through her connection to the force (like she immediately felt him killing Han), one would conclude that Ben's betrayal did not happen before 28 ABY and consequently after Rey has been abanoned.

Is there currently any more canon information to back this up?

  • The only sources I can use are the Wiki, but I think (from your research) that you are correct and Rey must've been abandoned before Ben turned to the Dark Side.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 9:38
  • 2
    Your question would make a great answer Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


It's not possible to definitively tie up the timelines since we don't know precisely when Kylo Ren rebelled and when Rey was abandoned but it's pretty clear that the massacre of the new Jedi recruits took place at least six or seven years (and maybe as much as a decade) after Rey was abandoned on Jakku.

What do we know for certain? We know that Rey was almost certainly less than 10 when she was left on Jakku. One source places her at age five, with the events of TFA taking place when she's nineteen. So she was dropped off around 19 ABY, maybe as late at 24 ABY

We also know that Kylo Ren is approximately 30 and the canon novel Bloodline establishes that Leia was still receiving semi-regular communications about Luke and Ben Solo in the year 28 ABY, just 6 years before the events of The Force Awakens.

enter image description here

  • 1
    You basically repeated and confirmed my thoughts. But I have one question. You say 'the canon novel Bloodline establishes that Leia was still receiving semi-regular communications about Luke and Ben Solo'. Can you give a precise quote? I have read this book and I only remember that Leia believes that Ben is still with Luke, but there is no information on when was the last time that Leia had actual contact with Ben.
    – MooS
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 13:25
  • @MooS - Well, at some point Leia realised that Luke is missing, ergo she must have had some form of communication with him (otherwise how would she know to send someone to look for him). What we don't know is if she found out he was missing because they were in touch, through a third-party or because he failed to check in at a certain time.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 17:59
  • You have a fair point there. All signs and logic point indeed to the abandoning of Rey happen far earlier, but still the following could be true: The betrayal from Ben happens far earlier than the novel Bloodline, but Leia does not get to know this, because Luke instantly goes into exile and Ben of course does not tell her. She simply assumes that Ben is training with Luke up to the events of Bloodline and after forming the Resistance in 28 ABY, she gets to know of Ben = Kylo by using the intelligence of the Resistance. She concludes that Luke must be hiding, since he has not told her.
    – MooS
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 9:47
  • Also, it would suprise noone if it turns out that the events happened roughly at the same time and everybody who has read Bloodline is just left with a major plothole. Would it? Anyway, I will accept your answer. Currently, we cannot definitely know.
    – MooS
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 9:48

This is coming pretty late, but we have an explicit confirmation in the graphic novel The Rise of Kylo Ren that Rey was already on Jakku under Unkar Plutt by the time of Ben's fall. enter image description here

This is from the end of the graphic novel, after Ben has burned down the school, after he's ran away, and this is him joining the Knights of Ren.

We can see a young Rey sensing his fall, and we can tell that she is on Jakku with Unkar Plutt.

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