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In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in the scene where a First Order officer informs Kylo Ren that they couldn't retrive BB8 from Jakku, Kylo Ren force grips him and asks him angrily "What girl?". Meaning that he knew her, and was afraid.

KYLO REN: Anything else?
Mitaka hates to say the following, but:
LIEUTENANT MITAKA: The two were accompanied by a girl.
Ren reaches out -- Mitaka is suddenly, violently PULLED TOWARD REN, into his black glove:
KYLO REN: What girl?

This scene was a source for fan theories that Rey was Luke's daughter, trained together with other students (including Kylo) in his new Academy. (So Kylo Ren knew her from there.)

After The Last Jedi, we found out

that Rey isn't a Skywalker and her parents were scavengers too.

So how could Kylo Ren know her before the events of episode 7, and even be afraid of her?

Why would Lieutenant Mitaka hate to say that a random girl is with them? What does he know that we don't know?

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    That clip doesn't imply anything like you claim it does. If he's saying "what girl?", that means he doesn't know who she is, surely? – Daniel Roseman Jan 13 '18 at 16:54
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    It seems from his reaction, that he know her. Why is he afraid then? – Nikos Jan 13 '18 at 16:58
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    No it doesn't. It seems from his reaction that he has no idea who she is, which is why he asks who she is. – Daniel Roseman Jan 13 '18 at 16:59
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    but I still don't think that explains his two reactions I mentioned in my questiont. After hearing the droid escapes with the traitor Stormtrooper, why would he care that a girl was with them? If it really was some random nobody (to him, at least at the moment), why would matter, why would he care? – Nikos Jan 13 '18 at 17:03
  • @DanielRoseman respectfully, your interpretation is reasonable, but as my answer illustrates, the director (pretty good source of truth) intended for Kylo Ren to show some "recognition" of a powerful or influential "girl". – LevenTrek Feb 16 '18 at 3:22
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Why lieutenant Mitaka hates to say that a random girl is with them? What he knows that we don't know?

Mikata doesn't hate to say there's a random girl with the droid. He hates to say anything at all because he wants to get out of this conversation ASAP.

Mikata walked into this room knowing he was about to tell his short-tempered Vader-wannabe boss that the droid they were after escaped. Bad news. Also, it seems FN-2187 - the deserted trooper who went AWOL recently - was involved as well. Kylo definitely knows him, if only because of his desertion. None of this is information that Mikata would really WANT to pass on, but he does because it's his job.

After hearing this news, Kylo reacted predictably poorly, destroying a whole wall of consoles with his lightsaber. Mikata wants to get out of there before Ren kills him for being the bearer of bad news. None of this has anything to do with the girl. Mikata probably only mentioned her at all in order to avoid being accused of having left something out at a later time.

Kylo Force pulling him in and asking "what girl?!" was just more of his poor temper. It doesn't mean he knows who the girl is.

Honestly, even with the Force, I'd think identifying Rei purely from the description "some girl who was on Jakku" would be a bit of a leap. This was a half-baked fan theory that was promptly shot down by the next movie.

This isn't the explanation you're looking for, move along.

  • I agree with everything you said about Mitaka, I don't think his fear had anything to do with the significance of "the girl". but given my own answer supported by JJ Abrams, maybe update the part about "what girl?" just being an emotional reaction? he doesn't know her by name or face, but he does realize there's something special about this girl... – LevenTrek Feb 16 '18 at 3:25
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Out-of-universe, I think this was a quite deliberate Red Herring intended to make us think that Kylo Ren had someone particular in mind and invite speculation.

In-universe, it seems likely that Kylo Ren simply sensed that the girl was more important than she seemed; he may also have correctly connected her with the Awakening that he and Snoke both sensed. He would naturally want to learn as much about her as possible, as quickly as possible.

But there is also another possibility, that might have been meant to reflect Luke and Leia's relationship from the original trilogy.

Mikata mentioned the ship's model number, which Ben would undoubtedly have recognized as the same model as his father's old ship. Kylo knew that, whoever the girl was, she was very strong in the Force; it would not be unreasonable for him to put two and two together - a young girl, strong in the Force and piloting his father's old ship - and wonder if she was in fact a sister he never knew.

If this was what the writers intended, then in my opinion it didn't really work. It wasn't plausible from the audience's perspective for Rey to be Ben's sister, and we were given no motivation to stop and think about what Ben might or might not have suspected given his more limited information.

(Pure speculation, of course, but I thought it was an interesting idea.)

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They've never met, but he's "heard of this girl".

In the DVD commentary, JJ Abrams says:

They've never met, but he's heard of this girl.

So when Kylo Ren says "What girl?" while force-pulling/force-choking Mitaka, it's not just his temper. He's particularly interested because he's heard about a force-powerful girl, and suspects that this "escape helper" is in fact that girl he's heard about.

Later, when Kylo Ren encounters Rey in the forest on Takodana, he says:

The girl I've heard so much about.

He's definitely heard about Rey from someone, although the details (who told him, and exactly what they said) aren't clear.

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