By robotical712, Sprinkles, HypersonicHarpist, Pale and JoseyFish
From the early days of Sequel Trilogy speculation, a fun – if frustrating – topic of speculation for fans who believe Rey is Luke Skywalker’s daughter has been that of Rey’s mother. In a new series, the Star Wars Shadow Council will put forward the argument we’ve already been given this mysterious woman’s origins and her tremendous impact on Luke.
A popular theory – and hope – has been that Lucasfilm will “port in” Mara Jade, Luke’s wife from Legends. However, many others have little attachment to any particular identity, as long as she isn’t relegated to anonymous insignificance, as Luke and Leia’s mother, Padme, was (and, arguably, for the most part, still is) for almost two decades. Many, if not most, fans have assumed for years that we would not be introduced to Rey’s mother in the new canon until she appears in a Saga film. However, a strong case can be made that we’ve already been introduced to the world and society Rey’s mother came from and, indeed, some prototypical version of her character. Moreover, Rey’s mother’s identity – if our theory is correct – is the key to understanding much of what transpired between Return of the Jedi and the Sequel Trilogy, and even the direction and themes of the Saga as a whole.
Legends of Luke Skywalker seems like a strange place to find our first indications of who Rey’s mother was. It’s a Young Adult book, with in-universe stories that may or may not be true, and was released as part of the runup to a movie that ‘revealed’ Rey’s parents to be no one. It would appear to be a fun diversion only important insofar as it shows what Luke means to those who live in that Galaxy Far Far Away. Yet, much like the film it supplements, the surface read misses the real story.
Legends of Luke Skywalker actually gives us a look at various stages of Luke’s life and the entire book is anchored by one story in particular – Fishing in the Deluge. Fishing in the Deluge is the third story in the book and, in many of our writers’ opinions, one of the best stories in all of Canon. The story is about a twelve year old Force sensitive girl by the name of Aya on a water and island world named Lew’el. The people of this world are the descendents of Force sensitive humans who once played a major role in wars in the distant past. Settling on Lew’el, they forsook any active use of the Force and passed their philosophy to the present day.
The story starts with Aya hunting fish (yes, hunting) atop a giant bird. She runs into trouble, her bird is killed and she gives herself up for dead. However, Luke arrives just in time to rescue her and convinces the elder of Aya’s village (her grandmother) to allow him to attempt several trials so that he might learn their philosophy of the Tide (their concept of the Force). Aya becomes Luke’s guide and the two circumnavigate the world. While Luke technically fails the final trial, he leaves the world having learned much. At the same time he leaves a strong impression on Aya and she vows to one day explore the galaxy.
In the book, the story is told by a woman who gives the pseudonym of Flux and leaves the impression it is about her personal experiences with Luke. It is for this reason we and many other fans overlooked the story when it was first released, but after revisiting it recently, we realized the story was far more important than we thought and seems to have had an impact on Luke far outside what even Flux’s telling suggests. The authors of this and the following articles in the series are convinced it’s our first look at where Rey’s mother is from, although there is some disagreement over how close a look the story gave us. In our first article we’ll look at the teller of the story and several clues that suggest the story isn’t about her and she’s hiding something.