Sunday, December 20, 2015

Rey's backstory (lots of spoilers)

I went to the premiere of Star Wars and felt like I was 12 again, in awe of this children's hero adventure story. And then I got home at 2 a.m. and woke up the next morning with an awful headache and a sore throat and remembered that staying up late is not as easy as it used to be.

The question that the movie leaves everyone with, however, is, who is Rey? She's an awesome main character, but her family background is unknown. She doesn't have memories before a certain point in childhood, but she simply believes that her family is coming back to the desert planet where she scavenges parts from crashed Star Destroyers.

There's all these hints throughout the movie as to whose daughter she is. In the first half, it seems to be pointing to Han Solo being her father and Leia being her mother, and there's several reasons to think this:
  • He seems to recognize her once she says her name, they get along great, which is interesting because at first he thinks she's stolen his favorite spaceship. 
  • She's a whiz at fixing the Millenium Falcon, no small feat considering that an entire movie was driven by its mechanical failures. 
  • When Kylo Ren is interrogating her with the Force, he says, "You feel like Han Solo is the father you never had." 
But, then, the second half of the movie tries to convince you that Luke is her father and an unknown Mrs. Skywalker is her mother:
  • She touches Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, and has a vision of what appears to be Luke's memories. 
  • When she's getting interrogated by Kylo Ren, he says she keeps seeing an island on a huge ocean, which is, indeed, where she finds Luke Skywalker at the end of the movie, implying a connection. 
  • When she takes the lightsaber to fight with Kylo Ren, John Williams' amazing score overlays Rey's theme on top of Luke's theme.
  • R2-D2 perks up at the end and displays the remainder of the map only when Rey is at the Resistance base, making you think that he has recognized her.
In either case, she's got amazing abilities in the Force despite the fact she's never been trained, so she's got to be some famous Jedi's daughter.

So, which is it?

I think, neither. I contend that both are Red Herrings. I think Rey was a student in Luke's Skywalker's Jedi academy at the time of the massacre, and the memories that were conjured up by touching the lightsaber were actually hers. The connection between Luke and Rey is teacher-student. Her parents were likely not major characters we have seen before, they're probably dead, and Luke likely used the Force to suppress her memories as he dropped her off on his way to exile. Maybe at the time of the massacre, she did something Dark to save Luke and prevent complete destruction, and Luke thought that wiping her memories was the only way to keep her from developing on the Dark side.

Here's why I think this:
  • Given her skills with the lightsaber and using Jedi mind tricks, she must have had some training, she just doesn't remember getting them. Not even Anakin and Luke were that good with the Force before meeting other Jedis.
  • When Leia hugs her at the end, it's warm, I think she recognizes Rey, but she most definitely does not look like a mother seeing her long-lost daughter. Or niece, for that matter. And, I really don't see Leia leaving a relative isolated like that.
  • I just don't see Luke violating the Jedi rule of celibacy. 
  • The parent-child thing has been used twice in the series already, and it's been pretty good, but I don't see it working well a third time.
  • Kylo Ren seemed to recognize her, too, but didn't have quite the family-complicated-issues attitude he had with Han, which makes me think they were classmates.
Ok, so what do others think?

Unrelated complaint: Being suckered in by the marketing juggernaut that is Star Wars, I ordered the John Williams soundtrack on Amazon to come to my house. Which it did. But my absolute favorite musical moment from the movie, which I mentioned above, was not on it. Track 20, "The Ways of the Force," does include the music from that last lightsaber battle, but not the part where Rey takes the lightsaber and her theme is overlaid on top of Luke's theme, which was awesome. ARRRGH! The rest of the soundtrack is awesome, but I think I deserve at least $.50 of my $13.99 back for that.

p.p.s. The part where James Bond is fooled by a Jedi mind trick was awesome.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Here's a talk I gave at the beginning of the month on our experience and preemie policies:

For more information, please visit my main blog at

Friday, October 2, 2015

Preemie Blog!

My primary blog these days is

There, I write about premature babies and the bioethical dilemma faced by preemies born at the very edge of viability. In our case, our son was born at 22 weeks and 6 days of gestation, and the doctors did not want to treat him. I've been organizing a letter-writing and article-writing campaign to get hospitals and doctors to be more willing to treat him. Click on the above link for more information on that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Onion Dome article!

Here's a humor article I wrote that The Onion Dome published called "Rules for Dating Our Orthodox Son."

For those of you who don't know, The Onion Dome's intent is satire / parody for Orthodox Christians who like humorous writing on religion, so it's not meant to be serious.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

This picture is to brag that we made it to Centralia by 12:10 on the Seattle to Portland bike ride. Thank you very much.