Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 by Peter Sciretta
I love film theories, even some of the more crazy ones. And when it comes to a franchise I love like Star Wars or Westworld, I tend to entertain more of these theories than I should. So let me warn you now, if you don’t like this kind of speculation, if you have a “your Snoke theory sucks” sticker on your laptop, turn away now.
A new fan theory has popped up claiming that Rey’s father is not a Skywalker, Solo or Kenobi as everyone assumes.
The Theory: Rey’s Father is Benicio Del Toro as Ezra Bridger
Darth Hodor on Reddit presents the following theory that Rey’s father could be revealed to be Benicio Del Toro as Ezra Bridger:
Simply put, I think Benicio Del Toro is going to be Rey’s father. … But that’s not to say Del Toro will be playing a new character. I think he’s playing an adult Ezra Bridger (from the Rebels TV show). He’d be about the right age, and there have been theories that Rebels will end with Ezra (and Kanan if he’s still alive) joining Luke’s new Jedi Academy. But then why was she left on Jakku? The theory I’ve come up with is that Ezra fall to the dark side. He joins forces with Snoke and together they start manipulating the Jedi starting with Ben Solo. Foreseeing this, Luke hides Rey from her father, and in retaliation Ezra, through or with Kylo Ren, destroy the Jedi Academy. Luke flees and Del Toro is left without knowing where his daughter is hidden.
The reason I really like this theory is it allows for a “double fall” in Episode VIII. It sets up Rey’s fall to the dark side (which could be incredible if pulled off correctly) and Kylo Ren is already poised for a redemption arc of his own (a “fall” to the light). This would set up a fantastic finale between these two characters in Episode IX.
Okay, this theory is interesting because it’s so out of left field. It’s been rumored that Rey will learn the identity of her father during a climactic duel with Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi that mirrors what happened between Luke and his own father, Darth Vader. What if Rey’s dad was not an original trilogy character as most fans assume. What if it’s a character from the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels, who will appear in live-action form in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
If Ezra Bridger did survive Star Wars Rebels, he would be roughly 51 years-old at the time of The Last Jedi. This lines up nicely with del Toro, who was 49 at the time he shot his scenes for the film. We don’t know much about Benicio Del Toro’s character, that much is true. It has been reported that he plays a bad guy who wears black, and the actor has even confirmed he plays an intergalactic villain.
The end of Star Wars Rebels Season Two saw Ezra Bridger feeling a strong pull from the darkside after having an interaction with Darth Maul and coming into the possession of a Sith Holocron. They have been teasing that the hero of this animated series might end up following the dark ways of the Sith, rather than the Jedi.
Now we don’t know what happens to Ezra, or any of the Rebels crew before the events of A New Hope. Rogue One featured some easter eggs that hinted that Chopper was still working with the Rebels, that Hera Syndulla was alive and had been promoted to General, and that their ship The Ghost was part of the epic first battle between the Rebellion and the Empire above the planet of Scariff.
Skirting Around The Mythology and Canon
Of course, if we take the original trilogy as gospel (which we do), there are no Jedi in the galaxy besides Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda. Rebels creator Dave Filoni has acknowledged Yoda’s line from Return of the Jedi in interviews:
“Yoda says, ‘When gone I am, the last of the Jedi will you be.’ ‘Of the Jedi’ could be a group of Jedi. You don’t know… That’s not to say I believe there are a lot of Jedi running around by Return of the Jedi. I think there are Force-wielding people, but whether they subscribe to the Jedi philosophy of how you use the Force is another question… But fans deal in absolutes, like Sith.”
Ahsoka has already declared that she is “no Jedi,” which gives Filoni a good out to possibly keep that character alive past the conclusion of Rebels. But I find it unlikely that he will keep all of his animated Jedi alive in some capacity.
Why The Theory Probably Won’t Pan Out
The idea of one of his characters directly tying into the Skywalker saga is interesting, but I just don’t think Disney would go for it. I was very disappointed that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did not have more connections to Star Wars Rebels. When Disney announced the Lucasfilm Story Group, there was this promise of a cross-platform storytelling that could be very rewarding for fans.
And Rogue One being set in the same time period of Rebels seemed to be the perfect ground to push this idea, but all we got were easter eggs. I’ve said this before but how cool would it have been to see a character from Rebels in that starfight above Scariff — it could have added more stakes to that side of the climactic fight. I understand that Filoni and team want to protect the end of their story so they can tell it in their medium, but in doing so, it feels like the same kind of separation we got from the expanded universe.
I’m sure we will get to see the Ghost crew during this battle on Scariff in the eventual finale of Star Wars Rebels, which yes, will be cool. The books and shows only feel like they are reverse engineering connections after the films are produced, and thus feel like second and third class mediums for this story.
As much as I love to entertain the idea of Benicio Del Toro playing a fallen Jedi, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. So while I’d love to see more crossover in Star Wars, I’m skeptical that it is happening at all, nevermind on the level of having Rey’s father be one of the main characters from Star Wars Rebels.
Besides, Star Wars Rebels has one or two seasons left. Even if Star Wars Rebels Season 4 were the last season of the series, it likely wouldn’t premiere until October 2017 (judging by the past three season premiere dates, with a Star Wars Celebration premiere of the first couple episodes). That season would probably run until March 2018, which means Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be released midway through the season.
It seems unlikely that the film would reveal Del Toro’s character to be Ezra Bridger at that point, especially if Filoni and crew were resistant to include Rebels characters in Rogue One because it would handicap them/spoiler viewers regarding who survives the series.
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