Self Care – Rey Palpatine: Star Wars Theory (YouTube Video)

Another Star Wars idea I’m apparently late to…


  1. says

    I think it is hereditary sort of, but through the force, not genes. And you don’t have to actually *be* on the dark side just because you were born into it (see: Luke Skywalker).

  2. keithb says

    Except Luke was conceived while Anakin was still on the fence. He didn’t totally darth-out until about the time Luke and Leia were born.

  3. says

    It should be noted that Lucas originally planned for Annakin Skywalker to have been “engineered” by Palpatine via Force manipulation of midichlorines, so, in a sense, Lucas intended for Palpatine to be Annakin’s creator, or “dad”. If this is still actually canon, then Luke being conceived before Annakin completely turned is a meaningless distinction.

    And even if the Force-genetic-manipulation thing isn’t canon, there’s still the fact that Luke was very much seduced by the dark side, even if it failed to fully seduce him in the end, which suggests that the dark and light sides of the Force can be “inherited”, in a sense… maybe…

  4. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Jess: Everything of importance in Star Wars is genetic. “Princess” Leia, anyone? Political power is passed down through families even in those cases when elections are, in fact, held. (This is true on Naboo, where we know the queen is elected, but we also know that the title runs in families. It’s not clear to me if these are even opposed elections, or if an heir is determined and then the people vote up or down to accept the heir.)

    Power in the force also runs in families. In a broader sense, this is true of different species: one generation develops a force sensitivity, the future generations of that species inherit it. Perhaps these are species that faced disaster and those who were strong in the force disproportionately survived. We don’t know the how of it, but we know that some species have particular force-related strengths (or immunities). What do all members of a species have in common? The genetics they’ve inherited.

    Finally, as you’ve already mentioned, evil runs in families. The genetics (or whatever inherited features) that make it more likely for a person to have a stronger or weaker connection to the force also makes that connection to be stronger or weaker to one particular side of the force.

    There is very little in Star Wars that is not weirdly worshipful of the idea that people are born to their places in the galaxy: honored or outsider, powerful or powerless. People may live in poverty, may live as outcasts for some portion of their lives, but if born to the wealthy and powerful, their parentage destines them for more. I know it’s my privilege living in a wealthy country, but of all the annoyances in Star Wars, I find this less annoying only than Lucas’ gender systems.

  5. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Timeline is based on A New Hope (Star Wars: Episode 4, also known as the first movie) = year 0, notation is 0 ABY (after Battle of Yavin).

    Empire (SW: Ep5) takes place 3 ABY.

    Return of the Jedi (SW: Ep6) takes place 4 ABY.

    TFA (SW: Ep7) takes place 34 ABY.

    Rey is 19 years old during the events of TFA, thus she was born 15 ABY, which is 11 years after the death of the Emperor.

    Of course, even with today’s technology we can store sperm and embryos for later use. There’s no reason to think that Rey couldn’t be the child of Palpatine, but of course there’s also the possibility that she’s the grandchild of Palpatine, in which case being born 11 years after her grandfather’s death wouldn’t require any technological intervention at all.

    And, of final note, this is a galaxy far, far away. The “humans” of SW aren’t human in the sense of being homo sapiens sapiens, descended from an ancestral population of apes that also served as the ancestral population of bonobos and chimpanzees. There are many earthly animals where the female can either stop development of a fertilized egg until later (unconsciously, though normal physiological operation) at which point development of an actual embryo commences, OR can store sperm within its body after sex, only allowing (unconsciously, through normal physiological operation) fertilization of the egg to occur much later, when conditions are appropriate. Of course, there’s also the possibility that Rey only “appears” 19 years old, but was born much earlier than 15 ABY and placed in suspended animation as a child (rather than as an embryo), where drastically low metabolization produced similarly infinitesimal amounts of aging -- and such low-metabolic states are observable on earth as both naturally occurring states and states that human have induced in other organisms.

    This being science fiction, even without the rather mundane “grandparent” option OR the obvious but less mundane option of a character who used cloners to store sperm (or something sperm-like) and eggs (or something egg-like) for later combination, fertilization, and fetus-incubation, we still have ways of Rey being genetically related to Palpatine that are far more scientifically plausible than faster-than-light travel, much less The Force.

    I think it’s great for people to question gobbledy-gook included in a script (or book) and intended to explain an occurrence. It’s subject to legitimate criticism because it’s supposed to explain something, and obviously fails.

    But as attractive as the idea of a relationship (genetic or otherwise) might be to explain why Rey has such power as a force wielder and why Rey uses lightsaber combat moves that were (in our movie-watching experience) unique to Sidius/Palpatine without ever having trained in lightsaber combat with Palp (or anyone else, there’s been no effort to explain exactly how a (proposed) genetic relationship between Palp and Rey managed to span the 11 year gap between Ep6 and Rey’s expected date of birth, based on her age (minus any suspended animation?).

    If and when the SW material proposes an explanation for overcoming that gap, I’ll be happy to critique it. For now, I think “it’s fiction” covers it just fine.

Leave a Reply