Luke and Leia knew that Rey was Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter before her, but did Han Solo know that too, and would she even have cared?
The scavenger-turned-Jedi Rey was revealed to be Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but did Han Solo know about their heritage during their brief time together in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? There are numerous indications in The awakening of the force that might indicate Han knew about it, but looking at Rey’s interactions with Leia and Luke Skywalker in The rise of Skywalker (and how they discovered their lineage) provides a likely answer. Whether Han knew it or not, Rey’s heritage may not have changed his view of the brave young fighter, especially considering his own wife and son’s relationship with Darth Vader.
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There is little to indicate that Luke Skywalker knew of Rey’s Palpatine lineage in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Luke had been disconnected from the Force for most of the film, and his interactions with Rey indicate that he believed she was a Force-sensitive member of the Resistance with no family connection to anyone he knew. When Luke once again inspires Rey to fight in The rise of Skywalker, now knows of his Palpatine bloodline, and reveals that Leia knew it too. Leia probably sensed Rey’s connection to the seemingly dead Emperor between The last jedi Y The rise of Skywalker, but he trained her as a Jedi because he knew Rey was not a potential tyrant, like her grandfather. Leia may have also told Luke between the movies.
Although he recognizes the Force, Han Solo is not Force-sensitive and therefore could not detect a connection between Rey and Emperor Palpatine. However, the Force existed in all life, and even a non-Force sensitive could potentially sense a connection through instinct. In The awakening of the force, Han has a conversation with Maz Kanata which is interrupted after she asks him “Who is the girl? “Many viewers interpreted this moment to mean that Han knew more about Rey than meets the eye, but in reality, it was the film’s timid way of emphasizing the importance of Rey’s lineage. While Han probably felt that Rey was more that a mere scavenger, did not know that she was a Palpatine.
Despite his best efforts to appear as a callous mercenary throughout the entire Star Wars Skywalker Saga, Han Solo is a brave, selfless and caring person. Being the granddaughter of the most cruel and dangerous despot in the galaxy would not have tainted Han’s opinion of Rey, because he already knew that she was a kind and altruistic person. Leia, Luke, and Ben were all direct descendants of Darth Vader, and Han continued to see only the good in all of them, even when his own son was murdering him. If Han had known about Rey’s lineage, he would have remained her mentor.
A key issue in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is that the family, although important, does not decide the destiny of a person. Just as Luke and Leia led the Rebellion against the Empire despite being Darth Vader’s children, Rey became a Jedi and helped ensure the Resistance’s victory against her grandfather Palpatine. At Canon, Han assumed the surname “Solo”, not having been close to his biological relatives. For Han, individual ties were far more meaningful than family ties. Although he didn’t know Rey was a Palpatine, he wouldn’t have cared.
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