Filming for "Star Wars: Episode VIII" has reportedly already begun filming, with Rian Johnson taking over as director from J.J. Abrams. But even with a new director at the helm, the secrecy behind the new movie is also being heavily guarded. Fans are looking at every single detail and news from the production to gander a guess at what might be in store in the continuing saga. One of the biggest hypotheticals is the introduction of a character well known in the defunct Expanded Universe (EU): Mara Jade, Luke Skywalker's wife and mother of his child.
Spoilers, rumors, and "Star Wars" speculation ahead!
Many are speculating that Rey is the daughter of Luke Skywalker who was left on Jakku for her own protection. But if Rey is Luke's child, who then was her mother?
The EU gave Luke one son with Mara Jade: Ben Skywalker. In the new canon though, Ben is the name of the only son of Han Solo and Leia Organa who then renamed himself Kylo Ren after he fell to the Dark side to become the apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke.
Looking at Rey's styling, especially as she was scavenging the wrecks of Jakku wearing eye protection and a brown head scarf. Many saw enough parallels between her and Mara Jade to say that her character was perhaps based upon the popular character who was once the right hand of Emperor Palpatine himself. Or maybe J.J. Abrams was giving an on-screen hint to who her mother was.
Others have also speculated that in the closing scene of "The Force Awakens," Luke wasn't merely staring blankly into space when Rey arrived on the planet Ahch-To, where he was in self-exile. The official novelization of the film described it as the location of the last Jedi Temple but some think that Luke had a more personal reason for wanting to live as a hermit on that island. Many have pointed out that a rock protruding from the ground where he was facing might actually be a tombstone - perhaps marking the grave of his deceased wife.
If Rey is truly his daughter and he felt her arrival due to the Force awakening in her after years of being dormant, it would make sense that he would want to be near his wife's grave when he sees her for the first time in decades.
For those unfamiliar with the EU and Mara Jade, some observers are speculating that her character may be introduced ahead of "Episode VIII" in "Rogue One" which will open in theatres in December this year.
Just like the main movies, the secrecy behind the story of "Rogue One" is also being well-kept. However, many feel that Felicity Jones who will play one of the leads in the film might be the future Mrs. Skywalker. Described by Movie Pilot as a "morally ambiguous badass with a very personal connection to the Emperor," it certainly feels as if Jones' character is at least inspired by Mara Jade, if not a new incarnation of her for the new "Star Wars" canon.
It certainly would be exciting to find out if Luke's wife will make an appearance, or at least be mentioned, in "Episode VIII." We'll have to wait and see who's who in the Skywalker family tree when the movie is released on Dec. 15, 2017.