Jakku was said to be the hottest, dirtiest, province in the country. Instead of grasslands and lakes, there was dust and sand. Instead of bustling towns and cities, there was decay, abandoned buildings, and even more sand. The weather and terrain of Jakku were so bad, that very few people chose to live there, and the ones that did, often were not there willingly.
Rey had been six years old when she was abandoned on the steps of the Jakku Asylum for Unwanted Children. Like Jakku itself, the asylum was dirty, unkempt, and had absolutely no scope for the imagination. Most children there had been abandon as babies, and did not recollect their parents, but Rey was different.
"They'll be back for me," she confidently proclaimed daily, peering out of the cracked windows. "They promised."
Taking no notice of the concerned murmuring from the staff and wayward glances of the other children, she'd continued in that optimistic way for four more years, before the slow recognition of her abandonment had started to sink in.
"Get on with it, girl!" Unkar Plutt had shouted, tossing a broom at her. "Ain't nobody coming back for a scrawny nobody like you."
As the years slowly passed, Rey's optimism and cheerfulness gave way to angry tears and the recognition that she would never truly belong to anyone. Her heart, she had realized, could hurt her in ways that made the bruises and scrapes left by the other children, seem minimal. By the time she was twelve years old, Rey had decidedly hardened her heart; giving up all notions of ever being wanted by her family, or anyone in general, ever again.
Old Maz Kanata and her brother Chewbacca had lived on their farm in Takodana for the entirety of their lives. It had been handed down through their family from generation to generation, and was the joy and focus of the whole Kanata lineage. People from all over Takodana flocked to their farm in various seasons, because their homemade goods and crops were renowned throughout the entire province. However, since neither Maz nor Chewbacca had married, and now were both well into their sixties, they were struggling with the upkeep of the land.
"Chewbacca Kanata, put that porg down! You're going to be late!" Maz tutted from the front step of the wooden green porch. "Luke Skywalker went to all of this trouble, and for what? So you can play with the birds? The train will almost be here!"
Giving the porg a resigned look, Chewbacca gently placed the creature on the ground, and grunted. Despite being a full foot and a half taller than his sister, arguing with her when she was worked up, was a battle he knew he was destined to lose. Picking up the basket at his feet, he headed off towards to carriage that was waiting at the front of the house.
What would this young boy that they adopted be like? Other than the asylum guaranteeing that he enjoyed working with his hands, and was spirited, they didn't really have much information on young Ray. In his letter to Maz, Luke Skywalker had said that he had just turned thirteen the week previous, and had never left Jakku before, but that Unkar Plutt had assured him that Ray would be an excellent farmhand.
Luke Skywalker had been one of Chewbacca's closest friends in University, and had been traveling across the country when he heard that the Kanata's were looking to adopt. When he had been in Jakku, Luke had met Mr. Unkar Plutt, the owner of the local orphanage, at a saloon and was guaranteed that Ray was exactly what the Kanata's were looking for. Luke did not meet Ray while in Jakku, but was confident in his choice, so neither Chewbacca nor Maz had questioned it. In truth, Chewbacca was excited, for he had always wanted children.
Maz tapped her foot irritably and crossed her arms. "I've packed you two lunches in that basket. Make sure to save one for Ray!"
Climbing into the carriage, Chewbacca smiled sheepishly at his sister. Would Ray have a large appetite like him? He hoped so. Once settled, he waved goodbye to his sister, and headed off towards the train station.