Another Star Wars blog?
Yup, ‘fraid so!
This one, like all the others out there, will have it’s own unique take on the Star Wars universe, particularly because I want to focus on the legacy of the Skywalker family, but like so many others it will also report on all things episodes VII, VIII and IX, the new anthology films, and the Rebels animated series which has just been renewed for a third season.
You might be wondering why someone would want to skew things a little to the Skywalker side of Star Wars, when realistically the most popular characters in fandom are Han Solo and Boba Fett?
It’s a good question.
The idea was sparked by two things: my interest in the Skywalker family and my original fan boy love for Leia and Luke, and something that George Lucas said in a November interview, where he spoke about his original vision for episodes VII through IX. Here’s the direct quote that sparked this website, via an interview online at /Film:
“People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera and it’s all about family problems – it’s not about spaceships.”
If you’d like to read more from that interview or watch it, jump over to /Film right here.
While I love starships and space battles as much as the next guy, I also love the idea of making a family the central theme of a massive war story. We don’t know much (if anything canon) about the Skywalkers prior to our introduction to Shmi in The Phantom Menace, but we quickly learn that Anakin is anything but ‘normal’. The arrival of two Jedi and a Queen in exile throw both Skywalkers into the middle of extraordinary circumstances, and it snowballs from there. We learn, over the course of six movies, that the family are both blessed and cursed with an amazing legacy that began as an ancient prophecy that could have, as its resolution, anything. Was Anakin going to the Dark Side and then redeeming himself a re-balancing of the Force? Was it the creation of two powerful Jedi in Luke and Leia, with one pursuing their gifts and the other putting them aside to fight for freedom? Was it the actual destruction of the centuries old Jedi Order and the emergence of the Sith, and their eventual defeat that balanced those energies that surround us and bind us together? Is the Force still seeking balance in the new trilogy?
I had no idea of any of that when I was first introduced to Star Wars. To me, Star Wars started as a film about friendship, that’s what the nine year old me took from it when I first saw The Empire Strike Back (I saw Empire before I saw A New Hope). Then, when we learned about the relationships between some of the middle trilogy characters, it became about friendship and family, and when the prequel trilogy hit that only deepened.
I liked that, and still do.
But then again, I’m also one of the few people who loved the development of the relationship between Anakin and Padme in Attack of the Clones. Yes, some of the acting wasn’t the best – despite both actors being very talented, but it’s still possibly my favourite prequel film.
When we take our sci-fi fan glasses off and look at the first six Star Wars films, you can see what George Lucas means. Star Wars is a little like a soap opera. Not in a Bold and the Beautiful way, but in a Shakespearean way. The Skywalker family are as tragic as the Montague’s or Capulet’s, while also being as selfless and heroic as Superman or Wonder Woman (or if you’re a Marvel guy or gal, Professor X or Captain Marvel).
I get the Han Solo and Boba Fett love, and like both characters, but the story of the Skywalkers appeals to me the most.
We have Shmi Skywalker, a woman sold into slavery who has a virgin birth via the Force. Despite the obvious parallels to Christianity, her character is compelling, and flawlessly played by Pernilla August. Shmi is struggling to provide her son with a normal upbringing despite the both of them being slaves, and despite sensing that there is something very special and unique about her boy. She accepts her lot and tries her best, until, toward the end of episode one, she makes an amazing sacrifice and practically begs Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi to take her boy away to a better life – even though it means she will be alone.
Her son, Anakin Skywalker, starts out as a cute if not slightly obnoxious child, who grows into a complicated teen and young adult who kills his wife, pretty much orphans his children, and becomes the ultimate instrument of evil.
While marching around the galaxy sporadically force-choking people for kicks, he tortures his daughter, cuts off his sons hand, and tries to convert his boy to the Dark Side.
Anakin’s journey ends with redemption, but his path back to the light is strewn with the bodies of thousands.
Both Shmi and Anakin’s stories are tragic. As is poor Padme’s.
A Skywalker by marriage, she is the child-Queen of Naboo, who eventually becomes the Senator for that world.
She marries Anakin in secret, and falls pregnant with his children, only to be killed by him.
Before she dies, she gives birth to twins.
Things get a little better for Anakin and Padme’s children, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa-Skywalker, but only slightly. They, at least, both make it into their fifties (which is the approximate age they’ll be in The Force Awakens)!
Both Leia and Luke are orphaned, with one being raised by the Queen and Viceroy of Alderaan, and the other being raised by farmers on a remote, practically lawless backwater planet.
Leia watches her homeworld and adopted family get blown into glowing embers by a monstrous superweapon, while Luke stumbles across the smoking corpses of his Aunt and Uncle around the same time. And it rollercoasters from there, for the both of them!
They eventually meet on the Death Star without knowing anything about their familial ties, and for a while there it looks like they’re going to fall in love with each other before Han thankfully gets in the way of that, then they both almost end up dead at the Battle of Yavin, only to make it through and eventually find out they’re brother and sister and the children of one of the most most evil people in the known galaxy.
It’s suggested they find happiness after the Battle of Endor, but it looks like that was short lived.
If the rumours about the story line for The Force Awakens are true, the Star Wars galaxy has known nothing but war since the Alliance defeated the Empire. Luke is a recluse or an exile, and Leia has continued to fight for freedom against oppression. Where it looked like she might find happiness with Han, it appears something happened to their relationship which drew them apart.
Part of my obsession with the story of the Skywalkers is the simple fact I want the poor buggers to know some happiness – not just momentary happiness, but real lasting happiness.
If I were to choose a third reason, it would simply be that I love Star Wars, and I think it’s healthy to let yourself get lost now and again in the things that you love. What’s wonderful about having a blog is that you don’t have to worry about whether or not people read it, because you’re not trying to make any money out of it and you can just ramble – which can be a little therapeutic!
If you enjoy my rambles and the updates, that’s wonderful, if not, you won’t be back and that’s okay. Either way, thank you for visiting.
May the Force be with you, and may The Force Awakens be everything we hope it can be… and hopefully, by the end of this trilogy, Leia and Luke at the very least, can find some lasting happiness.