Star Wars has many themes, and one of them is family. It’s relatable. It’s honest. And that’s powerful.
Since the very first film, Star Wars introduced us to a new family, the Skywalkers. A family that lives in a galaxy far, far away, but at the same time, that family feels like home. Sometimes, it feels or has felt more like home than home. At one time or another, we were Luke. A dreamer. We were Leia and Padmé. A strong leader. We were Shmi. A nurturer. And yes, even Anakin. Fiercely loyal and yet tried and troubled too. After all, what family is not all these things and more?
And so, over the years that family, the Skywalkers have grown. As they say, each generation (trilogy) has a story. We watched Luke redeem his troubled father and in the process, gain a sister. Leia. Before that, we stayed vigilant as Anakin paid the price for choosing to protect his wife come hell or high water. Unfortunately, he found hell. And now we have a new generation with a new story to follow. Same family, but a new name. Solo. Ok, so maybe ‘Solo’ isn’t quite new, but just the same, it’s not Skywalker.
So, what’s in a name? I mean, a family is a family, right? Well, unless you’re Ben Solo. He prefers to go by Kylo Ren. Still, that said, you can change your name. But you can’t change where you come from, your family.
No, you cannot pick who you are related to, but you can choose to put distance between you and your family. And that’s where we are with this new generation of family. But, why? What is so bad about being the son of a former princess and heroes of the Rebellion? Oh, and a Jedi Master for an uncle. Remind me, when did this become such a terrible thing? But I digress.
Still, just as Ben cannot pick his family, same can be said about Uncle Luke. Let’s face it, Luke can’t tell his sister who she can or cannot marry, nor can he tell her not to have children. Life is full of choices. It’s a right of passage. No one can choose it for us. And with that comes great responsibility. An all too familiar one for Luke. Remember, he, too, had an uncle. Uncle Owen was Luke’s guardian, a role model, and the closest Luke had to a father-like figure. So, I think it’s safe to say that Luke knew what he had to do.
Now, keep in mind a few things. Here’s what we (and Luke) know:
- Leia senses too much Vader (dark side) in young Ben.
- Leia feels that Luke can help Ben (much like he helped their father) retain the light.
- Leia assumes the Jedi way is the right path for Ben and entrusts Luke with his training.
So, I don’t know about all of you, but I feel like that’s pretty hefty. Even for a Jedi Master. I mean, there’s no way Luke forgot what it feels like to be trapped. To be kept away from your friends and what you want to do, not what others want you to do. And yes, I’m thinking of those power converters that are still waiting at Tosche Station.
All in all, it’s a lot to take in. A lot to process. No, we don’t know what exactly happened between Ben and his folks, and between him and Uncle Luke. All we can do is compare notes from the events that came before. That said, I can’t even imagine the pain, and anguish Luke feels from losing his nephew to the darkness. And possibly, a sense of failure. A failure to his family, to himself, and most importantly, to his sister. Leia.
Star Wars. It is about family, and that’s what’s so powerful about it.
This IS the podcast you’re looking for!
Becca does Star Wars; it’s a verb! She is the former EIC of @thecantinacast.
Host and owner of @CastleKanata @TarkinsTopShelf Podcasts, and a
writer for @CoffeeWthKenobi @MakingStarWars @JediNewsUK . Becca also titles for Lucasfilm artist