“I’m hoping Lor San Tekka knows where to find my brother, Poe. And Luke Skywalker may be the only hope we have left.”- General Leia Organa, ‘Before the Awakening’
In the past 38 years between A New Hope and The Force Awakens, the former Princess Leia, now dubbed General Organa, has found herself right back where she started, searching for her Only Hope. Granted, in A New Hope we are led to believe that Ben Kenobi is the only hope she is looking for, when in fact, it is Luke Skywalker. It’s always been him. They were separated in order to remain safe, safely anonymous and in time, when it was right, they were to be reunited. The force is a calling and when it calls, you cannot deny your destiny or that which is your family, especially if you happen to be a Skywalker.
I have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens more times than any other Star Wars film in the theater and, other than Revenge of the Sith, I have never cried this much over a fictional film in all my 41 years. As Leia walks down the ramp from her Resistance transport and comes face-to-face with Han Solo … I’m instantly misty eyed and filled with a nostalgic emotion that I haven’t felt since Return of the Jedi, when she held the immobilized scoundrel to her chest saying, “someone who loves you.” Seeing them together again, even if only for a short time, melted my heart and it felt … complete. No, their relationship isn’t perfect, no relationship is and therefore, what they portray on-screen is brilliantly relatable. Anyone who’s anyone can find an element between them that they can identify with and that’s the genius of it; of Star Wars as a whole. It’s an escape of our realities, but in the same sense, it is a reminder of who are, where we came from and who want to become.
“You won’t share the fate of our son. I know what we’re doing is right. This is how it has to be. This is how it should be.”- Leia [to Rey in ‘The Force Awakens’ novelization.]
I honestly wish this dialogue was kept in the film, it shows just how much Leia’s character has grown over the years and how much she has endured. Like her own grandmother, she too sent her only son away, in hopes that he’d have a better life. Just as Shmi asked Qui-Gon about Anakin “can you help him?” Leia felt that Luke could do the same for Ben and so, once again, history repeats itself.
… “You’ve always been strong” and yes, on the exterior, Leia has always poised herself to be the rock when it comes to ‘keeping it together.’ Luke knew this to be true and was even envious of this quality that she obviously obtained from their mother, otherwise, why state it? Yes she appeared to be strong, a rock for others to reveal their pains to, but what about her own pains? Surely she felt things. After all, she is a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter and a leader of many – making her responsible for many lives. No wonder she is desperate to find Luke and as she says, bring him home. The force isn’t just calling to Rey it’s calling to them, the Skywalkers.
Ironically enough, it was Leia who told her brother to run, “if he can feel your presence than leave this place,” so many moons ago and he had refused then, but somehow, found the will to follow her old advice. Which brings me back to the beginning of my article – you cannot deny your destiny or that which is your family. Eventually, Luke will have to come back and take his rightful place at his sister’s side. For that is the way of things, the way of the force. They are stronger together than they are apart, a balance, a yin and yang of the force, in a manner of speaking. Still, it’s obvious that Leia is right back to square one or as Maz so eloquently put it to Han, “you’re right back in the mess.” Only this time, Luke Skywalker isn’t breaking down the cell door (2187) to rescue her. Instead, she is sending someone to rescue him or rather, fetch him.
The Skywalker’s are a vital element to the force itself, if not, then why would it be calling upon them? They are imperative to maintaining the balance and with that power brings great responsibility.
[Remembering, Rey reached into her pack and removed his lightsaber. Taking several steps forward, she held it out to him. An offer. A plea. The galaxy’s only hope. She wondered what would happen next.]- ‘The Force Awakens’ novelization by Alan Dean Foster
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