It may not be known to a lot of CWK readers and listeners, but right after Star Wars Weekends ended, my personal life went crazy. Out of nowhere and in the blink of an eye, our happy family of 3 grew by one as we added a foster child to our numbers. For the purpose of this blog, we will call her Ahsoka. Our new lil padawan is only 2 and half years old and has greatly changed our lives. This wasn’t something we sought out, much less something we were ready for. Everything happened so fast too. From the time of the phone call asking us to take her to the time she moved in was only a couple of months. Now that there are 4 of us and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day. Laundry doesn’t seem to ever be done, and potty training has reemerged as a dominating factor of my days again. Its created an extra stop in the morning to drop Ahsoka at the Jedi Academy preschool, another in the afternoon to pick her up. An extra bath time in the evening, and extra plate to set at meal time. This lil padawan has added a lot of work and at times stress into our lives.
Yet, as I sit here right now typing this with one hand as I’m holding her while she is coughing and running a fever, I would not want my life any other way. Even though Ahsoka’s arrival added a lot of complications and work into our lives, her arrival has added more good. She has added a lot of hugs, laughs and love into our lives, lives which we thought were pretty complete. Why am I telling this story you ask. It’s for this reason, through all the experiences of the past few months, I began to analyze my views on a lot of things. This time of analysis and self exploration let me to realize I have been too hard on one of the most crucial characters in the Star Wars Saga, Owen Lars.
Owen Lars? Crucial to the Saga?
“To Tatooine. To his family send him.” Yoda, Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith
When I first saw A New Hope, I thought Uncle Owen was just a mean old man, always worried about the farm and how the next harvest would come in. A grouchy man who didn’t want to let go of the cheap labor offered by his nephew Luke Skywalker. He lied about who Ben Kenobi was, he lied about Luke’s father, and who he, Luke, really was. I held Owen Lars in very low esteem. Even after seeing the younger Owen in Episode 2 and 3, I wasn’t convinced my views were wrong. Matter of fact, I questioned the wisdom of Yoda sending him there. There was no guarantee when Obi-Wan arrived with Luke that the Lars family would be willing to take him. What would they do then?
Then lil Ahsoka entered our lives and my views changed. Like my wife and I, Owen and Beru didn’t ask to have Luke. They really weren’t given an option. Obi-Wan Kenobi shows up with a baby boy, who they are told is the son of Anakin Skywalker, and hands him to Beru. Beru then in turn takes Luke to Owen who, like Luke in A New Hope, is watching the binary sunset.
Can you imagine the thoughts going through Owen’s head at that point? The costs involved in raising a child, educating a child, whether or not he and Beru were ready to be parents at that moment, and how to keep this child safe. Whether or not Owen knew that Anakin had fallen or not is in question, but we do know that Order 66 was issued and that the news of the Jedi executions were probably flying around the galaxy. Knowing Luke’s Jedi connection, he did the only thing he could do to protect him, he lied about who Luke’s father was. Out of fear for Luke, he kept Kenobi and the truth as far away as possible.
Like Owen and Beru, my wife and I are faced with some of those same decisions. There is a lot of paperwork, visits, meetings and so on. Unlike Owen’s concerns for Luke, our situation is not a life or death one. Ahsoka does have some slight medical issues we are working with, but its a life we love living right now.
Owen raised Luke as if he was one of his own kids, teaching him how to be a moisture farmer, but out of the concern for Luke, he tried his hardest to keep him on the farm. After all, anything Jedi was outlawed and most likely Luke would have died if his secret was discovered.The farm was the only place Owen could keep Luke safe, or so he thought.
I’m sure Owen had some of those days where he was done and just wanted to call it quits on baby Luke. I have had those days too, when everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong, yet when I’m at my wit’s end, all it takes is lil Ahsoka to run up, throw her lil arms around my legs with a big squeeze and just look at me with the biggest smile. Can you imagine Luke doing that to Owen? When a moisture vaporator has gone out, droid labor is malfunctioning, and suns are setting. Owen is grumbling about life when lil Luke jumps in his lap and gives him the biggest hug.
Owen Lars wasn’t the harsh man Episode 4 lead us to believe. The evidence is at the end of Episode 3, when Beru walks up to him holding Luke. He leans over touching Luke, then both Owen and Beru look off into the binary sunset together, each pondering what the future holds for their new family. The most touching family moment of the Saga.
After seeing the Star Wars saga now as a foster parent, I understand better the sacrifices made by Owen and Beru when they took in Luke. I understand better the worries they had in raising him, and the fears they had for him. I have found a new respect for Owen Lars. Behind the rough exterior, he was really a caring father.
May the Force be with you, always.