This past week my family was out of town and while they were gone I thought about how important families are in general and in Star Wars. Of course in Star Wars there are the families that are biologically related (Anakin and Shmi Skywalker; Beru and Owen Lars and Luke Skywalker; Han, Leia, and Ben Solo), but there are also the characters and groups of characters that join together to become a type of family and defeat someone or something that is perceived as more powerful. The following are some of my favorite examples of this in Star Wars.
Rebels and Ewoks
Emperor Palaptine set a trap for the rebels by allowing them to find the location of the shield generator on Endor, but what he didn’t count on was the rebels becoming part of an Ewok tribe. The Rebel Alliance wanted to defeat the Empire in order to free the galaxy and I’m sure the Ewoks wanted the Imperials to leave their serene planet. Once both groups learned to trust each other, the rebels and Ewoks’ individual skills and talents were magnified and allowed them to defeat the seemingly superior Empire.
Gungans and the Naboo
The Gungans and the Naboo each thought they knew about the other and they let those pre-judgements keep them separated even though they shared a home planet. Only by having a common enemy did they come together as a planet family to battle the Trade Federation. The Gungans had to trust that Queen Amidala’s plan was best for the Naboo people and the Gungans. That wouldn’t have been easy, especially since Boss Nass thought the Naboo looked down on the Gungans. It took the Naboo humbling themselves before the Gungans and Boss Nass trusting a 14-year-old queen. And remember that none of this would have been possible without the Gungan prodigal son, Jar Jar Binks.
Han Solo and Chewbacca
As two characters that were without their tribes or families (I’m not sure which) when they first met, they became each other’s family. I’m not sure if any other two characters knew each other as well as Han and Chewie eventually did, but I do know that no one cared about each other more than they did. The Force Awakens has the perfect examples. When Chewie is wounded, Han threatens Finn that if he hurts Chewie he will have to deal with Han. And when Kylo Ren kills Han, Chewie’s growl is heartbreaking. Han Solo and Chewbacca are as much a family as anyone else in Star Wars.
The Ghost crew from Rebels
Hera, Kanan, Sabine, Zeb, Chopper, and Ezra may be as close to a traditional family as there is in the Star Wars galaxy. With Hera and Kanan filling the parental roles and the others as the children, this group of rebels are a perfect example of the sum being better than the individual parts. They each made the others better by challenging them, holding them to high standards, and teaching them. They also helped form the Rebel Alliance that eventually defeated the Empire. In Star Wars, just as in real life, small acts by apparently unremarkable people can make a great difference in the lives of others.
The crew of Rogue One
The Rogue One crew is the ultimate example of a mix of characters with different backgrounds, upbringings, cultures, and beliefs coming together against all odds to defeat evil. They didn’t agree and get along well all of the time, but they were all smart enough and selfless enough to know that if they worked as a team great things could happen. They saw the good in each other, became a rebellious family during the course of their mission, and eventually died for each other.
Family, no matter the form it takes, is the fundamental unit of our society and the Star Wars galaxy. Our family members should build us up when we’re down and humble us when we our pride gets the best of us. Many of the Star Wars families function the same way, but without Star Wars families, evil would not be defeated. So which Star Wars families are your favorites? Let me know on Twitter @ryderwaldrondds, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below. And remember:
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