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Star Wars: It’s About Family

Star Wars: It’s About Family

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:

  1. Leia senses too much Vader (dark side) in young Ben.
  2. Leia feels that Luke can help Ben (much like he helped their father) retain the light.
  3. 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 .

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3 Comments

  1. Jay Krebs
    July 21, 2017 at 14:17 Reply

    Great thoughts, as always!! Yes, Star Wars is about family!! Families of all types… genetic families, as well as created ones. It is definitely what makes the driving force (no pun intended) of the saga so powerful. As you said: relatable.
    Its hard to say what drive Ben to the dark side. I’m sure there are a lot of factors in play. One thing about growing up with a pre destined future is that not everyone appreciates the assumption of following in the footsteps of a parent (uncle… whatever). Some embrace that family legacy idea. Perhaps Ben was so sick of the idea of what everyone else expected him to be, and wanted to rebel by identifying with the relative who exemplified the polar opposite of what his immediate family expected (Darth Vader, of course).
    In our world, there are dads (and moms) who perhaps were big athletes in school, and expect their child to become an athlete. That child may choose a completely different path, simply because of his/her interests, or for rebellious purposes. Others may try to become athletes simply because they don’t want to disappoint their parents, all the while hating every practice… every game… but afraid to say anything.
    Kids who rebel may also have issues with self – esteem, anxiety or even depression.
    There’s probably no one reason why Ben chose the path he did. Hopefully we will get more answers in TLJ!!

  2. MelindaW
    August 5, 2017 at 11:40 Reply

    The Skywalkers and Solos. Intertwined. Forever.

    Yes, Becca, it’s all about Family. [“All In The Family” just popped into my head. Four very different souls … and yet, somehow, they made it work. 😉 ]

    Life is about choices. Hopefully, each of us has strong family/friend connections to help guide us while we’re finding our individual paths. But in the long run, it really is up to the individual. Uncle Luke could no more twist Ben’s arm to keep Ben on the Light Side than Uncle Owen could Luke’s. The only difference is — Luke, while wishing he could be anywhere but the moisture farm, was willing to help Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru out for one more season [until events wormed their way into Luke’s intentions]. Maybe it was out of obligation that Luke acquiesced, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he was willing to hang on to that strong family connection.

    Ben, on the other hand, headstrong and [I suspect] a bit unruly, allowed himself to be manipulated — just like his grandfather.

    If I may…

    While I always want to take Anakin by the shoulders whenever he is being manipulated by Palpatine, and shake some sense into him, make Anakin see how he is being duped, I can almost — almost — forgive Anakin for going down the path he went. Yes, he had wonderful teachers and friends in Yoda, Obi-Wan and the other Jedi, and I truly believe that Anakin felt a strong connection to Obi-Wan. Yet, they weren’t “blood”.

    But Ben? He has parents who love him, who do not hide the fact that he has a familial connection to someone so evil — thus, doing everything they can think of to steer their impressionable son AWAY from that path — and still — STILL! — Ben chooses to follow evil???

    Culminating in killing his father???

    more…

  3. MelindaW
    August 5, 2017 at 11:51 Reply

    … Ben REALLY should have known better.

    Maybe he was really a bad seed all along, and there was nothing Leia, Han or Uncle Luke could do to stop what he was ultimately to become.

    Sound harsh of me? Maybe. But that’s how I see Ben … no Kylo Ren, now.

    I am not saying I do not believe in redemption. I do. We all make mistakes. However, I also believe that the bigger the transgressions, the more atonement that must be meted out. If Kylo Ren ever can find his way back to the Light, he has A LOT for which to answer.

    I wonder how Leia would/will look upon her son, knowing that this son of hers killed his father, her husband.

    It is not Luke’s fault, it is not Leia’s fault, it is not Han’s fault that Ben chose to venture down the path of evil. Ben made that choice. He’s dug himself deeper into that hole (by killing Han).

    It will be interesting to see how the rest of his story unfolds, and what happens to the Skywalker/Solo Family. It won’t be much longer before we get a little more of the story. 🙂

    Just a little over four months! 🙂

    I may be a bit late to the party when I read your blogs, Becca, but they’re always interesting. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    MTFBWY 🙂

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Blogger for Coffee With Kenobi, Personal Author for Steve Anderson Lucasfilm Illustrator & Artist, & Featured Blogger, Administrative Consultant, Copy Editor for The Cantina Cast. * I'm just a simple girl, trying to make my way in the universe. *

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