Okay, I’ve seen people throwing the “You don’t think Leia’s a real Skywalker because you don’t think women count” strawman around a few places and I want to talk about it. Because this is easily one of the most interesting things about Leia. We know she’s Vader’s daughter (and actually more like her old man than Luke is), Luke’s sister, and force-sensitive, but are we erasing her when we label her and Luke the “Skywalker twins”?
From a certain point of view Leia is absolutely as much of a Skywalker as Luke is. And that point of view is Luke’s.
From another point of view, Leia is far more an Organa than she ever will be a Skywalker and Anakin is only her father because he somehow managed to knock up her kind, sad biological mother. By all indications in the films, that point of view is Leia’s.
In The Force Awakens, Leia is still going by the name Organa. She is coordinating a Resistance as a military/political leader, and has apparently never trained as a Jedi. She has rejected all of the Skywalker legacy options in favor of her adoptive parents. That’s not out of habit or to maintain the same identity she had pre-RotJ, because if it was why would she be so opposed to being called Princess rather than General? Her identity has grown, but it remains tied to her adoptive parents.
When Han mentions their son has too much Vader in him, she points out that’s why she sent him to Luke. Despite the fact that a lot of Leia’s personality comes from Anakin, she’s never identified with him and didn’t see herself as the natural person to bring those sorts of inclinations under control. Instead, she sends him to Luke, who identified as a Skywalker his whole life and sees Vader as his father.
And that’s a really big, really interesting difference between the twins. Leia was truly adopted by a different family, while Luke was raised as a guest of relatives who didn’t actually claim him. As much as Owen and Beru cared for him, in the end Luke learned to define family as his blood relations. Leia, being adopted into a loving family and knowing it learned to define family as the people who take you in and care for you.
You can see this when you compare how Luke and Leia react to the family reveals. Luke is devastated to learn about Vader. He denies it, then accepts it, and goes into a deep depression before skirting the dark side for a few scenes. He keeps to the light for his friends, but he’s clearly still conflicted and seeks out Yoda to give him a confirmation. He’s fishing in that scene with Yoda. He’s hoping it might not be true or that if it is there’s some sort of comforting words Yoda can offer to keep him from sliding to the darkside. He gets that comfort in finding out he has a good relative out there, his sister. After he realizes its Leia, he has a strengthened connection with her and falls into this adorable twin routine for the rest of the movie. He has a reason now to believe he can resist the darkness, he has more family than just Vader.
Leia pretty much doesn’t react to the knowledge Vader is her father at all. She completely glosses over it to focus on Luke. Now, there is a great argument that’s just sexism in the writing but I’m from the “Play where it lays” school of character analysis, and this makes sense with what we know of Leia. She doesn’t care who her biological father is. Her father was Bail Organa (who since he’s awesome and smart probably warned her that tracking down her birth parents would have some nasty surprises anyway). She describes her mother to Luke when he asks, but its just vague memories of a beautiful, kind, sad woman. She has a distance to them. Because her mother was Breha Organa.
So she focuses on Luke, because Luke’s her brother and she’s always known that. Because of the mystical Force-blood connection between twins, right? Eh… Maybe not so much. Vader and Luke have a connection in RotJ, but prior to that duel in Bespin Vader could not find Luke at all. Vader could not recognize Leia. (“But that’s because these were later developments!” Nope. Play where it lays.) He had to investigate Luke, then chase him down, bait him by capturing people Luke ALREADY has an emotional tie to, confront him and establish a connection with Luke before he could develop this Luke-sense that allowed him to contact Luke and locate the kid whenever he was in the same area.
Leia developed that Luke-sense without knowing of any blood tie, at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Why? It seemed like pure shipper bait except by that point in the movie she’d already decided firmly on Han. But she was still deeply connected to Luke because she’d already adopted him as her brother. There was a tenuous connection in ANH, but the full bond wasn’t something that existed their entire life or something that popped up when they realized who they were to each other. It was something that was built slowly, over time, because Leia had welcomed this person into her life as her brother.
We make fun of that scene in ANH when Leia comforts Luke over losing Kenobi even though she’s just lost her entire planet, but that is a really significant thing. That is Leia deciding “Hey, I’ve lost everyone I care about and so has he. I’ll be his family.” And she runs with it. She takes this little group–the walking carpet, the scruffy pirate, and the forlorn farmboy–back to Yavin with her. This is her place, her project, her home. She welcomes them into the team. She gives Luke a purpose, a job, and comforts him when Han has refused the same offer. Because despite Han’s motives and her general irritation with them all, she loves these idiots. These men, these complete strangers, just saved her life at great risk to themselves. They were completing her mission when they showed up to help her. They lost a legendary hero, and a father figure, saving her life. This is as good a new family as she could want.
So from “I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you” onwards, Leia has had a brother to look out for her. That’s why all it takes is Luke knowing the connection to have them acting like siblings who’ve grown up together. That’s why she can hear him when he calls her from Bespin. And when she says “I’ve always known” on Endor, it’s because she’s pretty much been thinking of him as her brother for years. She doesn’t care about (and might not even initially believe most of) the massive revelations about herself in the Endor scene, she cares that her brother is pouring his heart out to her and going off on a suicide mission.
So, from Leia’s viewpoint she is still an Organa and all of these people she’s picked up are Organas too. If she’d decided to keep up the princess title and be the leader of the survivors of Alderaan rather than the leader of the Rebellion/Republic/Resistance, she’d have claimed Luke Skywalker, her orphaned biological brother, as a full member of House Organa. My guess there would be a LOT of Rebellion families listed as part of Leia’s House Organa in addition to Solo and Skywalker. Names like Calrissian, Nunb, Dameron…etc… We’re talking Game of Thrones sprawling clan loyalties here, all leading back to Leia if she’d decided to be a Queen rather than a General.
Now this would all be wonderful for Leia, except for one significant problem. She adopted her biological brother. She knows her biological father. She has a long history with her biological father. She has memories and visions of her biological mother. She’s accepted all of this history into her life but doesn’t have a way to come to terms with it.
You can argue that rejecting Anakin Skywalker is what doomed her own son to be obsessed with his blood heritage rather than one of the heritages she chose for him–her own adopted heritage or the heritage of the man she chose to father her children–but honestly… that is not Leia’s fault. The reason that the Skywalker family remains broken, the reason that Leia has never made peace with her biological father, is entirely because of Anakin Skywalker himself.
Vader captured, imprisoned, tortured Leia and murdered her adoptive family. He captured, tortured, and imprisoned her boyfriend in a nightmare frozen sleep. He physically and psychologically stalked, battered, maimed, and brutalized her brother. Leia has every right to reject this man and no responsibility to make peace with him.
Vader’s redemption, what allowed him to retain some part of himself as Anakin, was not a grand, sweeping philosophical life-changing moral realignment that wiped away all of his choices and entitled him to forgiveness from all wronged persons. It was a small-scale, personal journey of self-realization and paternal love centered entirely on Luke. Vader found the strength to finally make the right choice, to finally break free of the Emperor and his evil influence, only when faced with witnessing the slow, torturous death of his son. He only made that choice to prevent that slow torturous death. Anakin saved his son’s life and made amends for the wrongs he had done Luke, but he died in the attempt and was never able to do more than ask Luke to plead his case to Leia. From the moment he realized he had a daughter, all he did about it was threaten her and use her to provoke his son into a rage.
Darth Vader has unfinished business. Because of his actions, his family is broken and it remains broken.
I’m a big believer in the idea Rey is Luke’s kid. I think she’s Luke’s kid and she’s so clearly on the light side because the rift between Anakin and Luke was healed, because Luke has come to terms with his father and his side of the family is blessed for it. Luke can think of his father and think of a man who used his last act to protect his son. He can look back on this act with love and understanding and pass on that memory to his child, and allow her to come to terms with her grandfather as a complex person.
But Leia Organa never saw even a glimpse of Anakin Skywalker in Darth Vader. Vader died with a gaping chasm of rage and pain between himself and his daughter. All she can think of when she thinks of her biological father is all the pain he caused her, and even though she has an amazing adopted family to look back on she knows this man was her biological father and her son knows this is his biological grandfather. She could only look back on this man with rage and hate for the pain he caused her, and had nothing positive to pass onto her son when he asked about this man. Because Anakin couldn’t make amends, Leia’s still suffering and her side of the family is suffering.
Bottom line whether I’m right about Rey or not, Leia is more an Organa than a Skywalker, and that’s one of the unresolved issues that’s being examined in this latest trilogy.
These two twins that are caught in this tide of history, and their mother who died, and how they were separated and their father turned to the dark, and then, eventually, redemption was possible—that’s really human and really moving and something that is so emotional. I get choked up even talking about it, like a crazy person, but we lived in the world for so long and we cared about it so much that you can’t just talk about it with your head. You have to like talk about it with your heart, and try to feel the stakes of it and feel the human drama of it.
concept: anakin kills palpatine and he, padme, and obi run away from it all. they all raise luke and leia on a beautiful planet that’s bursting with green. luke is every bit his mother’s son. he’s gay and he’s not confused or ashamed at all because he’s grown up seeing ani and obi’s love. leia is strong and smart and takes after anakin. luke and leia accidentally wind up dating the same guy, a cocky smuggler who gives leia a beautiful baby boy with chocolate eyes and lovely curls. ani, padme, and obi’s hearts overflow with love for their grandchild. luke falls in love with his childhood friend wedge and they adopt a beautiful baby girl together. her name is rey and she has the loveliest smile and the kindest eyes. when padme, obi, and ani die, in that order, their deaths aren’t a time of sorrow; but a time of celebrating their lives. they never went back to their lives of political or jedi fame, but they raised 2 kind, loving, smart, strong, and beautiful children and they were happy. and that was more than enough.
At first it was just going to be immediate family but then Rey decided to bring her boyfriends and hey, it’d be unfair if Kylo couldn’t bring his boyfriend too.
Uncle Obi Wan comes along and is just so Exhausted™ from having to “deal with three - THREE generations of Skywalkers!”.
And god, dealing with the boyfriends and girlfriends. Obi has to deal with Padme aka the love who was never supposed to be, Han Solo the arrogant smuggler, Rey’s not one but two boyfriends - Poe and Finn, and finally Kylo’s prissy and spoiled boyfriend Hux.
Han and Leia arguing over the map and the direction they’re going before Finn just reaches into the front seat to turn the map right side up. Han and Leia are silent after that.
Obi is just sitting in the back of the car losing his damn mind.
They go to the beach and Hux wears a full body wetsuit and his face is slathered with sunscreen because he “burns like a motherfucker”.
Kylo only has on a pair of .Unfortunately revealing black speedos and looks like he’s wilting in the sun.
Rey is wearing a bathing suit that suspiciously looks like a callback to Leia’s bikini and Luke almost chokes on his drink. Leia laughs at him.
Poe is wearing the brightest swim trunks on the planet. They’re a loud orange color and Finn tells him you could probably see them from space.
Luke, Leia, and Han aka the Khakis feat. Floral Shirts Gang. Everyone complains that they’re all succumbing to Parent Stereotypes™ but those khaki pockets are just so damn convenient.
Single dad Luke worrying over Rey going too far out into the ocean even thoughshe’s a teen for goodness sakes.
Grandma Padme undoubtedly lecturing Kylo on his attitude.
Kylo huffs that he likes grandpa Anakin more because he’s cooler and lets him take his sports car out for a spin even though Kylo doesn’t have his license yet (it’s not Kylo’s fault he failed his driver’s test because that lamp post got in the way!).
Kylo with his emo fringe and wearing an MCR sweatshirt even though its like 100 degrees out.
Anakin puts his hair in a little ponytail like a ~cool grandpa~.
Rey is embarrassed.
Kylo starts putting his hair back in a little ponytail too and no, Hux its NOT because Anakin has his like that he just thinks it looks cool, okay?
Rey puts 3 buns/ponytails in to mock Anakin and Kylo.
Suddenly everyone has a bun or ponytail.
Hux refuses to mess up his perfectly gelled hair but Kylo puts his short, uniform hair into the tiniest of ponytails while he sleeps.
Han is adamant his own is the best of them all, while Poe is adamant that his is the best of them all. Finn says everyone’s is the best.
Many of the
truths we cling to depend
greatly on our own point of view.” (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
Soooo… Time for another of my lengthy ruminations. Be warned - this meta does not entirely consist of sarcasm but it contains some.
All right, of course anyone is
entitled to his own opinion and impression when it comes to the Star Wars saga,
or anything else for that matter. But let me break down a few impressions I got
over the last years, watching youtube videos and reading articles and essays about the saga.
Reason for this meta is that the attitude
of the so-called “true” Star Wars fans one comes across so often makes me want
to climb walls.
“Star Wars is only the classics,
and the classics mean Darth Vader.”
“Star Wars is Han Solo’s story.”
(I wasn’t surprised when I learned how fans used to argue about who was “the
other one” before Return of the Jedi came out).
Another favorite is Darth Maul, a
guy who says about one and a half sentences and of whom we don’t even learn
whether his looks are natural or whether he’s actually painted. We hardly know
who he is, where he comes from and what he wants (except killing for obscure
reasons), but countless “true fans” are in raptures about him.
In Attack of the Clones, a
whole arch is dedicated to Jango Fett, Boba’s father. Maybe it was a matter of
keeping in tune since there never is a Star Wars movie without a father-son
relationship (with the rare exception of Rogue One with the father-daughter
issue), but I couldn’t rid myself of the impression that this whole side dish
was mostly fan service: the classic movie’s booty hunter Boba Fett is a huge
favorite despite the fact that he hardly ever speaks and that we never see him
without his helmet.
So what’s the bottom line here? My
impression is that the saga is expected to be about a character’s coolness, not
his personality or development.
Side note: I have heard that
despite not being all that thrilling or funny, “The Big Lebowski“ is a huge
favorite, in particular with many male fans.
Because the protagonist seems to
show that life is all about attitude. You can be selfish, stupid, useless as
can be, just don’t be aware of it and carry your weaknesses about like a torch,
and everything will fall into your lap without effort. Sounds cool, right?
The Skywalker Family
No Skywalker man is cool. Ever. That’s both their tragedy and what makes them so special. They are deeply emotional family men, which is why the whole saga is
called the Skywalker saga in the first place.
Anakin had started his family
although as a Jedi, he was not supposed to have a family of his own. Luke
brought the family together again, and added to it by befriending Han. The
desire to belong and to protect is deeply ingrained in their nature.
Skywalkers never do well on their
own. Anakin and Ben were taken away from their homes before their personalities were
fully formed and that was in both cases when their downfall began. Skywalkers
are not the type of the “lonesome cowboy”, on the contrary: if they are away
for too long from the ones they care about, they begin to lose themselves.
Anakin lost himself when he was
separated from his mother and later his wife and children. Luke was at his best
when he shared himself with others and at his worst when his friends were
separate from him - first on Dagobah, later on the unnamed planet where he founded
his own Jedi Temple. Ben grew up with huge insecurities because he knew that his own parents
were afraid of him, and he lost the ground under his feet when he saw his own
uncle debating to kill him.
Luke and Leia both lived at home
until they were grown, and they’re two healthy Skywalkers, firm in their
self-esteem, idealistic and altruistic.
In the classics, Leia loses her
adoptive family and home planet, in the sequels she has lost both her husband
and son, and she is abandoned by her brother. But she never gets tempted to do
evil, either through the Force or in other ways. Her compassion is what makes
her strong. She is never alone, because she dedicates her life to others.
No Skywalker is born to be a
Jedi, as strange as that may sound. Their name already says it: they are
pilots, all of them. None had the ambition to become a Jedi and to be burdened
with so much responsibility. Anakin, Luke and Ben all were pushed into it
because it seemed to be their “fate”, and they accepted it believing it was
their duty. But being a Jedi made none of them happy, it only meant a lot of
sacrifices for all of them. Seeing Luke again in The Last Jedi, we learn
among other things that being a hero is everything but gratifying. It only
seems “cool” from the outside, not when you actually have to pay the price. Adult
Anakin had to keep what little happiness he knew a secret.
Qui-Gon had warned Shmi that the apprenticeship
for becoming a Jedi is hard, and that even after that a life made of sacrifice
awaits. Obi-Wan never warned Luke. He told him about the past, gave him his
father’s light sabre, said to him “You have to become familiar with the Force”.
In The Empire Strikes Back he shortly appears as a ghost vision to tell
Luke “You will go to Dagobah to seek out Jedi Master Yoda.” Note the imperative
here: Luke is not asked to make a choice.
Kylo Ren - The Disappointing Villain
“True fans” want Ben Solo / Kylo
Ren dead and see him as the ultimate villain, denying his inner conflict the
way they also did with Anakin, the other “whiny sissy”.
Because he’s not cool. He has
feelings (other than wrath and hatred, that is), and they are clearly to be
seen. That’s not “masculine”. It’s not what blockbuster and action movie fans
want to see. They want to see the badass hero killing the badass villain. (Even
if the so-called “hero” is a cold-blooded killer and wily seducer like James
Bond, a character I never could stand to begin with. But I digress.)
And: Kylo killed his father.
Don’t get me wrong, patricide is
a terrible deed and murder is never justifiable. But the crux of the matter is
that the person killed was the over-the-top cool Han Solo, for f***’s sake.
Kylo Ren, that ridiculous wannabe Darth Vader, killing
the coolest hero of all??! Of course he deserves the worst punishment, deepest
pain and humiliation, death and despise. Because from the point of view of “true
fans”, he deserves it. He does not deserve redemption. (Not that anyone does,
but an uncool villain least of all.)
When Kylo destroyed the console
on Starkiller Base, that was already the moment when many fans decided that he
was unbearable. What kind of villain is that, lashing out because he lost track
of the droid?! What a baby. Can’t he be more dignified, keep his cool?
Even on second view, few consider
that Mitaka had said the droid was seen aboard a Corellian freighter marked YT
Han Solo’s ship. The man who is
Kylo’s father. The man whom, we see it in the dialogue on the bridge, he still
loves but was ordered by Snoke to kill.
Snoke, that grotesque figure, was
his last resort, the only person he could turn to when he felt let down by
everyone whom he trusted; he offered Kylo protection and a chance to use his
potential in the Force, but only if the latter agreed to sacrifice everything
he had and was to him.
Kylo already has lost everything:
his home, his family, his identity, his name - and now this ultimate sacrifice is
asked from him, and the moment is imminent. No wonder he’s lashing out. But to
the “true fans” he’s someone who has no self-control, not a human being driven
to the limits of endurance over and over for years. Until now Kylo Ren was
shown off as a cold-blooded villain much like Darth Vader, but in this scene we
get a first glimpse of his inner conflict. Oh dear, that’s so uncool.
Han was always the wisest of the
trio. He knew that his son was about to kill him and that Snoke had ordered him
to do it, it’s clearly to be seen in their interaction on the Starkiller bridge.
And he knew what was the only ultimate deed that
could save his son’s soul.
not killed senselessly; he sacrificed himself out of love for his only child,
forcing him to look into his eyes the whole time. (We had never seen Kylo kill or
torture anyone without his mask until now, like he didn’t really want to see
what he was doing.) When we first see Ben’s face in The Last Jedi he is deeply
traumatized, and we never see him killing again after that, except in
self-defense. When Snoke makes fun of him because he didn’t enjoy the terrible thing
he did, it’s the last drop for Kylo: he destroys his mask and never looks at
Snoke or speaks to him again.
If Ben Solo dies, and dies
unredeemed, the whole saga which took 42 years, 9 movies and three generations to tell will end in a tragedy.
The Skywalker family will drown in the sea of Vader’s and Kylo’s blood and
sins. All that the heroes from both generations endured and suffered will have
been in vain. Han and Luke will both have sacrificed themselves for nothing.
Rey has little to do with both of them (they care much more about Ben than
her), but now she’s seen as the heroine by the “true fans”. She’s expected to
win because she’s cool. And at least the un-coolest villain of all time will be
dead, so “justice will be served”.
After The Force Awakens, most
fans thought Kylo Ren was Vader 2.0, with Rey as Luke 2.0. Then The Last
Jedi came out, and surprise: they’re not. They’re their own persons with
their conflicts, characters and developments. Their story tells among other
things how wrong it is not to go one’s own way: Ben tries to imitate Vader and
fails, Rey tries to go Luke’s way and fails, too. A much wiser and more original
choice, from the point of view of storytelling, than a simple rehash. But it
subverted expectations. So “true” fans claim that The Last Jedi sucks
and the franchise is ruined.
Rey - Contemporary Heroine or Mary Sue?
Rey did not beat Kylo at their
duel. He had plenty of opportunity to strike - instead he offered to be her
teacher, and while she concentrated on the Force he stared at her in
He let her go on purpose; he made it amply clear
from the start that he didn’t want her to get hurt. But he’s uncool, so it’s better to call
Rey a Mary Sue who won without ever having trained, than to consider that her
victory might have been an act of compassion on the side of the so-called
villain. Snoke said that “he was bested by a girl”, but Snoke was not there to
watch them. He’s the archvillain, so I see no reason for taking his words as
the gospel truth.
Same for when he says that Kylo
has “too much of his father’s heart”: Snoke was only saying that to mortify him
with his father’s “inferior blood”. Maybe Snoke really did believe that: but it
was what brought him down, because it was shrewdness that helped Kylo kill him,
a trait he has from his father, unlike his heart. Ben has his mother’s
compassionate heart, like all Skywalkers.
“True fans” may shake their heads
about Rey, call her a Mary Sue, pretend that Star Wars was “ruined by
feminism”, but these are only male prejudices speaking all over again.
Rey has some parallels with Luke
in The Force Awakens, so there are still naïve viewers who believe she
will turn out to be his daughter in the end. Because she’s a badass. All right,
the badass hero ought to be a guy, but the idea of Rey the Superwoman as the
heroine who will save the day still sounds more acceptable than the actual
truth: that this is Ben Solo’s story and not hers. She’s much cooler than he is, so if the saga ends with her killing him, ending the Skywalker family for
good, it would still be accepted.
Rey is not a Skywalker and it was
amply shown and said that she isn’t. Her name means “zero”, which already is a
dead giveaway. But so many fans believe that Rey must be the Skywalker of the
sequel trilogy, as in stories like “the daughter of the Black Corsair”, “the
son of the Wolf Man”etc., where a hero’s child magically appeared from
out of nowhere to do almost exactly what his progenitor had done, so that the
story could go on - i.e. so that the fans could be instantly gratified by
watered down and warmed up reruns of the same story.
Rey is the central figure in the
first movie of the trilogy because the heroine is always the central figure in
the first instalment: Padmé, Leia, Rey. In the second movie, it’s the Jedi: Obi-Wan, Yoda, Luke.
Kylo Ren aka Ben Solo as the
protagonist will become the central figure only in Episode IX because that,
too, is in the narrative technique: it wasn’t until Episode III that Anakin
chose his fate and became a Sith, and only in Episode VI we saw Luke ultimately
choosing to be a Jedi like his father before him.
As important as Rey is, she is not the protagonist of the sequel trilogy and she never was meant to be.
Darth Vader - The Coolest Villain of All Times
Vader did not deserve or need redemption
according to the “true fans”. Had he simply exploded at the end, it would have
looked better than the broken and worn-out man we get to see under the mask.
Because that’s not cool. Luke ending the conflict by throwing away his light saber
is not cool. “Love” being the last word we hear in the classic saga is not cool,
which is why it’s so often overheard. (The last sentence the background chorus
sings is “Celebrate to Love”).
Consider this: for all of his
coolness, Darth Vader is a failed experiment. We never see him succeed at
In A New Hope, he kidnaps and
tortures Leia to no avail. He finally gets to kill Obi-Wan in revenge but the
deed lingers with him forever: he speaks about him on every occasion. He lets
the rebels escape with the plans in order to hunt them down, resulting in the
destruction of the first Death Star.
In The Empire Strikes Back
he leads the battle of Hoth: the rebels escape again. He hunts them down to
Bespine: same as above. He orders Han Solo to be frozen in carbonite, a man he
never had any interest to begin with. He isolates, cripples and blackmails his
son, but Luke leaves him anyway.
In Return of the Jedi he
leads the battle against the rebels on Endor and tries another time to bring
his son to the Dark Side, unsuccessfully. Only when he takes Palpatine by
surprise he manages to kill him as was his intention.
In Rogue One he has a
dramatic entry, only to see the rebels escaping from him again with the Death
But he looks so cool with his
cape fluttering in the wind. His breath is creepy, his voice deep, his
sentences curt and sardonic. Who cares about whether he ever has any success
with what he does?
That’s the point. Coolness makes
everything else forgivable and forgettable.
The Star Wars Prequels
Are the prequels bad, in the eyes
of the “true fans”?
Yes. Of course. Because “the
coolest villain of all times is reduced to a simpering brat”. That’s what riles
them, not the lack of dynamics between the characters, the darkness of the
themes, the stagnation in the Jedi Order and the decadence of the Old Republic.
When he still was a slave, Anakin
had his mother, his friends, later he met Qui-Gon who was a father figure to
him. None of them feared him, all of them believed in him and his potential. Child
Anakin is skilled, brave and generous. The Jedi allegedly free him, but they place
him into another kind of prison, an emotional one. When we see Anakin as a young
grown-up he is rebellious, angry, frustrated because he spent these years that
are so important for personal development trying to learn to suppress his
emotions. He never saw his mother, his only relative, again except a few
minutes before her death, and he wasn’t even in contact with her: it came as a
complete surprise to him when he learned that Lars had freed and married her. Qui-Gon at least had negotiated
with Watto to free his mother, too; the other Jedi obviously had never
considered it for a moment, on the contrary, they saw his attachment to her as a weakness.
Anakin is a bad flirt, yes; but
that’s no reason to grind one’s teeth over and over due to silly remarks about
sand. Or course he didn’t know how to talk to women. He is not your
classic seducer, he is a Jedi and thus supposed to live chastely. Padmé doesn’t
fall for his artfulness or beauty or power, nor does Fate make her love Anakin in
mysterious ways: she always sees the good-hearted and idealistic boy he was in
him, she says so right away on meeting him again. Anakin makes a fool of
himself believing that he has to conquer Padmé, when he already owned her heart
all along; but he realizes that as little as the “true fans” do. He becomes
Palpatine’s follower because he believes he has to protect his family at any
cost, which blinds him to the Sith’s manipulation. His twisted idea of masculinity is his tragedy. And the Jedi Order is composed
mostly by men, who live by a Code which dictates strict detachment.
In Attack of the Clones,
we get a first glimpse of Anakin’s extreme strength and skill: he takes down
the entire tusken village on his own, where twenty men had failed (only four
had come back, and Lars had lost his leg in the battle).
But why does Anakin lash out? Out of pain and hatred
because they killed his defenseless mother, a good woman who probably never
hurt anyone in her life. And that’s not ok, because a “true hero” is supposed
to kill his “enemies” in cold blood, not because his emotions get the better of
him. When a guy kills James Bond or Indiana Jones style, with his hand at his
hip, it’s seen as acceptable, even as funny.
But like this, “true fans” shake
their heads wondering how stupid Padmé can be to marry this guy. Not because he
killed the tusken together with their wives and children, but because he was
not cool about it, and because he admitted his hurt and despair before his woman.
Padmé married Anakin, although
she had not desired a secret marriage, because she realized that he was going down a
dark path and thought she could save him through her love. An understandable
mistake that females often make.
No. Getting laid by someone who
kills in cold blood is sexy. Marrying a man you have known and loved for years
out of compassion is lame.
Anakin agreed to become a Jedi because he wanted freedom and the chance to help others, e.g. free the slaves on his home planet. He gives up his home, his
mother and his dream of becoming a pilot and does his best to stifle his human emotions
to be finally accepted by the Jedi, but they never do. They ask him to leave
his mother and the woman he loves to their fate, to spy on Palpatine who seems
to be his only friend and confidante, they deny him the title of Master. They
never trust him; while the Jedi follow their own aims, Anakin is left behind,
conflicted and shedding tears of humiliation. No wonder he says to his wife
that he feels lost, and that he ends with the opinion that the Jedi are evil. Bit by bit, he completely forgets why he joined them
in the first place.
In the prequels we see both
politicians and Jedi masters having no other agenda than preserving their
social status and power. They don’t care about the suffering of people who were
not born and raised privileged like them. Anakin is told over and over not to
make things about himself; but his strong sense of self, the fact that he is
not cold and detached like he’s expected to be, is precisely what makes Anakin
He knows pain.
He knows loneliness.
He knows feeling helpless and
trapped instead of appreciated and understood.
Had he ever been encouraged to employ
these experiences in order to help others, he would have become the good person
he had the potential to be. Anakin was the disturbing element who was supposed
to bring new life to the rigid Jedi Order, that’s why he was “the Chosen One”.
Anakin’s compassionate nature is
deliberately raped by the Jedi Order: he is expected to assume
an attitude that is absolutely contrary to his nature. On his mother’s grave,
he doesn’t shed a tear but instead promises her to be “stronger” in future. He blames
himself although his alleged lack of strength had nothing to do with her death,
merely the fact that because he was held back by the Jedi Obi-Wan, he was too
late to save her. And how much stronger did he mean to become, the man who had
obliterated the entire tusken on his own?
But the Jedi deliberately denied
him their trust, despite the prophecy’s warning about the lack of balance in
the Force (which they, interestingly, never questioned in the first place).
They preferred to stay, aloof, in their ivory tower and to believe that they
were untouchable. Their philosophy of self-defense, their role as the
protectors of peace and justice in the galaxy were turned upside down by the
war against the Separatists, which they carried on and on for years leaving
nothing but losses on both ends, until Palpatine picked the ripe fruit and
became the triumphant third in the quarrel.
But to the “true fans”, when Anakin
finds his terrible end on Mustafar, it’s because he deserves it, since he is not
proud of being a Jedi and always was the one who saw and spoke about the
disagreeable truths they didn’t want to see. But the burning scene looks cool.
Or hot, depending on how you see it. (Not sorry about the sarcasm.)
For the same reasons, JarJar
Bings is hated. And child Anakin. Because they have feelings.
JarJar means well, but he’s aware
of his shortcomings. Child Anakin has nothing whatsoever in common with the terrible creature he will become later,
and that is exactly the point: he was shown like that to make the contrast all
the more unsettling.
Why were cute Jake Lloyd and
handsome Hayden Christensen chosen to portray them in the first place? Exactly:
for the contrast. We are supposed to feel with Anakin, to mentally
follow his development, to have sympathy with him, to be shocked by his
downfall. But for the “true fans”, the prequels become interesting only the
moment the mask is placed over his face.
I don’t know how many times I
have read and heard fans complaining that Luke Skywalker’s character was
assassinated in The Last Jedi.
Let’s make a comparison.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is largely
responsible for Anakin’s downfall. Yes, he is, even if most people don’t want
to accept it.
Obi-Wan is too young for his task and the other Jedi, even
grand Master Yoda, wash their hands of it, leaving him alone with it.
he has no understanding for his pupil’s passionate heart and
questioning mind, so he keeps him down all of the time instead of encouraging
him to develop his potential. He belittles his fears when they manifest
themselves through nightmares, and hasn’t the slightest bit of compassion for
either the boy or the mother. It never occurs to him that if his powerful
student has nightmares announcing disaster, they might very well be true.
Anakin once says to Padmé that Obi-Wan holds him back because he envies him: a
bitter truth, but the truth.
Anakin passes the Jedi’s tests
but these deny him the title of Master, with the excuse of him being too young.
Mace Windu openly says to him that he doesn’t trust him but that maybe he will
if he finds out that Anakin had the nerve to betray Palpatine as the Sith Lord.
Anakin feels isolated because he knows that only Padmé believes in him, so he obsesses
about his fear of losing her; enhanced by his nightmares, which already proved
to be right once. But this time he already knows that he can’t talk to Obi-Wan
about them. Instead he talks to Yoda, who also belittles his fears and tries to
tell him not to care about others. The only person left for Anakin to trust in
his despair is Palpatine.
On Mustafar, Padmé talks one last
time with her husband and she is about to convince him to just forget about
everything, come with her to Naboo and help her raise their child. In that
moment, Obi-Wan believes he has to play the hero and interject between husband and
wife, believing that the woman is in danger. Anakin, who never would have hurt
her before this, feels betrayed and chokes her until she faints. Note: he never
wanted to hurt or kill her, only to make sure that she couldn’t run away from
The two men, who were supposed to
have a long-standing friendship, fight a terrible duel which ends with the
“wise Jedi master” cutting Anakin’s legs and his good arm off and simply leaving
him to burn in the lava. He doesn’t even have the mercy to kill him off because
“that’s not what a Jedi does”; instead he accuses the agonizing, burning man
additionally with sharp words, loading all of the guilt on him.
Having somehow found out that Anakin is
not dead but that Palpatine had turned his miserable remainders into Darth
Vader, Obi-Wan doesn’t lift a finger against the Empire but waits for Anakin’s
son to grow up, convinced that the boy will be the only one strong enough to
kill his own father. He outright lies to him saying that Darth Vader was
Anakin’s killer, manipulating Luke because he expects him to become a patricide,
never imagining the internal horror the young man who trusted him has to go
through on finding out what he almost had done. And, surprise: the one who
tells him the actual truth is no other than the supposed villain. Whatever evil
Darth Vader did, lying never was in his nature.
On the Death Star, Obi-Wan lets Vader
kill him on purpose to increase Luke’s desire for revenge. Han lets Ben kill
him on purpose, too, but there is no second thought in him, only the love for
his son and the desperate wish to make him stop doing evil.
Obi-Wan never questions himself,
his choices and actions. He never takes his responsibilities: even when he’s
dead, he justifies his blatant lie to Luke saying that the truth is only a
point of view. He never loses his cool. So I guess that whatever he does, it’s
Luke makes only one unfortunate
mistake with his nephew: he succumbs to panic, finally making the young man realize just how much he fears his power. Disaster
happens. Another Jedi Temple burns.
Luke goes into exile, too, but
all he waits for is his death. He doesn’t spend his time dreaming of a better
past, on the contrary: when Rey comes to be taught by him, he outright tells
her about the sins of the Jedi, the hubris and hypocrisy which led to the
destruction of their order and of the Old Republic.
As he opens up to the Force
again, the first person he mentally reaches out to is his sister, who promptly
wakes up from her coma. When he comes back to see her, he apologizes for the
mistakes he made with her son, and tells her not to give up hope.
Luke ends the battle on Crait
without shedding one drop of blood, by confronting his furious nephew. He does
not want him dead, on the contrary: he wants him to have a future. He
apologizes. He communicates to Ben that he still believes in him, and promises
that he will still be around. The effort of projecting himself from Ahch-To
kills him, asking the ultimate sacrifice from him. And Ben is or will be aware so that, he knows
how the Force works.
Much has been said and written
about the forgiveness Ben must earn or receive undeservedly, if he is to be
redeemed. We like to forget that he has much to forgive himself, for the things
that were done to him. And I don’t only mean Luke’s moment of weakness, but
mostly his parent’s fear of him which led them to send him to be trained to be
a Jedi, far away from home, at an age when his personality was assuredly not
yet formed. A far too heavy responsibility for an impressionable young man, not to
mention that Ben had wanted to become a pilot like his dad and had no ambition
of becoming a Jedi.
Honestly: how many of us have
been let down by our families, teachers, doctors, spiritual leaders? I daresay
there’s not one of us who hasn’t made the experience.
But do they ever take their
responsibilities? Apologize? Try to make up? In my experience, never. Most
people want to keep their cool as if it was the most important thing in the
Luke Skywalker proves maturity,
wisdom and human greatness to the extreme in his last appearance. And I’m
positive it won’t have been in vain. Ben is not heartless, and at least he got
an apology, something - as I already said - most of us don’t.
Is this character assassination? I have never admired Luke Skywalker more than in The Last Jedi. He is the last Jedi and also the strongest, because contrarily to the others he is compassionate.
That is what the saga is about:
compassion, or lack thereof. A society that lacks compassion, that discourages compassion is doomed. Yoda himself said that compassion is essential to a Jedi, but we never saw any of them pay more than lip service to the word.
But the “true fans” don’t ever
want to get that message. Or any message at all for that matter. They think
they know the saga, but they don’t listen to it.
…Because this is only a string of
action movies, folks!! It’s all about special effects!! It’s supposed to be
about duels and explosions and chases, not about family and love and philosophical
The Jedi are some kind of
superheroes with the Force as their superpower and light sabers as the ultimate
weapon. That’s cool. That Jedi theoretically are supposed to fight only
for defense and to protect others is uninteresting. They’re supposed to win,
for f***’s sake. Even if they fight two men against one (Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan
against Darth Maul) or attack from behind (Obi-Wan against General Grievous). In
the cantina scene in A New Hope Oni-Wan is molested by a guy and simply
cuts off his arm although neither he nor anyone else was in danger.
That’s not unnecessary cruelty.
It’s cool. Not to mention the infamous “Han shot first” scene, which also took
place in the cantina. In Return of the Jedi, Han is much calmer and more self-controlled: one of the things “true fans” dislike about the movie. Han has
lost a lot of his swashbuckling cool, but who wouldn’t, after the terrible
experience he had to go through? I guess a “real guy” would tough it out,
however that is accomplished.
Why does Luke throw his light
saber away before the Emperor? Why do he and his friends enter Jabba’s lair one
by one instead of together? Why does Luke come last, and why does he try to
find a diplomatic solution first, instead of attacking right away?
Because that’s what a Jedi does:
he fights only in self-defense.
Throwing his weapon away before the two most dangerous
men in the galaxy requires an enormous amount of moral courage.
Luke has learned his lesson. The “true fans”
haven’t. The reason is simple: it’s uncool.
Because human feelings are not
cool. A real man doesn’t have feelings and even if he does, he doesn’t show
them. Who cares about characters? They are supposed to be cardboard cutouts so
you can either identify with them (cool guy) or despise them (uncool guy). A
“true fan” doesn’t want to think about them in more depth than a quarter of an inch. Or, worse, admit that he might
understand what Anakin, Luke or Ben are going through. The horror.
Like his grandfather,
Kylo Ren chose the path of evil because he had struggled with the darkness inside
of him over and over, only to come across fear and rejection from the ones who
were responsible for him. Yet the “true fans” see him as an unredeemable villain
solely by his own choice; not because of the burden his family placed on his
shoulders, not because of his uncle’s betrayal, not because he was coerced and
manipulated by Snoke.
“True fans” hate Kylo because he
still has a visible spark of hope, of goodness in him. In Vader, this was not
discernible (due to his mask and his haughty attitude) almost until the very
end, so, though with a sigh, they might accept his ultimate redemption though
more or less secretly judging it as being superfluous and mushy. Because that’s
what they think of feelings like hope, forgiveness and compassion: they’re
ridiculous. Coolness is the ticket to being popular with “true” Star Wars fans.
“True fans” hate the idea of a
romantic future between Ben and Rey for the same reason. They pretend it would
immoral to hope for the villain to get a happy ending of some sort, but the
truth is that it’s not about morals.
It’s about coolness.
Kylo aka Ben is oversensitive and
doubtful, so he doesn’t deserve to get laid. Rey is cool so she would deserve
it, but not with that stupid “child in a mask”. (Leia was a badass woman too,
but she was seduced by Han, so that made things “right”.)
In the opinion of the “true fans”,
at the end of The Last Jedi Good and Evil are still firmly separated. Then
why did Anakin’s / Luke’s light sabre stay suspended between Rey and Ben this
time, instead of flying directly into Rey’s hand the way it did at the end of That silly thing probably had some kind of whim. The reason
was that now Dark and Light are equally strong in both antagonists.
The visuals say nothing to the “true fans”, only what they want to see.
In the opinion of the “true fans”, at the end of
The Last Jedi Good and Evil are still firmly separated. Then why did
Anakin’s / Luke’s light sabre stay suspended between Rey and Ben this time,
instead of flying directly into Rey’s hand the way it did at the end of That
silly thing probably had some kind of whim. The reason was that now Dark and
Light are equally strong in both antagonists. The visuals say nothing to the
“true fans”, only what they want to see.
Why is the fight against the
Praetorian Guards so impressive, and at times even in slow motion to ensure
that what is happening here is something really epic, groundbreaking? Oh no,
it’s assuredly not meant to tell us that if they cooperate, Dark Side
and Light Side become invincible.
It’s all so badly made.
What are these producers thinking of?
When the prequels came out “true
fans” expected the classics warmed up and served all over again and they were
hugely disappointed. Then Episode VII came out as a homage to Episode IV and
everybody was like “How boring, it’s just a rehash.” I wish viewers would at
least decide what they want.
Videos are made and articles
written by the thousands about how only the classics are really good movies
(ok, apart from that dumb plot twist with the redemption) and how everything
else compared to them is rubbish.
It’s easy to make comparisons. To
have some respect for the author who thought up and created two different
worlds from scratch (prequels and classics) is something else. If you’re so
dissatisfied, make up your own saga and do it better. Good luck with that.
Must I go on?
I’m sick and tired of stumbling upon so-called “true fans” ranting and raving about the sequels and the
prequels and also partly about Return of the Jedi simply because, if you
boil it all down, their complaints are about one thing: human feelings.
Blowing entire planets up, crippling
and killing people is ok. Regretting and forgiving, not giving up hope
is unacceptable. The line “saving what you love” instead of “killing what you
hate” is judged as incredibly dumb.
The classic movies live from nothing if not from
people running to the rescue of the ones they care for: Luke wanting to rescue
Leia on the Death Star, Han arriving at the last minute to save Luke from Vader,
Luke leaving Yoda to save his friends on Bespine, Leia returning to Bespine to
save Luke, Luke and his friends entering Jabba’s lair to get Han out of there, Luke
surrendering to the Emperor to save his father, Vader sacrificing himself to
save his son.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Han
Solo. I was devastated that Kylo killed him.
I wholeheartedly agree that Darth
Vader is probably the most iconic movie villain of all times.
entitled to like Darth Maul and Boba Fett.
And I’m not saying that the
Jedi, including Obi-Wan were evil: they were misguided but they had no bad intentions.
But in the end, it’s not about
them. It’s called the Skywalker saga for some reason. It’s the story of three
generations: Anakin, Luke, Ben. It’s about the Light Side of the Force against
the Dark Side, with this powerful family at the center of the conflict.
Classic Trilogy = the Light Side
wins. How do you end a war? Compassion.
Prequel Trilogy = The Dark Side
wins. How does war start to begin with? Lack of compassion.
Sequel Trilogy = Balance, as
announced in Episode I. How do you prevent war from starting again? (We
don’t know the answer yet, but we do know that it was his family’s lack of
faith in him that pushed Ben to the Dark Side.)
It doesn’t take particular genius
to understand the narrative. All it takes is listening to what the author wants
to tell, instead of making it about one’s expectations - aka good guys versus
bad guys, ka-boom, the end.
It’s not that I don’t like action
movies, as long as they are made well. And I’m not following the
Star Wars saga hoping for a happy ending with sunshine and roses. But in order to feel
suspense, I need characters that feel real. I can’t bring myself to care about
characters who might as well be brain dead because they hardly ever doubt,
fail, care, let alone change in any way.
I don’t mind coolness, I like style in a person no
less than anybody else. What I do mind is when said style is accepted as an
excuse for any bad thing a person does, respectively the good things he ought
to do but omits.
If you love action movies and
watch them mainly for the duels, the chases, the battles, fine.
It’s not as if the prequels or sequels are lacking
What I’m saying
is merely that it’s no reason for being deliberately deaf and blind and turning your heart to stone.
Who can’t deal with human
feelings is bound for disappointment
right from the outset, sorry. I suggest these so called “true fans” to stop
watching these movies, or at least complaining about them. The Star Wars saga
is intrinsically about Love winning over War. Believing in love, faith and hope
is neither immoral nor stupid. The saga drives home over and over how
disastrous it is when people believe they have to pick a side and to fight the other one
to the bitter end.
But then, if you believe in love,
faith and hope and show some compassion and you’re a guy, you will be called a stupid softy and you’ll
never get laid.
If you believe that, please stick
with stuff like Mission Impossible, Dirty Harry and James Bond, and identify
with those guys. But please stop infesting the Star Wars fandom with of your idea of justice and your stuck-up conviction of what a real man is.
Girls want to get laid by the
cool guys. Ok, if that’s what you believe. I’ve lived on this planet for almost
half a century and from my experience I can tell you that’s only what silly girls want. The
intelligent ones sometimes are taken in too, yes. But they don’t stay by
the side of “cool” heartless assholes for long.
Thank you for reading. Be respectful in your comments.
Recently I have heard and read
quite a few interpretations of the Star Wars sequels; and regarding its conclusion,
there seem to be two major theories.
Ren will pay for what he did and end in a terrible way, making the way free for
Rey as the heroine who will save the galaxy, and who maybe also will turn out
to be a Skywalker / Solo / Kenobi after all. 2.
will be Ben Solo again and Rey will be the one who brings him back to the
But we know that this is the
Skywalker saga. As Luke himself said, “This is not going to go the way you
The two above-mentioned
developments are, each in its own way, the most logical and straightforward ones,
depending on whether you see the protagonist as Kylo Ren the villain due to his
crimes, or as Ben Solo the hero undercover / the victim due to his uncle’s
betrayal and Snoke’s manipulation.
But when you are dealing with a
Skywalker, you can be certain only of one thing: the unexpected. Because the
Skywalker is always the X factor in the equation.
Every Skywalker man is a hot emotional
mess. Their impulsiveness is one of the major factors of the saga, urging the
plot on. And that’s not wrong in itself: if they make a spontaneous decision
reaching out to someone, it turns to be the right thing in the end. It’s when
they make things only about themselves that they fail.
With characters like Obi-Wan,
Yoda, Han or Leia to name a few, you usually know where you’re at. Their
personalities are well-defined and you can foresee what they will do from a
mile away. Han sometimes is spontaneous too, but his actions are dictated by
slyness, not by rushed emotions. Being Anakin’s daughter, Leia is hot-headed
too, but due to having been raised a princess even if she takes sudden action, she
never loses her sense of responsibility and always thinks of the common good.
With a Skywalker, you are
definitively always in for surprises. They often don’t do what they are
expected to do, whether from us viewers or from the characters around them.
Skywalkers usually do not explain
or justify themselves. They do not speak about these spontaneous acts, which
leads both viewers and the figures around them wonder about their motivations
and to judge them, depending on whether we or they see them as the heroes or
the villains (or, occasionally, as the fools) of the story.
Anakin Skywalker’s very existence
is a mystery. He is the most powerful Jedi of all and comes from the humblest
beginnings. His mother is not even aware of how she got pregnant with him.
It is 9-year-old Anakin who
brings the Naboo Battle to a closure, destroying the droid’s control station
which was orbiting the planet. All he did was to “stay in the cockpit”.
On his mother’s death, Anakin
lashes out for the first time. His anger and grief are understandable, however
it is as terrible as it is unexpected that it will push him so far as to kill
the entire tusken village.
Knowing the original story we
were of course aware that Anakin would marry Padmé; however to the Jedi, this was
unthinkable because they would never have guessed that a Jedi would dare to oppose
their strict code. Even Obi-Wan did not know for years, until on realizing that
Padmé was pregnant he finally put two and two together.
Anakin’s marriage may seem
foolish, immoral or romantic depending on your point of view. In any case, it’s
crucially important because without this marriage, the two children who will
later bring down the Empire would not have been born.
Again, as viewers we did know
that Anakin would turn to the Sith. But the Jedi did not see it coming and they
could not stop him. Obi-Wan was shocked on finding out that the one who had killed
the Jedi younglings was indeed his former apprentice, saying over and over to
Yoda that he could not believe it.
On Mustafar, Padmé almost
succeeded in convincing Anakin to leave everything behind him and come back with
her. It is interesting that she still had the power to do that (thus proving
that there still was good in him) despite the horrible things he had done.
Would Obi-Wan have suspected that
Anakin would survive Mustafar, a quadruple amputee burning in the lava?
Assuredly not. That’s why he left him behind. We can only imagine his reaction
on finding out that Lord Vader, Palpatine’s right hand and the scourge of the
galaxy, had been built from Anakin’s miserable remainders.
Luke proves right away to be a
true Skywalker when he learns that Leia is about to be executed. He is in terrible
danger on an unknown space station and he has never met the girl in person, but
he immediately feels that he has to rescue her.
Darth Vader is Moff Tarkin’s
subordinate. But the suggestion to let the rebels leave the Death Star in order
to track them down comes from him - a risky tactic that proves to be fatal. Not being a Skywalker, Tarkin would certainly never have come up with such an unexpected idea.
Despite the protests of both his
mentors, Luke rushes to Bespine because he feels Han’s and Leia’s distress. To
Obi-Wan and Yoda, both straightforward characters, the obvious thing for him to
do would be to stay on Dagobah and complete his training. But as usual, Luke
follows his heart.
The probably most unexpected plot
twist in movie history: “I am your father.”
Not only is the fact in itself
totally unpredicted, it’s that Vader does tell Luke at all, in an attempt to
keep his son with him. Knowing the truth, Luke can no longer hate Vader. From
this moment on, he is lost to the Dark Side.
When the Falcon first escapes,
Vader does what everybody would have expected
him to do: he
chokes captain Needa to death. On its second escape, he just exits the bridge wordlessly. The
encounter with his son seems to have shaken him more than he thought.
Why is Return of the Jedi
the quintessential Skywalker film, the peak of the classic trilogy? Because so
many things happen that no one would have foreseen.
Luke tries to solve matters with
Jabba the Hutt diplomatically. Any kick-ass action hero would have entered his
cave showing his strength and skills right from the start. Luke only grabs his
light sabre at the very last moment.
Darth Vader, the cold-blooded
killer, the most iconic villain, is still salvageable? “There is still good in
him, Leia.” No one but his son could have realized this unexpected truth.
A decision that is controversial
in the eyes of many fans to this day: Luke’s decision to give up fighting.
Palpatine has done his utmost to
corrupt Luke, trying over and over to create enmity between father and son.
Luke refuses to be separated from his father once more: he proclaims himself to
be a Jedi “like my father before me.”
His loyalty is ultimately what
brings the Empire down.
Although it costs him his life,
Vader destroys Palpatine in order to rescue his son - another spontaneous decision
taken at the very last moment, so unexpected that even Palpatine, who knew him
so well and for so long, did not see it coming.
Adult Luke is normally a calm and
self-controlled person. But on sensing his nephew’s power, he is overwhelmed by
a sudden moment of panic, and he draws his light sabre because he fears the loss of everything he loves.
Kylo Ren has no qualms killing
innocents and torturing prisoners. But as he interrogates Rey, he is
We see Kylo interact with Han on
the bridge: his words to Snoke “He means nothing to me” were obviously false,
he does feel something for his father. Yet he commits the patricide. He does
the unthinkable, believing in Snoke’s words that this will finally end the
conflict inside of him pushing him to the Dark Side for good.
Kylo would have had the
opportunity to kill both Finn and Rey who are untrained with the light sabre. But
he only wounds Finn (despite calling him a traitor, too) and lets Rey go
After his terrible deed, we would
expect Kylo to now be the ultimate villain. But as we see his face again a few
days after the patricide, he is obviously deeply traumatized.
On her visit in the cave, Rey is
confronted with her loneliness. The only person who offers her companionship
and empathy is the alleged villain.
Ben does not speak with Rey about
his intentions. He kills Snoke when he was least expecting it, taking both
Snoke and Rey entirely by surprise.
Again, surprise: Luke is not really on
Crait, he’s a Force projection. He uses his nephew’s anger against him in order
to save his sister and her resistance, and to end the battle on Crait without
spilling one drop of blood. A move that is as cunning as it is compassionate.
After the battle, Kylo would
still have the time to send someone to go after the Falcon and shoot it down. But
despite his assertion to destroy everything he just remains back, crying silently.
Now about the theories for
Being the last of the Skywalker
family Kylo Ren / Ben Solo is, again, the X factor in the saga’s equation. Like
with his grandfather before him, we know too little about his background to really know what we’re at. We see the sequels more through Rey’s eyes, which is why we
tend to mistake her as the protagonist; hence the above mentioned two main
theories for the saga’s conclusion.
Kylo is not predictable. He will
most certainly make a few decisions no one would have reckoned with. As Lor San Tekka said right from the start, he cannot deny the truth that is his family.
All we can
do is hope that he will act for the right reasons.
What makes everybody wonder about
the Skywalker men, is the same over and over: what do they want after all?
One would expect the protagonist
of an action saga, of a hero’s journey, to do what action heroes usually
pursue: save the world, kill the villain, get the girl. One would expect a Jedi to always do the right thing and a villain always to do evil. It is admittedly
irritating when the protagonist takes unexpected turns over and over.
Knowing the Skywalkers, what I
believe they ultimately want is belonging. They are
fiercely loyal, but it can literally drive them out of their minds if their
loyalty is not requited. And unfortunately, their power often makes people
mistrust them, using them at times, but not really requiting their services
with trust and appreciation. Snoke’s downfall came due to the fact that he showed
his apprentice lack of respect, a huge mistake Palpatine never made with Vader.
Anakin had to give up his mother
and his wish of becoming a pilot. He did all he could to suppress his emotions in
order to find belonging with the Jedi, to no avail: they never trusted him. When he feared to lose the
only ones he did belong to - his wife and unborn children - he lost himself.
Only when his son proclaimed his loyalty to him did he turn and find belonging again.
Ben Solo, too, originally had the
wish of becoming a pilot. He did struggle to become a Jedi, but he got unsettled when his parents sent him away from home and pushed over
the edge when his own uncle seemed to give up on him.
Luke is the exception because he
is so deeply human, and so accepting of other people’s humanness, that people
can’t help but trust him. Luke is always more a human being than a Jedi. He
does employ his powers but they do not define him as a person.
So, if we try to guess how the
saga will end, we must not ask ourselves what Rey will do.
Will she kill Kylo Ren, making
him pay for his crimes?
Will she save him with love and
I don’t think that’s the right
question to make. The question is: what will he do?
Kylo committing some other
horrible, unpardonable crime? No actual surprise
there after the patricide.
Ben helping / saving / joining
Rey? No surprise there either, after all the times he reached out for her.
If the Skywalkers were not the
way they are, their saga would not be half as captivating and the plot twists
not half as fascinating. Who wants to follow a story where most everything goes
With a Skywalker guy, the only thing to be expected
is the unexpected.
Let’s keep our hopes up and tuned.
P.S. I did write a few meta’s about my own theories for Episode IX, you may
want to check them out. Yes, I know, I’m a bloody tease. Guilty as charged.
Anakin Skywalker completely entranced with the growing swell of his wife’s stomach. How together they’ve created a life that’s growing day by day inside of her and how precious that little life is.
How back on Tatooine Anakin never even imagined he’d have the chance to have a family. Life was not something slaves were allowed, tools of a trade, owned and made to do what their master’s required of them. How a pregnant slave was never a good thing, meaning another mouth to feed or a baby that had been created without even a sliver of love.
How he uses every excuse to touch her, giggling when he feels their baby kick for the very first time. This little life that they’re created with their love.
Ben Sheev Skywalker,” Luke said quietly, so that nobody but Mara could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Jaina, who was now on the Millenium Falcon, “you were named for two Force-sensitives. One of them was a Sith and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.