So I was mopping the kitchen floor this afternoon and got to thinking about the genealogy of Star Wars. As one does. It occurred to me that the prequels created not one but two plot holes in the story of the Skywalker twins upbringing.
The first is the well known and much griped about “Schrodinger’s Amadala” problem. Those of us who grew up with the original trilogy (ep. 4-6 for you younglings) know very well that, in a conversation during Return of the Jedi, Luke asks Leia if she remembers her real mother and she says, “Yes, in fact she was a mopey bitch and I never understood what Papa Organa saw in her.” Or words to that effect. Point is: Leia confirms in ep. 6 that Amadala was alive, presumably up until Gov. Tarkin used the Death Star to turn Alderan into space debris in Ep. 4.
The obvious problem here is that Amadala dies on screen in ep. 3, 20 years before that. Meaning that either A) Leia sees dead people, or 2) Leia is in fact talking about Bale Organa’s wife, her step-mother, whom we’ve never met or even seen and so the conversation is pointless. We all know that the real answer is of course 3) George Lucus forgot his own story’s continuity and ripped a gaping hole in the space time continuum/plot.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to square this fuck up in the context of the prequals as they are filmed. Taking some license, we can add a few scenes and make some judicious edits in dialogue. To wit: Obi Wan convinces Anakin that Amadala was stepping out on him with suave prince of Alderan, Bale Organa and the twins are in fact Bale’s. Amadala did survive and for 20 years was living with a man she didn’t love but who would, for the safety of the rebellion and to save the galaxy, pretend to love her and her two kids, whom he would raise as his own. What do you mean, two kids? wasn’t Luke raised on some backwater planet furthest from the galactic center of civilization (that everybody just happens across at some point in the story)?
Yeah, that brings us to the second and lesser known problem: “Uncle” Owen.
So, you’ve decided to split up the twins and hide the son of Darth Vader on a distant, backwater world (that everybody just happens across at some point in the story) where he will be safe from the prying eyes and legion of spies of his father. So naturally, the man you want to raise the future savior of the Jedi order and the galaxy as a whole is Lord Vader’s step-brother. His only living relative. On the planet where his mother is buried and where he spent the first ten years of his life as a slave. The only way it would be easier to find him would be to have him raised by a live-in au pare on Corescant. (“Lord Vader, I apologize for the intrusion but your nanny is on the hologram. She says young master Luke is colicy.”)
Now, originally (that is, ignoring the prequels), there’s no reason for the audience to believe that Uncle Owen is actually Luke’s father’s brother. It’s just a signifying title, to show that he’s not Luke’s Pa. Now, if Star Wars were really as mythically themed as Lucus claims, Owen Lars would have turned out to be a trusted member of the army who fought with the Jedi and was a member, if a minor one, of the nascent rebellion. He could easily have served the role of Captain Cody to Obi Wan, a lower ranking but trustworthy commander during the Clone Wars. When Amadala bears twins and they for some reason decide to hide one of them but not the other, Commander Owen retires and returns to his ancestral manse in the boondocks to raise a family that now includes a young foundling child who will grow up to be the squire to his natural born son. He will in short, play the role of Sir Hector to King Arthur.
This of course all goes out the window with the prequals, who show you that in fact, Owen is just a moisture farmer and once gone from Tatooine, Darth Vader decides never to ever look at anything going on there ever again for 20 years. Despite the fact that Tatooine is the nexus point to much of the drama of his life and clearly a magnet for Force sensitive individuals (not to mention a hot bed of extra-empirial intrigue, seeing as how it’s the seat of one of the more nefarious gangsters in the galaxy), he and the Emperor are just going to ignore it. Too much sand. Icky.
There is of course another solution to the Amidala Problem: make Luke and Leia not related. This also has the side benefit of cleaning up a clumsy bit of story telling.
Leia really is Bale Organa’s daughter by his nameless, unmentioned wife. Amidala dies in ep. 3 and the discussion between Luke and Leia in ep. 6 about mothers becomes just a symbolic discussion about family and duty. The only reason Laia is Luke’s sister anyway is as a way to defuse the love triangle between her, Han and Luke. And there’s no reason to do this. Having sexual tension would add subtext and nuance to the story. And then you can resolve the issue later by killing Luke when the Death Star 2 blows up. Or better yet: have everyone think he’s dead. Luke escapes, has a funeral for Anakin and then becomes a hermit on some far away moon, biding his time until the Galaxy needs him once more. Han and Laia become the President and first Man of the New Republic. Cue fireworks and dancing teddy bears.
1. or 20 years later. When talking about these movies, shit gets Timey Wimey, fast.
2. Which begs the question of why it took Darth Vader, galactic bad ass, 20 years to get around to nuking Alderan and then let Gov. Tarkin do the actual dirty work. This is a man who sits at the right hand of the Emperor of the frickin’ galaxy and force chokes admirals for fun. Your telling me he wouldn’t send bounty hunters after his ex wife for cheating on him and having another man’s kids?
3. I guess Force Sensitivity is a gene carried on the Y chromosome. It would explain why there aren’t many female Jedi, as it’s a recessive trait in women.
4. And if we overlay the well-know inspiration for Tatooine that is Dune, this of course makes Luke into Feyd-Routha Harkonnen.