The Convolution of the Skywalker Legacy
As a film enthusiast, I love Star Wars. It revolutionized the movie industry as we know it and ushered in a new age of special effects. But the beloved trilogy is not without its flaws, one of which has left me baffled since I was old enough to watch the intergalactic struggle on our old tube TV.
George Lucas claims his original Star Wars trilogy was written to accommodate the subtle reveal of the members of the Skywalker family. They included Vader (Anakin), Luke, and Leia. While there are several instances in episodes 5 and 6 when this can be called into question, there is something more troubling should these assertion be valid. Let's take a look.
Let’s start where it all began, Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope (or just Star Wars as it was originally known). Early in the movie, young Luke Skywalker asks Obi-Wan how his father was killed.
Luke: How did my father die?
Obi-Wan: A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi knights. He betrayed and murdered your father.
Okay, fair enough. But look at this exchange in the third installment of the original trilogy. This of course is following the infamous cliffhanger revelation at the conclusion of The Empire Strikes Back (episode 5) when the evil sith lord, Darth Vader, reveals that he is in fact Luke’s father. Now speaking with the ghost of his deceased master (man I love Star Wars), Luke demands some clarification from Obi-Wan.
Luke: Ben! Why didn't you tell me? You told me that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered my father.
Obi-Wan: Your father... was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and "became" Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view.
Luke: A certain point of view?
I agree with Luke on this one. Ben (Obi-wan) either has a warped sense of perspective, which seems unlikely or the writing was at the mercy of minor inconsistencies in the mythos? Yeah I know that Anakin sold his soul when allying with the dark side and therefore the person he was died from the transition, but this is certainly a complicated way to inform young Luke of his father's fate. However, this is the least of our problems when looking at this convoluted mess.
Now there is a reprieve that supports Lucas's argument. Referring to Empire once again, there's a brief conversation between Obi-wan and Yoda. The tiny green jedi master does provide ample evidence to back the pre-establishment of Leia and Luke were always intended to be twins, with one simple phrase.
Obi-wan: That boy is our last hope...
Yoda: No, there is another.
While this may seem like ample evidence, there's something far more sinister at work through the entire trilogy that begs for an explanation of how this could have been possible.
So let's delve into the heart of the argument and an aspect far more disturbing. Of course I'm referring to the tender kiss shared between siblings in Empire, when Leia attempts to conjure up some jealousy from Han Solo. Okay, she pecked Luke on the cheek for luck in the original (episode 4) and I can accept this. Also, I get that she’s trying to make Solo jealous, but why the hell would you do so with your brother?
Why have this scene at all? Okay, you could almost make the argument that maybe she didn’t know and it would be one of those little quirky details that fans would laugh at later.
This little interesting revelation roughly at the midpoint of Return of the Jedi debunks any such notions:
Luke: You're wrong, Leia. You have that power too. In time you'll learn to use it as I have. The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And... my sister has it. Yes. It's you, Leia.
Princess Leia: I know. Somehow, I've always known.
Wait! what? And just incase you missed it, “I KNOW. Somehow, I’ve ALWAYS known.”
Then for the love of the force, why would you shove your tongue down your brother’s throat if and I quote, "ALWAYS known..."?
Prior to this scene I would have chalked this up to a series of unfortunate incestual mishaps. But this little admission by the princess takes it to a whole new level of perplexity and strangeness. Couldn't Lucas simply have left that last bit out. Everything would be more reasonable and not some sick twisted joke of why Leia would not once, but have multiple questionable interaction with her own brother throughout the original trilogy. What about poor Luke who thinks he's just making it with royalty? Does he feel violated? I like to think that he would have behaved differently if the jedi possessed the prior knowledge, as opposed to the princess. This even appears to be true, as he appears to think her mind will be blown away by informing her of their family ties. His expression is priceless when his sister replies that she has always known, even though she has made it a habit to sexually entice him up until now.
Not to mention this…I hope to never be in such an awkward situation with my sister. But Luke had not yet learned this troubling bit of information. Let's recall the events of the final film in the Star Wars original trilogy. The failed execution scene over the sarlacc pit (Pictured) occurs prior to Luke going to Degobah and learning that Leia's his twin sister. The poor jedi had no clue at this point. So let's be honest, how was Luke not checking out the slave-clad Leia?
But the best part of this shenanigans is Han Solo's reaction when Leia reveals to him that Luke is indeed her brother. You see him briefly slip back to his subconscious and most likely trying to wipe his memory of his future brother-in-law being seduced back on Hoth. He probably was wishing the carbonite had given him minor brain damage or at least long-term memory loss. I like to think that they never told Harrison Ford and that this was his actual on screen reaction to his character being informed.
So was Lucas's story too complex to maintain continuity or was he just warped and wanted to see siblings get down? I'm not here to issue a verdict or judge the man who has provided us hours of entertainment and childhood nostalgia, but express my confusion.