The Extraordinary Mothers of ‘Star Wars’

A lot of the great storylines in Star Wars revolves around family matters, from the whole father/son struggle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker to now the conflicts between Kylo Ren and his family. And even though it is the mothers that bring these characters into the world they’re not really celebrated or utilized into the weaving of these fantastic stories as much as they should. So I figure it’s only fair on Mother’s Day to write a post celebrating these extraordinary women who have had a huge but usually overlooked impact on these Star Wars films. Enjoy!

Shmi Skywalker Lars

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Shmi Skywalker Lars is barely memorable for her lack of involvement in the Star Wars films despite the fact that she’s literally the mother and grandmother of a string of important characters in Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, the man who helped save the galaxy multiple times, and Princess Leia Organa, a rebel leader and eventual General of the Resistance. Of course, there is a logical reason for her small role in The Phantom Menace. Jedi Younglings are taken away from their parents as young children to train to become a Jedi, so of course, she wouldn’t have a huge role in the movies but still, Shmi was just a boring character, and she shouldn’t be.

Shmi is the one who encouraged Anakin to follow his dream of becoming a Jedi. She could’ve easily held him back from his destiny but she loved him so much she did what she figured was right for him and the galaxy. If that doesn’t make her one of the most important characters in the Star Wars films then I don’t know what to say. And yes, she came to a rather dismal end due to the torturous devices of the Tusken Raiders but even at her final breath she still loved Anakin despite barely being able to recognize him. Shmi is a lot more important to the entire story of Star Wars than I think most people even realize and that’s why she’s an extraordinary character in the grand scope of this saga.

Senator Padme Amidala

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I’m going to admit, I’m not a huge Padme fan. Now I loved her in The Phantom Menace because she was strongminded, she wasn’t scared to pick a fight against the Trade Federation even if it was kind of a suicidal idea, and she was everything a young queen of Naboo should be. And then George Lucas turned her into a semi-damsel in distress whose only purpose in the next two films was to be Anakin’s love interest. Despite the fact that she lacked so much substance in Episodes II and III she was a lot more instrumental to the whole fabric of things than meets the eye.

She started, with the help of some other senators, the secret movement that eventually became the Rebel Alliance, all while juggling her pregnancy and her conflicting relationship with her troubled husband, Anakin Skywalker. That’s pretty extraordinary. And even at the height of her pregnancy she still traveled to Mustafar to try to convert Anakin back to the good side even though, unfortunately, he was too far gone. That definitely shows how incredible she was and it explains why Princess Leia had so much strength at such a young age.

Lyra Erso

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Lyra was only in Rogue One for the first seven minutes or so but her story was so elaborately written in the prequel novel, Catalyst, that now I completely understand her character’s desires and fears and Lyra is one of the strongest female characters in Star Wars.

She left her work as a geologist to be with Galen Erso, a shy scientist, and together they, with their newborn child, Jyn Erso, decided to help Galen’s old friend, Krennic, with a top secret project. While Galen worked day and night on the project Lyra became warier of Krennic by the day because she just knew something was wrong. If it wasn’t for her they would’ve never escaped to the secret planet, Lah’Mu, to prevent helping a project (the creation of the Death Star) that would only destroy millions of lives. And even near the end of her life against all odds, she was willing to die to protect her family from the iron grip of the Empire. That sort of strength and willingness to do what’s right ultimately passed down to Jyn and ended up leading to the Death Star plans being stolen.

And finally Leia Organa

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Leia was already great as the princess of Alderaan but now not only is she the general of the Resistance but she’s also now a mother. And a strong mother at that. When the leaders of the galaxy sat in their respective corners sipping drinks and reveling in the “peace” she saw the rise of a new threat surfacing in the galaxy. When the New Republic thought she was insane and a warmonger for creating the Resistance she didn’t stop and sure enough the First Order crept out from the shadows and began their march for conquest of the galaxy.

She has remained on the frontlines since she was a young woman and even now, at an older age, she still continues to lead against those wanting to cause pain and suffering to those in the galaxy. Her strength has fueled her on through the loss of her son, Ben Solo, to the dark side, through the disappearance of her brother, Luke, and the death of her husband, Han Solo. If she’s not one of the most extraordinary and strongest characters in Star Wars then I am very confused indeed.

Well, this is my post about the mothers of Star Wars. It’s been fun to write and I hope it’s been fun for you to read. Of course, the stories in the Star Wars universe will only keep expanding and I hope that means we’ll get to see some more incredible mothers in the future.

Until then I thank you for reading this post and I hope you have a beautiful Mother’s Day. May the Force be with you.

 

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