What Luke Having a Daughter Meant to Me

Written by robotical712

Most who know me in the Star Wars community have long known me first and foremost as a proponent of Rey Skywalker (as in Luke’s daughter). So, why was it important to me?

Rey being Luke’s child was also a bit more personal. Family has always been an important part of my life and I had grown up in a supportive household with loving parents. So, even though my homelife bore no resemblance to the relationship between Luke and his father, it still resonated. Further, Luke was the character I most identified with. As I got into the EU, my identification with Luke naturally carried over into a desire for him to have a family. 

Alas, that didn’t happen before I had stopped reading the EU, although I was aware of Ben Skywalker. By the time Star Wars captured my interest again, I was married and had two children of my own – a son and daughter. As I already had the Luke/Vader relationship to share with my son, the potential of a new trilogy focused on a father/daughter relationship was deeply alluring. It’s said the Star Wars films are made for children, but what’s unsaid is that those children inevitably grow up.

By the time the Sequel Trilogy was made, an entire generation had been born and entered adulthood since the release of the Original Trilogy. For us, the Original Trilogy had always existed, there had never been a time without Luke, Han and Leia. We were introduced to these heroes as children and had grown up identifying with them. Thus, while watching The Force Awakens in the theater, I found myself not identifying with Kylo Ren on the bridge, but the father pleading with his son to abandon his dark path before it was too late. It wasn’t the prospect of Rey finding her father that stirred me, but the father being confronted by the daughter he had thought lost and the dawning horror that he had left his child to survive on her own all those years. For a parent, both scenes touch our most primal hopes and fears.

To me, The Force Awakens didn’t simply setup a coming of age story, but one about parenthood.

3 comments

  1. That’s all well and good, but it’s clear that you were a bit too obsessed with the idea, and were desperate to see something that (after Last Jedi at least) clearly wasn’t going to happen.

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    • Investing so much in it was indeed more of a recipe for disappointment than anything else… but it was also holding LFL to a higher standard than they themselves wished to meet.

      I mean, post-TLJ, Rey being retconned/revealed/reconfigured as a genuine Skywalker would fly in the face of TLJ… but it also wouldn’t be nearly as much of an effrontery to the Saga’s story or nearly as hard to work canon around as, say, Palpatine coming back.

      And then the brought Palpatine back.

      In terms of storytelling cohesion for the overall Saga and honoring The Last Jedi’s story decisions, bringing back Palpatine after we watched him explode, had Snoke doing his role, and set-up Kylo as the new main Big Bad, is a far more radical and table-upturning response than it would be to, say, have Kylo and Rey be revealed as wrong and have Luke, upon death, find out an inconvenient truth that might inject drama into Rey’s story and make it clear it’s *hers* and not Kylo’s.

      …But it would also be a maneuver that would be almost impossible to “save face“ over in regards to TLJ, and would of course require taking a hard look at Kylo and realizing he was inadequate as a sympathetic character, and I don’t think LFL could bring itself to do that.

      Bringing back Palpatine is insulting, dismissing, and overriding not just George Lucas’s work on Palpatine, but also his ideas about the future. But it’s *Lucas* who would be dismissed and who’s work would be undone after *decades*, and it was Kylo who was supposed to benefit from having the inconvenience of his set-up as the new Big Bad forgotten so he could get redeemed. LFL would feel a lot safer trying to pretend they were honoring TLJ and obfuscating an making excuses with Palpatine than they would be if they did something that would require saying “listen, we let Rian Johnson do the pretentious art-student thing, and critics say loved it, but it was a mistake that screwed over Rey and the Skywalkers and didn’t gain them anything, and this is just the better option.”

      I mean, LFL, Johnson, professional critics and professional influencers all went to bat to defend what is a much less rewarding idea than Rey Skywalker, and spent all their time trying to argue it. Rey Palpatine is just as much of a rejection, but it’s not as bluntly so as Rey Skywalker, and it would still provide them cover for fawning over the Kylo Ren.

      Liked by 1 person

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