Star Wars isn’t just the industry-changing, genre-defining, blockbuster hit of yesteryear, it’s the industry-changing, genre-defining, blockbuster hit of today. Ever since Disney acquired the rights to the franchise, it has successfully re-established Star Wars as the gold standard of science fiction, reinvented what metanarrative can mean in the 21st century, and expanded the universe beyond the relatively limited confines of the Skywalker clan. And it’s that last part that’s beginning to feel most important. With the perspective of hindsight, certain elements unique to the Skywalkers begin to feel a bit out of place, even amongst the imaginative craziness of the surrounding Star Wars universe.
Everything from a weird recessive gene pattern to bizarre character oversights is suddenly glaringly obvious and deserves a certain level of scrutiny. Before continuing, however, note that the House of Mouse has formally declared that only the films, the two cartoons made under its banner, and the select comic lines sporting their logo are considered official Star Wars cannon, so while all of these oddities, questions, and may be explained in the expanded universe, all outside answers have become completely irrelevant. With that said, here’s a list of weird and unexplained phenomenon surrounding the tumultuous Skywalker generations.
WHY DIDN’T KYLO QUESTION HIS COMMUNICATION WITH KEY?
Kylo Ren, aka Ben Solo, is the black sheep of the Skywalker family tree, almost literally. His rebellion against Luke Skywalker and subsequent willful mishandling of Rey’s attempts to redeem him have effectively made him the character you love to hate, not only because of his villain status but because he symbolizes the whiny fanboy archetype that has largely dominated the Star Wars fandom for decades.
Hypothetically, he has immense Force powers and is imbued with the innate power of the Skywalker bloodline.
But when he begins having interplanetary Force Calls with Rey in The Last Jedi, he not only doesn’t sense Snoke’s interference, but doesn’t even really question what’s happening or how. To be fair, he is portrayed as being pretty stupid (see ‘whiny fanboy’ above), but his conscious decision to accept a gift horse is a big question mark.
WHY DIDN’T VADER EVER LOOK FOR AHSOKA?
The acclaimed Clone Wars cartoon is considered by both fans and Disney to be officially part of the Star Wars canon. The series famously ended with Anakin’s gumshoe apprentice Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order after being falsely convicted of treachery. Skip ahead in the timeline to the end of Revenge of the Sith. Order 66 has been executed and all clone troopers have turned against and killed their Jedi leaders with Vader and the Inquisitors tasked with wiping out any stragglers.
Fortunately, Vader not only already knows about a semi-trained Jedi who survived Order 66 because she wasn’t around any clones at the time, but has a significant emotional connection to her so killing her would feed his Dark Side powers. So his first move is to…not look for her until she starts aiding the fledgling rebellion? And then kill her in an anti-climactic fight in a Sith temple? Okay?
WHY DIDN’T VADER RETURN TO TATOOINE?
Following his defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan and transformation into Palpatine’s black-clad right-hand man, Vader decided to forge his base of operations on the lava planet of Mustafar, the world where he’d suffered his greatest loss. Though this may seem like a questionable decision, it’s entirely possible that Vader chose this location to constantly remind him of his defeat, filling him with negative emotions which would then enhance his use of the Dark Side of the Force.
But by that same logic, why did Vader never return to his home planet of Tatooine?
It stands to reason that the place where he spent a childhood in slavery and lost his mother would be a place that could increase his power tenfold. Heck, he probably would have stumbled across Obi-Wan and Luke as well just by Star Wars’ penchant for overwhelming coincidences.
WHY DIDN’T ANAKIN FREE HIS MOTHER?
The space between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones is one decade, in which time Anakin grows from an uncomfortable-looking child to a vaguely bored-looking young man. This change was likely gradual but consistent, meaning that by the end of his first few years in training he could probably take on a few scoundrels and smugglers by himself. So at that point, why didn’t he go back to Tatooine to free his mother, who he still believed to be enslaved at that point?
It’s mentioned that slavery is illegal in the Republic so it’s not like Anakin would be going against the law by freeing his mother. There may be some conflict of interest with the Jedi council but it’s not like they haven’t taken liberties surrounding Anakin before. But apparently it takes a few nightmares to get Anakin to care about his mom again.
HOW COME OWEN WASN’T FORCE SENSITIVE?
Uncle Owen is sort of weirdly tangential character when you think about it. He first shows up chronologically in Attack of the Clones where he’s briefly introduced to Anakin as the son of his mother and her former owner. He briefly remarks on how they are brothers, and then wisely keeps his mouth shut for the rest of his screen time. The next time he’s seen is as a middle-aged man in A New Hope.
Over the course of five whole lines, he’s established as a strict but caring father figure with uncomfortable ties to Luke’s father.
And then he’s a corpse. But Owen was Anakin’s biological half-brother, sharing at least 50% of the Skywalker genes. Even if he wasn’t a magical Force baby, he still should have an impressive number of midichlorians (ugh) in him to make him a powerful Jedi. But nope, nothing but a simple farmer here.
WHY DIDN’T VADER KNOW LEIA WAS HIS DAUGHTER?
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader is projected as one of the most powerful Force users, capable of incredible feats of telekinesis and telepathy. His mix of rigorous Jedi training and potent Sith fanaticism allows him to be highly in tune with the living Force. And despite this, he stood right next to Princess Leia and couldn’t sense their biological connection through the Force.
He even interrogated her with what is assumed to be either a torture device or truth serum and, while the subject of her real parentage was unlikely to have come up, never learned about her latent memories of her mother. Did his Force powers just decide to take a smoke break that day? Was he just too distracted by the missing Death Star plans? Or did he know and just not believe it until Luke unintentionally confirmed it in Return of the Jedi?
WHY DID KYLO HESITATE TO KILL LEIA?
Han Solo’s death had been in the works for the better part of 40 years. Most of George Lucas’s assistant writers agreed the character should have been killed off in Return of the Jedi and Harrison Ford himself was convinced that Solo should have died at the end of A New Hope. But finally, Han met his end at the hands of his emo son, Kylo/Ben.
The younger Solo seemed briefly conflicted about murdering his father, but ultimately had no qualms about going through with it.
Apparently, however, Kylo is a momma’s boy because when it comes time to off Leia, he hesitates and has to leave it to his lackeys to blow up her command center. But why? He didn’t even have to watch the light leave her eyes as he did with his dad. Kylo Ren wimping out is a huge betrayal of his character.
WHEN DID ANAKIN AND PADME FIND TIME TO GET MARRIED?
At the end of Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Padme get married in a secret ceremony on Naboo, setting the stage for the tragic origins of their progeny. Quick question though: how exactly did they find the time and opportunity to sneak away for this? Keep in mind that an intergalactic war has just broken out, Anakin is an acclaimed Jedi warrior expected to be on the front lines, and Padme is a vocal senator who should probably be deliberating in the senate about war concerns.
But somehow both are able to escape from under the noses of the senate and Jedi Council respectively, go to their personal vacation spot, hire a religious leader, and elope? Being able to hear lasers in space is more believable.
WHY CAN LUKE USE FORCE CHOKE?
It’s never outright stated in the films, but certain Force powers are unique to different affiliations. Only Sith can generate Force Lightning, only Jedi can catch and redirect it. For the first two Star Wars movies, it was assumed that Force Choke was unique to the Sith as it was a signature move of Darth Vader. But then Luke used it to break into Jabba’s compound, sending two guards reeling to the walls as they struggle to breath.
Where exactly did he learn how to do this? Yoda and Obi-Wan certainly wouldn’t teach him something so vicious.
And since when is he ruthless enough to use such a lethal technique? The Luke presented up to that point was brash but never malicious, certainly not evil enough to kill a guard when a Mind Trick would do.
HOW DID LEIA SURVIVE IN SPACE?
It was theorized for decades that, as a Skywalker, Leia could and should have formidable Force powers to rival those of her brother. However, it wasn’t until The Last Jedi that audiences got to see Leia use her innate connection to the living Force to float through space like the Flying Nun after being blasted into open…wait a second. Leia, who’d never before been seen using the Force, suddenly has not only enough collective power to keep herself alive in the frozen vacuum of space, but can survive a bridge explosion and stay lucid enough to project herself through a field of wreckage to an airlock?
It’s likely she’s never had a day of Force training in her life, otherwise she probably would have trained her son herself instead of shoving him off on Luke, so where exactly did this sudden burst of Force awesomeness come from?
HOW DOES LEIA REMEMBER HER MOTHER?
During a scene in Return of the Jedi, Luke asks Leia about her real mother before revealing that they’re brother and sister. When asked, Leia says that she was “very young” when her mother passed but remembers her as “beautiful, kind, but sad.” In Revenge of the Sith, it’s revealed that their mother is Padme, who dies only minutes after giving birth to them. This means that Leia was telling the truth about her mother dying when she was young, but it also means that Leia remembers the very moments of her birth, something nobody can do.
Is this some sort of secret Skywalker superpower that’s only ever been brought up in this conversation?
Do they just assume everyone has perfect recollections of their birth and don’t talk about it? Or did writers not know what George Lucas was planning 20 years down the line? The world may never know.
WHY IS LUKE BLONDE?
Genealogy is so crucial to the Star Wars franchise that it was legitimately controversial when it was revealed in The Last Jedi that new series protagonist Rey was in no way related to any of the core characters from the original trilogy. But apart from that, most of the main characters share visible blood or marriage bonds with one glaring exception: despite everyone else in his family having brown hair, Luke is a proud blonde. Even his grandmother carried the dominant brown-haired gene. And yet his action figures sported a bright yellow combover.
Part of this is explained by George Lucas’s desire for Luke to be something of a chilled-out youth character, best exemplified by the sandy-haired surfer dude archetype, but it still begs the question of just where the recessive blonde gene enters the Skywalker pool.
WHY ARE LUKE AND LEIA DIFFERENT AGES IN A NEW HOPE?
Around the time of A New Hope, Luke Skywalker is somewhere in the high school age range, constantly being referred to as ‘kid’ by his older peers. Leia, meanwhile, suffered no such derision despite being his biological twin. It may be the she’s not talked down to out of respect for her royal title, but a scoundrel like Han doesn’t seem like someone who’d care about such things.
In fact, Leia’s portrayed being old enough that the clearly adult Han feels comfortable openly flirting with her.
On one hand, a skeevy guy like Han probably would hit on a teenage girl, but the honest streak that runs through him would make it a visible moral dilemma for him. It’s not until Return of the Jedi that they’re portrayed as being even close in age.
WHERE DID LUKE GET HIS GREEN LIGHTSABER
It’s been confirmed that there is a deleted scene from Return of the Jedi that takes place at the beginning of the film and shows Luke assembling his new green lightsaber. Though it was ultimately cut from the final draft of the film, it would have been interesting to see the inner workings of the iconic laser sword on-screen at least once. But even if the scene were to be included, it wouldn’t answer the question of just how Luke learned how to make his own lightsaber.
In The Last Jedi he reveals that he’d collected Jedi literature which may have contained building instructions and the location of Kyber deposits, but it’s unlikely he had time to hunt down, study, and mimic these books in the same period where Lando and Chewie performed the relatively simple task of tracking down Han’s frozen body.
WHERE DID ANAKIN COME FROM?
Despite family ties being the unofficial centerpoint of the entire Star Wars franchise, arguably the most important question concerning this theme has not been answered. Namely, how was Anakin born? In Phantom Menace, Shmi tells Qui-Gon that her son doesn’t have a father, implying that he was the result of immaculate conception.
And that’s all we’re ever told about the subject because the film wanted to get to the stupid pod race already.
But the idea that Anakin is some sort of Jedi Jesus is never expanded upon and is only relevant in terms of a prophecy that is only prevalent in the prequel trilogy and even then it’s never revealed in full. So are we supposed to assume that the Force itself somehow impregnated Shmi with a particularly Force-sensitive child? Because that assumption has multiple branches of questioning that diverge from it.
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