Friday, May 25, 2012

The Unsung Hero of Star Wars

At the end of Revenge of the Sith Yoda, Obi Wan, and Jimmy Smits (from here on out we'll call him Bail Organa) are plotting where to go next. Yoda announces that he and Obi Wan will lay low for a couple of years before rising up and stomping out the Emperor and his regime. Yoda wants nothing to do with Anakin Skywalker's newborn children because a) he figures that by the time they would be of any use of him, he'll have already defeated Palpatine and b) he doesn't expect much from the offspring of Darth Vader anyway. The kids are split up with Organa adopting Leia and Obi Wan returning Luke to Tatooine and the only family the Skywalkers have. Strangely, no one thinks to change Luke's name or even pretend that Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru are his biological parents.

Anyway, Yoda and Obi Wan go into hiding and it isn't long before they abandon any hopes they have of overthrowing the Emperor. By the time we met Obi Wan and Yoda in Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back, they are world weary old men who have given up on any dreams of saving the galaxy. I suspect their funk has something to do with the return of Darth Vader--someone Obi Wan left for dead.

Fortunately for the rebel alliance, Bail Organa did not given up on the cause. He worked tirelessly for 20 years to take Palpatine down and it's his actions that reengage Kenobi and Yoda. At the beginning of Star Wars, Organa has sent his adopted daughter Princess Leia on a mission to recruit Obi Wan while delivering some stolen plans to some of his rebel friends. Had Organa never done this, Kenobi would have been content to remain a strange hermit on Tatooine the remainder of his days, Yoda never would have trained another Jedi on Dagobah, and Luke would have grown up a moisture farmer complaining about the Tosche Station and power converters.

Bail Organa is the unsung hero of the Star Wars series and his reward is being blown up on Alderaan when the Death Star strikes. Sometimes the force isn't fair.


  1. Bonus Cartoon. I like Star Wars V Week.

    I think you are right about Bsil Organa.

  2. You have no idea how much I appreciate the treatise on Bail Organa. I consider myself a casual Star Wars fan and had absolutely no clue about his central role in the whole saga. I suspect at the time George Lucas made the first movie in 1977 he also had no clue about the pivotal role of Mr. Organa; otherwise, he might not have so unceremoniously vaporized him during beta testing of the new death star and would have devoted more attention to him than simply "a disturbance in the Force."

    1. Prior to the prequel, the general assumption was that George Lucas had everything mapped out years before as to what each movie would cover. Today, I think it's fairly clear that he was making up most of it on the fly.

      Bless his heart, though. Lucas sure has given us plenty of entertainment over the years.

  3. Of course, if Bail Organa hadn't been so persistent in his quest to bring justice to the galaxy, the Empire would've still fallen as soon as the evil Emperor died of advance dental caries and Darth Vader succumbed to asthma.