Saturday, July 26, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 34: Mrs. Solo

People forget so easily.  When she made her first visit to Naboo, Leia Organa instantly became a part of our world's family, a celebrity and a fashion icon and the object of secret lust by who knows how many.  But she came here to serve as queen.

Well, like I said, people forget easily.  Nowadays, because she's still better known as Princess Leia than Queen Leia, because of all the stories of the Rebellion, how she led the forces that defeated the Empire and brought back the Republic, when we're still clinging to the young version of her rather than what she has become, we believe what we want to believe, out of convenience, remember what we want to remember.

Memory is a funny thing.  The introduction of her companion was such a calculated move, so subtle, that over time it became just as difficult to remember her without him as it is to remember that she was royalty through her mother, her birth mother, and not her family from Alderaan, the planet destroyed by the Death Star, her adopted family.  There she had been known as the Lady Leia.  Perhaps no one knew why she was called a princess, perhaps the rest of the galaxy forgot Naboo.

Well, memory.

The companion didn't come until later, when our fair citizens began to question why she was always alone, a virgin queen.  He was first seen in glimpses, a man without a name, someone no one knew, which on this planet is tantamount to labeling him a commoner.  Not even an off-worlder, but someone of inferior social status.  That is to say, someone who didn't matter at all.

Doubtless those around her explained this to the queen.  Doubtless she was amused.  So a name was given to the man, and at first it was only that.  People began to refer to her as Mrs. Solo.

The question remained, who was this man?  Where had he come from?  It fell out of fashion, believing him to be a commoner, a native of Naboo.  She was still exotic enough, associated enough with many other worlds, even the late Alderaan, that this was easily to accept.  But still, from whence did he come?

He came, it seemed, from legend.  That was the story Naboo was fed, over time.  He was Han Solo, they said, the man who helped the Rebellion succeed.  Someone who was no one, like the queen's brother, well-documented Luke Skywalker, last of the Jedi, naturally, plucked from obscurity and the outskirts of civilization.  Someone who was a commoner somewhere else.

But special, in association with Leia, in his accomplishments, in all the grand stories that began to accumulate around him.

I suggest, don't believe them.  He is just a man, just as the queen is a lonely woman.  She took a companion, many years into her life, when the demands of such a public life began to come with increased expectations, when the novelty of her arrival had worn off.

I don't mean to take away from the glamour of it, but rather would like to introduce a little more reality back into the narrative.  Long live the queen, yes, but let her live her life.  It has been a long reign.  But Naboo will learn to exist without her.

You will be able to survive without the fantasy we've built up around her.


  1. We can't live without the fantasy either.

    1. Star Wars would be pretty difficult to imagine without Han Solo.