anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (the Skywalker twins)
[personal profile] anghraine
So, I started this intending to talk about the ... irregular circumstances surrounding the guardianship of the Skywalker twins. It mostly just became this incoherent rant about how much Yoda taking command of the twins bothers me. And is probably character-bashing (and maybe PT bashing?), so consider yourself warned.

For some reason, working on Revenge of the Jedi (my AU version of ROTJ where, among many other things, Luke and Leia are not twins) has reminded me of how uncomfortable I am with the separation of the canonical twins in Revenge of the Sith.

I don’t think it’s wrong, exactly. Yoda says the twins need to be separated -- together, they probably ping in the Force like whoa (hey, maybe this is part of the disturbance Palpatine senses in Empire) or something. Okay, whatever. It’d be nice if we had an explanation, but we can take that much on faith, I think. And of course the twins need to be kept firmly out of Palpatine’s reach.

I’m not contesting this, at all. The twins falling into Palpatine’s hands would be really really bad for the entire galaxy. While I, personally, suspect that Anakin would have ended up jumping right back through his Heel Face Revolving Door if he’d been around his children, as his children, for any significant length of time (see: ROTJ) and thus the galaxy would have been better off if they hadn’t been taken, Yoda couldn’t know that. And as Jedi grandmaster (supreme guardian of truth and justice!), I think he was probably justified in acting for the welfare of the galaxy at large.

The thing I stumble over is not actually whether his choice was morally right, or even whether it was actually best. Yoda may very well have the right to act for the good of the galaxy, and thus must make decisions pertaining to the last hopes for the galaxy. Fine.

But what right does he have to make decisions for Luke and Leia Skywalker?

Yes, I realize that that the Skywalker twins and the last hopes for the galaxy are in fact the same people. But in my head, there’s a sort of separation, because Luke and Leia are not just the embodiment of hope for the Jedi/galaxy/whatever.

They’re children.

And Yoda doesn’t exact have a shining track record when it comes to acting in the best interest of children within his influence. The entire Order is complicit in the use of clones. Yoda himself put lightsabers in the hands of small children (how old were they? six? seven?). And Luke and Leia do not belong to the Order.

Obviously, they’re too young to make decisions for themselves, and there’s no one to act on their behalf. Their parents are either dead or incapacitated. Their relatives don’t know they exist. They have no voice, and this bothers me.

Maybe it’s just a background in children’s services, and maybe I should just go with the “ehh, space fantasy,” but the PT doesn’t feel like space fantasy. It at least makes a stab at realistic (even mundane) issues, even if I personally think it misses a lot of the time. So where I didn’t really care in ROTJ (though also for other reasons), I do find it disturbing in ROTS that there is no one to act in the interests of the twins themselves.

The original conception of the story didn’t bother me at all, for the record, because (as I talked about here) the decision was made by their mother. In present canon, though, their mother’s death by apathy prevents her from making any decision about their welfare, let alone one so drastic as this.

However, in the absence of some final statement, we might want to consider her - their - earlier ones. As far as I can tell, Anakin and Padmé had no intention whatsoever of giving their children to the Order. The fact that Luke and Leia are Force-sensitive does not automatically drop them into Yoda’s purview. If Anakin and (especially) Padmé didn’t want them to fall under Jedi control, then Yoda taking control of them before Padmé is cold in her grave is … deeply uncomfortable for me.

Even if they weren’t actively opposed to it -- what connection does Yoda even have to the Skywalker twins? He’s . . . the quasi-head of the religious order that their father quasi-belongs to? I’m pretty sure that doesn’t impart any rights over children.

Okay, we might say, maybe Yoda doesn’t have any particular right to make decisions on behalf of the Skywalker twins -- but then, who does? Somebody has to make a decision. Does anyone have any more right than Yoda does?

Well . . . yes. In fact, I think that everyone remotely connected with the twins has more right to act for them than Yoda. Let’s go through the list.

(1) Sola Naberrie

You know, their aunt? Now, it may be impractical for one or both of them to actually live with her on Palpatine’s home planet, and I suspect Sola herself would have seen that. But she never had a chance to see it, because every decision about her nephew and niece’s welfare was made without consulting her.

This becomes especially awkward when Yoda gives his reason for sending Luke to Tatooine: he should live with his family. Seriously, that’s the only reason. And this seems a bit of a progression for Yoda, but . . . consider. Owen is Luke’s father’s mother’s husband’s son. Sola is his mother’s sister. If anyone has a right, as his next relative, to have a say regarding his future, it’d be her.

(2) Owen (and Beru) Lars

Owen is a distant relative of their father’s who barely knew Anakin or Padmé. That still puts him closer than Yoda, and he was still prevented from providing any input into his stepniece’s welfare.

(3) Anakin Skywalker

Yes, I’m going there. Whatever rights Anakin may have had to his children were sharply curtailed by his actions before their birth. He’s a mass murderer and a member of a horrifically tyrannical regime. He choked their mother. And he does all this because he’s a functional addict and highly irrational. (Yes, addicted to the Dark Side. To summon up a rather lengthy ramble, I think the Dark Side, along with most fictional sources of evil, seems to act like an awful PSA version of addictive, mind-altering drugs. Wound up to eleven.)

Also, he was in surgery at the time anyway.

(Thanks to, that’s right, Yoda, who sent his best friend and surrogate father to kill him. Lovely.)

But. He’s their father, he evidently cared about them, and however amazingly messed-up he might be, he shows some vague signs of considering their welfare apart from his long-range plans. Which puts him well ahead of Yoda, in my books.

(4) Bail Organa

He was a political ally and friend of their mother’s, and he actually seems to consider what’s good for them. Well, at least Leia, and that’s more than anyone else seems to manage. IMO, he had more right than anyone else in that room to make decisions for Padmé’s children.

(5) Obi-Wan Kenobi

The aforementioned best friend of their father, and by extension a sort of surrogate uncle/grandfather (depending on, well, your point of view). Who just chopped off several of said father’s limbs and left him to burn alive, and who seems to see the twins largely as vehicles for his own redemption.

But he at least has some connection to them.

Yoda . . . I don’t know. It just makes me uncomfortable. He had little association with the children or their parents, nothing about his position as grandmaster grants him control over them, and his actions keep one or both of the twins from the people who might conceivably consider their welfare, and who might have a right to do so. Yoda, I don’t think, had the right to make decisions for the children as children. But he did it anyway. So I think he essentially kidnapped them.

It may very well have been the right thing to do. But I don’t think he had the right to do it.


Okay, I'm not even going to try and catch up with my memes. I've written so many words in the last month, I'm okay with it. Let's just take up where I left off:

Asexuality meme

Day 13: What is your favourite asexual website?

Umm. I don't think I especially care for the wider websites like AVEN; I much prefer the communities and blogs, like Sciatrix's wordpress blog.

Fanfic meme

Day 13: Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see all or some of the source material?

Canon, definitely. In fact, I enjoy doing things just to met with canon. I recently saw a review of Season of Courtship that was deeply horrified by (among other things) my Elizabeth's brown skin (she's white, I tell you! white!) and given Darcy blond hair and blue eyes (is nothing sacred?), and my original "somebody hates my story! *sadface*" reaction switched over to AHAHAHAHAHA PWNED in about two seconds.

Writing fanfic ... hmm, I don't know for sure. My automatic response was "lol no," but ... maybe. I'm really uncomfortable with character-bashing when I write fic, so I try to be very fair, even to characters I don't especially like. At the same time, I'm a stickler for canon, so I have to try and squint at the canon to find things to like. Or spaces in which I can invent things to like. PT!Anakin, I'm looking at you. And that can change my interpretations, a little. I used to be kind of notorious for my hatred of Colonel Fitzwilliam (mostly due to the rampant Stuification) and now I really like him. I can't say I especially like Bingley, but I don't dislike him either. I always liked Leia, but writing her made me looooooove her.

And of course there's stuff like research for fics changing the way you see the canon, because research is research -- stuff about saloons slightly changed the way I saw Pemberley and the Darcys, for instance. Certainly writing fanfic for Middle-earth changed the way I saw the source material because it changed the source material that I'd read.

on 2011-08-11 12:05 am (UTC)
tree: a woman in front of a graffitied wall holding a red can of spraypaint - the graffiti's grammar has been corrected ([else] language is badass)
Posted by [personal profile] tree
In fact, I enjoy doing things just to met with canon.


also, yay, you are posting teh memes again! i am stealing the fanfic meme questions so that one day i can also not finish another meme answer them.

Edited (random icon chooser FTW!) on 2011-08-11 12:05 am (UTC)

on 2011-10-09 11:18 pm (UTC)
sathari: OT!Ben with the Mustafar duel as background and the "betrayed and murdered your father" quote as caption (Anakin was betrayed)
Posted by [personal profile] sathari
OMG, I keep meaning to comment on how much I love the "kidnapping for great justice" analysis of Yoda's actions. And I completely love your description of Anakin's state of being at that point in the PT, and I am with you that he had more say in this than Yoda, or Bail or Obi-wan. And I also completely love your discussion of Obi-wan. Although I think letting Obi-wan choose would end up with a default to "whatever Yoda wants" anyway, and I'm not too sure that Bail would be much more independent (though one of my Unpopular Fannish Opinions, which I think I mentioned elsewhere, is that movie!Bail was kind of a Jedi groupie, lol). But, yeah, Yoda was so not in this. And Bail and Obi-wan just accepted or at least seemed to accept that Yoda had that right. Ugh.

Also, I have a not-so-sneaking suspicion that Anakin, presented with his children, i.e. a less tenuous and distant emotional attachment than he had with Palpatine, would have about-faced on what you so aptly called elsewhere his Heel-Face Revolving Door, because Anakin is all about his attachments. Which makes Yoda's behavior all that much more indicative of how little of a clue Yoda had at that point.

on 2011-10-11 11:13 pm (UTC)
sathari: (Anakin has adjustment issues)
Posted by [personal profile] sathari
YES YES YES to your first paragraph. So much this.

(This is my biggest problem with most of the Vader-raises-Luke-and/or-Leia stories -- not that he's too cuddly for Vader, but that he's Vader at all.

HEEEEEEE!!! I like this!!! Though I can see him being Vader-y because of a combination of the dismemberment-and-chronic-pain issues and a need to be badass enough to protect his offspring. But definitely a more... human... creature for it. Even if he has to hide that humanity from Palpatine at least long enough to become capable of killing him.

Also, ditto, ditto, and ditto on your third paragraph. Cannot put it better myself.

(I suspect this is one of the bones of contention that Luke and Leia scream over once in awhile, because he can regard what happened as simple kidnapping without bringing his own well-meaning guardians into it, but she can't and it becomes part of her tangles mass of parental issues.)

That's really interesting! I think I can see that, in that Luke was the one who got a Jedi for a secondary guardian and got the Skywalker connection. Whereas Bail took Leia away from that whole aspect of everything. And on the one hand I think she got an upbringing that fostered more of her talent development than Luke's did, but it was a very specific set of talents (basically being raised to be Padme Jr. and let's all change the subject if your sperm donor comes up), whereas Luke got the name but Owen seems to have avoided any references to either of Luke's parents--- his mother doesn't seem to be on his radar at all and his father is a mostly-forbidden subject.

And I think Luke could forgive mainly because he feels closer to Yoda and Obi-wan than Leia does, so he's more willing to accept their right to have a say in his life, even though that experience of them is retroactive?

on 2011-10-15 02:38 am (UTC)
sathari: OT!Ben with the Mustafar duel as background and the "betrayed and murdered your father" quote as caption (Anakin was betrayed)
Posted by [personal profile] sathari
OMG, Vader-raising-Lucy-and-Leia; is this posted somewhere? Because DO WANT.

And. Um. I am really rather embarrassed that I totally overlooked Bail's complicity to the kidnapping and the effect it would have on Leia's headspace. Because spot on. (And it also might make her... not more charitable toward Vader, exactly, but I'd think that some of her issues about him would be that she had a father-figure she appears to have admired/been close enough to that she followed him professionally and ideologically, and finding out that he was complicit in her kidnapping might lessen that sense that Bail deserves her loyalty--- Leia, as you say, is prone to black-and-white thinking, so breaking the "adoptive father=good, biofather=bad" paradigm would probably help some of her issues with Vader/Anakin being her father.)

on 2011-10-15 04:34 am (UTC)
sathari: Anakin in the Vadersuit (Anakin's a knight in shining armor)
Posted by [personal profile] sathari
Oh, but that's the GOOD kind of self-indulgent! And OMG! Uncle Palpatine = BEST THING EVER!

And... yeah. Just yeah on the whole messed-up-ness of that. (Still kicking myself for not having picked up on it sooner, especially as I am not a Bail-fan.)


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