One of Star Wars’ bigger plot holes is how Leia Organa can remember her mother, Padmé Amidala, even though she wasn’t even an hour old by the time of the former queen’s passing. Seeing as how the new, Disney-led Star Wars canon has attempted to address several other such issues and otherwise cement the connections between the prequel and original trilogies (while building towards the sequels), the fact that this particular can of worms hasn’t yet been decisively closed is surprising, but Star Wars is trying to fix it.
Not that the company hasn’t (apparently) tried before. Earlier this year, upon the publication of the novel Queen’s Shadow, one possible scenario was floated, in which Sabe, one of Padme’s former handmaidens and decoys, joined up with the fledgling Rebellion in the years after the prequels. Seeing as how that organization was led from a very early stage by Senator Bail Organa, Leia’s adopted father, it was speculated that Leia believed Sabe was actually Padmé.
The 2019 annual of the Star Wars Adventures all-ages comic book series now offers an alternative explanation. In the issue’s back-up story, a toddler Princess Leia escapes her droid nanny and stumbles upon her adopted mother, Queen Breha Organa, sitting in the royal gardens. Next to her is not only R2-D2, but also a statue of Queen Padmé Amidala – who Breha then proceeds to tell her little daughter all about, serving up a sort of greatest hits of the character’s moments from the films as well as Star Wars: The Clone Wars. At the end of the eight-page summary, the queen of Alderaan then offers this potentially juicy tidbit: “Leia, love, I know you’re too young to understand all this… to remember, even. But I want you to hold on to this image, this feeling. That spark – the spark. You have it, too.”
This is more than just laying out the character arcs of both Leia Organa and Padmé Amidala in Star Wars, across all these many decades and sets of movies, and showing how strongly they parallel one another. It’s also more than just trying to provide a tidy bit of exposition about how the princess could learn about and be inspired from the queen, who would serve as a strong galactic role model even if it weren’t for the familial connection. The usage of “image” and “feeling” strongly recalls (or is that foreshadows?) Leia’s dialogue from Return of the Jedi, in which she tells her brother, Luke Skywalker, how she remembers just images and feelings of their mother – it could very well be that Breha, with a little metaphysical assistance from the Force, has planted these seeds in the princess and future general.
Then again, there may also be a slightly different type of mythologizing going on here – this dialogue is also reminiscent of the future General Leia Organa’s words to her various Resistance agents in the weeks and months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi, when she tells them to go to ground and seek out new allies and hiding places in order to prevent the spark of hope from going out in the galaxy for good. This has already formed the basis for the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme-park land, specifically, and the overall push of interstellar affairs towards Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, generally – maybe Disney here is more interested in linking all nine installments of the “Skywalker Saga” together for its grand conclusion than in looking backward at old plot holes from a decade-and-a-half ago.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019