Yar, we be geeks here.
June 9, 2005 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Ok, very nerdy Star Wars storyline question, which is inside, as it contains a spoiler for Episode 3.

In the recent Episode 3, Padme, Luke & Leia's mother, dies while giving birth to the twins.

Yet, in Episode 6, Luke asks Leia if she remembers her mother, and Leia says that she does:
                              LUKE
               Leia... do you remember your mother? Your
               real mother?

                              LEIA
               Just a little bit. She died when I was very
               young.

                              LUKE
               What do you remember?

                              LEIA
               Just...images, really. Feelings.

                              LUKE
               Tell me.

                              LEIA
               (a little surprised at his insistence)
               She was very beautiful. Kind, but...sad.
               (looks up) Why are you asking me all this?

     He looks away.

                              LUKE
               I have no memory of my mother. I never knew
               her.
Is there an explanation for this? Or is it a mistake?
posted by o2b to Media & Arts (43 answers total)
 
Could be that her adopted mother died young...
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:49 AM on June 9, 2005


Possibly a mistake, but remember that Leia is force-sensitive. Given the extreme emotinal situation Padme was in at her birth, and Leia's preternatural sensitivity to the Force (which connects all people and all things), it's possible that Leia may have had some connection with her mother's feelings when she was born. This may have been so strong that she could remember it later in life, although far too vaguely for her to understand the significance.

Or I could just be talking out of my ass, but it seems reasonable. It's easy to project strong emotions onto others, and seeing as how that was the only time in Leia's life she felt the presence of her mother she must have been strongly connected to that sensation later in life.
posted by baphomet at 9:53 AM on June 9, 2005


Baphomet, that's one geeky ass you've got.

I'd buy that, despite Luke's lack of similar memory.
posted by o2b at 9:58 AM on June 9, 2005


Don't worry. I'm sure the dialogue will be removed in the re-re-re-release.
posted by Monk at 10:00 AM on June 9, 2005


I think Luke was whisked away rather quickly, where as Leia lingered and was there as Padme died, which may explain the difference.

(But you know Lucas is basically pulling this all out of his ass, right?
posted by keswick at 10:13 AM on June 9, 2005


Yeah, yeah, SW has plenty of inconsistencies now- in Empire, Obi-Wan's ghost talks about Luke being the "last hope", or something, and Yoda meaningfully looks out and says "There is another." Well, as EP3 showed, Obi-Wan knows perfectly well about Leia.

Just roll with it.
posted by mkultra at 10:20 AM on June 9, 2005


Marvel proved a long time ago that there is no such thing as a mistake where fanboys are involved.
posted by Chuckles at 10:25 AM on June 9, 2005


Funny. I am not even a fanboy but this was the one continuity question I left the theater with. And my fanboy/filmmaker friend had the same explanation/suggestion as baphomet.

As for Luke, doesn't it take him a while to even believe in the force? Also, perhaps Lucas is allowing for Luke to have a little repressed teenage anger at his parents for giving him up and therefore blocking his ability to tune in to the force to see the truth.
posted by terrapin at 10:29 AM on June 9, 2005


I think it's her adoptive mother Leia is referring to, but baphomet's explanation is plausible as anything else in the series.

Also, it's not until the end of Empire that Leia exhibits any sort of force-related powers (when she tells Lando where to go to pick up Luke hanging off the bottom of Cloud City). It could be that Obi-wan never felt/knew that Leia had any force-sensitivity.

Gah, we are a bunch of geeks.
posted by deborah at 10:31 AM on June 9, 2005


In an effort to show that I am not trying to be derisive with my fanboy comment...

I can excuse errors just fine, but I can't stand stupidity, for example:

Why does Anakin build C3-P0, a protocol droid, while Queen Amidala brings R2-D2 (okay maybe R2-D2 comes with the Jedis, I don't exactly remember, whatever). I mean, what does a slave kid need with a protocol droid? All they had to do was turn it around and it would make sense...
posted by Chuckles at 10:40 AM on June 9, 2005


deborah: I think it's her adoptive mother Leia is referring to...

"Leia... do you remember your mother? Your real mother?"

Leia is most definitely not referring to her adoptive mother.

As mentioned, there is no reason that Leia would remember her and Luke wouldn't.

Episodes 1 through 3 are merely interpretations of what really happpened, seen through the eyes of the interpreter. Just because something doesn't make sense in a movie, that doesn't mean the true Star Wars world is inconsistent, only Lucas's interpretation of it. :-)
posted by null terminated at 10:42 AM on June 9, 2005


Anakin found and repaired C3P0, he didn't build him from scratch.
posted by drezdn at 10:50 AM on June 9, 2005


ok, null wins the geek-of-the-moment award.
posted by o2b at 10:57 AM on June 9, 2005


You win the No Prize!
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 AM on June 9, 2005


Futhermore, how come Obi-Wan doesn't remember the droids in Episode IV? He was apparently pretty close with C3PO, and close enough with R2 — but his only response on seeing them in Episode IV is, "I can't seem to remember owning any droids."
posted by rafter at 11:29 AM on June 9, 2005


Here is the official word. End of the second paragraph.

Sadly (nerdly?), I've had to look it up previously.
posted by gnomeloaf at 11:45 AM on June 9, 2005


I've read some claims that the reason Leia remembers their mother but Luke doesn't is that the newborn Leia had her eyes open and Luke's eyes were closed.

I'd like to know why Yoda and Chewbacca never recognize each other. Chewbacca's apparently a Wookie commander (what scandal led to his demotion to smuggler's sidekick?), was at the assassination attempt on Yoda, and helped Yoda escape from Kazakhstanor whatever Wookieworld is called.

Sadly, I think the answer is that George Lucas is a lazy, crappy writer who wrote only Star Wars originally, and made up the other five movies as he went along.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:09 PM on June 9, 2005


Yoda and Chewbacca never recognize each other

They're never onscreen together in Empire or Jedi, so it's not technically a problem. Still, including Chewbacca in Sith was lame and cheap.
posted by COBRA! at 12:13 PM on June 9, 2005


I am SO glad someone asked this as it was the first thing I thought of, too, when I heard Padme died.

silly Lucas.

and good points on other inconsistencies.
posted by evening at 12:17 PM on June 9, 2005


The "there is another" line doesn't strike me as incontinuity. Obi-Wan knows about Leia, of course, but she hasn't spent the last few months training to be a Jedi that could take on Vader. She was raised in a posh household to be a politician, so there was less of a chance that she'd be able to ever confront her father.

Also the fact that Luke sees Leia and friends at Cloud City, and that they're "in pain." I'd assume that Obi-Wan and Yoda can see this too, and would consider Leia to be captured or even killed.
posted by patgas at 12:26 PM on June 9, 2005


what scandal led to his demotion to smuggler's sidekick?

To my understanding, Han rescued him from an Imperial prison camp, where, given Ep. III, he was likely placed for having helped Yoda escape.
posted by PhatLobley at 12:38 PM on June 9, 2005



Futhermore, how come Obi-Wan doesn't remember the droids in Episode IV? He was apparently pretty close with C3PO, and close enough with R2 — but his only response on seeing them in Episode IV is, "I can't seem to remember owning any droids."


What's he gonna say? Oh yeah, your dad built the yappy one and modded the hell out of the squat one. Yeah, that was right before I chopped off three of his limbs and left him for dead on the bank of a river of lava. I wouldn't have done that, but I had to get back to your mom's ship to see if she was okay after your dad choked her in fit of rage. She was upset that he killed a bunch of children and pledged himself to an evil dictator who plunged the galaxy into twenty years of darkness and oppression. Oh, we better go. Sandpeople soon return and in bigger numbers. I guess your dad missed a few when he killed them in a murderous rage after they tortured your grandma.

Ben was clearly going to take his time easing Luke into the truth, and um, I don't think the above would have gone over too well.
posted by keswick at 12:58 PM on June 9, 2005


Still, including Chewbacca in Sith was lame and cheap.

Not as cheap as including a young Han Solo would have been, which was apparently in one of the first drafts (as a boy living on the Wookie planet).
posted by o2b at 1:31 PM on June 9, 2005


Obi Wan didn't actually own either of the two... so what he told Luke was true, from a certain point of view.
posted by ipe at 1:40 PM on June 9, 2005


the adventures of young han!

A couple of other inconsistencies: We see the death star, partially built at the end of ROTS. Why did it take another 18 years to finish, and the second one (how imaginative) was whipped out in a few years?

Also, to further geek out, in Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the first star wars book, I believe, we read that Darth Vader's massive damage came from a tie fighter accident.

Finally, Annakin's almost instantaneous turn to evil seemed internally inconsistent, or psychologically unrealistic, and in Return of the Jedi turning Darth Vader into a gentle, loving grandpa who gets "resurrected" along with Obiwan and Yoda struck me as a tortorous ethical leap.

Just had to get that off my chest, sorry.
posted by mecran01 at 1:43 PM on June 9, 2005


Not as cheap as including a young Han Solo would have been, which was apparently in one of the first drafts (as a boy living on the Wookie planet).

I definitely agree. And until we get some details on this TV project that's rumored to be in the works, I'd say that we're not really out of the woods yet as far as kid Han goes.
posted by COBRA! at 1:43 PM on June 9, 2005


Oh, and I experienced palpable disappointment at not ever seeing a Wookie rip off someone's arms. I'm done now.
posted by mecran01 at 1:46 PM on June 9, 2005


Can anyone explain this one:

The onle impetus for Anakin going over to the Dark Side was so that he could learn how to cheat death and bring Padme back to life when she dies -- yet when she does die, as he predicted, does he ask the Emperor about how to resurrect her? No, we simply get, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:13 PM on June 9, 2005


I think there's a much bigger question left unanswered:

Why is it that the entire freakin' Jedi Council, with all their Force connection, couldn't sense the Sith in Palpatine when he was so close to them? I lost respect for their abilities.
posted by madman at 2:15 PM on June 9, 2005


There's no shortage of questionable inclusions in Ep 1-3 that raise more issues than they resolve. 3PO and R2 are mentioned above but the half-assed save at the end - "wipe the protocol droid's memory" - doesn't even fully solve the problem since 3PO understands R2 just fine and later on Luke seems to understand him just fine as well. And yet never any "yeah, I knew your mom and dad, dude"

Chewie's failure to ever say anything about hanging out with a big-shot jedi also seems questionable and it's just as pointless. None of those three ever needed to be in this set of movies for any other reason than lazy storytelling. Why work to write characters for the audience to connect with when you can just churn out some old recognizables and improve toy sales at the same time?
posted by phearlez at 2:19 PM on June 9, 2005


turning Darth Vader into a gentle, loving grandpa who gets "resurrected" along with Obiwan and Yoda struck me as a tortorous ethical leap.

You haven't seen the new DVDs have you?

Oh, and I experienced palpable disappointment at not ever seeing a Wookie rip off someone's arms. I'm done now.

Me too, especially since I *did* see storyboards of Wookiees uh, manually disassembling battledroids.

does he ask the Emperor about how to resurrect her?
Did you miss the part about how Palps said "together, I'm sure we can discover the power to save Padme," right before Ani headed over to the Jedi Temple's daycare facility?

Why is it that the entire freakin' Jedi Council, with all their Force connection, couldn't sense the Sith in Palpatine when he was so close to them? I lost respect for their abilities.

Windu mentions in AotC that the Jedi are losing their ability to use the force. I agree, though. The Jedi were pretty lame in the prequels as opposed to how I pictured them. *shrug*
posted by keswick at 2:20 PM on June 9, 2005


mecran01: A couple of other inconsistencies: We see the death star, partially built at the end of ROTS. Why did it take another 18 years to finish, and the second one (how imaginative) was whipped out in a few years?


Well, (per the extended universe) Palpatine never just built one of any super weapon... the "backup" death star might've been 80% completed when the Ep IV death star was rolled out.
posted by Silent Thomas at 2:28 PM on June 9, 2005


Also, you imagine that the specialized machinery possibly designed and fabricated to in turn BUILD the death star would need no building for the 2nd death star.

In regards to the droids. I assume there are many droids that look like C3P0 and R2D2? And Ben has been in the dang desert communing with his old master for.. 18 years or something? You can't expect him to recognize 2 droids.

And I'm not sure that R2 knows the link between Vader, Luke and Leia.
posted by eurasian at 3:22 PM on June 9, 2005


Star Wars - the science of consistency:

http://metaphilm.com/philm.php?id=416_0_2_0_M
posted by Mossy at 3:48 PM on June 9, 2005


Why doesn't X know/remember Y when Z was doing ABC? Beacuse they were running round the frigging galaxy involved in no end of their own weird shit not sitting in the fucking cinema scarfing popcorn watching every other character do their thing. Nor did they bother watching DVDs or comparing notes on the tossing internet for years on end.

Look, just go off & read all of the fucking books if you want back story & development. Except for Splinter of the Mind's Eye. What a load of bollocks that is.
posted by i_cola at 3:56 PM on June 9, 2005


well *that* shut everyone up.
posted by o2b at 7:23 PM on June 9, 2005


Hey, gimme a minute, I just got back.

null: I missed the "real" mother part and I guess with what the official Star Wars site says, well, as they say, that is that.

And yes, there are other protocol droids. I recall seeing at least one silver and one white droid.

Robot Johnny: does he ask the Emperor about how to resurrect her?

keswick: Did you miss the part about how Palps said "together, I'm sure we can discover the power to save Padme," right before Ani headed over to the Jedi Temple's daycare facility?

I think Johnny Robot means after Anakin's changed into Vader's outfit and he asks about Padme and is told she's died. Why doesn't he ask Sidious about how to resurrect her at that point instead of his lame "noooo"?

ipe: Obi Wan didn't actually own either of the two... so what he told Luke was true, from a certain point of view.

Owww, ginger ale through the nose hurts.
posted by deborah at 9:26 PM on June 9, 2005


An interesting aside on the whole 'our last hope... there is another' thing... there was a video on starwars.com shortly before Sith premiered that was basically a mega-trailer for all 6 movies. The way it was edited suggested that when Yoda said 'there is another', he was actually referring to Anakin: the hope being that Vader would re-discover the good in him and defeat the Emperor.

(The video in question cut right from Yoda's quote to scenes of Vader at the end of Jedi.)
posted by toddshot at 1:10 AM on June 10, 2005


I liked Mossy's link to the essay on continuity and fictional universes.

The weird thing was, I too thought of "experimenting" with the blank slate that is my daughter, to see what she picks up on seeing the films in numerical order rather than in order of their release... but it turns out that Star Wars concepts are so pervasive even in elementary school that she - even without having seen any of the movies - had a pretty basic understanding of what happened in them anyway.

I liked how the essay's author's experiment was shotgunned. "Due to contamination by girl, the experiment is now invalidated and must be abandoned."
posted by pzarquon at 10:46 AM on June 10, 2005


A couple of other inconsistencies: We see the death star, partially built at the end of ROTS. Why did it take another 18 years to finish, and the second one (how imaginative) was whipped out in a few years?

Zoning, permits, raising the needed venture capital... getting all those pesky last-minute details and petty disagreements ironed out...

Empirical effiency expert: Do we really need women's rest rooms? I mean come on, in this whole universe, there's like (counts on fingers)... Leia, Mon Mothma, Beru... three women?.
Vader: (chokes him).


My impression was that the Anakin-shish-ka-bob to swathed-in-velvet Malibu Vader surgery process was not exactly a three-hour teeth-whitening; that it took a while. Luke just got sucker punched by a Wampa and he had to swim in that tank for like a whole weekend. Anakin on the other hand was like a cross between that limb-less knight in the Monty Python flick and, um, something covered in fire... say, that whacked out king in Return of the King or one of those juggled tiki torches. He was in, in what I can imagine my grandmother saying, a bad way.

I was thinking that it at least took a couple of weeks, maybe even a couple of months before the suit was all ready and Anakin had his final fitting. What with the cummerbund and cufflinks and all.

(You think he had to take off the mask every time he wanted to eat or they had some sort of straw for him like when someone gets their jaw wired shut? I'm picturing one of Empire's many choked admirals feeding him with a My Little Pony sippy cup.)

So, after the surgery and he's asking about Padme... well, you'd hardly want to bring her back then, weeks/months later. You'd get into that whole The Monkey's Paw situation. And she might have even been cremated so who wants a urn of talking ashes? Parkay! Butter!

So, when he's on board the star destroyer at the end I was thinking it was at least a couple of weeks/months later. In fact, it could have been a confusing "jump ahead" view by Lucas showing a couple of years later... (I'm kinda surprised that Lucas didn't use a special Five years later... wipe -- he loves the wipes!). I do like that the shot was included as it really tied the end of III together with the beginning of IV.

There's of course myriad of questions and inconsistencies (How come Owen and Beru made Luke refer to them as Uncle and Aunt since he lived with them since he was like a month old? Were they just the biggest asses ever?) and I think it all boils down to Lucas, yeah having one original film in '77 and stretch-stretch-stretching it out for almost thirty years. I know he is always talking about this master plan and that he always had the stories and blah blah blah, but I think he had at most some ideas, some good, some bad. I mean, come on... Deathsticks?
posted by blueberry at 2:03 AM on June 12, 2005


Anakin on the other hand was like a cross between that limb-less knight in the Monty Python flick

Oh man, I just watched Grail for the first time in like 15 years, and Anakin is totally the black knight. So much so that I'm surprised nobody shouted out lines from Monty Python during that scene. Hmm...
posted by mecran01 at 8:54 PM on June 12, 2005


Okay, yeah... so I had a chance to see that scene again last night and the way Lucas cuts back and forth between the child-birth and the Fonz-ification of Vader it does look like it is in fact just a quick three-hour teeth-whitening.

So, Padme's body was probably still warm. But, the Emperor was all with the heh-heh-heh smiling (I understand, that while a nice tipper, he's quite evil) when he told Vader that he killed her.

So, either old Palpatine was talking out of his ass about the whole "bring 'em back to life" thing, or he wasn't but just wanted/needed to give Darth that added bit of pain/hatred to make him that much darker.

You know, if Vader had been able to bring back Padme it would've changed the whole dynamic. In episode IV he would've been all "If this is a counselor ship... where is the ambassador? Oh what's that? He's not here? Oh, well, we'll just wait over there if it's okay. Could you tell us when he gets in? We're looking for some misplaced blueprints you see..."
posted by blueberry at 4:00 AM on June 15, 2005


It's also possible that the Emporer (and Vader) knew that Vader's sudden lack of Force ability (apparently reduced by 50% or something after the choppy/burny/crackliness) meant that together they no longer had the power to resurrect anyone?

< /talking out ass
posted by coriolisdave at 9:38 PM on June 18, 2005


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