Stars Wars Day: May the 4th Be with You…

Star Wars: May the 4th Be with You…

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez

When I told my seven-year-old son that May 4th was Star Wars Day, he was more than apt to participate and was a little angry with me for not telling him sooner. I had not known myself if it wasn’t for the buzz on Twitterverse.

As an Outworlder myself, this post is a little late due to my own personal warp-lag.

Translation: I’ve been a little exhausted from travelling the hyperspace of blogging. (I’ve been hosting the Asian Heritage Month Blog Event for May shortly after “Dewing” the Dewey Read-a-Thon!)

But, I couldn’t pass up the chance of posting something about the much-revered Star Wars series. I was only a child when it first came out and fondly remember the craze it stirred even then. I’m glad to see that Star Wars has not lost its sci-fi appeal and has even passed down to my own children.

In honour of this galactic story, here is an overview of the best of the main characters in the Star Wars series:

Yoda:

  • he serves as Grand Master of the Jedi Council
  • he serves as a general in the Clone Wars

George Lucas originally wished Yoda to follow his other characters in having a full name—Minch Yoda—but instead opted to have many details of the character’s life history remain unknown.

  • it is unknown what species he is, but known simply as Yoda’s species
  • in 2008, Yoda was selected by Empire magazine as the 25th greatest movie character of all time
Yoda’s well-known quote:
“Do or do not… there is no try.”
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Darth Vader:

Species: Human/Cyborg

Position: Jedi Knight, Dark Lord of the Sith, Supreme Commander

Homeworld: Taootine

Affiliation: Jedi, Galactic Republic, Sith, Galactic Empire

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Darth Vader, now an iconic figure in science fiction was originally a Jedi Knight named Anakin who fell to the dark side of the Force.

He is the father of both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa.

Vader, a student of Emperor Palpatine secretly intends to overthrow him to establish himself as ruler of the Empire.

Vader is ultimately redeemed in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, when he sacrifices himself to save his son, Luke.

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Luke Skywalker:

Species: Human

Gender: Male

Position: Lieutenant Commander in the Rebel Alliance, Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, Grand Master of the New Jedi Order

Homeworld: Tattooine

Birthplace: Polis Massa

Affiliation: Rebel Alliance, New Republic, New Jedi Order, Galactic Alliance

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Luke Skywalker leaves home and becomes the apprentice to the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

As the son of former Queen of Naboo and Republic Senator Padmé Amidala and her husband, Anakin Skywalker, Luke is heir to a family deeply powerful in the Force.

He’s also the fraternal twin brother of Princess Leia Organa.

In 2008, Luke Skywalker was selected by Empire magazine as the 54th greatest movie character of all time.

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Princess Leia:

Species: Human

Gender: Female

Position: Heir to the Alderaanian Throne, Senator of Alderaan, New Republic Diplomat, Chief of State of the New Republic, Jedi Knight

Homeworld: Alderaan

Birthplace: Polis Massa

Affiliation: Imperial Senate, Rebel Alliance, New Republic, Galactic Alliance, Jedi

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Princess Leia was born Leia Skywalker, the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, born to Padmé Amidala from her marriage to Annakin Skywalker.

Her adoptive father is Bail Organa, who is the head of Alderaan’s royal family, which makes Leia, Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.

Later she marries Han Solo and has three children with him: Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin.

Princess Leia is characterized as a driven woman with a forceful personality known as the most beautiful, “petite, fair-skinned human female” in Star Wars.

She is a woman warrior who frequently participates in combat operations and an excellent marksman, missing rarely, if ever, with a blaster.

She kills Jabba the Hutt, choking him with the chain that bound her to him.

Princess Leia later becomes a proficient Jedi after finishing her training under her brother’s guidance and eventually becomes a full-fledged member of the New Jedi Order, under the training of Master Saba Sebatyne.

She is best known in popular culture for her “cinnamon bun hairstyle”—which both my daughter and I love!

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Obi-Wan Kanobi:

Species: Human

Gender: Male

Position: Jedi Padawan, Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, Jedi Council Member, Jedi High General

Homeworld: Stewjon

Affiliation: Jedi Order, Galactic Republic, Rebel Alliance

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Obi-Wan Kenobi is first introduced as rescuing Luke Skywalker from a group of  Tusken Raiders. Obi-Wan reveals to him that he knew his father, Anakin Skywalker, and served with him in the Clone Wars.

Obi-Wan offers to instruct Luke in the ways of the Force and asks him to join him on the quest.

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Han Solo:

Species: Human

Gender: Male

Position: Captain of the Millennium Falcon, General in the Rebel Alliance/New Republic smuggler

Homeworld: Corellia

Affiliation: Rebel Alliance, New Republic Alliance, Galactic Alliance

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Han Solo, and his Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca, become involved in the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire and becomes a chief figure in the Alliance and galactic governments.

Solo and Chewbacca are indebted to Jabba the Hutt and accepts a charter to transport Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker,C-3PO, and R2-D2 to Alderaan in Han’s ship, the Millennium Falcon, for a payment to clear the debt.

Enticed by the possibility of a large reward, he and Chewbacca help Skywalker rescue Princess Leia who is held captive.

After delivering Luke Skywalker, Leia, and the droids to the Rebels, Solo and Chewbacca receive payment for their services. They later help Skywalker, which ultimately enables them to destroy the Death Star. Following this, Han is appointed a Captain by the Rebel Alliance.

His romantic involvement with Princess Leia eventually leads to marriage and three children.

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Chewbacca:

Species: Wookie

Gender: Male

Position: First Mate on Millennium Falcon

Homeworld: Kashyyk

Affiliation: Galactic Republic, Rebel Alliance, New Republic

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Chewbacca’s creation as a “gentle, hairy, non-English-speaking co-pilot” was inspired by George Lucas seeing his own dog sitting up on the passenger seat of his car!

It is said that Chewbacca’s name is derived from собака (sobaka), the Russian and Ukrainian word for dog.

Chewbacca,Wookiee, became Han Solo’s first mate and companion after Solo, an Imperial Captain, refused an order to kill him while Chewbacca was a slave of the Empire.

Chewbacca owed a life debt to Han and would serve Han Solo for the rest of his life.

Chewbacca’s voice was created from a mix of recordings of walruses, lions, camels, bears, rabbits, tigers and badgers.  One of the most prominent elements in the voice was a black bear named Tarik.

Chewbacca is one of the few fictional characters to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MTV Movie Awards.

And though I don’t normally prefer “hairy” men, I make the exception when it comes to Chewie. He’s one of my favourites of the Star Wars franchise.

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C-3P0:

Gender: Masculine programming

Position: Protocol Droid

Homeworld: Tatooine

Affiliation: Galactic Republic, Rebel Alliance, New Republic

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C-3PO is a protocol droid designed to serve humans.

He often boasts that he is fluent in “over six million forms of communication.”

He is generally seen with his long-time counterpart, R2-D2.

C-3P0’s main function is to assist etiquette, customs, and translation, so that meetings of different cultures run smoothly.

He is also one of the only protocol druids who is able to lie.

We also later learn from the Prequel Trilogy that C-3P0 was originally built by Anakin Skywalker from spare parts and is later a key witness alongside R2-D2 to Anakin and Padmé’s secret wedding.

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R2-D2:

Position: Astromech Droid

Homeworld: Naboo

Affiliation: Galactic Republic, Rebel Alliance, New Republic, Galactic Alliance, Jedi Order

R2-D2’s name is said to derive from when Lucas was making one of his earlier films, American Graffiti.

Sound editor Walter Murch asked for Reel 2, Dialog Track 2, in the abbreviated form “R-2-D-2” and Lucas, who was in the room and had dozed off while working on the script for Star Wars, momentarily woke when he heard the request and, after asking for clarification, stated that it was a “great name” before falling immediately back to sleep.

Ewan McGregor, who portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy, said in an interview:

“…there is something about him that makes you feel great affection for him. I think it is a combination of his shape, his high-pitched voice. He’s just incredibly appealing. In fact, I believe he is George [Lucas]’s favourite actor.”

Lucas confirms this in the audio commentary of the Episode III DVD.

George Lucas also notes that it is intentional that R2-D2 saves the day at least once in every film.

R2-D2 was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in 2003.

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And at the request of my Star Wars-crazed son, he wanted me to include in this post a picture of his Star Wars books and toys collection saying,

“Mama, don’t forget to include a picture of all my Star Wars stuff especially my Darth Vader stuffy and the light sabres!”

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M’s Star Wars book collection. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
M’s Star Wars toys. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
M’s Star Wars toy collection. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
M’s Star Wars Mighty Bean collection. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
M’s Star Wars toy collection. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
M’s Star Wars toy collection. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
M’s Star Wars toy collection. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez

And to prove my children’s reverence for this series (as well as my own), here’s a picture of M. who created in his own spare time a Trooper costume out of a cardboard box, and the three of us on Halloween:

M. working on his cardboard Star Wars Trooper costume! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
M. in his homemade Trooper costume. (c) Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
BANG! BANG! The Imperial Forces are here!!! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
Storm Trooper (Mommy); M. as Darth Vader, and M. as Princess Leia. Halloween 2011. (c) Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez.

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I don’t have as many Midi-chlorians as the Skywalkers, but it’s safe if not mandatory to affectionately hope and say,

May the 4th   be with you!

To check out some cool Star Wars images, you can visit my Star Wars board on Pinterest.

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Who’s your favourite Star Wars character?

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