So often in fiction, the concept of “legacy” is defined by what fathers leave for their sons. But, in the Star Wars universe, that idea has expanded to include found families, individual victories, and the women who were heroes before our current favorites were born. They were pilots, senators, activists, and everyday people who stood up for what was right and did their part to inspire the generation that followed. These inspiring women have made several impacts on the storyline, so let’s celebrate Mother’s Day in a galaxy far, far away by looking back on the most inspiring mothers in the saga.
The teenager queen-turned-senator carries one of the most important roles in the Star Wars galaxy, as one of the first people to “spark” the idea of rebellion during the deterioration of the Galactic Senate in Revenge of the Sith. The mother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, Padmé was not only a bold leader, but a skilled shot with a blaster. She very often took matters into her own hands when her older peers were too caught up in their own beliefs to act. As a teenager, Padmé bent the rules of her elected royalty and united the two governing peoples of her planet in order to free it from the Trade Federation’s oppressive blockade. Just a few years later, as a full-fledged senator, Padmé ran countless espionage missions to assist the Jedi and planets throughout the galaxy under the nose of her own colleagues. Her actions may not have be universally known in-world by the time The Force Awakens rolls around, but they live on through those of her children — especially Leia, whose defiance of the New Republic led to the formation of the Resistance.
Fans of Star Wars: Aftermath seemed delighted when the Databank updated to confirm that Snap Wexley (Greg Grunberg) from The Force Awakens was once the book’s teenage hero, Temmin. But throughout the pages of Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath (and soon, the story’s next installment, Aftermath: Life Debt) Temmin’s war-weary mother, Rebel pilot Norra Wexley, takes the lead in an era where she had hoped to come home to peace. Pulled back into the Rebellion by circumstances out of her hands, Norra is forced to use her trained leadership skills to guide her ragtag group of new friends (her son included) out of a series of dangers that plagues them on Norra’s home planet, Akiva. Norra may be a touch cynical, but her efforts to repair a damaged relationship with her son are what bring the hardened soldier back down to reality.
One of the most popular new additions to Star Wars continuity via Marvel’s comics is Poe Dameron’s mother, Shara Bey. The star of Shattered Empire, Shara served as an A-wing pilot through the end of the Rebellion, and anyone who saw her in motion might instantly begin to understand how her son became the high-flying prodigy he is. Despite her modest responses to recognition, Bey’s skills were so well-revered that she assisted both Princess Leia and Commander Luke Skywalker on top-secret missions, before settling down with her Rebel husband, Kes Dameron, on Yavin IV to raise Poe. Bey’s heroics no doubt aided Poe’s path toward becoming a hotshot pilot, and after finishing her service to the Rebellion, Bey spent her years teaching her son how to fly and watching over a special Force tree for Skywalker.
It would almost be a shame not to mention Leia Organa, though her relationship with her son, Ben — now Kylo Ren — has only been grazed upon in The Force Awakens and Bloodline so far. Leia’s relationship with her son may be devastated (especially after he murdered Han Solo, his father) but what makes her stand out as a mother is her never-ending belief that Ben Solo still lives somewhere within Kylo Ren. Whether this belief is truly aided by her Force-guided intuition or her own wishful thinking has been a hot topic of debate as of recent, but it’s hard not to root for Leia, a tireless veteran of war who has lost nearly everything in life and is simply trying to hold on to what family she has left.
While Captain Syndulla is nobody’s mother, the leader of the Ghost crew is worth an honorable mention for her maternal sense of guidance and inspiration, particularly toward her younger crew members. While Hera’s finest moments are in the sky, shooting down bucketheads in the name of the rebellion, it is perhaps her ability to encourage hope in an otherwise hopeless situation that makes Hera an incredible addition to the found family of Star Wars Rebels. Some of her most touching moments occur in the heat of battle alongside the teenage Mandalorian Sabine Wren, when Syndulla’s guidance helps inspire confidence and courage in the young warrior who still struggles with her past. For her patience and inspiration, Hera absolutely deserves a nod this Mother’s Day.
Who are your favorite mothers from the Star Wars galaxy? What has your mother done to inspire you? Let us know, and happy Mother’s Day to all of the awesome moms out there, as well!
Catrina Dennis is a writer and Star Wars die-hard. In her spare time, she tells stories, yells very loudly about soccer, and hosts a few very cool podcasts. Catch up with her on Twitter @ohcatrina.