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The Disney Era’s Best Part Is the Portrayal of Adoption

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Much has changed since Disney took over the Star Wars franchise, and the positive portrayal of adoption is one of the best new additions it’s made.

Over ten years have passed since Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise, and much has changed within that time. With five new movies, yearly Disney+ shows, big-budget video games and a plethora of books and comics, Star Wars has seen its share of ups and downs. And yet, with all the new storytelling that’s been introduced, easily one of the best aspects is the glorified views of adoption.

Of course, Star Wars is no stranger to adopted characters, with the obvious example being Luke and Leia. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope shows Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru as kind and loving parents, and their death has an impact on Luke. However, the impact is very much glossed over, and his relationship with them certainly feels like they’re distant relatives rather than the parents he’s known his whole life. And the same can be said for Leia, who seems rather cheerful just a day after losing her adoptive parents and home planet.

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Uncle Owen Aunt Beru Baby Luke

Orphaned main characters have always been a staple in sci-fi and fantasy. The inclusion of parents can sometimes complicate things for the protagonist, especially when they need a reason to leave everything behind for their adventure. And often if they are adopted, the new family act as a barrier trying to stop the hero from succeeding. Then on top of this, the open-ended question of what happened to their parents is always a potential plot line waiting to happen — which is exactly what Star Wars did with Luke and Leia.

Nevertheless, modern Star Wars usually sees orphan characters with a new loving family to call their own. A prime example is how Luke and Leia’s families were portrayed on Obi-Wan Kenobi, as the series ends with Uncle Owen saying Luke Skywalker “is my own.” And Leia expresses her happiness with having the Organas as her parents, even if she is curious about her biological mother and father.

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Star Wars Is About Family

Andor Maarva Cassian Fiona Shaw Diego Luna Star Wars

The idea of Star Wars being about family stretches back to the original trilogy, and it’s one of the last things Leia’s actor Carrie Fisher said about the franchise before passing away. But recently this idea has stretched far beyond biological family, and for the better, as it’s shown that true family are the ones who love and care for each other.

The first Star Wars media released by Disney was Star Wars Rebels, which has Ezra Bridger viewing his team of Rebels as family. The Mandalorian also has the relationship between Grogu and Din Djarin, who is even referred to as a father in the trailer for The Mandalorian Season 3. And more recently there’s Andor, with Cassian being rescued by Maarva and her husband Clem — who he describes as his parents.

There are plenty of people who complain about the direction Star Wars has taken over the years, but this shows change can often be a positive thing. This new outlook on adoption is not only welcome in Star Wars, but in the sci-fi and fantasy genre as a whole, as the idea of family shouldn’t be restricted to those of blood relation. Hopefully, this is a trend Star Wars will continue for the foreseeable future.

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