Leia Organa is the kind of girl whose Officially Sanctioned Parties With Appropriately Noble Alderaanian Children end with split lips and bloody noses, some minor duke’s son sobbing because she pushed him down and rubbed dirt in his hair.
He shouldn’t have insulted—she shouldn’t have said—he was boasting how his father killed—she was saying her mother beats—he can’t do that—it isn’t fair, it isn’t right—
Bail knew Padmé far better than he ever knew Anakin, was party to far more late night conversations about the frustrating minutiae of Republican bureaucracy, the injustice of children dying as clerks filled out permits in triplicate. And his heart aches for it, as he washes the blood from Padmé’s daughter’s face.
Breha is the only one who can handle Leia, after the dust has settled and the apologies are made to the minor duke. (Bail can deal with her, but his methods tend to be making her promise to never do that again as they sit side by side, licking frosty treats. It has not been terribly effective as a disciplinary measure.)
But Breha will take Leia’s hand, and they will go together into Breha’s rooms—not the ones she keeps with Bail, or the personal suite where she receives family, honored guests, but the space that is just hers, alone. Breha will dismiss the servants, and sit Leia down before her vanity.
In the mirror, Leia watches as her mother unpins her complicated braids, brushes them out, in long, sure strokes. (Only Breha can do this. Leia has been brought to tears, trying to unknot the long length of her hair, and every stylist and maid has struggled with some unspeakable tangle, but Breha never has, never does.
Leia’s mother is magic.)
Breha is a Queen, as someday Leia will be, and she says, you cannot beat the galaxy into the shape you want,
Lelila. That is not fair either.
she says, it is not enough to want what is right. You must do what is right, or there can be no righteousness.
she says, you do not have to be gentle, but you must be just. There is more than enough thoughtless cruelty here.
Thirty years later, the faint scent of her perfume—caught in a crowd, in the folds of a dress Leia had forgotten at the bottom of a trunk, an arallute bloom, pressed between the back of a datapad and its casing—can still make Leia’s throat close up, can make her feel small but safe, steadied.
Sometimes, half-asleep she can still feel the calm stroke of the brush through her hair, her mother saying, lelila. lelila.
So here’s the thing that literally never occurred to me until just recently, because it’s kind of a throwaway line.
In A New Hope, right around the time that Vader’s told that there was an empty escape pod launched from the Tantive IV, he instructs one of his underlings to “send a distress signal, then inform the Senate that all aboard were killed.” Very shortly thereafter, the Emperor dissolved the Imperial Senate and sends all of the delegates home.
Consider Bail Organa, who is one of the very few people in the galaxy who knows a) who Leia really is, b) that she has a twin brother, and I think c) where Luke is, which is Tatooine, which is where the Tantive IV was when it was destroyed.
And immediately on the heels of being informed that his daughter was killed (which is devastating enough, even without her being a Skywalker and one of the last hopes of the galaxy), the Imperial Senate was disbanded.
The timing is complete coincidence on the part of the Empire, because they actually have no idea about any of this. But Bail Organa has to be drawing the worst possible conclusions.
I bet you anything that when the Death Star appeared in Alderaan’s sky, the only thought in Bail Organa’s mind was “That’s it. We’ve lost. The Empire found the last two hopes of the galaxy, and killed them both, and now there’s nothing, not even the illusion of the Senate, to stop them.”
And then he died.
First of all I was using that heart, and second of all how dare you, you broke it.
hey remember how bail and obi-wan die like hours apart
honestly how pissed is luke when he discovers that he and leia were separated at birth and leia was adopted into a royal family and spent twenty years wearing fabulous custom couture while he was sent to a farm on a planet in the middle of nowhere where “fashion” meant sewing a poncho out of womp rat skins
womp rat skins
Has Lucas & Co. ever explained why neither of them was sent to live with their living actual blood relatives, Padme’s parents, who are actually seen in Revenge of the Sith? Maybe too close for comfort, but so is living as as “Skywalker” on Tatooine and with a Jedi-sympathizing member of the Galactic Senate
like i mean, besides the fact that the prequels are a mess narratively and even the whole “luke and leia are siblings” thing was a last-minute revelation in the original trilogy’s script development process – yoda was pretty adamant that it had to look like padme had died while still pregnant, and the only people who knew about the babies’ existence were in the room with padme while she gave birth. anakin was supposed to think his children hadn’t been born, so if padme’s actual parents (who were well past childbearing age) just coincidentally came into possession of two newborn babies that would have aroused too much suspicion.
And also, Bail said they had been wanting to adopt a child, especially a girl. He and Breha were probably on record as looking to adopt. So no one would think it strange when he showed up with a newborn baby. And irregularities in Leia’s adoption would be explained as “ah, rich couple wanting a baby so much they cut corners, oh well.”
Meanwhile Anakin was on record about his deep seated dislike for his home planet and his fervent wish never to set foot on it again. He also didn’t have any attachment to his stepbrother, having only met him once in bad circumstances, so the chances of him showing up one day at the Lars farm were close to zero.
But he was officially related to the Lars so no one in Anchorage would think it suspicious that Owen and Beru would take Luke in. Because as far as they knew they were his only living relatives.
Also, and it can’t be underestimated, Tatooine was an Outer Rim planet whose only government was the wims of the Hutts. So:
A. Obi-Wan could hide easily because who cares about one more hermit on a world that’s all Jawas and sandpeople, subsistence farmers and wretched hive of scum and villainy.
B. Tatooine doesn’t strike me as a place that has much in the ways of central records. And what does Jabba care about some moisture farmers kid? Probably, the only people who knew there was a Skywalker on the Lars farm was their immediate community and who were they gonna tell?
It’s canon that Owen kept giving excuse after excuse to prevent Luke from enrolling in the Flight Academy, maybe that was because doing so would have entered him into the Imperial systems.
So the whole split them up, Leia goes with Bail, Luke goes to Tatooine works. Especially as a plan hatched on the fly by 3 traumatized exhausted people on the run.
i need fic of luke and leia’s force bond affecting their childhoods like, stat, because listen:
leia loves her parents, but the pressures of court life are enormous. use this fork, not that one. no, honey, you can’t go play in the dirt outside, the congressman is coming over for dinner. please don’t speak unless you’re asked a question. hush! that word isn’t for distinguished young ladies. and sometimes she feels like she’s going to explode. but when she can get a moment to herself, close her eyes, and meditate, she goes to the same place in her mind. she can’t put her finger on where it is, but it’s sandy and warm. she never sees another person there, but she feels a presence that lets her her rant, and sits with her until she’s quieted down, and together they watch the… wait, two suns?
luke loves owen and beru, but they’re so stifling. luke do this, luke do that, luke fix the droids, luke no you can’t go see your friends, you know it’s harvest time and your uncle isn’t getting any younger. this is your birthright, it’ll all be yours someday. he knows that they want to keep him safe and fed, and he’s so so grateful, but he can’t help but feel like he was made for more than moisture farming. sometimes, when he’s in the garage playing with his models, he’ll feel transported away, like he can almost hear the engines of a ship purring in the background and another presence beside him, watching silently with him as stars zoom past the window.
Imagine the cold chill that runs through Bail when he hears Leia talking about her imaginary friend and she says his name is Luke
Obi-Wan: Prince-Consort Bail Organa of Alderaan, I entrust to your keeping one of the children of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. Hide her well, and keep your family safe.
Bail Organa: I shall raise her as my own child and, when she is of age, send her off to a high-profile job in the Galactic Senate. Also, I shall become one of the main spokespeople for dissent against Emperor Palpatine.
Obi-Wan: That… That is a terrible idea.
Bail Organa: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of your plan to give Darth Vader’s other kid to Darth Vader’s step-brother on Darth Vader’s home planet.
Obi-Wan: In my defence, Anakin is incredibly dim.