As the sole guardians of Luke Skywalker, Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun had little screen time in the Star Wars films. While minor characters, their role played a bigger part that is often overlooked.
Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, where do we begin? For starters, the main focus of this piece will be on their roles in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
While both characters have made appearances in other Star Wars media, such as Star Wars 7: From the Journals of Old Ben Kenobi: “The Last of His Breed”, Star Wars 15: From the Journals of Old Ben Kenobi, and Star Wars: The Original Trilogy – A Graphic Novel, we’ll be following the movie canon. To see a full list of their appearances visit the Owen Lars Wookieepedia and Beru Whitesun Lars Wookieepedia.
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To briefly recap, audiences were first introduced to the couple in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Uncle Owen played by Phil Brown and Aunt Beru played by Shelagh Fraser had raised Luke Skywalker on their moisture farm on the planet Tatooine.
While the two enjoyed farm life Luke did not which troubled Owen. Both Owen and Beru knew to an extent what happened to Luke’s father and were trying to protect him from going down a similar path to his possible demise. Unfortunately for both, they are killed before Luke could warn them of the imminent danger of Imperial Stormtroopers.
When the Star Wars prequels began to take shape a young Owen Lars, played by Joel Edgerton and girlfriend Beru Whitesun played by Bonnie Piesse appeared in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. When Anakin Skywalker decides to return home upon having nightmares of his mother Shmi Skywalker, he discovers that not only that his mother married but he obtained stepbrother Owen in the process.
The visit is short lived as Anakin tries to rescue a captured Shmi from Tusken Raiders but is too late. The family buries Shmi back home before Anakin accompanied by Padme Amidala leave when they receive a message from Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The next time the couple is seen again is at the ending of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Now married, Owen and Beru receive a visit from Obi-Wan Kenobi, arriving to deliver a newly born Luke Skywalker. Though no words are exchanged Beru’s joyous expressions and the look of relief and gratitude on Kenobi’s face spoke volumes. She takes Luke in her arms, stands by Owen to watch a sunset as thematic music closes the film.
So why does Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru deserve a piece solely about them? Though neither of them were Jedi or members of the Rebel Alliance they were reminders of how brave and loyal ordinary people or beings are and can be in the galaxy. They did not use the Force to foresee who Luke would become. They were two parents raising a child to the best of their ability. They did not know that Anakin Skywalker had become Darth Vader. They were trying to protect Luke from any involvement so he could have a normal life.
Perhaps most importantly, they didn’t know the sacrifice they’d be making when they decided to raise Luke. They took him without question. They were a loving couple, who probably wanted a family and saw Luke as a way that they both could receive the same thing.
Isn’t that worthy of some recognition?
Star Wars has an abundance of characters, most of them are involved in the action of the films in some way. Yes, if Owen and Beru were focused on more, arguably that can be seen as boring movie material.
People want to see the space battles, lightsaber battles, droids, starships, learning the ways of the Force, not ordinary people living on a farm on Tatooine. Owen and Beru can arguably be seen as plot devices. Once they were killed, Luke had no reason to stay. He had no home, no family left. All he could do now was follow Old Ben Kenobi, learn to be a Jedi and save Princess Leia. If the couple had survived it would have changed Luke’s means of how his story would begin.
This isn’t an argument for why Owen and Beru should have a film centered around the time they spent raising Luke so fans could see what that life was like. With so many Star Wars characters, any of them are warranted of their own individual story but very few will have fans wanting to see them.
What we can see from the small source material we have is how loved Luke was. How well they raised him. How while Luke was stir crazy and desired more, he never did anything that would disappoint them. Luke was courageous, kind, and intelligent. He owes all of that to the two people who raised him: Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Luke would not be the character he was and would later become if it weren’t for the upbringing he had.
What do you think about Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru? Which Star Wars characters would you want to see in their own film? Leave your answers in the comment section below! I’d love to read them!