CT When was it established that Leia was adopted?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by jabbalabba, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. jabbalabba Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Of course, if you watch the saga now in their internal chronological order, it all makes sense, but in terms of when the original trilogy was released -- at what point was it established that Leia was adopted? From my point of view, if you watched the films (prior to the PT), once you get to the scene in ROTJ, when Luke reveals to Leia that they are siblings, it's sort of just thrown in there that Leia is adopted. There isn't any mention or suggestion in the previous films that she was adopted. Was this simply a back story that Lucas created/established for the character of Leia outside of the films?
  2. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

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    According to Gary Kurtz, Leia was not meant to be Luke's sister. The "other" Yoda spoke of would've been revealed in Episodes VII-IX and she would not have been Leia. Many of the plots of VII-IX were condensed into ROTJ (confrontation with Vader, the return of the Jedi, Luke's sister being revealed) and, as such, Leia became Luke's sister. The novelization of ROTJ officially confirms the adoption (the film kinda sorta does), and I would imagine it was in the creation of ROTJ and the condensing of 4 films into it that the adoption was decided.. In the novel, Ben tells Luke: "...your mother took Leia to live as the daughter of Senator Organa, on Alderaan."
  3. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 5, 2012
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    Yes, I agree that it had to be Return of the Jedi. Thank God the whole awkward love triangle thing in Empire didn't develop further.
  4. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

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    How do you know it wasn't decided until RotJ? Leia could've been adopted without being Luke's sister. :p
  5. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Putting aside the development of Luke & Leia as siblings, this question has always nagged at me a bit. It's just something to do with the way Luke asks Leia, "Do you remember your mother? Your real mother?" It's almost presented as assumed knowledge that Leia was adopted, although obviously unaware of her true heritage.

    However, as far as I know, I don't believe it was ever mentioned in any public source prior to ROTJ.
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  6. Jedi Comedian Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 27, 2012
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    Presumably Luke and Leia had talked about their families before, hence why Luke could go straight into asking Leia about her "real" (ie biological) mother.

    I don't see why it would have been decided that Leia was adopted before RotJ - it's an unnecessary detail unless you want to have her biological parents show up.
  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Which is why I've always found Luke's line a bit odd - he doesn't simply ask her about her mother, he asks about her real mother, which establishes that she had another non-biological one (presumably Bail's wife, Queen Breha), and that she was aware that she was adopted.
    It's presented in such a matter of fact way, however, that it makes you wonder if you missed something. I'm inclined to believe that it's a detail lost somewhere along the way that never made its way into any drafts.
  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    I think they're just using that line cleverly-it creates an impression that everyone (audience included) knows Leia was adopted, even if they actually didn't know any such thing.
  9. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Maybe. Hmm...

    About the only place I think it might have popped up prior to ROTJ is the ESB radio drama, which aired in February of 1983, but I don't have a copy of the script.

    Bail Organa appears as a character in the SW/ANH radio drama, although he's only ever referred to as 'Viceroy', IIRC, and 'Father' (by Leia). The topic of Leia's mother, or adoption certainly didn't come up there.
    Leia's mother, Queen Breha (same name as the actual character in SW canon would receive) does appear in the First/Rough Draft of SW, nothing about Leia being adopted - but that far back in development, such details can't be taken as particularly indicative (she was also the daughter of 'King Kayos' and had two younger brothers).

    DarthBoba's probably right - nevertheless, it's still one of those nagging little oddities. I can see why they did it - it allows Leia to have a memory of the real Mother Skywalker, which GL was determined to include.
  10. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Well, given the then-plan to not make the sequel trilogy, there was alot of stuff to wrap up in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The line's an easy way out-it basically creates knowledge. ROTJ isn't the only film in the trilogy to do this though; think about basically anything Obi-Wan says during Luke's sabre training session. For example:

    "You must let go your conscious self...reach out with your feelings!"

    Oh yeah. I'm sure a nineteen-year-old farmboy whose main interests are flying at high speeds and shirking everyday tasks knows exactly what 'let go of your conscious self' means. :p

    But thanks to the way it's delivered, Luke (and the audience by extension) accept it without really thinking about it to hard.
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Dec 28, 2012
  11. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    ^^^
    Oh, absolutely, I agree. It's just one of those minor niggling details from the OT which tends to play tricks with the mind - not unlike the false memories of all those people who will swear to their deathbeds that they saw the Biggs Anchorhead & Jabba in Docking Bay 94 scenes back in 1977 (all fuelled by their inclusion in the novelisations, comics, trading cards, picture books, the Making Of docos etc).

    A friend of mine has never backed down on his claim that he saw the whole 'Jerjerrod conflict' in ROTJ play out when he saw it in 1983 (it was briefly mentioned in the novelisation), unfortunately, the deleted scenes on the Blu-Ray just lend credence to his account, even though it's nonsense. Unless, of course, an Australian cinema received a print of the film that NO ONE else in the entire world happened to see.

    The 'Leia was adopted' storyline is something I'd be curious to get a definitive answer on, though, particularly in relation to just when the hell GL suddenly decided to make Luke & Leia siblings (if he'll admit it occurred sometime in the 1980s, as opposed to his laughable claim that it was there in 1973. Which it wasn't. It really, really wasn't, kids).
    JW Rinzler's The Making of Return of the Jedi can't come soon enough, it should provide a few clues, at the very least.
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  12. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

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    I don't have any problem with it. Luke and Leia have known each other for years by then. They should've had plenty of off-camera conversations about life, family, etc. It was a rare instance of a Star Wars script being nuanced and summarizing something that happened off-screen without assuming the audience also needed to see it play out live in order to understand the recap.
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  13. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    By the time Luke asked this question, he already knew that Leia was his sister. And I can only assume that he found it improbable that Leia's royal Alderaanian mother was his mother.
  14. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Yes, but the exchange clearly indicates that Leia is also aware she's adopted.

    I think DarthBoba pretty much hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that by finishing the Saga with ROTJ, they had to wrap everything up a lot quicker than they might have, so this bit of background detail slipped in there as if we already knew it saved a bit of further exposition.
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  15. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    Considering that the OT never really went into Leia or Han's backgrounds, I'm not that surprised that the revelation that Leia knew she had been adopted came out of the blue. I think this is something that could only be answered in a STAR WARS novel.
    Last edited by DRush76, Dec 31, 2012
  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Eh, no. The subject of Leia's and Luke's parents (beyond Vader, obviously, and even that was "nothing" before ANH) didn't even show up in the EU until after ROTS was out.

    *I think maybe Leia's adoptive parents might have been mentioned in the Thrawn Trilogy. Don't think so though.
  17. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    I think it should have been obvious that Leia's adoptive parents were part of the royal family of Alderaan . . . even when the revelation that she had been adopted was made in ROTJ. And all you did was confirm my earlier comment that the topic of Bail Organa was finally explored in the EU.
  18. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Except 1) I said it might have been, and 2) not really. All the scene in the Dark Nest trilogy does is show stuff we already knew from ROTS anyway-that Anakin nearly killed Padme and so on.
  19. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Not entirely - the films themselves barely touched on their backgrounds, if at all, but various interviews with GL, the novelisations, the radio dramas, the EU at the time and also recently unearthed details have certainly elaborated on various backstories about the SW universe at the time. Leia's father appears in the SW/ANH radio drama, Han was raised by Wookiees, Chewie is 200 years old, C-3PO is 112 and was built by a small boy in a junkyard, there are female stormtroopers - even the notorious midichlorians were mentioned by GL way back then.

    I don't want to flog a dead horse over this issue - I'm now inclined to believe that the line about Leia's 'real mother' was something of a cheap trick, as GL himself would probably put it, as he did about the 'Other' in ESB - but I can certainly understand why the issue was put forward by the OP in the first place, as it always nagged at me a bit for the same reason.
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  20. Yunners Force Ghost

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    Mar 30, 2006
    star 2
    Their Mother was a pretty big plot point in The Black Fleet Crisis. Albeit it was all based on misinformation.
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Yeah, that's why I didn't include-it's a plot tangent that goes nowhere, ultimately.
  22. Yunners Force Ghost

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    Ah, fair enough. I thought you'd just forgotten. :)
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  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    That's the only part of BFC I didn't like, actually. :p
  24. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    Didn't the RotJ script have a longer scene with Obi-Wan and Luke, where Obi-Wan tells him that their mother took Leia with her to Alderaan and lived there? The script also says that no-one knew of the adoption but that her foster parentS had told her about him and that if she needed help she should seek him out. Note the plural, parentS, her mother went with Leia to Alderaan but later her foster parents told her about Obi-Wan.
    That could inform Luke that Leia was adopted and that she had both a foster father and a foster mother. So his question makes some sense, he knows that Leia spent some time with their mother and that she was adopted and that she had two foster parents.

    Given what Obi-Wan said, it seems that although her mother was with her on Alderaan, Leia was presented as Bails real child. Which makes sense, if Vader had come looking for his wife he would have no reason to suspect that Leia was his child as Bail and his wife were known as the parents.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  25. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
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    All you have done is confirmed my earlier statement that the movies barely touched on Leia and Han's backgrounds and that such stories could only be explored via the EU.
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