9:48am PT by Graeme McMillan
'Star Wars': The Most Important Character Barely Appeared Onscreen
The most important character in the entire Star Wars mythology? According to writer Meg Cabot, it's Luke Skywalker's aunt. No, really.
Speaking on Saturday at New York Comic Con, Cabot — one of a number of writers present to promote the Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View anthology — made the case that it was the kindness Aunt Beru showed for (and taught to) a young Luke Skywalker, as well as her death, that made him into the hero who ultimately defeated Darth Vader. The character was played by the late English actress Shelagh Fraser in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, as well as Bonnie Piesse in two of the prequels. The character has also appeared in animated properties occasionally.
"Aunt Beru is there for him until she’s not," the YA novelist said, naming Beru as her second-favorite character in the entire franchise (Leia, it turns out, is her favorite). Cabot argued that Beru was always on Luke's side, teaching him both compassion and strength through his adolescence, something that Anakin lacked, being raised by the Jedi. Her story in the anthology, which focuses on Beru, is an intentional effort to give caregivers in the Star Wars mythology the credit they rarely get in the real world.
Of course, there's also the fact that it's the demise of Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen that provokes Luke into action in the original movie, and that, without their deaths, there wouldn't be a Star Wars story at all. "The fact that she’s not there anymore is what compels him to go with Ben Kenobi and, of course, save the princess and with her destroy the Death Star," Cabot said. "She is the most important character."
Other authors at the event also talked about their stories, including Adam Christopher, who writes about the Imperial officer unconvinced by Han Solo's attempts to impersonate a Stormtrooper on the Death Star. "In an organization of that size, people don’t have any idea what’s going on," he said. "And then they get this weird call."