I don’t rant that often but I have a bone to pick with the Star Wars universe. As much as I love interplanetary travel, the variety of alien life, and laser swords there is a profoundly tragic trend in the Disney canon. All the romantic couples are tragic. At least all the couples I know about. I’m a lifelong SW fan but I don’t consume all the media and there are tons of books and comics I have not read.
- Han & Leia - estranged, living separate lives
- Anakin & Padme - he is responsible for her death
- Jyn Erso & Cassian Andor - both killed on Scarif
- Han & Qi’ra - he was ditched by her, who knows if they ever meet again
- Obi-wan & Satine - both chose duty over love, she dies in his arms
- Kanan & Hera - he’s dead, leaving her alone
- Beckett & Val - she sacrificed herself for the team, he was later killed
- Ben & Rey - he’s dead, leaving her alone
- Poe & Zorri - we aren't sure the nature of their relationship, but since she was ready to kill him it makes this list.
I suppose if Cassian and Jyn had lived they might have been okay, but given Disney’s track record so far, I doubt it.
Of course this is all current canon. In the Legends books, the old canon that Disney scrapped, Han & Leia are married with three kids and they are as feisty as they ever were in the movies. Luke is married to Mara Jade. SInce there are several comics set after the original trilogy full of Skywalkers I can only conclude that Luke and Mara have kids (I’m sure a quick check on Wookiepedia would confirm this.)
Not so in the Disneyfied version Star Wars, which is weird considering Disney is known for it’s happy endings. To “disneyfy” something is a word in the dictionary.
verb. cause (something) to become reminiscent of a film or theme park created by the Walt Disney Company, especially in being sanitized or romanticized. (bold text, my emphasis)
Thus the crux of my complaint with Disney. Disney’s MO for most of their history has been to take out all the sad parts of fairy tales and give us a happy ending. Guess that only applies to European folktales. Walking out of The Rise of Skywalker, I was thoroughly depressed. They try to play it off as a happy ending, but the First Order is still out there, the big space fight in the movie was against only the Emperor's ships (the FInal Order) so presumably the legions First Order people are still around to contend with. There is no central government and our heroes are camping out on some jungle planet.
By contrast one of the absolute best things about Parks & Recreation is that all the couples portrayed are in happy, healthy relationships.
- Jerry & Gayle
- Leslie & Ben
- Ann & Chris
- Andy & April
- Ron & Diane
- Tom & Wendy
Even the player, Tom, learns how to have a good relationship by the end of the show. Parks & Rec is almost a celebration of good relationships. Most of the peer to peer connections are exemplary. The whole conflict of the final season, Ron & Leslie’s rivalry, ends with them as better friends than before their fall out.
If you want to get super picky Mr. & Mrs. Frog in the Mandalorian seem to be thriving and happy. So there, way to go Disney, we have one happy couple, tertiary characters, but sure, we’ll count it. Mando on the other hand avoids relationships like Anakin avoids sand. Presumably out of duty, but we don’t actually know why since we know he can care deeply about something, i.e. Baby Yoda.
Tragedy runs throughout many parts of the Star Wars universe, it is about a never ending war after all. If you Google “Star Wars” and “Tragedy” you’ll get plenty of hits examining all aspects of this idea. I wanted to highlight the central relationships since characters are what makes me, and most people, care about the story in the first place. It’s really sad to me that in such a vast and interesting universe no one seems to get a happily ever after ending.
This week’s chatter is about them bringing in Mara Jade into the current cannon so we’ll see how that turns out. Considering Luke is alone on an island during the events of The Last Jedi, it doesn’t look good for them. If you know of any happy couples in the Star Wars universe, please let me know, I need something to hope for.