Leia and Lord Raglanís Hero Pattern

 

This was written by Amanda Benham, a student in Classics 230 at Monmouth College i October 2006.

            Leia Organa, daughter of Padme and Anikin Skywalker, twin sister of Luke Skywalker, fits at least twelve aspects of Lord Raglanís Hero Pattern. It was by conceiving her and her twin Luke that Anikin actually brought balance to the force and fulfilled the prophesies of the Jedi Council. Balance could never have been recovered in the force without Leiaís participation in the rebellion against the empire. Because her active role is indispensable to the epic adventure series Star Wars Leia should be considered as one of the primary heroes of the series.

Leia fits Lord Raglanís Hero Pattern in the following ways:  (1) Leiaís mother, Padme is a royal virgin. Padme is Queen of Naboo when she and Anikin first meet one another. Padme is virginal in her dutiful conduct as a queen and senator, giving in to Anikinís advances only when she realizes that she cannot expect to live forever. (2) Leiaís father, Anikin is a Ďkingí in a way because he is perceived by the Jedi council to be the chosen one. Anikin also later becomes a sort of king of the empire, ruling the dark side under the fatherly guidance of the emperor.  (3) Though Padme and Anikin are not related Padme cared for him as a child. She gave him comfort when he could not be with his mother, acting as a minor mother-figure. (4) Leia was one of a pair of twins conceived during Padme and Anikinís secret honeymoon on Naboo. The veil of secrecy surrounding her conception and the forbidden nature of her parentsí marriage constitute the sort of unusual circumstances Raglanís hero pattern cites as a regularly occurring aspect of the hero pattern. (5) Leia was fathered by the chosen one. Anikin was rumored to have been the Jedi prophesized to bring balance to the force. These Godlike expectations of Anikin swell his reputation to godlike proportions. As a ruler of the dark side and dictator of the empire he also possesses godlike power. (6) After Anikin helped slaughter the Jedi including the young ones in training, (7) Leia was taken away by (8) Senator Bail Organa and his wife to protect her from Anikin and the dark side. (9) We donít hear anything more about Leia until her image is projected for Luke by C3PO asking Obi one Kenobe for help in episode IV. (10) After Leia grows up she returns to oppose the dark side in the rebellion against the evil empire that destroyed her family and community. (11) After defeating Jabba the Hutt (12) Leia can finally have a romatic relationship with Hans Solo. (11) After playing a leading role in defeating the empire she can once again bring democracy to her people.

Even though Leia does not fulfill any of the aspects of the hero pattern involving her rule, her death, her funeral, or after death worship, these many have been considerable if the movies had extended throughout her life and after. Because Princess Leia possessed twelve aspects of the hero pattern, and may well have shown more had the epic extended throughout her life and beyond, the character of Princess Leia deserves some consideration as one of the primary heroes of the Star Wars epic adventure series. She was not only a mythically prophesized child, but a fearless rebel and a formidable adversary in battle as well.