Star Wars

Star Wars
Property of George Lucas, LucasFilms Ltd.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cough, cough... use the ACHOO Force... wheeze... Luke

Cough, hack, can't lead the Empire today, Master...
Going on my fourth day of being sick, I'm nursing my coughing and hacking with my copy of "Dark Force Rising." While I do believe I'm going to have to go back and reread everything I've read during this time (I keep getting it mixed up with Law & Order SVU, which is my trashy TV choice for this particular cold), I'm still enjoying the heck out of this trilogy.

Es challenged me to write about some of the strong women Zahn uses in his books, and I've decided, as germy as I am, to write a little about Mon Mothma.

As a child, watching the original movies, I always wondered who the "Lady in White" was. She was the only other woman in the universe besides Aunt Beru, Leia and Jabba's dancers. But the movie didn't focus on her, so I only thought about her when I watched Return of the Jedi, and she has her brief speech scene, then I would focus back on Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie. It wasn't until I read Zahn's trilogy for the first time that I realized that Mon Mothma was an actual, real character in the Star Wars universe, not just someone who gave grand speeches about defeating the Empire. Through Zahn's words, she becomes a strong leader, though divided by loyalties and promises she made while the Rebellion was fighting the Emperor and Darth Vader. Promises made during wartime are a whole new thing when the war is "won." Which, as we read in the Heir trilogy, it's not quite over, not while Thrawn is still breathing anyway. Zahn throws curveball after Bothan at Mon Mothma as she struggles to hold her fragile New Republic together. Toss in a grand admiral hell bent on causing organized chaos, and I was totally hooked on this new series that actually had more than two women in it. In fact, it had many powerhouse leaders and survivors who, I think, should have been lauded more in the movies. Why, George Lucas, why would you give us a glimpse of this amazing "Lady in White" who gives amazing speeches, and not create a whole back story for her? That we can watch on screen?
Mon Mothma in Revenge of the Sith

Thankfully, Zahn was there to fill in the gaps for a young girl who, while not at a loss for strong female role models, could still always use one more. I immediately hooked onto Mon Mothma, because she was the leader of the New Republic. Not some man (Mon Calamarian? Side note: for the longest time I though Admiral Ackbar was in charge, since, you know, he led the charge against the second Death Star...). George Lucas was tricky about that, he threw a lot of unexplained older looking characters into the three classic movies without any real explanation, so the audience disregards them and focuses on Han, Leia, and Luke, but also sees there is a hierarchy to the Rebellion. The uppity ups are so important for this trilogy. But I was so thrilled, and am again, to read Zahn's version of Mon Mothma, who works so hard to hold everything together as Thrawn threatens to blow it all apart. Not to mention factions within the New Republic (haaack, cough, Bothans...). I'm very much looking forward to reading about Mon Mothma, and how she deftly works the Republic out of this new predicament.

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