Star Wars

Star Wars
Property of George Lucas, LucasFilms Ltd.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Winter the friend... Winter the spy... Winter the scoundrel... Winter the babysitter?

Winter Celchu has quickly become my favorite non-movie character during this rereading/blogging project.As a kid I didn't really pay her a lot of attention. She was Leia's childhood friend who later went on to become a babysitter for the princess. This was how I understood it as a kid. If I hadn't read Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn last year, I would have probably continued in thinking that Winter was nothing more than a glorified child-wrangler.

She is not, however, and I find myself majorly disliking Leia for turning Winter into a maid and babysitter. Who does that to a childhood friend that one considers a sister? I suppose when the twins and Anakin were being protected from the Empire on their secret asteroid, Winter was the right person to have there guarding them. But since that point, all we ever see of her (and the Solo children...) is a quick "Oh, hi Winter. There are the twins. And Anakin. Knock yourself out while we go save the galaxy."

In fact, Winter played a key role in the Rebellion before the New Republic was ever formed. She has a photographic memory and remembers everything she sees and hears. With these abilities, she was a formidable spy working for the Rebels. You wouldn't know it though unless you'd read Scoundrels, in which TZahn introduces a lot of her back story. She was actually adopted by Bail Organa when her father, an aide to Senator Organa, died. She went to work for the Rebellion about the same time Leia did. But because of her unique talent she went almost immediately into subterfuge and information gathering. And then graduates, later in life, to babysitting the twins and Anakin. I wonder why she decided to agree to that. Winter is the sort of character that does only what she wants. I wish authors had devoted a little more page space to developing Winter further because she's one of the most interesting, intriguing characters in the canon.

One last wondering to leave you with: what if Winter's ability to remember everything she sees and hears is based in the Force? Wouldn't that be interesting?


  1. The only problem with Winter being Force-sensitive is that then you end with one Skywalker twin doing a trade-in so the other one can have her a trophy at his Jedi academy.

    The problem, I think, with Winter is that she's getting cast aside by authors in the same way the twins and Anakin are: they're decorative. They're used deliberately to people a universe with Han, Luke, and Leia at its center. Part of the reason TZahn stands out is not just because he gives Winter screen time (and a totally bad-ass background!) but because he doesn't use characters to people the world of other characters. There are no "extras" in his novels - anyone featured by name has a story and personality that become apparent in about two sentences. Winter gets way more than that, obviously, which is AMAZING!!

    Is it any wonder Mara avoids this family?? Maybe she saw what happened to Winter and went, "Oh, hell to the no, I'm never making friends with these people!"

  2. Hmmmmm, you are right about Winter being Force sensitive. And her memory is that much cooler because it is an actually ability that people in real life have! If only other authors treated their characters as TZahn does... One can only hope...

  3. I'm really excited to get to Roger McBride Allen because I remember just loving him when I was younger. I think he had a lot of the qualities we love about TZahn.

    You're so right about Winter's abilities. What a waste, using her as a babysitter. Do we know, by the way, when exactly she becomes Winter Celchu? We'll have to keep an eye out for that ...