Throughout the Skywalker Saga, we’ve had three main characters: Anakin, Luke, and Rey. All three of which have taken us on many amazing adventures over the years.
These characters teach us many lessons about growing up, not letting your fear control you, redemption, and family but the thing they all have in common is their journeys and how they grow from nothing to becoming legends in their own right. From slave, farmboy, and scavenger to then growing into heroic Jedi Knights. The message that anyone can become a hero has been in Star Wars since the beginning.
The journey of Anakin Skywalker is one of tragedy and redemption but begins with almost nothing. The only thing of note in Anakin’s life was his unusual conception of which he had no father to speak of. Anakin was just a young boy born into slavery. His mother Shmi, was nothing really special and was sold into slavery by pirates. Later, she was given to Watto after he won a bet against Gardulla the Hutt. Anakin lived a fairly mundane life working in Watto’s shop learning how to fix droids and eventually building his own podracer with the skills he picked up along the way.
Later in his life, Anakin became one of the Jedi Order’s greatest knights. He often had the pressure of being claimed to be the prophesied chosen one who would bring balance to the force. The pressure from this great burden placed upon his shoulders caused him many struggles and incredible doubt. When the time finally came for Anakin to fulfill this prophecy he didn’t do it because it was fate or destiny. He didn’t let that define him or his final moments. He did it to save his son. It’s incredible how he went from a slave to a Jedi Knight who brought balance to the force and peace to the galaxy.
Luke Skywalker, like his father, grew up on Tatooine with life absent of excitement. As opposed to his father, Luke grew up with his Aunt and Uncle as a moisture farmer. He’s someone who dreams of flying through the stars and living a life of adventure. Over the course of his great journey to becoming a Jedi Master, he learns from his reckless behavior. This farm boy from Tatooine saw the light in his father who was believed to be lost and saved him from the darkness that had consumed him. In Luke’s final years he faced his greatest trial. He realized that it’s okay that the great Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is human. Failure isn’t the end and because of that realization, he inspired the galaxy. Luke’s story ended as it began, with a young boy inspired and looking to the stars.
Rey’s journey in the sequel trilogy shares many similarities with the Skywalkers before her.
It’s fitting as she is the “Skywalker” of this trilogy and it foreshadows her fate of continuing the legacy and lessons of the family who guided her to her destiny. When we meet Rey we see her everyday life. Since her parents abandoned her on the backwater planet of Jakku she has picked up many skills over the years to help her survive. She’s become an excellent fighter, a technician due to searching through the wreckage of old ships, and knows the aftermath of the Battle of Jakku like the back of her hand. Over the course of the trilogy, Rey doubts her own abilities and believes that in order to have any value in her life she must be related to someone special. During The Last Jedi, she has a vision that shows herself when she asks to see her parents, the people she believes will give her value. When she sees this she is terrified.
In The Rise of Skywalker Kylo Ren and Palpatine use her fear to try and convince her that her purpose and self-worth are linked to her lineage. By the end, she realizes what the cave was trying to show her. Everything she needed was right there. Her blood didn’t define her or her destiny. She wasn’t a nobody and she wasn’t a Sith. She chooses who she is and her purpose. Palpatine even acknowledges this during the final battle. He stops trying to prey on her fear and states, “You are nothing! A scavenger girl is no match for the power in me!”
Rey’s strength came from herself, how she grew up, and the relationships she made with Han, Luke, Leia, Finn, Ben Solo, and everyone else she’s met on her journey.
Nobody to Somebody
When we look at these characters’ journey’s we see that there is a common theme. They all come from very similar situations dealing with the harsh realities of life and longing for more. Star Wars, with these characters, shows that anyone can be a hero. These nobodies, these slaves, farmers, and scavengers saved the galaxy. The greatest heroes come from the most unlikely places. They get to choose their destiny and aren’t defined by others’ expectations. If they can be heroes then that gives people hope that they can do great things too.