Hello and welcome to day fourteen of my Star Wars challenge! For the next 31 days, I’ll be posting once a day with a Star Wars themed post. Some days I’ll be talking about just one thing, other days it’ll be about 5 things based on the prompt of the day.
The challenge is open to everyone and can be completed at any time. I thought that May, being home to May the 4th, sounded like the perfect time. If you’d like to join me this month then please do! You can find all the details over here.
DAY 14 – Leaders
Many of yesterdays Rebels are heroes in their own right, but I included Rebels and Heroes on the prompt so that Rebel characters got some love. Plus not everyone’s personal heroes will be Rebels. Incidentally, while mine are all Rebels other people might have completely different personal heroes.
Anyway, let’s get to the 5 Star Wars Heroes I admire most:
From the first moment Mon Mothma graced our screens in Return of the Jedi, I was struck by her. There was something about the serene woman who packed so much emotion into one scene that has always stayed with me. According to a quote from Caroline Blakiston the actress that played Mon Mothma in the Original Trilogy she was only on screen for 26.5 seconds! That not only goes to the talent of the actress, it goes to the power of the lines she delivers in that half a minute scene.
In the Expanded Universe her role in the Star Wars universe was much more explored, and I was so happy when the character returned for the Prequels. Sadly we didn’t get to see much of her as a speaking role until The Clone Wars, Rebels and Rogue One, and with Genevieve O’Reilly returning as Mon Mothma in the planned Cassian TV Show I’m looking forward to her character being explored further.
As a leader she’s intuitive, clever and caring, showing concern for the psychological wellbeing of Cassian and other Rebels in Rogue One as she realises that their fight is taking a toll on them. In Rebels we see that she is not a leader who simply sends people off to die; she is a politician not a warrior and she stays out of the fighting not for lack of courage, it’s to allow her people to concentrate on their missions without the need to worry about her safety. Her power, her skill is with words and without her the Rebel Alliance would never have been fully born. She was the one who united all the Rebel cells just by speaking from the heart.
Prince Lee Charr
When we first meet Prince Lee Charr in The Clone Wars he’s just a young boy who’s planet is thrown into civil war, and suddenly he has to take the throne. He’s nowhere near ready to do that, who would be? Yet he finds the courage inside himself and with help from his allies manages to protect his home. When the danger is over he doesn’t just take the crown he pledges himself to the whole of Mon Cala, to all of its people, Mon Calamari and Quarren, uniting them in peace.
After the Clone Wars, Lee Charr opposed the Empire’s trade offers and tried to break away from the Empire. The result was devastating, and he was double-crossed by an advisor, leading to mass casualties and his own imprisonment for many years.
Many years later he was rescued by Leia and her allies, and with his dying breath, he recorded a message to his people telling them to rise up against the Empire. His message caused the people of Mon Cala to rebel and 12 Mon Calamari Star Cruisers made it to the Rebellion. These ships would later be seen at the Battle of Endor.
Duchess Satine Kryze
As leader of of the New Mandalorians and the planet Mandalore, Duchess Satine Kryze it’s no surprise that she was a strong and powerful leader, and she was also filled with a passion for justice and peace. She cared deeply for her people and their future, and having survived a civil war alongside them she was not just a figurehead. Satine had lost people she loved in the war too and it was that loss that spurred her on. Mandalore is a planet with a lot of traditions, famously known for it’s warrior clans and it takes someone with a strong backbone to stand up and fight for peace.
Naturally it made her a target and multiple attempts were made on her life, as well as to frame her for crimes. Throughout it all she held her head high and carried on. Eventually she paid the ultimate cost, although not for her own actions but those of someone she cared about.
I probably should have included the Sith Emperor on my villains list, however, he is just that complicated I’m not quite sure whether he fits there. One thing is for sure he is a powerful leader even if he uses that power for despicable acts of destruction.
Originally born as Tenebrae, he lived five thousand years before A New Hope. Born the illegitimate son of a Sith Lord and his mistress, he was supposed to be drowned at birth. His mother defied his father and saved him. Tenebrae grew up and by the age of 10 he had massacred thousands on his planet. Even his father could not stop him; that confrontation ended with his father severed from his power and his spirit imprisoned for millennia. The great Sith Lord Marka Ragnos recognised Tenebrae’s power and christened him as Lord Vitiate, the new ruler of his planet.
He remained there for over a century, avoiding the Sith power struggles until after the Great Hyperspace War and the defeat of the powerful sith alchemist Naga Sadow. Then he made his move. Luring all the remaining Sith Lords to his planet he conducted an elaborate ritual which drained all their life essences and that of the entire planet. The ritual not only increased his powers, but it also prolonged his life span.
So began the reign of the Sith Emperor. For the next thousand years, he rebuilt the Sith Empire. Unbeknown the Galaxy until a hundred years later, while he did this Vitiate had uncovered the lost world of Zakuul and the Eternal Fleet. He split his consciousness and inhabited the body of a Zakuulan warrior called Valkorion, creating an entire civilisation called the Eternal Empire.
This still wasn’t enough for him; he sought true immortality. The ritual to gain such power required an enormous sacrifice. A galaxy-wide war would do nicely and so he set about creating one between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. The war ended up being delayed due to actions of Revan and Malak, two Jedi Knights. He failed to maintain control of them, and despite imprisoning Revan for centuries, Vitiate underestimated his prisoner and Revan was able to use the force to keep the Sith Emperor in check.
A series of events, including the freeing of Revan, set the Emperor’s plans in motion again and these are played out in the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. I don’t want to spoil the gameplay for anyone who’s not played through it yet, but let’s just say if you thought he couldn’t get any more devious you’ve seen nothing yet! That’s why he’s on this list. I’ve never known anyone to be so thorough in their planning, to have prepared for every contingency and be able to rule not one, but two, empires simultaneously. It would be impressive if it wasn’t so damn terrifying.
A friend of the solo twins, Tenel Ka was the daughter of Hapan royals and heir to the throne. Her parents agreed that their force-sensitive daughter would be trained as a Jedi at Luke Skywalker’s academy and allowed their daughter to choose where her own life led. For Tenel Ka that was as far away from the throne as possible. She despised the political dealings and entrapments that came with her Hapan heritage, much preferring to have a lightsaber in her hand. She never fit in with the ideologies of Hapan society and she chose instead to follow the path of a Jedi Knight.
Hapan society is matriarchal, and while her parents co-ruled together it fell to Tenel Ka to rule when her mother was assassinated by her grandmother (as I said, politics). Even before Tenel Ka could give her decision about taking the throne her grandmother was scheming to place someone else there instead. In truth it was a shock to many when Tenel Ka chose to ascend the throne after avoiding it so heavily for the majority of her life. It also speaks to her sense of duty and practicality that she would stand up to accept a role she knew she would never enjoy rather than let it fall into the hands of someone who would be grandmother’s puppet. At the time of her mother’s death it was essential that the Hapan Fleet be available to support the Galactic Republic, and her mother ensured that would happen by gifting Tenel Ka with the location of a secret fleet before she died.
Assuming the role of Queen Mother of the Hapes Consoritum meant that Tenel Ka had to adapt to survive the dangerous politics of Hapan culture and as a representative of her people to the rest of the Galaxy. Although she has many allies across the Galaxy she has few at home, and she has to go through some of most difficult personal circumstances anyone should ever have to go through all the whole remaining the stoic, emotionless ruler. If she showed any weakness she would be at risk. She sends her only daughter away after realising that she will never be safe with her mother. That is never an easy thing to do and after all Tenel Ka has lost that speaks to the strength of her character.
Over To You
Each of these leaders proves that power comes in many shapes and sizes, from standing up for what you believe in, to protecting one planet or thousands, or in the Sith Emperor’s case using that power to subjugate and control.
Who would you say is the most powerful leader in the Star Wars universe? I’m curious to see what ways you guys measure power so leave me a comment with your answers 🙂
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