Just a Legacy to Protect

general leia organaWarning: This column involves spoilers for Star Wars: Bloodline

While aptly named, Star Wars: Bloodline could have just as easily been titled Star Wars: Legacy because when it comes to both of those, Leia Organa has more than enough on her shoulders. One she embraces and one she tries to ignore. After all, if your father was Darth Vader, wouldn’t you try and forget that too? Unfortunately, nothing stays buried. As Leia and Ransolm team up to get to the bottom of the ever-deepening mystery of Rinnrivin’s cartel, Leia is forced to confront the legacies of her fathers whether she wants to or not.

Bail Organa is the man who raised and loved Leia as if she were his own. Darth Vader is the monster who tortured her for hours. Bail Organa gave everything to protect her. Darth Vader made her watch her planet die. Bail Organa is her real father. Darth Vader’s blood just happens to flow through her veins.

The legacy of Bail Organa is the one that Leia wants to uphold. Although he died before the war ended, he and the other leaders of the Rebellion planted the seeds that would eventually grow to overthrow the Empire. As Leia says at the statue dedication, Bail’s legacy is one of galactic peace. The Rebel Alliance wouldn’t have been the same without him or his influence on his daughter. After all, Bail and Breha Organa are the ones who shaped Leia as a person. The talent for politics and sheer stubbornness and force of will were certainly in her genetics but without the love of her parents, she would not have been the same person. With Alderaan gone, with Bail gone, with Breha gone, Leia is the only one left to protect and preserve their memories. It’s a responsibility that she doesn’t take lightly.

In contrast, Leia strives to shield her family from the Skywalker legacy. It’s certainly not one that she wishes to be defined by. Only three people know that Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. Not even her son Ben knows the truth… or at least a first. Anakin Skywalker may have been a hero at one point and eventually died a redeemed man but those deeds will forever be overshadowed by all the evil he did as Vader. Luke may have been able to forgive him but Leia can’t quite wrap her head around the dichotomy and quite frankly most people don’t care to even try.

Ultimately, however, Leia is responsible for three legacies: Organa, Skywalker, and her own. While she may not necessarily care for being a symbol of the Rebellion, she has a reputation that both proceeds her and that will carry on after her death. As a politician and a princess, this is something that Leia is acutely aware of. By purposely concealing her relationship to Vader, she is protecting not only her son but also herself. Within the pages of Bloodline, we see how so much of the Senate immediately turns against her once Ransolm reveals her most horrible truth. It is a blow that not many could find a way to come back from, both mentally and in terms of reputation.

Individually, none of these would be an easy burden to live with and yet Leia does so with the grace of a woman who was raised by her parents to be a princess. While she could have easily denied it and it would have been impossible to prove, she publicly concedes that Darth Vader was indeed her father in a deed that took courage and strength. And that? That is the mark of a true Organa. If there’s anyone who can withstand the pressure of her legacies, it is absolutely Princess Leia Skywalker Organa, Hero of the Rebellion.