Today, we look at five Star Wars retcons that make rewatching the original Star Wars trilogy funny at times.
In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five things from pop culture that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently enough to be worth pointing it out). Note that these lists are inherently not exhaustive. They are a list of five examples (occasionally I’ll be nice and toss in a sixth). So no instance is “missing” if it is not listed. It’s just not one of the five examples that I chose. You can always feel free to suggest ANOTHER example that fits the theme, if you’d like, but nothing is “missing” from this list.
Now, as I’ve written about countless times over the years, George Lucas is famous for constantly retconning his Star Wars universe and, of course, who cares? It was his universe, he can retcon it all he wants. I’m not knocking the guy for it. However, due to Lucas’ retcons, and more recent Star Wars retcons, there are now some pretty funny moments in the original trilogy when you watch knowing the various retcons that have happened since. This is not a criticism. Shit like this happens ALL OF THE TIME when you have stories this big. It’s totally fine. It’s just also funny. Here are five examples (of many).
The whole Luke and Leia incest deal
Obviously, the most famous example is how George Lucas didn’t initially mean for Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia to be siblings, so when he revealed that they WERE in Return of the Jedi, it made a lot of their interactions in Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back suddenly look pretty hilariously weird, like, you know, all the kissing.
Obi-Wan’s word salad about Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker
Lucas had not intended for Darth Vader to be Anakin Skywalker at first, so that led to a classic exchange in the first film between Luke and Obi-Wan when Obi-Wan explains, “A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force” and that, of course, is him speaking in “metaphor” despite clearly not speaking in metaphor. Like when he tells Luke his father wanted him to have his lightsader, when Obi-Wan knows he just picked it up after his nearly fatal fight with Anakin/Vader in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
Leia’s connection to Obi-Wan
In Leia’s message to Obi-Wan, she says, “General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see his droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”
Then the recent Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ miniseries shows that Obi-Wan had rescued a kidnapped Leia when she was a child, and the two went on a big ol’ adventure together, getting very close to one another. So it’s now funny to hear Leia be all, “General Kenobi, you served my father” instead of, you know, “Hey, Obi-Wan, it’s me, Leia.”
The ancient religion of….nineteen years ago?
In a memorable exchange in Star Wars, Admiral Motti mocks Darth Vader by saying, “Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebel’s hidden fort…” He is interrupted by Vader using the Force to choke him. Obviously, Lucas’ original intent was for the Jedi Knights to have been wiped out a lot longer than 19 years earlier, and for Obi-Wan and Vader to both be relatively older men.
So instead of the Jedi Knights being famous generals in The Clone Wars just seventeen years earlier, it’s now “an ancient religion” that people don’t believe in. It’d be like calling Shrek 21> “that ancient film.”
“Luke is the last hope…except for his twin sister…oh, and Ahsoka, oh, and I guess Ezra Bridger is out there somewhere, too”
In The Empire Strikes Back, Obi-Wan and Yoda are talking about Luke being the Jedi’s last hope, when Yoda explains that there is another. This was later revealed to be Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi, but, of course, we later saw that Obi-Wan was there for Leia’s birth, spent time with her in the past, etc., so obviously he should have known about Leia. Plus, of course, there’s the whole deal about how we still haven’t learned why no one ever references Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice ever, Ahsoka Tano. Ezra Bridger was at least in another galaxy at the time, but, well, still.
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