I find that I’m really liking Star Wars Rebels. One of the main reasons I think I love it so much is the camaraderie and friendships aboard the Ghost between all the crew members. I love Kanan and Hera’s relationship, or more precisely: friendship. Now, I haven’t read A New Dawn yet, but it’s sitting on my night table and is next in line once I’ve finished this epic fantasy series (for those of you who care, it’s The Kingkiller Chronicle). So if I’m bringing something up that contradicts with the book, then I apologize.
I’ve gone into this a little bit with my “Not As Certain As Being Left Behind…” post from a year and a half ago, but I was re-thinking about friendship in Star Wars over SWCA. The Star Wars movies are lacking some real, serious, admirable friendships.
Off the top of my head, this is what I can think of for friendships in the movies:
- Han and Chewie. Why it’s a bad example – Chewie has a life debt on Han. Not that I don’t think their
friendship is real or one of the best in the saga, but I don’t think their friendship stemmed from something organic.
- Han and Lando. Why it’s a bad example – Clearly, Lando betrayed Han. But friendships go through rough patches, just like any relationship. It just seems like Lando and Han were always uneasy around each other from the start. Though I believe their friendship progressed further, we don’t really get to see it in the movies.
- Threepio and Artoo. Why it’s a bad example – they’re droids. ’nuff said.
- Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan/Anakin, Anakin/Ahsoka. Why it’s a bad example – this is a little harder. I have no doubt that a relationship with your Padawan breeds a great friendship. But again, I guess I’m a little hesitant because it’s not that organic of a situation. You are both placed together in a situation where you don’t have much of a choice. You become friends in the way that I become friends with my co-workers…there’s no one else around, so might as well be friends with them. And some of the friendships last a long time and are really sincere, but some are just situational.
- Padmé/Obi-Wan. Why it’s a bad example – I actually think this is the closest we have to a real friendship in Star Wars…with one tiny problem: The scenes that really exemplify her friendship with him were cut from Revenge of the Sith. Unfortunately, a lot of the greatest Padmé scenes were cut from ROTS, but that’s a story for a different time. I think if Padmé had lived, and if Padmé hadn’t been dealt the whole Anakin-is-her-secret-husband card, then her and Obi-Wan would have been the best example of a friendship within the movies.
- Anakin/Palpatine. Why it’s a bad example – Duh. Well, at first I think it was a friendship of sorts, though Palpatine was clearly using and manipulating Anakin for his own ends. But as soon as they became the two Sith, everything changed. It was a relationship now based on fear, not anything sincere, that’s for sure.
But with Star Wars Rebels, I love the crew of the Ghost because they all chose to stick together and become family. I think it’s a great example of friendship in Star Wars. They are all there by choice. Every one of them can leave when they want but they choose to stay because this band of misfits are a solid group of friends that became a family.
More importantly, and I hope this never changes in the series, I love that Kanan and Hera’s friendship is not romantic. If it was romantic at some point, then all the props to them because what’s even more amazing is that they were able to move past that and stay friends (I never figured that out with my ex’s. Ever. You break up with me and you’re dead to me. See ya.).
But let’s suppose there was nothing romantic in their past. It shows children, and all of us, that you can have a male/female friendship without romantic entanglements. I think that’s missing heavily in our society. We bombard children with ads, movies, books, and a lot of it is centered on something romantic. Either male novels will be full of silliness that the male character gets in (ages 6-9ish) and then move toward action packed books where females play small roles (ages 10-15ish). With female novels, it’s rare that I see a male female friendship. Either the female is off on her own saving the world (with random love storylines thrown in) or it’s completely centered on a love story. This is not just the case with novels. Turn on the Disney Channel or Cartoon Network and you’ll see something similar.
Kanan and Hera show us that each can be a competent, unique person in their own right, with strengths and weaknesses, but also the ability to be best friends without falling for each other. They are hanging out because they want to hang out, because of a situation that wasn’t forced upon them. Not only is it so important for children to see, but I also think it’s a good reminder for us.
I really think Kanan and Hera’s friendship make the Star Wars universe a better place.