Star Wars: Bloodline Just Revealed Han and Leia's Biggest Parenting Mistake

Tuesday, 03 May 2016 - 9:54AM
Star Wars
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 - 9:54AM
Star Wars: Bloodline Just Revealed Han and Leia's Biggest Parenting Mistake
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For decades, Han Solo and Princess Leia were the ultimate science fiction sweethearts. The pair's passionate rollercoaster romance captivated Star Wars fans for years, but by the time Han and Leia re-emerged in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we learn that their relationship is at an end. After many years of relative happiness, their trademarked fiery fondness for each other has been seemingly unable to survive their son's fall to the dark side. So, how did it all go so wrong?

Spoilers for Star Wars: Bloodline follow

Released today, Claudia Gray's Star Wars: Bloodline gives insight into the lives of the Solo family before things started to unravel. Told from Leia's perspective, Bloodline shows us that just six years before the events of The Force Awakens, everything is seemingly plodding along nicely for Han, Leia and Ben. However, despite the relative peace our favorite family is experiencing, there are some major red flags that hint at what is to come. One such red flag could be one of the worst parenting decisions the Star Wars franchise has ever seen, which is pretty impressive considering bad parenting is as much a part of Star Wars as Lightsabers or The Force.

(Del Rey)

Given the troublesome experiences some of Star Wars' key figures have had with their parents over the years, you would expect that Leia and Han would adopt a more open parenting style with young Ben. Instead, Bloodline reveals that they take the shocking tactic of not telling him the identity of his grandfather, treating their son exactly the same as the billions of galactic civilians who have an equally limited understanding of Leia's family heritage. In fact, it's thought that the only people who know of this fact are Leia, Luke, and Han (and probably Chewie).

Throughout Bloodline, we get the impression that the question of whether or not to tell Ben the truth about his grandfather is one that Leia worries about a great deal.  Leia convinces herself that she's waiting for the right time, but at this point Ben is already 23 years old and has been training under the watchful eye of his uncle Luke for many years, which should mean he's never going to be more ready to receive such news. Ben isn't a moody teenager anymore (although he does a damn good impression of one in the movie), and to not tell him the truth about his connections to the such a powerful force wielder seems like a major error. 

Of course, Leia is right to be concerned over divulging such information. Discovering that you are a direct descendant of one of the galaxy's most-reviled beings is certainly enough to mess with your head. However, given that that person was also a powerful force-wielder who had came close to redemption at the end of his life, you'd probably want to know rather than have your parents keep it a secret from you.


Leia's concerns are heightened when her family's link to Darth Vader is revealed in the Senate by a political rival, causing a scandal the likes of which hasn't been seen for many, many years. Leia connects the obvious dots and fears that her son will learn of the galaxy's hottest gossip via someone other than his family. Bafflingly though, it's never confirmed that Leia informs her son of the news. After the secret is revealed in the Senate, Leia sends an emotional message to Ben, but that could just as likely be her saying "We effed up, we're sorry" as it could be her spilling the beans.
Interestingly, extra feature documentary on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-Ray suggested that Kylo Ren (Ben Solo) turned to the dark side through an overwhelming sense of being neglected by his family. Putting that fact alongside what we see unfold in Claudia Gray's new book, it's logical to think that Snoke successfully uses this lack of openness to twist Ben against his family.

But, let's not forget that Ben's family includes Luke Skywalker, who in many ways must share the blame of this outcome with his sister, Leia. After all, Luke is responsible for Ben's training and is perhaps therefore the best placed to manage the fallout of this revelation. Luke is also best placed to place the emphasis of Anakin's life on his redemption, something that was clearly lacking considering Kylo Ren becomes obsessed with finishing his grandfather's dark work. 

Should Leia, Han, and Luke have told Ben about Vader? Or was the secret just to dark to reveal? Let us know in the comments box below.
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