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Beru Whitesun Lars
Biographical information
Homeworld

Tatooine[1]

Died

0 BBY (35:3:5), Tatooine[2]

Physical description
Species

Human[1]

Gender

Female[1]

Height

1.65 meters[1]

Hair color

Brown[1]

Eye color

Blue[1]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)
"Aunt Beru always brought a good idea and a cool drink out when she came to visit her men. And when they became frustrated, she had words of encouragement that got them going again."
Camie Loneozner

Beru Whitesun Lars, the wife of Owen Lars, was a Tatooinian woman who raised Luke Skywalker after the fall of the Galactic Republic. Coming from a long line of moisture farmers, Beru Whitesun grew up near Mos Eisley on Tatooine. On a trip to Anchorhead, she met Owen Lars, the son of another moisture farmer, Cliegg Lars. Beru and Owen fell in love, and Beru later became part of the Lars family.

Shortly before the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Owen's stepmother, Shmi Skywalker Lars, was kidnapped by Tusken Raiders, an event that brought Shmi's son, Anakin Skywalker, and his soon-to-be-wife, Padmé Amidala, to the Lars homestead. Three years later, when the galactic conflict came to a close, Beru and Owen became the guardians of their new baby nephew, Luke Skywalker, after his father turned to the dark side of the Force and became Darth Vader.

The Larses raised Luke like a son. Beru would often defend Luke's interests against Owen, who was overprotective of him out of fear that he would follow in Anakin's footsteps. When Luke wished to leave home to attend the Imperial Academy with his friend Biggs Darklighter and Owen would not allow it because he needed help on the farm, Beru convinced her husband to let Luke go after staying on for one more season. After a year had passed, Beru tried to convince Owen that it was time to let Luke move on, but they never had time to reach an agreement. The two were killed by Imperial stormtroopers, by order of Darth Vader, who were searching for a droid carrying the stolen Death Star plans.

Contents

Biography

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Early life

Growing up near the spaceport city of Mos Eisley on Tatooine, Beru Whitesun, along with her sister Dama and brother Haro, came from a family that had been in the moisture farming businesses for three generations.[4][5][6][7] The Whitesuns had a reputation among the farming families for being particularly well-adapted to Tatooine's rough climate.[8]

The Lars family

"We Lars men fall in love with the best women."
Cliegg Lars
Beru and Owen meet Anakin Skywalker.

Not long before the onset of the Clone Wars, Whitesun met a young man in Anchorhead named Owen Lars. Lars, also a moisture farmer, lived on a farm with his father Cliegg and stepmother Shmi. Beru developed a romantic relationship with Owen, and also grew close to his family. Her sister Dama would accompany her on visits to the Lars farm, although she would often leave for Anchorhead to visit a beau of her own.[5] Though Owen and Beru hadn't yet announced that they were getting married, Shmi could tell that it would only be a matter of time before they would wed. She knew that Beru's strong work ethic and easy-going nature would make her a good wife for a moisture farmer. Likewise, Cliegg found a strong verbal sparring partner in Beru; she held her own in playfully arguing with "old Cliegg."[3]

Beru was staying with the Larses for a few days when a group of Tusken Raiders and their banthas began approaching the perimeter of the farm.[5] While Cliegg and Owen tried to convince the women that there was nothing to worry about, Beru and Shmi saw through their lies and demanded to hear the truth. The family then prepared for the oncoming attack. When Shmi was kidnapped by the Tuskens, Cliegg and Owen recruited other local farmers to help them go after the Sand People. Many men were killed, and Cliegg lost his right leg, but Shmi was never recovered. Two weeks after she was taken, Beru and the Larses tearfully accepted that Shmi was gone.[3]

A month passed since Shmi's kidnapping. Beru was surprised when she finally got the chance to meet Anakin Skywalker, the son Shmi so often spoke of, when Padmé Amidala and he arrived on Tatooine to see his mother. While Cliegg explained what had happened, Beru prepared food and drinks for the guests. She was at Cliegg's when Skywalker set out to find Shmi, and she was the first to spot him on his return from the Tusken camp. When he arrived, she stood next to Owen and sadly watched as Anakin carried his mother's lifeless body into their house. She later helped Amidala prepare a meal for the distraught Skywalker; she asked Amidala what it was like on Naboo, but confessed that she preferred Tatooine and didn't like to travel.[3]

Beru and the others held a funeral for Shmi, and buried her body on the western edge of the sand berm near the house.[5] Skywalker and Amidala departed Tatooine, taking C-3PO, a droid who had been with the Larses as long as Shmi, along with them.[9] Shortly thereafter, Kitster Banai, a childhood friend of Skywalker's, came to the farm hoping to see his friend. Instead, Beru shared with him the story of the recent events.[5]

Raising Luke

Beru receives baby Luke.
"Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him."
―Beru Lars

Three years went by, over which time Beru and Owen had married, and Cliegg had died and left the farm to them.[10][5] Mere days after the Clone Wars came to an end and Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, the Larses spoke to Obi-Wan Kenobi and agreed to become the guardians of Luke Skywalker, their nephew. Kenobi simply told them that Luke's parents were dead, and did not give any details as to how.[11] Despite the Larses raising the child, Kenobi would live nearby on Tatooine to keep an eye on Luke.[12] The Larses told their neighbors that they had given him the name "Skywalker" to honor Owen's late stepmother.[13]

The Larses essentially became Luke's parents, loving him as their own son. On the farm, Beru often carried baby Luke with her on a sling while she would gather mushrooms that grew on the moisture vaporators; Owen would always go with her for protection. On one particular morning, the Larses discovered that Tusken Raiders had stolen roughly a third of their vaporators. Kenobi, who frequently checked on the Larses from afar, noticed this and approached the homestead. Beru insisted that they leave the Tuskens alone, fearing for the life of her husband, but Owen felt that he and the local farmers should go after them again. Kenobi, however, took the initiative himself. He went to the Tusken camp and retrieved the vaporators, returning them to the Larses that night. Beru had mixed emotions; she was glad that Owen would not have to fight, but she did not want to be indebted to Kenobi.[12] Still, he defended the family from Tuskens again, this time from a raiding party lead by A'Sharad Hett.[14]

Beru would carry Luke with her when she visited Anchorhead to buy supplies, unaware that Kenobi was keeping watch,[10] but the Larses eventually came to know that he was constantly checking on Luke, though they agreed that it would be best if they all ignored him. Beru played and laughed with Luke as a toddler, and as he grew older she would impart to him the values of patience and compassion.[15][16] All the while, Beru kept busy on the farm, maintaining the hydroponics labs and coming up with dishes made from roots and herbs to feed the family.[17][18] WED-15-77, a WED Treadwell repair droid in the family's service, preferred working for Beru because of the same predictable tasks she always gave it.[19] Years of daily exposure to Tatooine's twin suns caused Beru's face to betray her true age.[20]

As Luke matured, Beru and Owen tried to downplay to him things having to do with the Force. When Luke was around six years old, Beru lost a small screwdriver that she used to repair her mending stitcher. Luke simply told them that it was under their couch. Owen yelled at the boy for this, but he claimed that it was because Luke had to have placed it there himself.[21] Another time, Luke inquired about the Jedi Knights, whom he heard about from someone at school. Owen dismissed the idea as nothing but fiction, but Beru told him while the stories of them were exaggerated, the Jedi did indeed once exist.[22]

When Beru wasn't tending to Luke or the farm, she enjoyed having friends and relatives visit the homestead from time to time, such as her sister Dama Brunk, Mister and Mrs. Marstrap, and others.[5][8] Luke's friends frequented too, like Camie, Windy Marstrap, and Biggs Darklighter and his cousin Gavin; they would all later remember Beru fondly.[23][24]

When Luke began to inquire about his real father, Owen grounded the boy, preventing him from visiting his friends in Anchorhead. Beru felt that Owen was being far too harsh, and that Luke's curiosity was only natural. But Luke sneaked out anyway, and got caught in a dangerous sandstorm. He came down with dust fever, which his Aunt Beru had warned him he was prone to. After hallucinating an adventure with a young boy named "Annie," Luke managed to make his way back home.[25]

Beru regrets Owen's attitude towards Ben Kenobi.

Beru helped Luke recover from his serious bout of dust fever, staying with him for days, feeding him and keeping his temperature down.[22] At times, she would sing to him an old song about the persistence of love.[26]

After keeping his distance for so many years, Kenobi finally encountered Skywalker face-to-face when the boy and his friend Windy Marstrap were caught in a krayt dragon's cave while seeking shelter from a sandswirl. Kenobi immediately took the boys home, and Beru and the Marstraps were very grateful. Owen, however, was furious at Kenobi, and forced the man away from their home, despite Beru's pleas.[27]

When Luke neared eighteen years of age, and his friend Biggs Darklighter prepared to leave Tatooine for the Imperial Academy, Darklighter stayed a few nights at the Lars house. While Biggs ate dinner with the family, Beru asked him about his plans and suggested that Luke would likely follow in his footsteps. Owen lashed out at Beru for mentioning the idea.[28] Beru would become mediator between her men on the matter. When Luke planned to go to a farewell party for Biggs, Owen refused, but Beru reminded her husband that he had let his brother leave without saying goodbye, and so he reluctantly rescinded.[29] Still, the issue of Luke applying for the academy himself continued to persist. Owen insisted that he needed Luke's help for another season, so Beru proposed a compromise: if Luke stayed for one last season, Owen would save up and prepare to hire help to replace him.[23] Still, while Beru understood how greatly Luke wanted to move on, she was pleased that he would be around for a while more.[30]

Death

Another year passed. One day, Luke convinced Owen to invite the Jawas to the farm so that they could purchase some new droids.[30] Beru made certain that if they purchased a translator droid, it needed to be able to speak Bocce. Either by coincidence or the will of the Force, the two they purchased were C-3PO and R2-D2, the droids that had belonged to Anakin Skywalker so many years before, and it so happened that R2-D2 was carrying an important message for Ben Kenobi. When Luke mentioned this to his aunt and uncle at dinner, Owen dissuaded him from pursuing that particular lead, claiming that Kenobi was just a "crazy old man." Disappointed, Luke changed the topic of discussion to his attending the Imperial Academy, but Owen once again asserted that he needed the young man's help for one more year. When Luke had departed, Beru tried to convince Owen that it was time to let Luke go. That night, Luke found that R2-D2 had escaped the farm in pursuit of Kenobi.[2]

Darth Vader orders the execution of Beru and Owen Lars.

Early the next morning, Luke went after the R2 unit, but he first told Aunt Beru that he had some things to do. While Beru prepared breakfast, Owen came looking for the boy, so she relayed what Luke had said.[31] The Larses were likely planning to attend the wedding of Eyvind and Ariela that day, but they never got the chance.[32] While they went about their day, a group of Imperial stormtroopers led by Captain Mod Terrik showed up, searching for the pair of droids that carried a stolen set of Death Star plans. The troopers laid waste to the Lars home, bringing Beru to tears. Owen cooperated with Terrik, albeit defiantly, but the troopers showed no compassion.[33] Terrik then contacted Darth Vader personally. Vader ordered the Larses killed and watched their execution via holoimage, satisfied to have revenge for their "repeated weaknesses."[34]

While away, Skywalker had found the droids and been spending the day with Ben Kenobi. En route to Anchorhead, the group spotted smoke; it was coming from a destroyed Jawa sandcrawler, the same one of the Jawas that had sold the droids to the Larses.[22] When Skywalker and Kenobi determined that Imperials were after the droids, Skywalker rushed back home, only to find the homestead ablaze and his aunt and uncle murdered, their charred skeletal remains outside the entrance of their home.[2] Skywalker buried the only parents he knew[35] before departing alongside Kenobi into a trip that would change the galaxy.[2]

Legacy

Gravestones for Owen and Beru were put up outside the homestead.[6] Rumors emerged among the community; some thought it was Tuskens that attacked the Lars house, and that Luke was killed along with them.[36] Others said that it was Luke himself who murdered them.[23] A later plot by Kuat of Kuat would even try to implicate Black Sun's Prince Xizor in their deaths.[37] But Rebel historian Voren Na'al would ensure that Beru was remembered as a woman who loved Luke and "helped shape the man that became a galactic hero."[16]

More than a hundred years after her death, Beru appeared in a dream to one of Luke's descendants, Cade Skywalker, who had abandoned his heritage and turned into a death stick–addicted pirate. In 137 ABY, Cade visited Tatooine and, while evading a sandstorm in the Jundland Wastes, stumbled across the abandoned Lars homestead. While resting there, he experienced a dream of him and Luke Skywalker at a dinner in the Lars family, with both Owen and Beru Lars being present and treating Cade as if he had been raised by them alongside Luke. During Cade's imaginary conversation with his ancestor, the dream suddenly changed into the image of the burned homestead and the charred remains of Owen and Beru Lars. Luke Skywalker then commented on how he failed to understand how much the Larses protected and loved him until it was too late to tell them. He then proceeded his conversation with Cade about the consequences of the latter's actions.[35]

Personality and traits

"Luke's Aunt Beru, a wonderful lady[…]"
Camie Loneozner

Beru Whitesun Lars was well loved by all who knew her.[5][24] She was kind, caring, and compassionate. Beru also had a playful side; she and Owen's father Cliegg were known to engage in verbal sparring at times.[38] Years later, Beru would play with her nephew Luke.[12]

Coming from generations of moisture farmers, Beru had a strong work ethic. Uninterested in traveling offworld, Beru was content in her life on Tatooine.[3] She loved her husband Owen dearly, as did she her nephew Luke, who was essentially her son. When Luke grew up, Beru often served as the buffer between the two men in her life. While Beru wanted Luke around as much as Owen did, she also knew that Luke needed to get away and pursue his passions.[30]

Behind the scenes

"Aunt Beru, the wife of Owen Lars, raised Luke Skywalker as her own after his mother died and father went off the deep end. She's more than an adoptive parent and a moisture farmer, she's one of the few adults who puts up with Luke's constant pining for the Academy."
Bonnie Burton
Shelagh Fraser as Beru.

The character of Beru Lars has existed in one form or another since the rough draft of "The Star Wars" in 1974. In this draft, Beru and Owen Lars are anthropologists; there is also a character named "Clieg Whitsun." In the 1975 version of the script, the Larses own a moisture ranch, but they are the parents of Luke's cousin, Leia. In a later version of this story, Beru protects Luke from violent outburst by Owen. But by an early 1976 version, the character is finalized and the element of the Larses being killed by Imperial stormtroopers is added.[39]

British actress Shelagh Fraser was cast to play Aunt Beru in Star Wars. Fraser's first day of shooting was April 1, 1976; the shots of the Lars' charred skeletons were filmed a few days prior. When post-production on the film began, sound mixer Derek Ball traveled to Fraser's house and recorded additional dialogue.[39] In the mono soundmix of the first release of Star Wars, Beru's voice was dubbed, and all subsequent sound mixes feature a different dub by another actress.[40][41]

In the 1981 National Public Radio Star Wars radio drama adapted by Brian Daley and directed by John Madden, Beru was voiced by Anne Gerety.

Bonnie Piesse as Beru.

On July 7, 2000, StarWars.com announced that sixteen-year-old Australian actress Bonnie Piesse would be playing the role of a younger Beru in Episode II.[42] Piesse would approach Beru as being a little shy, the idea being that it was the introduction of Luke into her life that matured her.[43] George Lucas wanted to make sure that Beru's costume was similar the one worn in the first film to help establish a visual connection.[44] Her wardrobe was also partially inspired by that of Luke's friend Camie in A New Hope.[8] The first time fans would hear the name "Beru Whitesun" was in September 2000, when Lucasfilm began registering domain names featuring names of characters and other things from the upcoming film.[45] This same month, Piesse and the crew were filming the Tatooine scenes in Tunisia.[44] Lucas also filmed part of a scene for Episode III in which a stand-in actor playing Obi-Wan delivers baby Luke to Owen, played by Joel Edgerton. However, this would be changed during the Episode III shoot in September of 2003. Lucas filmed Ewan McGregor handing the baby to Piesse, with Owen being played by a stand-in—Edgerton would be shot and added in almost a year later. Lucas made this change because he "felt it would be better if Luke were handed over to a woman."[46]

Kevin Rubio's popular fanfilm TROOPS depicts an alternate fate for Beru and Owen Lars. In the film, where Beru is portrayed by Susan Hindshaw, Imperial troopers are called out to the Lars home to settle a "domestic dispute." Beru in anger that Luke had seemingly been forced to run away by Owen, had managed to cut Owen's face. It is then suggested for her to spend the night in an Imperial centre to calm down. She then leaves to get some personal belongings. After coming back she is seen fighting over her case with a trooper, revealing that there is a thermal detonator in the case. As the troops get back to safe distance, Owen runs up to Beru and attempts to wrangle the case away from her, but both are killed in the following explosion.

Deleted scenes

At least one shot of Beru didn't make the final 1977 cut of Star Wars: before the family dinner scene, there is a shot of Beru filling a pitcher of blue milk from a dispenser in a portion of the kitchen not visible in the film.[47] Also, a popular production still from the film reveals that the dinner scene was shot, or at least rehearsed, with the family members sitting in different seats than in the film.[40]

A more substantial Beru scene was cut from Attack of the Clones: after Anakin returns to the farm with Shmi's body, Beru helps Padmé prepare a meal (also featuring blue milk) for Anakin and has a short conversation with her about Naboo and her reluctance to travel. This scene does, however, appear in the film's novelization.[48] A shot of Beru and the Larses waving goodbye to Anakin and Padmé was also shot but not used in the final film.[49]

Appearances

Sources

Wookieepedia has a collection of images related to Beru Whitesun Lars.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The New Essential Guide to Characters
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones novelization
  4. Some sources say Beru grew up near Mos Eisley, while others say in Mos Eisley. Beru may well have lived in a suburb of the town.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Tatooine Ghost
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars Galaxies
  7. In Children of the Jedi, Luke mentions having an "Aunt Coolie." Since Luke's only real aunts were Sola Naberrie and Beru, Coolie was probably either another sister of Beru or perhaps a close friend.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2  Beru Lars in the Databank
  9. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
  11. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (junior novelization)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Last One Standing
  13. The New Essential Chronology
  14. Star Wars Legacy 16: Claws of the Dragon, Part 3
  15. The Last of the Jedi: The Desperate Mission
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook
  17. Star Wars Customizable Card GamePremiere Limited (Card: Beru Lars)
  18. Star Wars Customizable Card GamePremiere Limited (Card: Beru Stew)
  19.  WED Treadwell droid in the Databank
  20. StarWars.com Visual Guide — Chapter 8: Droids for Sale on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  21. Children of the Jedi
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Star Wars Journal: The Fight for Justice
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Camie's Story
  24. 24.0 24.1 X-wing: Rogue Squadron
  25. "Sandstorm" - Star Wars Tales 15
  26. Planet of Twilight
  27. Luke Skywalker's Walkabout
  28. Star Wars: Empire 8: Darklighter, Part 1
  29. Star Wars 17: Crucible
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 The Official Star Wars Fact File 56
  31. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (novel)
  32. Drawing the Maps of Peace: The Moisture Farmer's Tale
  33. When the Desert Wind Turns: The Stormtrooper's Tale
  34. Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
  35. 35.0 35.1 Star Wars Legacy 39: Tatooine, Part 3
  36. Star Wars 31: Return to Tatooine
  37. Hard Merchandise
  38. The Official Star Wars Fact File 25
  39. 39.0 39.1 The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
  40. 40.0 40.1 T-bone's Star Wars Universe - A New Hope - Owen and Beru Lars
  41. T-bone implies that the voice in the mono mix was Fraser's on-set dialogue, but this is obviously not the case, as others have noted. Whether or not it was Fraser who recorded this original dub remains unclear.
  42. StarWars.com Casting Update: More Local Talent on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  43. "Micro Beru" - Star Wars Insider 58
  44. 44.0 44.1 Mythmaking: Behind the Scenes of Attack of the Clones
  45. TheForce.Net|Episode II|Lucasfilm registers new (Episode II?) domain names!
  46. The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the Sith
  47. "The Lost Cut of Star Wars" - Star Wars Insider 41
  48. T-bone's Star Wars Universe - Attack of the Clones - Beru and Padmé
  49. StarWars.com Image Attack: Y'all Come Back Now on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)

External links


This article uses material from the "Beru Whitesun Lars" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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