There’s a lot of discourse going round at the moment about Padme’s fate/the general lack of reproductive health in Star Wars, so! Time for a blog post about
Lucas, George Lucas’s mother.
(Do you have any idea how hard it was to find a photo of her?! There she is on the left, standing next to her husband)
Dorothy belonged to an old and wealthy Californian family, the Bombergers, and she attended school with George Lucas Snr, the soon-to-be father of our Lucas. Apparently, George Snr saw Dorothy in his history class and fell completely and utterly in love. That same day he told his mother he was going to marry this girl, despite not actually knowing her name or, presumably, anything about her at all.
Anyway, whatever George Snr did to win Dorothy over it must have worked, because the two of them got married in 1933. He was 20 and she was 18. By the next year, Dorothy had given birth to George’s oldest sister, Ann.
Then two years later she gave birth to another girl, Kate. This pretty much zapped Dorothy’s health, as we all know can happen in pregnancy, because her body simply couldn’t take the strain. Dorothy’s doctors told her to not have any more children, but for whatever reason she didn’t follow that advice. She had two miscarriages, but in 1944 on Mother’s Day she gave birth to the subject of this blog, whom George Lucas Snr immediately named after himself.
As patriarchal dudes (which Lucas Snr apparently very much was) did back then.
And finally, when George Jnr was eight months old (possibly. Some sources say he was actually three?), Dorothy gave birth to another girl. By this point her health was utterly and completely shot, to the extent she couldn’t even really raise the kids and go out with them and such. George and his sisters were mostly raised by their housekeeper, Till Shelley, whom the Lucases have spoken fondly of but whom we know pretty much nothing about.
Obviously that is all very much different from dying in childbirth, considering Dorothy actually lived to be 75, but there’s no way in heck it didn’t have some effect on her only son.
Anyway. Dorothy is described in various Lucas biographies as being strong-willed (especially considering, you know, the era she was in), rather fragile physically even before the pregnancies, dark-haired, dark-eyed, and a loving mother. Obviously, Star Wars fans know a couple of characters fitting that description:
So that’s a thing.
Lucas remained close to his mother even as his relationship with his father grew strained. “My father thought I was going to be an automobile mechanic, and that I wasn’t going to amount to anything. My parents – not my mother, mothers never write off their sons – but my father wrote me off.” And I guess “mothers never write off their sons” could also be the slogan of the entire Star Wars saga, especially after The Force Awakens. Nice.
This has been "Little-Known But Significant Star Wars Influences.” Or possibly “Why That Whole Childbirth Thing In Revenge of the Sith Happened: Some Facts Coupled With Wild Speculation”