Family Conflicts Don't Just Happen in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…


Star Wars fans have been out in force for the highly anticipated release of the latest film; Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. The saga, based in a galaxy "far, far away", has amassed millions of fans worldwide, but the personal trials and tribulations of the Skywalker family are much closer to home than you might think.

Family Conflicts Don't Just Happen in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Amongst intergalactic power struggles, Star Wars depicts a tale of personal family conflict based on experiences which ring true for many families residing on planet Earth…

Domestic Violence and Abuse

The issue of domestic violence is shown in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith with the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. A scene sees Anakin, newly kitted out as Darth Vader, overcome with jealousy; he accuses Padme, pregnant with twins at the time, of betraying him and begins to use the Force to strangle her.

This is a shocking scene, but sadly, domestic violence is a reality in many relationships. 2 women each week are killed by a partner or former partner in England in Wales, and 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.  

Childcare Arrangements and Intervention

Padme gives birth to the twins, Luke and Leia, but dies during childbirth. Anakin's transition to the dark side and transformation into Darth Vader means he is not present for the birth of his children. This results in "Jedi Social Services" (Yoda, Obi-Wan and Senator Organa) meeting to decide who the children will live with.

A survey by Will Aid found that 50% of adults in the UK don't have a will, this is concerning when coupled with the statistic from the charity Winston's Wish that each year, 24,000 children lose a parent.

Many people consider wills to be about passing on their estate, and forget that a will is important to appoint guardians to take care of your children should you die. Without a will in place, children face the prospect of foster care or being caught up in family conflict over their care arrangements.

Family Estrangement and Adoption

Luke and Leia are separated at birth and both grow up unaware of the other's existence. Luke is raised by his father's stepbrother and Leia was adopted by Bail Organa, who had been friends with her mother. Darth Vader is aware of Luke, but not of his twin sister Leia.  

The most recent statistics on adoption from the Office for National Statistics are from 2012; there were 5,206 adoptions in England and Wales, an increase of 9.8% from the year before. Research by Ipsos MORI also shows that as many as 1 in 5 families are affected by estrangement in the UK.

Family Law Solicitors : A New Hope

Star Wars may be fictional, but the themes shown can be seen to reflect real life familial conflicts. Simpson Millar's Family Law team provide support to individuals who are struggling with complex and emotive family problems such as divorce, domestic abuse and child care arrangements.

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