|Source: Email||Attribution: Barbara Hambly|
I can't go into more detail without re-reading the book (or those sections of the book), but here goes what I recall. (Remember I wrote this almost twenty years ago.)
Everybody has family. It always bothered me slightly that in the original Star Wars (and I think of the films by their original titles), Leia sees her home–all her family, the place she grew up, everyone she knows—destroyed before her eyes, and then we just go on to the next thing. Who WERE these people that she lost? Who were her family?
If she's a royal princess, it is likely that there were other members of the royal family. Bail may have had brothers as well, but royal sisters–princesses in their own right–would very likely have stayed close to the royal court, and been involved in their niece's upbringing.
In any group of sisters, there's usually one–and usually the oldest–who has the strongest personality, and that was the one I called Aunt Rouge. The one who bosses Leia (and everybody else) around and is in charge of making her into what Rouge feels is a Proper Princess. The one who won't tolerate divergence from what's proper etiquette and appropriate behavior. Rouge is probably ruthless–like many oldest sisters–though she loves Leia, and her own sisters, very much ("This is for your own good, dear.") And of course they're vain. They're royal princesses. And since Leia, at the time of the original Star Wars film, is probably barely more than a teen-ager herself, of course she finds them embarassing. Like most people, they probably alternated between being pushy and being sweet.
I think (and I'd need to check the book to be sure) I meant Rouge to be the overbearing, ruthless one (and also the most intelligent and politically savvy), Celly (the classic middle child) to be understanding and sweet, and Tia to be pretty (or once-pretty) and a little vain. I picture Rouge as a widow, Tia as still married (possibly for the second or third time), Celly as single, either through widowhood, possibly divorce, or her own choice.
In later life–had the Aunts survived–Leia probably would have had a much closer relationship with them, valuing each for her own strengths. I hope this helps, at short notice.
|Source: Email||Attribution: LelalMekha|
Following your kind--and quick!--response, I hereby send you those little questions you accepted to answer.
1) About the creation of Leia's aunts -- Do you remember how and why you created them in the first place? How did you come up with those "redoubtable dowagers"? Did you have any particular inspiration?
2) About their characterization -- How did you feel about the aunts personally? Did you intend to write them as embarrassing, yet lovable characters, or did you want to show them as ruthless, somewhat vain noblewomen?
3) In the course of "Children of the Jedi", you mentioned Aunt Rouge 11 times by name, Celly five times, and Tia only three times. Is there a reason you chose to put Rouge under the spotlight? Did you intend for her relation with Leia to be closer than the other Aunts?
I'm looking forward to reading from you again. (P.S. Please forgive my strange, Hercule Poirot-style English. It is not my first language, and I'm afraid my skills are dwindling with the lack of practice.)
Regards, Lelal Mekha