- "I'm not stupid, Kenobi. Just because I haven't flown across the galaxy like you have doesn't make me some sort of ignorant hick."
- ―Owen Lars, to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Owen Lars was a male human who lived as a moisture farmer on Tatooine. He was the son of Aika and Cliegg Lars, and he later became the stepbrother of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker when Cliegg remarried to Shmi Skywalker, a former slave. When Shmi was killed by Tusken Raiders and Cliegg passed away soon after, Owen was left responsible for maintaining the farm. After dating for a short time, Owen married his girlfriend, Beru Whitesun, and the two toiled to improve the homestead.
Less than three years later, Owen's stepbrother, Anakin, betrayed the Jedi Order and became the Sith Lord known as Darth Vader. At that time, Owen and his wife were given custody of Anakin's son, Luke, by Anakin's Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi told Owen that Anakin had been killed, and Owen grew to resent Kenobi, believing him to be responsible for his stepbrother's death. Fearing that Luke would share a similar fate, Owen forbade Kenobi from seeing Luke, and he kept the boy busy with work on the farm.
During the early years of the Galactic Civil War, Owen and Skywalker purchased the droid R2-D2, who, unbeknownst to them, possessed the plans for the Death Star, an Imperial superweapon. Soon after, Imperial stormtroopers tracked the droid to the Lars homestead, where they interrogated and murdered Owen and Beru. When Luke found his family was killed, he left Tatooine with Kenobi to train as a Jedi, joining the Rebel Alliance and destroying the Death Star in the Battle of Yavin.
Early life and tragedyEdit
- Owen: "Where are you going?"
- Anakin: "To find my mother."
- Cliegg: "Your mother's dead, son. Accept it."
- ―Owen and Cliegg, trying to stop Anakin[src]
Owen Lars was born to the kind-hearted moisture farmer Cliegg Lars and his wife, Aika, after they met on a bustling Core World. When Aika died, Cliegg returned to the desert planet of Tatooine, where they lived on the family's homestead near the township of Anchorhead. As a young man, Owen had a strong vision of what he wanted to do in life, believing that it should be rooted on Tatooine and focused on improving the homestead. When Owen's father went to Mos Espa in search of a new farmhand, he met Shmi Skywalker, a slave owned by the Toydarian junk dealer Watto. Cliegg fell in love with Shmi, so he purchased her, set her free, and married her. Owen loved his stepmother very much, and he saw her sadness whenever she thought of her son, Anakin. Anakin, who had left Tatooine to join the Jedi Order on Coruscant, made Owen wonder how anyone could have left Shmi behind.
During a trip to Anchorhead, Owen met Beru Whitesun, a third-generation moisture farmer, and the two fell in love. In the following years, the family lived quietly; however, the peace was broken one morning, when Shmi was attacked and abducted by Tusken Raiders. Furious, Cliegg rallied 29 other moisture farmers to help search for her. When the group returned, there were only four survivors, including Cliegg, who lost a leg and was confined to a repulsorlift chair.
One month later, Anakin returned to his homeworld after a ten year absence to look for his mother. He found she had been sold to Cliegg, so he visited the Lars homestead. Once Owen introduced himself and Beru to Anakin, Cliegg told the Jedi about Shmi's kidnapping, telling him that she was dead. Anakin, refusing to believe this, borrowed Owen's swoop and tracked down the Tuskens; the next day, he returned with Shmi's corpse. The Lars family buried Shmi outside their home and held a quiet funeral. Anakin then left, and the Lars family never saw him again. Although Cliegg was determined to continue the life he worked hard to create, the tragedy weakened him, and he died soon after of a broken heart, leaving his farm and traditions to Owen. Some years after the deaths of Shmi and Cliegg, Owen removed the headstones from their graves, leaving them unmarked.
- "When I say you're grounded, I mean that literally. Best get used to walking, Luke Skywalker. Because as long as I live…you'll never fly again."
- ―Owen, forbidding Luke from piloting
After dating for a short time, Owen and Beru married, and together they toiled to achieve Owen's dream of improving the farm. Nearly three years later, Owen and his wife were contacted by Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi Master who trained Owen's stepbrother. Arriving at the Lars moisture farm, Kenobi presented Beru with Luke, the son of Anakin, tasking the couple with protecting the orphaned boy. Although Kenobi claimed Anakin had been killed, Skywalker was alive—Skywalker had turned to the dark side of the Force, betraying the Jedi Order and adopting the title of Darth Vader. Beru and Owen took the infant, watching the binary sunset of Tatooine as Kenobi went into exile, changing his name to "Ben." Kenobi was not welcome at the homestead, and Owen forbade him from visiting, fearing that the Jedi Master would get Luke killed as Anakin was.
About eight years later, Tatooine was plagued by the Great Drought, which halted water collection for moisture farmers. During the drought, Jabba, the Hutt crime lord of Tatooine, declared a "water tax," and had his enforcers take the farmers' harvests, sometimes by force. Despite the new tax, the Lars family never paid their dues—unknown to Owen, Kenobi, who adopted the name "Ben," was protecting the homestead from Jabba's henchmen. The drought continued to worsen, and one night Luke left the Lars moisture farm to steal water from Jabba's thugs. When Owen and Beru realized Luke was missing, they searched for the boy, but were unsuccessful. Kenobi, sensing Luke was in danger, found and rescued him, bringing the boy back to the Lars home. In the morning, when Beru found Luke, she called for Owen, who rushed to Skywalker's side, asking if he was all right. Skywalker, who was unharmed, was unable to recall any of the night's events. About a week later the drought lifted, and the moisture vaporators began collecting water again.
One year after the Great Drought, Luke took interest in piloting his family's T-16 skyhopper. During one adventurous flight with friends such as Biggs Darklighter cheering from the ground, Luke was overconfident in his abilities and wrecked the skyhopper in Beggar's Canyon. Owen grounded Luke, enraged that they were now short a speeder and could not afford repairs. Luke said he could fix the damages and pay for it himself by entering the race at Anchorhead, but Owen would not entertain the idea, fearing for Luke's safety.
In the following days, Owen and Luke went to a Jawa market to purchase an astromech droid and a droid capable of speaking Bocce. While Owen was looking at the droids, Luke encountered two Jawas who handed him a box filled with the parts needed to repair the skyhopper. Luke, believing it was a gift from his uncle, thanked him and rushed off. The parts were actually from Kenobi, who believed Luke would need all the piloting practice he could get. Owen realized that Kenobi had been interfering with his family, recalling the lack of attacks from Tusken Raiders or Jabba's thugs, and, furious, he visited Kenobi at his home, bringing the skyhopper parts with him. Reasserting that he did not want Kenobi's help, Owen told the hermit to leave Luke alone, saying it was his own job to protect Luke, not Kenobi's, and that it was the Jedi from whom Luke needed protection.
Soon after, Owen purchased some parts at Tosche Station, hoping to work with Luke to fix the skyhopper and amend their strained relationship. However, when Owen returned home, he could not find his nephew. As Owen asked Beru where Luke was, the farmer was attacked by the Wookiee Black Krrsantan, a bounty hunter tracking down the man responsible for defying Jabba's tax collectors the year before. Krrsantan took Owen to a clifftop near the Dune Sea, where the Wookiee cuffed and beat the farmer with an electric baton, hoping to elicit a scream. Owen begged Krrsantan to stop, saying he could not understand the Wookiee's language and was unable to answer his questions. The bounty hunter continued to attack until Kenobi appeared atop the cliff, revealing himself to be the man marked for bounty.
Krrsantan immediately attacked Kenobi, quickly snaring the Jedi in a stun net. While Krrsantan's back was turned, Owen charged, but the Wookiee knocked him back, sending the farmer over the cliff edge. Owen caught himself on a protrusion from the cliff, hanging on as Kenobi summoned his lightsaber, cutting the net and reengaging the Wookiee. Kenobi, knocking the Wookiee over with the Force, turned his attention to rescuing Owen. However, Krrsantan quickly stood back up, grabbing a boulder and preparing to kill his target. Kenobi sliced the boulder in half, but one chunk fell and broke the rock which had been supporting Owen. The farmer began to fall, but he was saved by Kenobi, who held Owen through the Force. Kenobi struggled to concentrate on holding Owen and fending off the Wookiee, and the Jedi lost his grip on the farmer, who plummeted to the ground. As Owen fell, however, Luke—who had repaired the skyhopper and went in search of his captured uncle—arrived, catching Owen on one of the skyhopper's cannons. Luke landed the skyhopper and began to apologize, but Owen embraced his nephew, looking up to see Kenobi standing victorious on the clifftop. After the event, Owen and Kenobi never spoke, and they both returned to their homes.
- "You know, I think that R2 unit we bought may have been stolen."
"What makes you think that?"
"Well, I stumbled across a recording while I was cleaning him. He says that he belongs to someone named Obi-Wan Kenobi. I thought he might have meant old Ben. Do you know what he's talking about?"
"I wonder if he's related to Ben."
"That wizard is just a crazy old man. Now, tomorrow I want you to take that R2 unit to Anchorhead and have its memory erased. That'll be the end of it. It belongs to us now."
- ―Luke and Owen
When Luke reached the age of 19, he grew to resent his farming lifestyle, wishing to enroll in the Imperial Academy as most of his friends had. Owen, fearing that Luke was too much like his father, denied Luke's pleas, although Beru felt that Luke's dreams should be allowed.
One day, a company of Jawas came by the homestead to sell miscellaneous droids. Owen, requiring an astromech droid, as well as droid that could understand the binary programming language of moisture vaporators, purchased R5-D4 and C-3PO, respectively. When Luke noticed the R5 unit had a bad motivator, he informed his uncle. At the suggestion of the protocol droid C-3PO, Owen bought the astromech R2-D2 in place of R5-D4. Owen then told Luke to clean the droids, despite the boy's plans of going to Tosche Station to meet with his friends. Skywalker obliged, and, while cleaning R2-D2, discovered a holographic message for "Obi-Wan Kenobi." Wondering if the droid was referring to Ben Kenobi, he asked his uncle. Owen replied that Kenobi was just a crazy old wizard, and told Luke to take the droid to Anchorhead and have its memory erased. When the morning came, Owen could not find his nephew, so he questioned his wife, who believed Luke was doing chores. In actuality, Luke was searching for R2-D2, who had run off in search of Kenobi.
Unbeknownst to Owen, R2-D2 was carrying stolen plans of the Death Star, the Galactic Empire's recently completed space station, which was capable of destroying entire planets. Imperial stormtroopers, desperate to reclaim the stolen intelligence, traced the droid to the Lars homestead, where they proceeded to interrogate and kill Owen and Beru, burning the home and leaving. When Luke returned to find his family murdered and home in ruins, he decided to leave Tatooine with Kenobi and train to become a Jedi Knight like his father. The pair traveled to the Mos Eisley spaceport, where they met Han Solo, a smuggler who agreed to take them to Alderaan aboard the Millennium Falcon.
- "I guess it's an irony. If the boy was here when the jackboot came down, the Empire would still have a Death Star… But if the family wasn't killed, maybe he'd never have left."
The death of Owen had prompted Luke to leave Tatooine with Kenobi and join the Rebellion against the Empire. Upon joining the Rebels, Skywalker fought in the Battle of Yavin, destroying the Death Star and becoming a Rebellion hero. Despite the recent loss of his family, Luke did not grieve until soon after the battle, when his love interest, Nakari Kelen, was killed on Omereth. Kelen's death provided Skywalker a moment to consider his losses, and he wept upon thinking of Owen and Beru. Skywalker later returned to Tatooine to recover Kenobi's journal, which contained stories of the Jedi's few encounters with Skywalker and Owen.
In the weeks after the Battle of Yavin, Darth Vader searched for the pilot responsible for destroying the Death Star, discovering that the pilot was, in fact, the son he never knew he had. Vader, accompanied by Doctor Aphra, revisited the abandoned homestead and followed the boy's trail. While assessing the destruction, Aphra speculated that Skywalker would never have left Tatooine, had his family been spared.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him."
"That's what I'm afraid of."
- ―Beru and Owen
The son of Cliegg Lars, Owen was taught to place a large emphasis on the traditions of discipline and hard work. Wanting to teach these values to his adopted son, Owen was caring, but was also gruff and strict, which often created tension between them, forcing Beru to mediate.
Feeling great disdain towards the Jedi Order, Owen believed that Kenobi had warped Anakin's mind into leaving Shmi alone on Tatooine, an act he considered to be unimaginable. Owen felt Kenobi was personally responsible for the deaths of Shmi and Anakin, and that the Jedi's actions tore the family apart. When Kenobi left Luke under Owen's reluctant protection, the farmer told the Jedi to stay away from them, fearing that Kenobi would create similar consequences with the boy. To keep him out of trouble, Owen denied Luke his Jedi lineage, claiming Luke's father was simply a navigator on a spice freighter. When Luke desired to leave Tatooine, Owen found it difficult to ignore his gruff, protective attitude, which had become a habit over the years.
- "What I really need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators."
"Vaporators? Sir, my first job was programming binary loadlifters—very similar to your vaporators in most respects."
- ―Owen and C-3PO
In his youth, Owen owned a red-colored swoop bike, which Anakin used while searching for Shmi. Later in life, Owen acquired an inexpensive V-35 Courier, and he allowed Luke a T-16 skyhopper and an old, battered X-34 landspeeder in which he kept his blaster rifle. Throughout the farm, Owen installed numerous moisture vaporators and maintained numerous droids. The droids, which included an R5 line astromech droid, a WED-15 Septoid Treadwell droid, and a GNK-series power droid among others, were destroyed by the Galactic Empire when they razed the home.
Behind the scenesEdit
Creation and portrayalEdit
In the rough draft to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Owen and Beru were anthropologists working on Yavin, and in the second draft of the film they were Luke Skywalker's uncle and aunt. Within the second draft, Owen was a Jedi, and Luke was studying to become an archaeologist; it was not until the third draft of the film that Owen became a farmer. Owen's origins as an anthropologist were a self-reference by Star Wars creator George Lucas, who had intended to study anthropology at San Francisco State University before switching to cinematography.
Owen Lars first appeared in A New Hope, played by Phil Brown, and credited as "Uncle Owen." The screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi revealed that Owen and Kenobi were brothers, although the idea was removed from the final cut. In the prequel trilogy, Owen was portrayed by Joel Edgerton, who, in 2014, expressed enthusiasm in reprising the role for a rumored Obi-Wan spin-off film. In Episode IV: A New Hope Read-Along Storybook and CD, Uncle Owen was voiced by Charles Howerton.
- "There are much worse things outside than a 7-year-old boy with a laser rifle."
- ―Owen, reasoning with Beru on Skywalker's safety
In 2015, a Korean web comic by Hong Jac Ga simply titled Star Wars adapted the original trilogy, beginning with the events leading into A New Hope. The comic features Owen in its first four chapters: "An Old Friend," "Meeting the Droids," "Beginning of an Adventure," and "Only Hope," respectively. Chapters one and two involve an original story set during Skywalker's childhood, beginning when he is seven and then jumping forward six years. Due to cultural leeway, the comic is canonically in a "grey area."
One night, when Skywalker is seven years old, Owen finds him alone outside planning to watch a meteor shower. Fearing that Skywalker could have been attacked by Tusken Raiders, he scolds Skywalker and argues with Beru, saying he'll keep the boy occupied with more chores. The following morning, Owen tells Skywalker that he cannot protect him all the time, and that he will teach him the safety basics of the farm. Then, to Beru and Skywalker's surprise, Owen says he will show him how to use a blaster rifle. Although Beru feels Skywalker is too young, Owen teaches his excited nephew.
Six years later, Owen is proud of Skywalker's hard work, and Beru compares the boy to his father. Refusing to discuss Skywalker's father any further, Owen tells Beru that the boy is like a son to him, and he will not be allowed to leave for the Imperial Academy, not wanting Skywalker to experience war in his lifetime. Later that day, Skywalker and his friend Windy get lost in a sandstorm and encounter a krayt dragon. The two are saved by Kenobi, who takes them back home. Owen thanks Kenobi for bringing Skywalker back safely, but tells him to stay away from the boy. In return, Kenobi says he is observing Skywalker, claiming that the Force is strong in him, and that he will leave the farm one day. Owen responds by saying that the Jedi went extinct with the Republic, warning Kenobi to never visit the homestead again.
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Revenge of the Sith Golden Book
- Star Wars 7: From the Journals of Old Ben Kenobi: "The Last of His Breed"
- Star Wars 15: From the Journals of Old Ben Kenobi
- Star Wars 20: From the Journals of Old Ben Kenobi
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Episode IV: A New Hope Read-Along Storybook and CD (Dialogue only, does not appear in illustrations)
- A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Original Trilogy: A Graphic Novel
- Heir to the Jedi (Mentioned only)
- The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars 5: Skywalker Strikes, Part V (Mentioned only)
- Darth Vader 7: Shadows and Secrets, Part I (Indirect mention only)
- The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi? (Indirect mention only)
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! (Indirect mention only)
- Bloodline (Indirect mention only)