- "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 Skywalker like a son. Beru would often defend Skywalker's interests against Owen, who was overprotective of him out of fear that he would follow in Anakin's footsteps. Though Owen refused numerous times to let Skywalker go when he wished to leave home to attend the Imperial Academy with his friend Biggs Darklighter, Beru convinced her husband to let Skywalker go after staying on for only one more season. After a year had passed, Beru tried to convince Owen that it was time to let Skywalker 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.
Growing up near the spaceport city of Mos Eisley on the planet of Tatooine, Beru Whitesun was a female Human born in 47 BBY. Her siblings, Dama and Haro, and she came from a family that had been in the moisture farming businesses for three generations. The Whitesuns had a reputation among the farming families for being particularly well-adapted to Tatooine's rough climate.
The Lars family
- "We Lars men fall in love with the best women."
- ―Cliegg Lars
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 Lars, and stepmother, Shmi Skywalker Lars. Whitesun 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. While Owen and Whitesun had not 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 Whitesun'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 Whitesun; she held her own in playfully arguing with "old Cliegg."
Whitesun 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. 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, Whitesun and the Larses tearfully accepted that Shmi was gone.
A month passed since Shmi's kidnapping. Whitesun was surprised when she finally got the chance to meet Anakin Skywalker, the son Shmi so often spoke of, when the Senator Padmé Amidala and he arrived on Tatooine to see his mother. While Cliegg explained what had happened, Whitesun 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 her homeworld, Naboo, but confessed that she preferred Tatooine and didn't like to travel.
Beru and the others held a funeral for Shmi, and buried her body on the western edge of the sand berm near the house. Skywalker and Amidala departed Tatooine, taking C-3PO, a droid who had been with the Larses as long as Shmi, along with them. 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.
- "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 Whitesun and Owen had married, and Cliegg had died and left the farm to them. Mere days after the Clone Wars came to an end and Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, the Larses spoke to the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi asked them to become the guardians of their nephew, Luke Skywalker, simply telling them that Skywalker's parents were dead, and not giving any details as to how. Although Owen was initially reluctant, the pair agreed after Beru convinced her husband to adopt the boy. Despite the Larses raising the child, Kenobi would live nearby on Tatooine to keep an eye on Skywalker. The Larses told their neighbors that they had given him the name "Skywalker" to honor Owen's late stepmother.
The Larses essentially became Skywalker's parents, loving him as their own son. On the farm, Beru often carried baby Skywalker 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 the local farmers and he should go after them again. However, Kenobi 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. Still, he would defend the family from Tuskens again, this time from a raiding party led by a former Jedi, A'Sharad Hett.
Beru would carry Skywalker with her when she visited Anchorhead to buy supplies, unaware that Kenobi was keeping watch, but the Larses eventually came to know that he was constantly checking on Skywalker, though they agreed that it would be best if they all ignored him. Beru played and laughed with Skywalker as a toddler, and as he grew older she would impart to him the values of patience and compassion. 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. 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. Years of daily exposure to Tatooine's twin suns caused Beru's face to betray her true age.
As Skywalker matured, Beru and Owen tried to downplay to him things having to do with the Force. When Skywalker was around six years old, Beru lost a small screwdriver that she used to repair her mending stitcher. Skywalker simply told them that it was under their couch. Owen yelled at the boy for this, but he claimed that it was because Skywalker had to have placed it there himself. Another time, Skywalker inquired about the Jedi Knights, whom he heard about from someone at school. Owen dismissed the idea as fiction, but Beru told him while the stories of them were exaggerated, the Jedi did indeed once exist.
When Beru wasn't tending to Skywalker 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. Starkiller, and others. Skywalker's friends frequented too, like Camie, Windy Starkiller, and Biggs Darklighter and his cousin Gavin; they would all later remember Beru fondly.
When Skywalker 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 Skywalker's curiosity was only natural. Skywalker 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," Skywalker managed to make his way back home.
Beru helped Skywalker recover from his serious bout of dust fever, staying with him for days, feeding him and keeping his temperature down. At times, she would sing to him an old song about the persistence of love.
After keeping his distance for so many years, Kenobi finally encountered Skywalker face-to-face when the boy and his friend Windy Starkiller were caught in a krayt dragon's cave while seeking shelter from a sandswirl. Kenobi immediately took the boys home, and Beru and the Starkillers were very grateful. However, Owen was furious at Kenobi, and forced the man away from their home, despite Beru's pleas.
When Skywalker 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 Darklighter ate dinner with the family, Beru asked him about his plans and suggested that Skywalker would likely follow in his footsteps. Owen lashed out at Beru for mentioning the idea. Beru would become mediator between her men on the matter. When Skywalker planned to go to a farewell party for Darklighter, Owen refused. Beru then reminded her husband that he had let his brother leave without saying goodbye, and so he reluctantly rescinded. Still, the issue of Skywalker applying for the Academy himself continued to persist. Owen insisted that he needed Skywalker's help for another season, so Beru proposed a compromise: if Skywalker stayed for one last season, Owen would save up and prepare to hire help to replace him. Still, while Beru understood how greatly Skywalker wanted to move on, she was pleased that he would be around for a while more.
One day in the year following Darklighter's departure, 0 BBY, Skywalker convinced Owen to invite the Jawas to the farm so that they could purchase some new droids. Beru made certain they knew that if they purchased a translator droid, it needed to be able to speak Bocce. Owen purchased two droids—an astromech, R2-D2, and, coincidentally, C-3PO. As Skywalker cleaned up the newly purchased droids, he discovered that R2-D2 was carrying an important message for Ben Kenobi. When he 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, Skywalker 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 Skywalker had departed, Beru tried to convince Owen that it was time to let Skywalker go. That night, Skywalker found that R2-D2 had escaped the farm in pursuit of Kenobi.
Early the next morning, Skywalker went after the R2 unit after telling his Aunt Beru that he had some things to do. While Beru prepared breakfast, Owen came looking for the boy, so she relayed what Skywalker had said. The Larses were likely planning to attend the wedding of Eyvind and Ariela that day, but they never got the chance. While they went about their day, a group of Imperial stormtroopers led by Captain Mod Terrik showed up, searching for the pair of droids, which carried a stolen set of top secret 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. 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."
Meanwhile, Skywalker had found the droids and spent the day with Ben Kenobi. En route to Anchorhead, the group spotted smoke; it was coming from a destroyed Jawa sandcrawler, the one owned by the Jawas that had sold the droids to the Larses. 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. Skywalker buried the only parents he knew before departing alongside Kenobi into a trip that would change the galaxy.
A short time after the Battle of Yavin, Skywalker returned to Tatooine alongside Leia Organa and buried his aunt and uncle outside their home. Skywalker placed a small pendant of Beru when she was young over her burial plot. The gravestones for Owen and Beru were still present outside the homestead by 1 ABY. Rumors emerged among the community; some thought it was Tuskens that attacked the Lars house, and that Skywalker was killed along with them. Others said that it was Skywalker himself who murdered them. A later plot by Kuat of Kuat would even try to implicate Black Sun's Prince Xizor in their deaths. But Rebel historian Voren Na'al would ensure that Beru was remembered as a woman who loved Skywalker and "helped shape the man that became a galactic hero."
More than a hundred years after her death, Beru appeared in a dream to one of Skywalker'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 Luke Skywalker and him 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 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.
Personality and traits
- "Luke's Aunt Beru, a wonderful lady […]"
- ―Camie Loneozner
Beru Whitesun Lars was a Human woman with blue eyes, brown hair worn in a simple style, and fair skin who stood 1.65 meters tall. She favored rough, simple clothing made locally in Anchorhead, such as tunics and boots suitable for desert life. She was well loved by all who knew her. She was not a terribly brilliant woman but was kind, caring, and compassionate towards others. Beru also had a playful side; she and Owen's father, Cliegg, were known to engage in verbal sparring at times. Beru was an experienced chef, cooking most of her family's meals and specializing in preparing different meals utilizing ingredients native to the Tatooinian wastes such as giju stew or Beru Stew, one of several recipes of her own invention. She also used to play with her nephew, Luke Skywalker.
As part of the fourth generation of moisture farmers of the Whitesun family, considered the family best conditioned to the harsh conditions of the profession, Beru had a strong work ethic and was considered an excellent wife for Owen by those around him. Although she supported the Galactic Republic, Beru was uninterested in traveling offworld. Content in her life on Tatooine, she proudly worked alongside her husband on the farm season after season, tending to the homestead's hydroponics lab personally. When the family was low on money, Beru never complained and asked for little from her husband. In fact, her only large request was a droid that spoke Bocce to help her around the house. She loved her husband Owen dearly, as did she her nephew, who was essentially her son.
While her husband would accost Skywalker whenever he would become curious about the Jedi or show signs of his strong Force-sensitivity, Beru was more lenient when dealing with these situations. She would admit, in small amounts, that there was truth to stories her adoptive son had heard of swashbuckling warriors who once fought for peace among the galaxy. When it came to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Beru was outwardly much more grateful to the Jedi Master than Owen, who saw completely isolating Skywalker from the "old wizard" as the best means of protecting their nephew, even after Kenobi saved the boy's life from a Krayt Dragon and earned Beru's gratitude. Beru quietly disliked when Owen raved against Skywalker's protector, but did not stop him.
As Skywalker grew up, Beru would often serve as the buffer between the two men in her life, presiding over their disagreements, while the increasing frequency of such disputes deeply saddened her. So, apart from more mystical matters, Beru was also more receptive to Skywalker's dreams, such as his wish to join the Imperial Academy, than Owen. She quietly advocated for Skywalker's cause when speaking with her husband and was the one who suggested that Skywalker stay at the homestead for one last season before leaving for the Academy so Owen could raise enough credits to hire someone to replace him, placating both her nephew and husband with the arrangement. Although Beru wanted Skywalker around as much as Owen did, and respected her husband's desire to stop Skywalker following in his father's footsteps, she also knew that Skywalker needed to get away and pursue his passions.
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
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 Skywalker's cousin, Leia. In a later version of this story, Beru protects Skywalker from violent outburst by Owen. However, by an early 1976 version, the character is finalized and the element of the Larses being killed by Imperial stormtroopers is added.
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. In the mono soundmix of the first release of Star Wars, different takes for Beru's lines were used. All subsequent home video sound mixes use the same take that was used in the initial theatrical Dolby mixes.
A character biography found in one of the screen savers from the Star Wars Screen Entertainment from 1994 lists Beru's maiden name as "Beru Weth," a name contradicted in later sources.
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. 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. George Lucas wanted to make sure that Beru's costume was similar to the one worn in the first film to help establish a visual connection. Her wardrobe was also partially inspired by that of Skywalker's friend Camie in A New Hope. 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. This same month, Piesse and the crew were filming the Tatooine scenes in Tunisia. 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 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."
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. 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.
A more substantial Beru scene was cut from Attack of the Clones: after Anakin Skywalker returns to the farm with his mother's body, Beru helps Amidala prepare a meal, featuring blue milk, for Skywalker, having a short conversation with Amidala about Naboo and her own reluctance to travel. Nonetheless, this scene does appear in the film's novelization. A shot of Beru and the Larses waving goodbye to Anakin and Padmé was also shot but not used in the final film.