14

At least in canon, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun had biological offspring of their own.

They are a more or less traditional, married, farming couple (albeit moisture farming). Given the many duties that we see Luke performing in A New Hope, it seems that they could use all the help they can get, and — if you compare to farming communities on Earth — one way to get that help is by having a large family. Granted, they did have many droids as @Himarm points out in comments, and so that might replace the need for people. Also, more mouths to feed out in the desert may not be a good thing, as @terdon mentions.

Still, all of this raises a question:

Were Owen and Beru capable of conceiving? If so, did they make a conscious decision to have no children of their own apart from raising Luke?

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    i have a slight issue with your assumption, that as a traditional family it would be a good idea to have more kids, However, they seem to have many droids to do this labor, so kids don't appear to be a necessity. A traditional Earth family would have liked to have more kids to help with labor, but we cant impose our traditional mindsets on space humans with advanced technology, with clear practical ways of essentially cheep labor. – Himarm Jun 17 '15 at 14:00
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    I'm not sure that more children would be a good thing. They live in a desert. Yes many hands make light work but many mouths make heavy hunger. – terdon Jun 17 '15 at 14:23
  • @terdon that was my thoughts as well, a child is 12 years of worthless, that 12 years of investment to just get a child "functional" probably could have bought you a droid that lasts for 50+ years – Himarm Jun 17 '15 at 14:27
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    @Himarm I'm not suggesting you're wrong, but that leads to some pretty pessimistic conclusions about Tatooine's population growth – Jason Baker Jun 17 '15 at 15:55
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    @Praxis - in more than one of the draft scripts, Owen and Beru had other kids. starwarz.com/starkiller/category/fan-creations – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jun 17 '15 at 18:38
11

They were unable to have children.

According to Lucas Books' The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection #3, Owen and Beru weren't able to have a family of their own.

In the dark days that followed, the fall of the Republic seemed distant to Owen and Beru on dusty Tatooine. Then one of the last of the harried Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi, delivered a child to Owen and Beru. This was their nephew, Luke, secret son of the fallen Anakin. Unable to have a family of their own, Owen and Beru were content.

Luke's foster parents provided a loving home, but they were haunted by the spectre of Anakin. Owen could not stop Luke from showing traits that he had seen in Anakin.

This has since been backed up in the (canon) Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View short story Beru Whitesun Lars.

It’s not as if I wasn’t expecting it [thought Beru]. The day Ben Kenobi put that little baby in my arms was both the best and worst day of my life. Best because Owen and I couldn’t have a child of our own, and suddenly we did.

...

I won’t lie to you—I thought about it. Especially right before Luke came along, when Owen and I had just found out we’d never be able to have kids of our own. Our only resort was to start seeing one of those fancy fertility droids in Mos Eisley. It almost didn’t seem worth it, though, when you consider what Mos Eisley was like back in those days.

  • Finally confirmed, two years on. Cheers. – Praxis Mar 16 '17 at 18:21
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    @Praxis - And now a fully canon confirmation. – Valorum Oct 16 '17 at 17:29
  • that story was one of the highlights in the From a Certain Point of View book. "I may just be a country girl, but even I know that when a Jedi walks up and says, 'here, have a baby', you know it isn't going to end well" – NKCampbell Oct 16 '17 at 18:51
  • Slightly rude question/speculation, but I have fewer qualms asking it of a fictional couple: were both of them infertile, or was it only one of them? – Mikasa Oct 17 '17 at 1:33
  • @Valorum : Great! Can't upvote again unfortunately. – Praxis Oct 17 '17 at 3:52
0

While the points about having kids may be relevant, but given how much physical property the Lars' had, not land but droids, landspeeders, evaporators, and what not, I have doubts that they were stuck on Tatooine. Luke owned a fancy (for Tatooine) landspeeder and a T-16 Skyhopper, and was able to save enough money to afford them, and parts to repair them. I'd say the Lars' could have afford a ticket to a easier world, but with no capital once they got there.

I always thought it was a combination of other factors, very few of them biological:

  1. Before getting married, they both met Anakin Skywalker, and probably had a good idea that he had something to do with that slaughter of the sand people. That would affect my thinking if I was in any way, shape, or form, related to him.

  2. As a young couple, potentially thinking about having children, some guy named Kenobi showed up and handed them a baby and said, "This is your nephew, raise him." Had I been in a similar situation, explanations would have been forth coming. The explanation that Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader, could have killed any desire to have children.

  3. Being given a newborn with that they have no emotional connection with could have killed and desire to do the newborn stuff with your own children. Plus by raising your nephew, they could check the "I done good" box on the life accomplishment checklist, without all the hassle of pregnancies.

However, there are some other things:

  1. According the the Complete Locations book published by DK, Owen and Beru slept in side by side twin beds, like 1950s TV couples, which could have put a damper on things. In contrast, Amidala is shown in the Cross Sections books have beds large enough to sleep four on starships.

  2. Having Luke have no close relatives makes it easier for him to to leave his home and fulfill his mythic hero role. Similar things happen to several other characters (Han Solo, Wedge Antilles, Corran Horn, Iella Wesseri, and anyone from Alderaan.)

  3. George Lucas would have learned a lot, if not most, of his craft from people who lived through the Production Code Era and may have that a general sense of conservatism was needed to get an oddball project off the ground.

  4. The plot required it.

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    Hmm. Having twin beds isn't necessarily any sort of bar to having kids. Traditionally when the couple feel amorous, they put the beds together – Valorum Jan 21 '16 at 7:37
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    Luke's speeder was not fancy. It was an old model and explicitly said to be not "in demand." – Buzz Jan 21 '16 at 11:52
  • Re 1-2, are you saying they decided Oh, we're related to Darth Vader, better not have children in case we pass on the murdering gene despite no murderous tendencies of their own? – MissMonicaE Feb 22 '17 at 3:31

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