There are comparable characters to Mary in modern fantasy and science fiction as portrayed in television and the movies. Some characters are known primarily for being the mother of other important characters. Other characters have characteristics of Mary in her own right. And then some characters combined together make up a good comparison to Mary. This is a motif used often for Christ figures where three characters constitute together the roles of Christ (i.e., priest, prophet and king). Such is the case for Mary, albite unintentionally at times, in several of the fantasy universes discussed below.

Click here to see part 1 of this 3 part series.

In Star Trek

The best comparisons to Mary in Star Trek are in Star Trek: Deep Space Nice. In my previous article, I identified Captain Ben Sisco as the character closest to Christ in all of the various Star Trekseries. So, it should not be surprising that the character of his mother would be most like Mary. In the series’ last season, it is revealed that Ben’s true mother is not the mother he had known. Ben’s father, Joseph, tells Ben that his biological mother was named Sarah, who gave birth to Ben and then disappeared after Ben was a year old. But there’s more to it than that—similar to Mary, it turns out that Sarah was selected by the Prophets to be Sisco’s mother in order to bring him into existence. (The Prophets are spirit-like aliens so advanced they have difficulty understanding linear beings like ordinary humans.) In this case, a Prophet took over Sarah’s body so that she would have a child with Joseph.

Yet Sarah is unlike Mary in several ways. For one, she did not freely choose to become Ben’s mother, and after Ben was born, she leaves her family. (Ben mentions that he understands why she left as she hadn’t freely chosen to be his mother.) So alas, Sarah does not continue in Ben’s saving mission, and sadly, her ending is not a queenly one, but rather a death in an accident a few years later when Ben was still an infant.

However, there is another comparable example to Mary—in a very odd way. The Trill characters in DS9, Jadzia Dax and then Ezri Dax, are-mother-like beings in long-term pregnancies as hosts to a living, sexless extra body organ, a symbiont, who provides to their host additional abilities and a new, enhanced personality that combines the memories of all previous host/symbiont combinations, and a new last name (Dax). Once they are combined, the host will die if the symbiont is removed, but the symbiont can be transferred to another host. And while there are also male Trills with symbionts in the Star Trek universe, the Trill characters we know best in the show were female.

Like Mary, the Dax girls where chosen for the great honor of hosting an important person, they freely accept, and are transformed for their sacrifice. But unlike Mary, their transformation is only while they live with the symbiont inside and then they are replaced by the next host when their death is imminent.

As an aside, I suspect that the Trill species was invented to promote the world-view that the exterior body is not as meaningful as the inner spirit—that the two sexes are essentially interchangeable. However, I prefer to see the Trill host/symbiont character as a metaphor for marriage, where two persons unite to become one, each sacrificing something of themselves in order to create a greater combined unity. But in another sense, this alien species can also be seen as a witness to how motherhood changes a woman forever.

And one other aside: As there are anti-Christ figures in literature, there are also anti-Mary figures. The best of these in Star Trekis the Borg Queen, the mother of the Borg collective herself. She is everything evil that Mary is not, and this makes her an outstanding villain!

In Star Wars

There are characters in Star Wars, who combined together best make up the attributes of Mary. These characters are very important to the Star Warsstory and include Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia’s mother, Amidala, and Princess Leia herself. (I am leaving Rey out of this analysis because her story arch is still incomplete, and for the simple matter that I have not actually seen the most recent film.)

They are like Mary for being royalty and for fighting evil. Amidala is the Queen of Naboo, but is a humble person and often prefers that her body double take on the guise of queen so that she, Amidala, can be free to have adventures while pretending to be the queen’s servant. She eventually gives up the title of queen and takes an active role in fighting evil on all three prequal movies, but in the end, unfortunately dies in the process of giving birth.

Princess Leia continues her mother’s cause for fighting evil, taking an active role in the rebellion against the Empire. Her character is fearless and the voice of conscience, and her call to action is supremely inspiring to the men (often to their annoyance), forcing both Luke and Han Solo to become better men in the process of saving her from the clutches of Darth Vader, and then saving the Rebellion itself.

And after the Rebels’ final victory, the princess eventually becomes a general—perhaps like Mary’s later role as the Queen of Heaven. While Mary’s son’s victory over death took place nearly two-thousand years ago, the Devil, though finally defeated, is still a force to be reckoned with, with many battles still to be fought until the end of time. So too, Leia must contend with the Empire-like First Order. It’s indeed a pretender to the Galactic Empire, but it needs to be dealt with in these final times.

However, a third character, Anakin Skywalker’s mother, Shmi, was clearly intended to be a type of Mary in Star Wars. Like Mary, Shmi is a humble, ordinary girl, who gives birth to Anakin in a virgin birth, presumably begotten by the Force. Like Mary’s child, Anakin receives his “human” biology only from his mother. Shmi loves and cares for her son and makes the great sacrifice of allowing Anakin leave her so that he may go off to adventure and follow his vocation. But unlike Mary’s child, Anakin is unable to save his mother from harm and death. This is because Anakin, though powerful with the Force, was not the Force itself, nor is the Force the creator of the entire universe. This demonstrates how the mother of a great character can be transformed by their offspring, and thus, Shmi’s story might have been more like Mary’s if their sons were more equivalent, but Anakin, alas, is no Christ, and the Force is not (as far as we know) a divine person like the Holy Spirit.

****

Part 3: Next week, Comparing Mary with Fantasy Characters

Photo by Skitterphoto (Pixabay)