As a little Mothers’ Day treat, I thought I’d compile a little list of the fictional moms and mother figures that come to mind as noteworthy or have an impact in their respected stories. This is by no means a definitive list, these are simply the main five that came to mind today.
Leia Organa-Solo/Padme Amidala (Star Wars)
This was a tricky space to do because I was on the fence with both of them for different reasons. Let’s start with Leia.
Although Leia Organa-Solo is one of the strongest female characters in movie history, her role as mother didn’t come about until recently with the Disney movies. (The EU…sorry, Legends books did an amazing job of depicting her as such but that’s all out the window now) Most of her legacy is steeped in the original trilogy, and she is unfortunately under-utilized in the new films. What there is of her in the recent films was never handled that well, and her scenes are mere shadows of her former representation. That is thematically accurate though, considering the path that has come from her son Ben aka Kylo Ren, but when it comes right down to it, Ren has become a horrible character as well, and so the motherhood angle of Leia’s character never truly rises to the level it could have.
Padme squeaks her way in simply because of the legacy her kids become. Although she dies at childbirth, and therefore never has much of a further presence in the story, the mere fact that those kids are freakin’ Luke and Leia are enough to gain her some mention.
Susan Storm-Richards aka Invisible Woman (The Fantastic Four)
I am of course referring to the comic iteration here, as her mother status has yet to be depicted on the big screen really. This woman is a juggler. On any given day she balances super-heroics, a science-obsessed/often neglectful husband, media junkets, philanthropy, gal-palling with other super-heroines, deflecting the romantic interests of the likes of Dr Doom and Namor, and organizing the goings-on at the Baxter Building, all while also being the mother to one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe, Franklin Richards. She deserves some recognition.
Marge Simpson (The Simpsons)
Although the Simpsons are about as dysfunctional as they come, the glue of them is definitely found in Marge. She is the loving mother who is often overlooked and under-appreciated in the broader scheme of things. I probably would have given Marge an actual rating, but I haven’t watched the show in well over a decade so can’t be certain where the quality or nuance of her character is now.
Ok, on to the ranked entries;
#5. Charlotte (Charlotte’s Web)
This one may seem to have come out of left field, but keep this in mind; I’m not keeping the list to only biological mothers, and Charlotte was most certainly a mother-figure to Wilbur the pig. She watched over him, protected him, and kept the farce going so he wouldn’t be slaughtered. Then, although she died giving birth to her own children, they then became Wilbur’s friends, giving him a continued family, and continuing her legacy. She played a HUGE part in raising Wilbur, and so gets the #5 spot for that.
#4. Helen Parr aka Elastigirl (The Incredibles)
Elastigirl shares a lot of the same characteristics Sue Storm has (superhero family etc), but gained the #4 spot as opposed to the former because while Sue Storm is depicted as a capable mother in the comics, her mainstream persona in the movies have not. The Incredibles movie (and soon to be sequel) highlight this aspect much more, and to great effect. From what I understand of the coming sequel, these themes are explored even more in the new one.
#3. Molly Weasley (Harry Potter)
Mrs Weasley is put through a lot in the Potter films. In addition to dealing with her own Weasley clan, Molly is also quick to include Harry, Hermione and others into that care. She can always be depended on, and in the final battle of Hogwarts, really shows how much of a fighter she can be too.
#2. Sarah Connor (Terminator)
Sarah Connor is a fighter. She went from waitress to bad-ass survivor and protector of the future hero of mankind. John Connor, the one to be humanity’s hope in the fight against the future Skynet threat, would be nothing if not for Sarah’s influence and help. Played superbly by Linda Hamilton, I still think Terminator 2 is the greatest action film ever made, and in no small part due to her contributions. The Terminator was programmed to be a bad-ass, but Sarah Connor forged herself into one.
#1. The Alien Queen (Alien Franchise)
Even just for sheer practicality reasons, I had to put the Alien Queen at the top. This Queen spawns countless offspring, all of whom are the embodiment of future humanity’s fears. She is the antithesis to one of movie history’s greatest female action heroes (Ripley, of course), and played a part in one of the greatest showdown scenes ever (the exo-suit fight). Alien Queen for the win.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms/step-moms/foster moms/surrogates/clone donors/etc out there. Have a great one!