My Mother's Dreams is a short story by Brandon Rhea. The story, framed in the ending of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is a flashback to just after the Battle of Endor and sees Princess Leia learning about her mother, Padmé Amidala, from Mon Mothma.
My Mother's Dreams was inspired by an interview given by Greg Rucka, the author of the Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic book miniseries. The title was also a play on My Father's Dreams, a story I once toyed with writing but never did.
In Rucka's interview, conducted with StarWars.com, Rucka talks about the inclusion of Princess Leia in the series and how, by the time the series is set, Leia had likely learned that Padmé Amidala was her real mother. When dealing with the truth that her father was Darth Vader, Rucka suggested that Leia would have likely asked Mon Mothma about Padmé, knowing that the Rebel leader would have been friends with Leia's late mother. The relevant section of the interview is as follows:
My Mother's Dreams became my take on what that story could be. After reading the interview, I scripted out the basic dialogue of the scene between Leia and Mon Mothma. The dialogue came to me pretty quickly; there felt like there was a natural flow to the conversation, and natural questions and reservations that Leia would have. It also afforded me an opportunity to tie the scene into the Star Wars: Princess Leia comic book mini-series, in which Leia travels to Naboo as part of her mission to save the survivors of Alderaan. She sees a mural of the young Queen Amidala and is personally affected by it, though she does not know why she was affected. That question is answered by My Mother's Dreams. I was also able to tie in Mon Mothma's experiences with Padmé and Bail Organa during Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Mon Mothma's line about how "the simplest gesture of kindness can fill a galaxy with hope," a Jedi saying, was also said by Bail Organa to Kanan Jarrus in "Droids in Distress," an episode of Star Wars Rebels.
The biggest problem I encountered was how to frame the scene. At first I thought about setting it on a ship after the Battle of Endor, but then I decided Leia might have wandered away from the Ewok village in order to make sense of everything that had happened to her on Endor. Still, though, that did not seem like enough, so I let the dialogue sit without writing the narrative. After I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I realized that the scene in which Leia and Rey meet for the first time provided the perfect backdrop. In seeing Rey, Leia would remember what she learned about Padmé. Leia would be able to see that while she may not have been able to fulfill her mother's dreams (hence the title), a new generation of heroes, led by Rey, might finally be able to do so. Between that and the references to Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, I found a way to further connect the entire saga, from the prequels to the sequels.
The novel Bloodline, written by Claudia Gray and released after I wrote My Mother's Dreams, contradicts the story. Canonically, as revealed in the novel, Mon Mothma suspected that Darth Vader was Leia's father but never knew for sure. However, I have no plans of revising the story, as it reflects my idea at the time of what the conversation between Leia and Mon Mothma might have looked like.
“It's been awhile since I last read anything from Brandon Rhea, but I will tell you this: Brandon's all about getting into the head of his characters and understanding and explaining what's going on in there. That's a very noticeable trait of his writing and it's on full display here, as most of the story occurs within a few in-universe moments, with a flashback memory occupying much of the plot. Yet the gravity and emotional context of that moment has quite the story to tell, and despite my personal distaste for JJWars, I did appreciate this story for what it does--in fact, the crux of it, absent the framing device, could just as easily be applied to traditional canon. Some of the emotional links that Leia makes to her mother seem a bit tenuous for me, and I think Brandon somewhat overemphasizes the importance of Leia's newfound connection within a single moment rather than understating it or at least developing it over time. I feel it would have been more of a gradual recognition rather than a single epiphany as Brandon portrayed it. Nevertheless, I found this story compelling and well-written. 4.5/5 narrative, 4.5/5 technical.”―Atarumaster88[src]
“Excellent introspection and insights! True about any time and place not repeating the past mistakes and making better futures.”―WarmNyota_SweetAyesha[src]
“Excellent story. Leia's perspective on how affairs have progressed in the galaxy is so important to the story going forward into Episodes VIII and IX. Labelled as a pariah by her own government for telling the truth...and then everything she feared would happen came to pass...she's the best person to guide everyone, even Luke, out of the darkness back into light. I like the idea that Leia discovers more about her parents from Mon Mothma. Their relationship was tricky in the EU, so it's lovely to see that you allow them to have a better connection.”―leiamoody[src]
“References to the Princess Leia comic miniseries (colony in Keren, Naboo etc)? Four women, character exploration and connections among them? Mon Mothma as one of the characters? Mentions of the Ewok village? It's hard to buy me, but I'm sold. :p That said, from what I have seen of the old EU, I have to agree that I did not find Mon and Leia's relationship satisfying at all. It seemed pretty clumsy that somebody who was present when Padmé died would be so hard on her daughter. This is much more satisfying. Others have said pretty much everything before me, so just one more thing: love the way you structured this. Not all non-linear things end up this good and effective. One can see you know what you're doing!”―Ewok Poet[src]
“Nothing can make me happier than having read this fanfic. It gives me a new hope for Leia´s heart and life. She will not die of a broken heart like her mother. Instead she will continue the fight, in memory of Han and her mother.”―AzureAngel2[src]
“I love this fic. So much. [face_love] Leia, Rey, Mon Mothma, and Padmé...Leia learning more about Padmé, her musings on the past and the future, the sense of hope even in so much darkness, that last line...it's all just wonderful. [...] Thank you for sharing this!”―amidalachick[src]
“I would have loved to have seen a scene like this in the movie or book. It’s so nice to see Leia learn just a bit about both her biological parents, especially since she was able to use that knowledge to give her the strength, courage and conviction to continue her life-long battle. Great job on this”―KELIA[src]
“I really enjoyed this. The air of sorrowful contemplation was very visceral, it was easy to identify and sympathize with Leia and the shadows cast by both her parents legacy. The struggle forward despite her heartache is such a cornerstone of Leia's character in the OT after watching Alderaans destruction, her work to rebuild the Republic and hold her family together in the EU, and in her actions in the new Canon, and I feel like you captured it really well here. I also liked you humanizing Mon Mothma, her relationship as both a leader and a pseudo-mother figure to Leia was clearly shown and felt very natural between the two.”―Rom[src]
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