“Han, why is our son such a space loser?”
Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers of sci-fi, space and tech. There’s a special challenge involved with mothering in the future, and it goes beyond the regular parenting perennials of diapers and driver’s ed. Here we salute some of the ultra-modern moms and the families they founded.
The mom we can’t bear to blame: General Leia Organa
“I should’ve known there was something wrong when he always wanted to go to Grandpa’s.”
It’s tough to think of the sassy princess turned general and not miss actress Carrie Fisher, who died in December at just 60. We don’t know much about Leia as a mother from “The Force Awakens,” though we do know a lot about her son with Han Solo, Ben aka Kylo Ren. Leia, we love you, but where did you go wrong? At least Anakin can blame his turn to the Dark Side on losing his mother at an early age, but where were you when Ben was subscribing to Sith Lord magazine and dropping out of Jedi Academy to attend Bad Guy Community College? Where was Han, for that matter? OK, never mind. Stuff happens.
Let’s just pretend Leia as a mom was every bit as spunky as Fisher in real life, and that Ben was just one of those kids that no one could handle.
The badass mom: Ellen Ripley
Ripley wasn’t Newt’s real mom, but that didn’t matter.
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has a tragic mom backstory. When she came out of hypersleep in “Aliens,” her daughter Amanda had died without ever seeing her again. (Trivia: The photo of an elderly Amanda shown to Ripley is Weaver’s own mother.) So it’s no wonder that when young Newt (Carrie Henn) is in danger, Ripley’s mothering instincts kick in and she goes up against the Mother of all Aliens in her power-loader (which you can now buy as a Christmas ornament, because… it’s so jolly?)
Ripley, if we ever needed to go up against the fourth-grade bully on the playground, you’re the mom we want to come stomping off the park bench to put him in his place.
The calm, cool and collected mom: Beverly Crusher
Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) had an awesome mom (Gates McFadden) and an incredible place to grow up — the Enterprise-D.
Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) scored big when he landed Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) as his mom. She was a brainy doctor, she was beautiful and few people in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” were as rational as well as cool-headed. It’s not like she had an easy life either — husband Jack was killed on an away mission when Wesley was only 5. She managed, somehow, to juggle both regular mom duties (“Shouldn’t you be getting a haircut, Wesley?”) and the make-them-up-as-you-go rules that come with raising a son on a starship.
We didn’t see much of her with very young Wesley, but she once told Data a story about how she attempted to explain the meaning of life to her son, ending up by realizing that it was the journey, the struggle, that mattered, not the reason. Just so happened their journey took place aboard the Enterprise-D.
The mysterious mom: Dana Scully
Children never did well in “The X-Files,” so it’s no surprise motherhood wasn’t easy for Dana Scully.
Poor Dana Scully from “The X-Files.” Motherhood was as mysterious and heart-wrenching for her as one of her supernatural cases with partner Fox Mulder. First, daughter Emily was apparently conceived from Scully’s ova while she was abducted, and then she died tragically as well as early. Later, Scully gave up son William — whose powers included telekinesis — for adoption, believing it was the safest thing for him. And it probably was, given the track record of children in “The X-Files,” but that doesn’t mean it was one bit easy for his mom.
The magical mom: Molly Weasley
Molly Weasley didn’t have a lot of money, but she had courage and spunk to spare.
Poor Harry Potter lost his mother early, and his horrible Aunt Petunia was no substitute. Thankfully, he met Hogwarts classmate Ron Weasley, and Rob’s large, red-headed, energetic family that includes mom Molly Weasley (played by Julie Walters in “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” above). She didn’t have much money to raise her large brood, but she took in Harry like another son without thinking twice.
Molly faced some of the worst situations a mother could have in the final chapters of the Harry Potter books, but still she stood up to the evil that threatened them all, taking on the savage Bellatrix Lestrange to save her daughter Ginny. Spoiler: Harry had extra reason to be thankful for that later, when he and Ginny eventually wed, making Molly his mother-in-law.
Elastigirl / Helen Parr
– It’s certainly not a stretch to say that she’s a great mom. She does everything she can to protect her family, even at great risk to herself. And it has to be tough raising kids with superpowers (see Martha Kent, above) — we never get to see what Violet was like as a little kid, but can you imagine having a toddler who could turn invisible?!
Who else could be at number 1? When it comes to standing up for your family, she goes far beyond what most people are capable of. She would do, and does, just about anything to ensure her son John’s safety, not just because she knows he’s supposed to grow up to be the savior of humanity but because he’s her son and anyone who wants to hurt him will have to go through her first. She may not always know the right words to say to John, but sometimes actions speak louder than words, right?