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|Star Wars character|
|Created by||George Lucas|
|Full name||Bail Prestor Organa|
|Title||First Chairman and Viceroy|
|Children||Leia Organa (adoptive)|
Senator Bail Prestor Organa of Alderaan is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. Mentioned in the first film, A New Hope, and portrayed by Jimmy Smits in the prequel trilogy films Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), and the anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), he is a member of the Galactic Senate representing his home planet of Alderaan in the Galactic Senate, and the adoptive father of Princess Leia Organa. He also secretly serves as a member of the Rebel Alliance, of which he is a founding member. Bail and his wife Breha are killed when Alderaan is destroyed by the Death Star in A New Hope.
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Creation and development
A 1974 script draft of the 1977 film Star Wars by George Lucas has a character named Bail Antilles, a galactic trader who is first introduced on the planet Alderaan. The name "Bail Antilles" would later be mentioned in The Phantom Menace as one of the candidates running for Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.
Princess Leia's father, named "Prestor", was introduced in the 1981 Star Wars radio drama and voiced by Stephen Elliott. The character is named Bail Prestor Organa in the 1997 novel The Paradise Snare by A. C. Crispin.
Bail was originally portrayed by Adrian Dunbar in a deleted scene in The Phantom Menace, but his scenes were cut. He was later portrayed by Jimmy Smits in Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and Rogue One. The character is voiced by Phil LaMarr in the 3D CGI animated television series The Clone Wars and Rebels. Dunbar's likeness would later be used for Senator Bail Antilles.
Bail does not appear in the original film, Star Wars (1977, later subtitled A New Hope), but he is still an important part of the plot; he is mentioned by Princess Leia within the hologram that she sends to Tatooine hidden within the droid R2-D2. Within the hologram, Leia asks Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi to deliver the plans of the planet-destroying Death Star space station, to her and her father Bail's home planet Alderaan. The Death Star's commander, Grand Moff Tarkin, orders Alderaan destroyed when Leia refuses to tell him the real location of the Rebel base; it is implied that Bail is killed, along with the rest of the planet's population save Leia, when it is destroyed by the Death Star's superlaser.
While Bail is not mentioned directly in Return of the Jedi, the films expands upon some of his backstory from A New Hope, revealing Leia is not Bail's biological daughter. Her biological father is revealed to be series antagonist Darth Vader, formerly Anakin Skywalker, a fallen Jedi who turned to the dark side of the Force. Leia's biological mother is mentioned but not given a name, nor a backstory.
Bail does not appear in the sequel trilogy. However, in The Last Jedi, set 34 years after A New Hope, he is mentioned when R2-D2 replays the hologram from A New Hope in an attempt to convince Luke Skywalker to help Leia and the newly formed Resistance fight the tyrannical First Order.
The Phantom Menace
Adrian Dunbar was cast as Bail Organa for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and appeared in costume in publicity stills, but his scene was ultimately cut. Dunbar's likeness was retconned into the appearance of the character Bail Antilles.
Attack of the Clones
Released in 2002, and taking place 22 years before A New Hope, Attack of the Clones features Bail Organa, depicting him as an influential senator of Alderaan. He participates in a discussion with Jedi Masters Yoda and Mace Windu about the Separatist movement led by Count Dooku. Chancellor Palpatine of Naboo suggests that Padmé Amidala be put under the protection of the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is training young Anakin Skywalker. After the Battle of Geonosis, Bail meets with Palpatine and other senators as the new army of clone troopers are preparing to fight in the newly declared Clone Wars.
Revenge of the Sith
In Revenge of the Sith (2005), Bail thanks Obi-Wan and Anakin for defeating Dooku and saving Palpatine in the Battle of Coruscant. Later, Bail stumbles upon a clone trooper attack on the Jedi Temple, but escapes to warn other Jedi that their order is under attack, saving Yoda and Obi-Wan in the process. He then goes to the Senate, watching helplessly as Palpatine - who is secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, the mastermind of the war - reforms the Republic into the tyrannical Galactic Empire, with himself as Emperor. After Yoda fails to kill Palpatine in a duel, Bail helps the Jedi Master escape. After Padmé dies while giving birth to twins, Bail and his wife, Queen Breha, adopt Padmé's daughter, Leia, to hide the child from her biological father, Anakin, who has become the Sith Lord Darth Vader.
In the 2016 prequel film Rogue One, set directly before A New Hope, Bail is present at a meeting of the Rebel Alliance on Yavin 4 to discuss the new Imperial superweapon, the Death Star. Mon Mothma asks Bail to bring Obi-Wan out of hiding on Tatooine, and he decides to assign one of his most trusted agents to the task: his daughter Leia. He goes to await Leia's arrival on his home planet Alderaan.
A New Hope
While Bail does not appear onscreen in this film, he has a connection to it. When the captured Leia lies about the Rebel base being on Dantooine (due to the Empire standing ready to destroy both Alderaan and the Rebel base on Yavin IV), Tarkin did indeed believe her, but he still ordered Alderaan's destruction, resulting in the deaths of Bail and his wife, Breha, along with many others.
The Clone Wars (2008–2020)
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Bail is voiced by Phil LaMarr in this animated series. He is made aware of the Rebel cell on Lothal in the 2014 series premiere "Droids in Distress," and later sends a small fleet of frigates to aid in their escape in the season 1 finale, "Fire Across the Galaxy". He periodically reappears to send supplies and assign missions to the crew of the Ghost. In the 2017 episode "Twin Suns," it is revealed that though Bail had publicly confirmed Obi-Wan's death, the Jedi is actually alive and in hiding on Tatooine.
Bail appears in the 2008 video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. He is captured by Maris Brood on the planet of Felucia, after going after Jedi Master Shaak Ti. Unbeknownst to Bail, Shaak Ti was killed by the Sith assassin, Starkiller, who is Vader's apprentice. Starkiller eventually rescues Bail as he creates the Rebel Alliance. Bail is once again voiced by Jimmy Smits.
Bail appears in the 2017 novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan, in which his daughter Leia discovers that he is secretly involved in a rebellion against the Empire. He also appears briefly in the 2016 novel Ahsoka.
- Bray, Adam (2019). Ultimate Star Wars: New Edition. London, England: DK. p. 48. ISBN 9781465479006.
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- Davis, Ryan "20 Times ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Made Surprising Connections, and 1 Unforgettable Moment" Cheetsheet.com, published March 11, 2018
- Colbert, Stephen M. (October 16, 2016). "Star Wars: 15 Secrets Revealed In The New Ahsoka Novel". Screen Rant.