Twins in Media (Round 2):Luke and Leia vs. Jacob and Evie Frye

Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’. Copyright goes to Lucasfilm Ltd. and Walt Disney Studios.

Hey! Hallie here!

We’re back with a bit of a late entry to round two of Twins in Media. This time we’re putting some of our action/adventure twins up against each other. With the field narrowed, that means Luke and Leia from the Star Wars franchise are going to be battling it out against Jacob and Evie Frye from the Assassins Creed franchise. As usual, the goal is to see which set of twins is the best portrayal of real twins. This one is going to be tough because I gave both of these twins high praise in my previous posts. However, each of them also have major problems that could absolutely lose them the round. Let’s see which franchise writes their twin characters the best!

Audience Perspective:

Luke and Leia: First off, these two get their own storylines right away. There really isn’t any plotline that pairs them together just because they’re siblings. Most of the time that’s because the characters themselves don’t know that they’re siblings. Nor do the audience. And it’s very likely the writers didn’t know they were siblings either. To be honest, there isn’t anything in the first few movies to indicate that the two are related. I’m completely on the team that believes George Lucas decided on this story aspect late in the original trilogy. Which is nice, in a way, because that means Luke and Leia avoid a lot of twin tropes. However, this also lead to some awkward moments. Like Luke attempting to tell Han to back off in the first movie because Luke had a crush on his sister. Gross. Leia also kisses Luke in the second movie to convince Han that she isn’t interested in him. Which is even more disgusting. Putting aside the slight hinting at incest, these two are pretty good. They care for each other but don’t rely on one another. They each have individual, personal journeys. Leia is attempting to balance her position as general with her growing feelings for Han. Meanwhile, on a completely different planet, Luke is learning how to become a Jedi and maturing because of it. When their paths converge they have the same goal, defeating the Empire, but they go about it different ways. Leia is focused on taking down the Empire’s forces while Luke is focused on the eventual altercation he has to have with his father. They are each able to grow as individuals and the audience easily sees them as two separate entities.

Jacob and Evie Frye: These two also have a nice balance between individual storylines and plot points that cause their stories to converge. The nature of ‘Assassins Creed: Syndicate’ is that the player has to spend an equal amount of time playing with both Jacob and Evie. Because of this, each character has a separate storyline for the player to enjoy as they’re playing with each character. There are definitely some missions where the character you aren’t playing as will pop up, but these become fewer as the game goes on. Mostly because the two main characters begin fighting. In the game Evie and Jacob have the same goal, which is to free the surrounding area from Templar reign. However, Evie would rather focus her efforts on recapturing and studying the Piece of Eden the Templar’s posses, which is the most valuable possession the Templars have. Jacob, on the other hand, would rather antagonize and assassinate the Templars causing the major problems. This creates conflict between them, so while both of them must help each other because it’s their job to do so, they often prefer to go off on their own. This leads to a story about Evie gaining as much intel on the Templars as possible while befriending, and eventually gaining romantic feelings for, her colleague, Henry Green. At the same time, Jacob uses his charms to get more information on his targets and suddenly finds himself trusting the wrong people and having to redefine his morals. The game allows each character to be complete without the other, but still prioritizes exploring their sibling relationship, especially through their fights.

Winner: This has to go to Jacob and Evie. These two are noticeably lacking in any incestuous undertones. They also have more in the way of exploring their sibling relationship. Luke and Leia spend nearly no time exploring, or even discussing, their sibling relationship. Jacob and Evie go from being best friends to constantly annoying one another. As the game goes on, their relationship repairs and they realize how much they value each other. On top of that, these two get separate storylines while the game acknowledges that they’re twins. It’s far more impressive to see media writing twin characters as individuals when they actually establish their characters as twins, as opposed to waiting until the last minute to reveal their twin characters are related.

Twin Perspective:

Luke and Leia: I already mentioned above that it doesn’t seem like these two were written to be twins at all. They avoid every single trope. There really isn’t much to talk about here. They could fall into the Twincest trope, but it isn’t because of a genuine attraction to each other. Luke has what’s portrayed as a childish and momentary crush on Leia in the first movie. If anything, his momentary interest is used to further Han’s interest in Leia. Afterwards it’s never mentioned again. And Leia definitely only kisses Luke because she’s angry at Han. These moments are more disturbingly awkward than completely damning. Aside from this they could also be considered for the Twin Telepathy trope. This because of the moment at the end of the second film where Leia is able to sense Luke on Bespin. But this moment comes before the two are revealed to be twins, and it’s only used to show that Leia is also strong with the force. In the end, neither of these tropes really apply to them. Their biggest problem is that they never act like more than good friends. They simply weren’t written like siblings.

Jacob and Evie: These two have one major trope they suffer from. That would be the Opposites trope. Jacob is seen as brash and reckless. Evie is calculating and reasonable. Even the skill trees used in the game make them seem like opposites. Evie’s skills all rely on stealth while Jacob’s rely on brute strength. In reality twins aren’t opposites. There are plenty of differences and commonalities between us, just like there are with any set of siblings. What does kind of save them from completely falling to this trope is the fact that they are both very obviously interested in the same things. They are both Assassins who enjoy their jobs. They both got into the business together and made a name for themselves together. Throughout the game they make many mutual friends on top of the people they create relationships with separately. It’s an excellent balance that creates much needed similarities between the characters. There’s also something that can be said about these two fighting throughout the entire game, which media seems to like a lot when portraying sibling relationships (See Thor and Loki). But this isn’t a gripe with how the game portrays twins specifically.

Winner: Luke and Leia. They literally suffer from no tropes. There’s some really awkward parts of their story I don’t love talking about, but, in the end, they’re written without any major issue for me to complain about. They don’t even suffer from the Opposites trope, despite their wildly different personalities. There isn’t anything that specifically goes out of it’s way to make these two seem like complete opposites, and they pretty obviously befriend the same people and devote themselves to the same cause almost immediately. They have different ways of approaching their relationships and responsibilities, which is realistic and never goes so far as to become a trope.

Winner: One group won each category so this is down to the finer details. And looking back, Jacob and Evie Frye win this one. They win for one major reason; They’re actually written like siblings. Despite suffering from a major trope, they at least have a story that allows them to be individuals while still exploring their relationship as twins. Luke and Leia don’t have this at all. While this does mean that Luke and Leia suffer from less tropes, it also means they’re less relatable to twins and siblings in general. Also, Jacob and Evie don’t kiss each other. I would like to point out that both of the sets of twins for this battle were opposite-sex twins. This is worth mentioning because opposite-sex twins always get more individuality than any same-sex twins in media. Eventually I would like to see same-sex twins written with the same care, even if they do look more similar than twins of different genders.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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