After the cringe of Anidala and the toxicity of Reylo, Han and Leia nonetheless have the most effective love story within the Skywalker saga.
Since George Lucas himself has admitted that romantic dialogue is one among his weaknesses, the Star Wars saga has all the time suffered within the love division. From poisonous relationships to incest, Star Wars love tales have by no means been one of many films’ biggest strengths. However everybody’s favourite galaxy far, distant does have one love story that rings true, nonetheless holds up right this moment (roughly), and feels proper at residence in Lucas’ pulpy universe: Han Solo and Leia Organa.
Not all of Star Wars’ non-Han and Leia romances are as woefully mishandled as Anidala or Reylo – there’s a handful of nice romantic arcs in The Clone Wars – however Han and Leia nonetheless share the defining love story of the Star Wars universe. Their relationship is likely one of the few beloved parts of the unique trilogy that wasn’t utterly destroyed by Disney’s Star Wars sequels. The Drive Awakens’ revelation that they broke up off-screen was fairly disappointing, however Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher nonetheless had simply as a lot chemistry as they did 30 years earlier and nailed the heartwarming reunion scene (and heartbreaking farewell scene). Give or take a few particulars like Leia consoling Rey after Han’s demise as a substitute of Chewie, their timeless arc from the unique trilogy stays intact.
The place Han and Leia have been the primary romance within the authentic trilogy, Anakin and Padmé’s forbidden love was the primary romance of the prequels and Rey and Ben Solo’s poisonous Drive dyad took over the sequels. Criticism of Anidala appears like a damaged file now, as a result of it’s been probably the most polarizing parts of the trilogy because it first hit theaters. Scenes like “I don’t like sand” are well known for his or her cringe issue. However at the very least Anakin and Padmé’s romance served a objective within the plot. The sequel trilogy’s Reylo storyline, however, all the time felt pressured. The Drive Awakens arrange Finn as Rey’s love curiosity and Kylo Ren as her mortal enemy, however The Final Jedi sidelined Finn and compelled a love story between Rey and Kylo, turning well-placed hatred into misguided affection. Then, The Rise of Skywalker doubled down on this dynamic to pander to the Reylo shippers within the viewers. It’s solely because of Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver’s chemistry that it’s even watchable.
The unique trilogy gave Han and Leia’s love story loads of room to breathe. After they first meet on the Demise Star within the authentic 1977 film, they hate one another. However, in contrast to Rey warming to Ben’s genocidal tendencies, it was plausible that they’d finally come to care about one another. After Han proves his capability for heroism within the Battle of Yavin, Leia realizes there is perhaps extra to the Corellian scoundrel than she initially thought. The opening scenes of The Empire Strikes Again give Han and Leia loads of causes to like one another and loads of causes to cover these emotions, then the inciting incident places them within the Millennium Falcon collectively on the lam from the Imperial fleet, forcing them to confront their romantic stress.
Whereas Anidala’s theme “Throughout the Stars” has sweeping orchestrations befitting a Shakespearean tragedy, “Han Solo and the Princess” stays John Williams’ finest composition capturing the complicated feelings of an on-screen romance. A whole lot of Han and Leia’s scenes in Empire got here from an early draft by Queen of House Opera Leigh Brackett, who had beforehand crafted the romantically charged dynamics of Marlowe and Vivian in The Huge Sleep and Likelihood and Feathers in Rio Bravo.
The arc of Han and Leia’s feelings in Empire rings a lot more true than that of Anakin and Padmé or Rey and Ben ever did. Their love story anchors a few of the most memorable moments in Empire, from their bickering masking affection on the Hoth base to their first kiss interrupted by C-3PO. And, in fact, all of it culminates in one of many film’s biggest moments (on par with Yoda lifting the X-wing, however not fairly on the identical stage as “I’m your father”) when Han is about to be frozen in carbonite. Leia says, “I really like you,” and Han, cool as ever, replies, “I do know.” Within the authentic script, Han was really alleged to say, “I really like you, too,” however Harrison Ford didn’t assume Han would say that, so he modified it to what has since change into probably the most iconic film quotes of all time.
With a decidedly lighter tone than Empire, Return of the Jedi gave much less of a highlight to Han and Leia’s love story to make method for extra Ewok antics. Nevertheless it nonetheless offered a satisfying conclusion to their arc. After the devastating last moments of Empire, Leia infiltrates Jabba’s palace to save lots of Han. Within the last battle on Endor, when Leia reveals the hid blaster that may save Han’s life, he says, “I really like you,” and this time, she’s the one who says, “I do know,” earlier than blowing away a few Stormtroopers. The emotional climax of Return of the Jedi is Darth Vader’s redemption in his son’s eyes, however the film additionally will get Han and Leia to a contented place after all of the tragedy and heartbreak they’ve been by.
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