The scoundrel and the princess. The smuggler and the senator. Han Solo and Leia Organa had the makings of an epic galactic romance coded into their story from the very beginning of the Star Wars saga.
With a story told in the traditional old Hollywood style of male bravado meets female resilience, Han and Leia’s chemistry was obvious the moment they shared the screen.
Whether anyone could have predicted that they would wind up married with a child who would hold sway over the galaxy, however, is an entirely different story.
Their relationship was far from a stable one– and how could it be, given their enormous personalities and distinct interests? However, no matter how rocky things could be, their love for one another remained constant.
Not even being frozen in Carbonite or indentured into Jabba the Hutt’s service could keep them separated for long. Although their story may have come to an untimely end, something tells us that we’ll never run out of new parts of their story to learn.
Here are the 15 Things You Never Knew About Han And Leia’s Relationship In Star Wars.
15. There was originally a much more serious love triangle between Han/Leia/Luke
It’s an awkward moment that Star Wars fans still struggle with all these years later. In order to make Han Solo jealous, Leia plants a kiss on Luke Skywalker’s lips, which he then clearly preens over to rub it in Han’s face even more.
As we all know, it turns out later that Luke and Leia are twins– and that Leia herself somehow claims to have “always known” they were. However, this late in the game reveal doesn’t solve any of the issues created by that one kiss.
However, George Lucas originally intended for a substantial Han/Leia/Luke love triangle to take place.
14. Han and Leia never told Ben that Darth Vader was his grandfather
In the novel Bloodline by Claudia Gray, Leia’s lineage as the daughter of Darth Vader is used as a political assault on her character as she rose to prominence within the Galactic Senate.
The reveal that no one outside of the immediate circle of those involved in the past battles knew of her heritage posed quite the surprise.
This surprise only intensified with the reveal that she had never made young Ben Solo privy to the truth of his ancestry. In the time during which Bloodline takes place, Ben is also roughly 23 years old, which means that he lived most of his life (as we now know him to be roughly 29) kept in the dark about this crucial truth.
13. There was a ten year age difference
A consistent component of classic Hollywood romance stories involved a considerable age difference between the leading lady and the leading man– almost universally, with the man being much older than the woman whom he was courting.
This can be seen across countless classic movies and TV shows alike, with the leading woman constantly being a few years younger than the man. Apparently, this same rule held true in the Star Wars universe.
If it weren’t already apparent based on the real life age gap between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, with Ford being 14 years older than Fisher, Han and Leia are, in fact, separated by ten years within the newly confirmed canon. Officially, Han was born in 29 BBY, while Leia was born in 19 BBY.
12. Ford improvised Han’s “I know” declaration
The romantic climax of Empire Strikes Back is unquestionably the moment when, just before he is lowered into carbonite, Han and Leia exchange a confession of their true feelings: “I love you.” “I know.”
Now far and wide considered one of the most iconic scenes of the entire franchise, it turns out that this scene originally played much differently.
Harrison Ford requested a change to the line, which previously had Han simply saying “I love you, too.”
An even earlier version of the script involved a markedly different dialogue exchange on both fronts. Rather than stating “I love you,” Leia would have said, “I love you. I couldn’t tell you before, but it’s true.” To that, Han, ever the confident one, would have answered, “Just remember that, ‘cause I’ll be back.”
11. His decision to change the line led to conflict between him and Fisher
However, even though Ford’s spur of the moment decision led the scene to become as resonant as it remains, Fisher’s response to the line change wasn’t exactly thrilled.
A strong and gifted writer herself, Fisher was apparently quite displeased with the fact that Ford had been allowed to change the scene’s content without consulting her.
The rift that resulted because of this decision led to the co-stars not even being on speaking terms when it came time to film that important scene.
Director Irvin Kershner explained the tension as follows: “Harrison is a very fine actor. I regarded that scene as entirely his, which is why I gave him so much opportunity to tell me how he thought we should treat it. That led to a little tension with Carrie.”
10. Ford and Fisher had an affair during the filming of A New Hope
It was a revelation that shook Hollywood and provided feelings of vindication for eagle-eyed Star Wars fans everywhere. In her 2016 memoir The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher finally confirmed that she and Harrison Ford had once engaged in an affair during the production of the Star Wars movies.
The circumstances of their relationship, however, were clearly less than ideal. As Fisher explained it, their entanglement took place during three months of production on A New Hope, when she was 19 and Ford was 33– and married. She also claimed that it was clearly infatuation, and once the production had wrapped, nothing more came of the affair.
9. Fisher and Ford were slightly drunk during the filming of the arrival in Cloud City
Actors partying hard on days off or after long shoots is more or less standard procedure on certain productions. With Star Wars having been filmed in the heyday of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as on location in England, it was essentially all but guaranteed that partying would reach impressively intense levels.
What most fans may not know, however, is just how rowdy one particular night of partying got– and the effect it had on production the following day.
According to Carrie Fisher, she and Harrison Ford once partied with Eric Idle and The Rolling Stones during the production of Empire Strikes Back If you look closely enough, she claimed, during Han and Leia’s arrival in Cloud City, you can see that the two of them are clearly still riding a bit of a buzz.
8. Han may have been married when he and Leia first met
With the original Expanded Universe now having been deemed Legends, and an entire bevy of new content being written to fill in the gaps between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, it was only a matter of time before some truly shocking revelations came to light.
Look no further than the reveal that Han Solo may, at one time, have been married– albeit illegitimately– to someone who was not named Leia Organa. Even further, the reveal included the fact that he very well may have been married at the time he first met– and fell for– Leia.
Sana Starros was introduced as someone from Han’s shadier past who claimed that they were married as part of a con job. While this doesn’t exactly make for the strongest of cases, it was no doubt a shock to the system for all comics readers.
7. Ben turning dark wasn’t the only reason why their marriage fell apart
Many fans have reasonably assumed that the reason for Han and Leia’s separation, as revealed in The Force Awakens, was their son’s tragic fall to the dark side of the Force.
However, while that certainly played a large part in their separation, it turns out that there was growing tension and distance long before that.
In fact, the tension that grew and led to their distancing from one another is, unfortunately, something that could likely never have been avoided. Due to Leia’s workaholic commitment, and Han’s inability to handle stress and the need to run away when it presents itself, the two found themselves confronted with fundamentally incompatible lifestyles.
No matter how much they loved one another, or how invested in their family they may have been, their work lives, in addition to their stubborn personalities, would never have allowed for a perfect union.
6. The carbonite scene only happened because Ford wasn’t sure he wanted to agree to a third movie
As we’ve already discussed, Han and Leia’s first exchange of their true feelings stands to this day as one of the most iconic and important scenes in the entire Star Wars franchise. However, it’s entirely possible that this scene may have never existed at all.
The only reason why this scene was included in the script, as it turns out, was because Harrison Ford was unwilling to commit to starring in a third movie at that time.
While Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher had both already signed on to return for Return of the Jedi, Ford had done no such thing.
5. Han and Lando taught Leia to play Sabacc
It isn’t exactly news that Han Solo was a prolific gambler. After all, he won the Millennium Falcon in a bet against Lando Calrissian, and the sequel trilogy has decided to use his golden dice as the emblem for his character from The Last Jedi onward.
However, what may come as a surprise is the fact that, along with Lando, Han apparently taught Leia to play Sabacc, a notoriously difficult game somewhat similar to our Blackjack.
After she learned– and as ever, she was quite the quick learner– Leia soon proved herself to be an expert in the game, beating her opponents routinely regardless of whether the odds were in her favor.
4. Han never imagined having children, but Leia had very different ideas
Also in Gray’s novel Bloodline, it’s revealed that Han found himself initially unsettled by the reality that he was now a father.
Worried at every turn about potentially screwing up their child, he frankly admitted to Leia that he had never imagined having children.
Leia, however, was quick to counter with her own confession regarding their life together. She was quite certain he would be a great father, she assured him, before going one step further and saying he would be a wonderful grandfather, too.
3. Han couldn’t stay settled during their marriage
It’s hard to imagine either Han or Leia settling into a life of domestic bliss and becoming the perfect married couple, sitting together by the fire and reading the newspaper daily.
Part of what makes them so exciting as a couple to begin with is their mutual tendencies to buck convention and go wherever the wind may take them.
Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their marriage was entirely unconventional. Rather than staying put at home while Leia served in the Galactic Senate, Han in turn took up work as a racing pilot and instructor for up and coming generations of pilots who wanted to learn how to fly from the greatest hotshot pilot there ever was.
2. Leia knew that Ben had great darkness within him, but never told Han
Han’s reluctance to accept the workings of the Force was one of the most fundamental parts of his character in the original trilogy. An outsider to the connection shared by Luke, Obi-Wan, and even Leia herself, he served as a voice of “reason” when things seemed like they were headed into the entirely elemental and spiritual territory of the Force.
However, it was Han’s status as an outsider and a non-believer that perhaps led to one of the most avoidable tragedies in the entirety of Star Wars.
Leia had sensed from the womb that there was something dark inside of Ben– thanks in large part to her awareness of Snoke’s interest in him– but she never thought to tell Han of anything that was happening, because– as he was non-Force-sensitive– he couldn’t possibly have understood.
So rather than talk it out, Ben was sent off to Luke’s for training, and the rest is history./>
1. They had always planned for a “someday” in which they could reconnect
As Galactic heroes turned cultural icons and important leaders, whether in the world of the Senate or in the instruction of the next generation of pilots, Han and Leia never really got a break to take time for themselves.
Over the course of Claudia Gray’s Bloodline, the long-time married couple frequently fantasize about taking some time away together and just traveling from system to system in the Millennium Falcon, letting all their obligations fall away.
Of course, given the tense nature of Leia’s work life, and Han’s likelihood to be called away at a moment’s notice for some sort of pilot commitment, scheduling this time together proved more difficult than it should have.
However, they vowed to one another that “someday” would happen for them– that they would find the time to reconnect, and be together, and be happy.
Yet no matter how inspired by fairytales Star Wars may be, it seems as though happily ever after was never truly meant for these two star-crossed lovers.
What other facts about Han and Leia’s iconic relationship in Star Wars do you know? Let us know in the comments!
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