Star Wars: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Han And Leia's Relationship
Let’s first take a moment to celebrate one of the great movie romances of all time between Princess Leia and Han Solo. Their dysfunctional yet enduring relationship has inspired tears, cheers, and plenty of frustrations over the years, so it deserves its due as a legendary pairing. But the critical thinkers and over-thinkers out there have long sensed the pea in the mattress that this particular Princess should have felt long ago. Lots of people are thinking it, so it’s ok to just come out and say it… A lot of things don’t make sense about this relationship! Could Han and Leia really have made a go of it in real life? It’s not that the Star Wars movies were afraid to tackle the conflicts that arose between Leia and Han and at least they were honest about the problems that were bound to exist between these two. But the fact that this couple got together in spite of some really glaring issues leaves us scratching our heads in spite of our best efforts to forget about the paradoxes. So it’s time to put those pesky peeves out in the open.
From personality conflicts to family differences to open aggression that should have raised some red flags to begin with, Han and Leia’s relationship is glossed over with a heavy and distracting layer of things that just don’t make sense. Talking about serious concerns is infinitely healthier than keeping them bottled up, so here’s to hoping that an honest conversation about this dysfunctional relationship can either confirm our suspicious or clear them forever! Here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Han And Leia's Relationship.
20 Leia is selfless and Han is selfish
We know that Han and Leia are both fearless fighters who are ready to risk it all to protect what they care about, but what are their real motivations? What is it exactly that each will risk life and limb to safeguard?
Leia clearly cares deeply about the greater good and her primary thought is saving the galaxy.
She’s totally unselfish and would even hazard her own health to secure the welfare of others. Meanwhile, Han is looking out for Number One. His motivations are purely selfish and the big picture of the fight is completely lost on him at times. Though their differing reasons sometimes found them fighting in cooperation with each other, let’s not be fooled into thinking they always had the same goal in mind.
19 She's way too young for him
Age is just a number, it’s true. And the older you get, the less an age difference matters in a relationship. Dating someone a bit younger or older can be great and truly expand your perspectives and experiences. However, Han and Leia jumped the gun just a bit in this case. Estimates put her at about age 19 in Episode IV, when Han would have been around 30 – in modern terms, this would put her just out of high school and him about a decade into a career. While the match isn’t out of the question, it doesn’t feel organic and would definitely be frowned upon in some circles. Advance both of them a few years down the road and it’s a possibility, but the dynamic is kind of hard to believe as it stands.
18 Han is chauvinistic, while Leia is a strong, independent woman
Leia is a princess. She’s used to authority, independence, and respect – not the kind that is demanded, but the kind that is earned. Even though she transcends the roles of royalty and gender, she’s still the very definition of a strong, independent woman. So how does she supposedly succumb to the charms of a chauvinistic guy with more swagger than brains? Simply saying that good girls sometimes like bad boys doesn’t cut it, as Leia has enough worldly experience to render that point moot. A confident, self-possessed woman of royalty could easily put a guy like Han in his place (and has probably had to a few times). So having her fall for a cocky jerk doesn’t feel very authentic.
17 They only thing they have in common is... Luke
Let’s talk about the commonalities (or the lack thereof) between Leia and Han for a minute. What are they? Do they share the same interests, have the same goals, or run in the same circles? Or is there at least enough respect between the two that their differences could inspire and educate each other? Sign these two up for eHarmony or OkCupid and they would be a 0% match and never cross paths. Ok, maybe a 1% match, because all they really have in common is a mutual friend: Luke. It’s through Luke that they’re constantly thrown together and without other supporting evidence that’s just not enough to believably inspire the budding cosmic romance that unfolds on the screen.
16 Han was a jerk to Leia when they met
First impressions matter. They’re everything for some people and, as a woman of power and authority, Leia was surely accustomed to making snap judgments about people. So how did Han ever make the cut after their first encounter? Great question – it really doesn’t seem like he would have.
His awkward but ultimately successful rescue mission featured such charming lines as “Look, Your Worshipfulness, let’s get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person. Me.”
And let’s not forget his romantic assessment of her in the form of “No reward is worth this.” In a different era, a princess like Leia probably would have banished Han from the kingdom forever.
15 Their lifestyles aren't very compatible
Happy couples love spending time together and trying to build a home that fosters peace and love. They compromise and sacrifice to find ways to share the other’s lifestyle, interests, and comforts. But how exactly was this going to work for Han and Leia? Is it assumed that Leia would continue to live a lifestyle of royalty and comfort while waiting for Han to return from chasing whatever lowlife he had been trying to capture? Not much indication is given that either party was anxious to give up their occupation or lifestyle, so it’s hard to imagine how real life would work after the credits rolled. Keeping company with both senators and assassins would surely cause some conflicts at home, and it just doesn’t seem plausible.
14 Their first kiss was definitely not cool
Lots of movies set up a scene where an aggressive male is dying for a kiss and powers right through the female’s protests only to find that she’s instantly willing and into it. It almost never rings true and Han and Leia’s first kiss is a textbook example. She most definitely tells him no and gives him no active encouragement to continue with his romantic intentions; but a guy like Han never takes no for an answer. It just doesn’t work that way in real life, and rewarding that kind of behavior on screen doesn’t set a good example for actual interactions.
13 They don't communicate well
Either member of any successful relationship will tell you that communication is an irreplaceable key to success. Whether it’s discussing dreams and plans into the wee hours of the morning or sharing intimate secrets and fears, talking is sure to bring couples closer together. It exposes vulnerabilities and heals wounds. Unfortunately, this is exactly why Leia and Han give us little confidence that they have the potential for anything long term. For instance, consider the moment when Leia made one of the most important and disconcerting discoveries of her life – that Luke was her brother. Han gallantly steps in to ask her what's going on...her response? "I just want to be alone for a little while. I can't tell you." Enough said.
12 Leia's apparent choice between Han and Luke was a false one
Choices are hard. Choosing between people can be even harder. So when it seems like Leia is being set up to have to choose between Luke and Han, we’re clearly meant to sympathize with the conflict she must be feeling. But even if this works as an engaging viewing experience, it makes no sense at all within the broader context of the story.
Choosing Luke over Han was never an option to begin with, so writing a setup that seems to make Leia have to pick is ever so slightly disingenuous.
Knowing this fact, her eventual choice of Han rings hollow, and the dramatic tension leading up to it feels contrived to an honestly critical mind.
11 Their upbringings couldn't be more different
Have you ever tried breaking a habit you’ve had since childhood? It’s tough. With any luck, a piece of string tied around your finger or a mild shock collar might do the trick in a year or so. The manners we learn and the people we associate with as a child shape our personalities for the rest of our lives. With that in mind, there’s no denying that Han and Leia could not have had more different experiences growing up. Han grew up around criminals, spent his youth on the run, and even got kicked out of the Imperial Flight Academy. Leia’s youth was spent around a loving family who taught her the polished manners of a lady. Would these two really have connected so well? It’s doubtful.
10 Leia changes Han’s mind awfully quickly about going after Kylo Ren
It’s not that we think Han wasn’t incredibly noble in confronting his son, Ben Solo (Kylo Ren), in an attempt to turn him back to the light side. It’s just that it was a little out of character. If he’d thought there was a chance Ben could be saved, and if he’d been inclined to give it a try, there were earlier opportunities such as immediately after Ben turned to the dark side, or when Han saw Kylo take Rey away. But for whatever reason, he didn’t think it was the right choice. And all it took to change his mind? A brief conversation with Leia and her statement: “if you see our son, bring him home.” Sweet? Yes. Does it make sense? We don’t think so.
9 They fight a lot
Every couple has their ups and downs, and every couple sorts things out differently. Whether it’s the silent treatment, a calm and reasonable discussion, or a full blown shouting match, there are plenty of techniques available to steer through troubled waters. But some of these techniques are bound to leave more scars than others, and there’s no question that Han and Leia fight a lot…too much, really.
Any relationship peppered with so many arguments is bound to wear thin after a while.
In this case all those squabbles probably would have kept Leia and Han from getting together in the first place. In real life, it’s much more likely that a “Sorry, this isn’t really working” would have appeared pretty quickly to rescue their nerves from further fraying.
8 Leia is bossy and Han doesn't like taking orders
Leia really can’t help being bossy and it’s hard to fault her for it; she grew up learning to give commands and exercise authority, and at least she’s not always obnoxious about doing it. But is it really so easy to believe that Han is fine being with a partner like this? He’s the very definition of a guy who thrives on flying solo and we’re never in doubt for a second that he’s unwilling to take orders from anyone, anywhere. While it sets up some entertaining on-screen tension, this part of their relationship is definitely not believable. Place this dynamic in a real world environmen, and it’s unlikely that their interactions would extend beyond a brief period of infatuation once the orders start flying Han’s way.
7 Leia likes nice men, but Han is a scoundrel
Leia is the type of girl who, when she says she likes nice men, means it. Because of everything we know about her, we understand that such a statement is no smokescreen; any sensible guy would be foolish to try to convince her otherwise. Yet, we’re expected to believe that the following exchange would end in a kiss: “You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There aren’t enough scoundrels in your life.” “I happen to like nice men.” “I’m nice men.” “No, you’re not. You’re…” Leia is tough enough and independent enough that she doesn’t need to look to a guy like Han to find qualities that she admires or wishes she had. So why should we believe she’d change her mind so easily?
6 Han is jealous by nature and it causes problems
Few things eat away at a relationship faster than jealousy, so the earlier it’s spotted the better for everyone. Over time it grows and feeds off of itself, eventually snowballing into something out of control. This is just another reason why Han and Leia don’t feel like a couple that could go the distance.
Besides his obvious envy of Luke, Han even shows flashes of being jealous of Lando as well.
Would this tendency really have gone away over time? It’s doubtful. Unfortunately, an over inflated ego often brings jealousy tailing behind it, and Leia would have had a big problem on her hands. Odds are that she would have spotted this right away and moved on from Han.
5 They literally have a galaxy to save, so how do they even have time for romance?
We need to talk about priorities here. The entire galaxy is in turmoil, with death and destruction looming around every corner. Darth Vader’s power is growing by the day, and his enemies face the threat of extinction at every moment. And yet Leia and Han seem able to put these facts aside far too readily in order to engage in their merry-go-round of romance and arguments. Maybe Han is self-centered enough that he would put his personal interests over those of the galaxy, but we know that Leia cares enough about the fight to prioritize it over Han. Everything else about Leia indicates that she would keep a single-minded focus on the task at hand and that Han wouldn’t even register on her radar of important issues.
4 Their situation is too stressful to know if they're really in love
Any psychiatrist will tell you that stress affects a person’s ability to make rational decisions. Put anyone under the right amount of pressure and their judgement is bound to be negatively affected in some way. Enter the case of Han and Leia. The stakes couldn’t be higher for them, with the galaxy practically crumbling around them. Their lives are constantly in danger and they frankly do a lot of fighting. Is that really the best time to be exploring their romantic feelings? It seems that a little time apart and a little deep breathing might be enough to recalibrate their expectations and help them see each other with clearer eyes. It feels a little bit like a proximity infatuation as it stands.
3 Leia would be able to spot a fast talker like Han right away
Smooth talkers get their way a lot. Experience has taught them that they can convince almost anyone to do anything, and that they can fast talk their way out of any tricky situation they find themselves in. But these wizards of words also know how to spot someone that they can’t bamboozle – something in a person’s aura acts as a warning flag to these folks, and they leave them alone.
Han is the quintessential fast talker and Leia is the prototypical person who can size him up in an instant.
Put these two on the street and Han would know better than to verbally manipulate Leia into liking him. If he did try it, Leia would spot it so fast that she could dismantle his ego before he even got started.
2 Leia kisses Luke in front of Han just to spite him
Let’s be honest, Han is often the culprit when examining problems with this relationship. But every now and then Leia is clearly the one to blame. For instance, in an impulsive moment Leia stoops to kissing Luke with the express intention of making Han angry. Besides all of the other potential problems with that kiss which were revealed later on, was that really necessary or beneficial to anyone? Such provocative actions are never productive within the context of a relationship, and Leia deserves a red card here. Han could hardly be blamed for being thoroughly upset over this, although his ego and drive to win would probably keep him from actually doing anything about it.
1 Their relationship can be summed up in one quote: "I love you." "I know."
Plenty of people have trouble expressing emotion or sharing their feelings, but in a relationship it’s mandatory that you at least try. This is an area where Han has a glaring problem, to say the least. This flawed aspect of their relationship is perfectly showcased in the famous scene where a captured Han is being torn away from Leia – they share a kiss… “I love you” exclaims Leia; “I know” returns Han. There you have it. Even in a critical moment of separation when the two are unsure if they’ll ever see each other again, Han can’t even conjure up the ability to say something meaningful. Even if it wasn’t “I love you,” Han needed to go for something else here, and the fact that he didn’t speaks volumes.
Any issue you felt we missed? Let us know in the comments!