This post originally appeared HERE on December 19, 2011
Have you ever sat around and wondered, why am I so obsessed with these two? Let's get past the fact that, as evidenced by the above picture, they are just so darn adorable (and Harrison is super hot) and consider some other reasons. I find it interesting for me personally that I am so into this onscreen couple, or any onscreen couple because romance and chick flicks are not really my usual forte. That is not to say that they have anything to do with a chick flick, but if I'm looking for a movie to watch, I'm more likely to reach for something with Bruce Willis than Julia Roberts, and that's not because I think Bruce is hot, it's just because Die Hard is awesome. Speaking of which, I need to watch that soon since it's a Christmas movie...*
Anyway, the point is, I don't sit around swooning over love stories. I don't read romance novels. I don't give a crap about Edward/Jacob and Bella or soap operas or anything like that. I very rarely take a look at fanfic in any other genre, and even when I do, it takes me about half a page before I decide to stop wasting my time. That's probably a good thing, because I don't really need any other ways to completely waste time. Actually, looking back on things, there have been very few couples I cared about in movies or TV. Maybe Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold, but not really.** Definitely Zack and Kelly on Saved By the Bell, whose relationship was actually even more mature than Han and Leia as depicted in COPL. Clark Kent and Lois Lane, though mostly from the TV show Lois and Clark. And maybe for a very brief time Mulder and Scully. But none of these inspire me to write fanfic or even to bother reading it.
So, why Han and Leia? Maybe it's because there are just so many reasons to love them and so few reasons not to. It's a couple I've seen on screen since I was probably two or three years old. Of course at that point in time I didn't really care about romance or anything like that as I was more interested in robots and space ships and lightsabers, but they've just been a part of my consciousness since I got one.
Each one of them on their own is already awesome. Han kicks ass, doesn't take crap from anyone, speaks his mind, flies a really cool spaceship and has a Wookiee for a best friend. Leia is one of the strongest female characters ever depicted in the history of cinema. I took film history in college so I have even more authority to say that. She's strong, she's a leader, she doesn't back down in the face of adversity, fights for what she believes in and she doesn't need a man in order to feel complete. They're both independent people who certainly weren't looking for love when they found it. That's probably what makes a lot of other couples boring, the movie starts with one or both of them lamenting how horribly lonely they are and they can't find a boy/girlfriend or blah, blah, blah.
With Han and Leia, it was really, really inconvenient to fall in love when they did but they couldn't help it. It's also just a less obvious, mushy sort of romance. I love the subtlety. Han is not going to spout poetry or go off on Leia's incredible beauty, he's probably just going to kiss her. You know you only have to go watch the prequels if you want an example of overdone, bad romance. I think there's a lot of stuff that people say in romantic comedies that at the time the audience might swoon over, but if some guy said that to you in real life you'd either laugh or think he was some crazy stalker.
It also maybe helps that their romance is not the focal point of the movies. They both have more going on in their lives than worrying about falling in love. They're well rounded characters with a lot to offer each other and everyone else. They work incredibly well as a team in the face of adversity.
And let's face it, the actors who played them, along with being so good looking, had amazing chemistry. There are plenty of movies out there where you have the romantic leads, and they're both good actors and their acting is fine but there's just something missing that makes you not believe them as a couple. I mean, whether or not you think there may have been something going on behind the scenes between Carrie and Harrison, when those two are on screen being Han and Leia you can't imagine them having a platonic relationship.***
I don't know, they're both just such great characters on their own and such great characters together. They're a more interesting couple because their relationship starts out so volatile and they have such strong personalities and there's something about seeing that they wouldn't just love each other, but respect and admire each other for who they are.
I could go on, I'm sure, but I want to leave room for some ideas from the rest of you. Why do you love these guys so much? Why do you put all of this effort into reading and/or writing about them?
*Obviously it's not Christmas right now, but Die Hard is always a good movie choice.
**It's only been a little over 5 years but I really have no idea how or why I pulled Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper out right there. I guess because at some point I did care whether they ended up together? But it was all G-rated, and I have for sure never even thought to look up fanfic about that.
***Well now we all know how that turned out. So clearly there was some real chemistry off screen to a point. Whether or not that truly made a difference in their performances is still anyone's guess, but there was absolutely chemistry that is rarely replicated elsewhere.