I first saw A New Hope when I was four years old, and although I loved it, my thought process about it admittedly didn’t go much beyond ROBOTS SPACE EXPLOSIONS COOL! By the time The Empire Strikes Back was released, I was an oh-so-sophisticated second grader who was beginning to recognize the importance of human relationships, and so I cried a little when Han got frozen in carbonite. (This was a much more reasonable reaction than that of my friend who was with me, who cried when C-3PO got blown up. So embarrassing.)
For the next three years, as a nation obsessed over whether Darth Vader really was Luke’s father, I obsessed over what was going to happen to Han. And what I really meant by that was, what was going to happen to Han and Leia? Because by then I was officially obsessed with the relationship between the princess and the smuggler.
There are a lot of things I love about Star Wars, but Han and Leia’s romance is the main thing that has kept me a passionate fan for 30 years. Why do they capture my imagination so? There are the obvious reasons: the witty banter, the contrast between royalty and rogue, epic love in the midst of war, the fact that they’re both really good-looking (I never said I wasn’t shallow). But the older I get, the more I appreciate the finer nuances of their relationship, that can often get lost in the crackle of their repartee.