Hi everyone. Zyra kindly offered that I could write a post on a question I brought to her. There is that delightful post on the blog about Universal Han and Leia Fanfic Truths, but my question didn't quite fit there. So here we are.
It hit me the other day that one "universal truth" in Star Wars fanfic is that Luke wants to share the news about Vader's return to the light with the whole galaxy, whereas Leia thinks sharing would be an awful idea. This sets up a tension between the two of them that affects all three of them, Han included. But. Why do we assume this, especially on the part of Luke?
From the movies, we know that Luke didn't tell Leia about his parentage until after he learned she was his sister, some many months after finding out in Bespin. Even when he did tell her, he wasn't suggesting that she come and help him; in fact, it seemed clear that he felt Leia still needed to help the Rebellion win the war, perhaps the old fashioned way (by fighting, not trying to redeem the bad guys). It's not even clear that Luke intended to ever tell Leia; she was the one that sought him out, after all (though arguments could be made that he knew she would follow him out to that bridge). Nor did Luke reach out to Han. So from what we see in the movie, it seems pretty clear that even though Luke felt personally compelled to try and save his father, he was pretty clear that not everyone would share his conviction, and that it might be best to keep the truth secret.
It's interesting (to me, anyways) that so many of us have felt that Luke would then later want to tell all. Why? And, what if that wasn't the case? How would it affect the dynamic with Leia and Han?
For example. what if Leia's desire to keep Vader/Anakin a secret was in part a reaction to Luke's wanting to tell everyone? After all, we often see stories with Luke wanting to have a conversation with Leia, which often has the effect of pushing Leia to avoid it. So if Luke instead wanted to continue keeping Vader/Anakin a secret, might Leia have responded differently? Would she have sought support, or a kind of absolution? Might she have felt honor bound to reveal their parentage to someone in the Rebellion leadership? (Rieekan, Mon Mothma?) How would this have impacted the dynamic with Han? If Leia wanted to tell others, would Han have cared? Etc, etc.
Anyways, I'm bringing this here because it's fun to explore assumptions, and because LoveThis! asking about my assumptions in the earlier post about the new Princess Leia book inspired me. I thought it might be interesting to unpack this particular set of assumptions with you all.
Full disclosure. This particular universal truth came to me while pondering writing my own version of Leia telling Han about Vader. Now, that story is so unformed that it probably won't get written in the next few years, if at all, so I'm not posing these questions as a way to do research or anything. At the same time, it would be silly to think that any discussion here wouldn't influence the story, should it ever get written, so I just want to be open. Note: if the story ever does get written, I'll just make sure to credit this conversation! :)