Sunday, April 17, 2011

Universal Han and Leia Fanfic Truths


If you read enough Han and Leia fanfic - and sometimes even if you only read a little bit - you will come across certain recurring elements that have no blatant reason for us to believe them to be true based on what we see in the movies, but it just seems that collectively the Han and Leia community believes them to be fact. Of course with any of these, there are exceptions. But here are a few examples of things that always seem to pop up:


1. Leia can't cook. Seriously, I don't think I've ever read a fanfic in which Leia whips up a five-course meal for her and Han. Why do we all believe this to be true? In the entirety of the movies, she never even eats let alone has the opportunity to cook anything. I suppose having grown up a princess we could all infer that she always had her meals prepared for her and skipped learning how to cook anything decent. Who are we to say that part of her privelaged upbringing didn't include training from the finest culinary artists in all of Alderaan? But none of us seem to believe that. So, in every story I've ever read in which Leia enters the kitchen, other characters in the story get very nervous...


2. Han didn't have a stable home life growing up. Whether you subscribe to the back story put forth by the Han Solo trilogy or not, it seems that we are all in agreement that Han's parents were no Ward and June Cleaver, even if he did know who they were. Whether he was orphaned and has no idea what happened as is written in the "official" version, or maybe his family was killed when he was a bit older and he remembers it, we seem to have decided that he wasn't the kind of kid who was tucked in every night by his mommy and daddy and played smashball on the local little league team. I'm sure most of us have read versions of his story in which his parents or at least one or the other are still alive and he chooses not to talk to them, but I think we are all in agreement that after he got the medal for helping blow up the Death Star he didn't call his parents to tell him about the new chick he met.


3. Leia is a virgin. Ok, this one isn't completely universal. But I think it is at least generally accepted to be truth. There is that "popular" Leia-was-raped-on-the-Death-Star theory, but it is not one I have ever really subscribed to. When Luke finds her, does she look like the type of girl who was recently raped? Forget the fact that she doesn't particularly look like the type of girl who just saw her entire planet blown up, either. Maybe it's the fact that she wears white all the time or fights her feelings for Han so adamantly, but for the most part, we don't read about a Leia who slept with a few boys back in University.


4. Han is definitely not a virgin. This one almost goes without saying. Do we need a reason? He's Han freaking Solo. Plus, he's a hot guy in his early 30's. How could he possibly not have been getting some action before? Although once upon a time I did read a story, which unfortunately I can't find anymore and don't know the name of, in which Han was the virgin and Leia was the experienced one. It didn't get into all of the fun details, but it did have Leia finding out about his inexperience and offering to take him to his cabin and "show him the ropes" so to speak. But honestly, I don't think anyone sees that as a possibility.


5. If anyone is cheating on anyone, it's Leia cheating on Han. I'm not a big fan of stories that involve cheating and I'm not a fan of cheating in real life. I don't get it. You want to sleep around? Fine. Just make sure that anyone you're involved with knows up front so you're on the same page. But if a fanfic writer must put some cheating into a story, it is almost exclusively Leia cheating on Han. Or another man vying for Leia's affections, such as Isolder. I can recall one story in which it even alluded to the possibility of Han cheating on Leia, and in the end he couldn't go through with it. I don't see either one of them cheating in the first place, but I'm not sure why everyone always sees Leia as the one being unfaithful. Is it because we can see Han forgiving her but not the other way around? Because if a man cheats, he's just a horrible person and doesn't deserve another chance but a woman does? I don't know, but that's the way it always seems to go.


So there are five of them, anyway. I'm sure there are more and feel free to add if there are any you feel I've left out. There's another possibility I had thought of, but not sure how to put it delicately. It has to do with rumors of certain Corellian, um, attributes, maybe? Ones that would be greatly in Leia's benefit. That's all I'm going to say about that.

57 comments:

  1. Someday, I'm going to write one where Leia can cook. That's always bugged me.

    Great post!

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  2. It's interesting how little things (or some not so little) become part of the mythology. In addition to the 'Leia can't cook' one, it seems that more than often, Han is some amazing cook. I guess two characters that can't cook wouldn't work very well. Take-out for every meal!

    Another one, and I'm not sure if this stems from something that was in the books that I missed, but I always see Rieekan and Leia having a sort of father-daughter relationship.

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  3. Umm, who are Ward and June Cleaver?

    I've always thought the assumption that Leia is a virgin stems from the fact that she's a Princess, you know, protecting her virtue. Royal traditions and all that jazz.

    Well, he HAS to have an impressive blaster (totally stole that euphemism for Jarik!), his cockiness has to stem from somewhere, right?

    Han a thirty year old virgin? That's just wrong!

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  4. Oooh, very good point on Rieekan. He and Leia barely interact in the movie and yet we've got him practically as a surrogate father. Also with the compensatory assumption that Han CAN cook.

    Ward and June Cleaver are the epitome of the stereotypical perfect parents of the perfect family from an old American TV show "Leave it to Beaver." Maybe not the best example because the show is actually way before even my and Push's time, but I think you get what I mean.

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  5. One more thing:

    Now you've got me curious. Just how often does Han's blaster come up in conversation?

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  6. Damn, Z, I need you to beta my comments, too! I stole it *from* Jarik... not *for*. That doesn't even make sense!

    Han's blaster comes up far too often. Although I bet Leia doesn't say that... Sorry, I couldn't help myself ;)

    I believe it was a comparison between Luke's "lightsaber" and Han's "blaster". No prizes for guessing who came out on top! :)

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  7. Ok, this has got to be funniest conversation I have ever bared witness to. First off I have to say that I have definitely bought into all of those truths and I really like them. Maybe that's because I have been reading Han/Leia fanfic for far too long and just accepted it a long time ago but I still think they are cool little attributes.

    I think the whole cooking thing stemmed from Han being raised by Dewlanna who, as I am sure we all know, was the cook on Garris Shrikes ship. I guess we just all assumed that she taught him how to be some great chef. And since Leia is a Princess we could assume she has never even been into a kitchen in her entire life. This shift in responsibilities and obvious difference in experience makes their relationship all the more unique. Someone probably put the idea together forever ago and it just stuck but I personally dig it. With that being said I also wanna add that I personally like the Han Solo trilogy so I get a little turned off by other stories about his childhood. Especially when his parents are actually alive. To me Han seems like he never even met his parents and I am sure that's what Lucas wanted so I believe it.

    On to sexual experience. I buy into this too. He IS Han freakin' Solo and he IS one of the best smugglers in the galaxy. He was hanging out in seedy bars and traveling all over the galaxy, I am sure he had every opportunity to (man I am resisting some very dirty comments) enjoy a lady's company, lol! And if anything I think Leia just didn't seem like she had the time or ever even thought about getting it on with some random guy. I didn't even think of that stuff until I was 18 and lets see she was 18 in ANH, met Han Solo, and probably thought about it all the time until ESB where I sure, like any of use, she inevitably gave in. But that's another discussion. And even though I don't necessarily think it is true for Z's very reasons, I do think the idea of Leia being raped on the Death Star makes for a much darker twist on the whole thing, which I kinda like but I almost believe Vader himself wouldn't have allowed that to happen. Well he did kill younglings, bastard.

    As far as anyone cheating, I agree that probably no one cheated. In ROTJ, with all the carbonite and Jabba stuff behind him, Han seemed like he finally got that out of his system and was ready to settle down. I mean who wouldn't at that point? You almost died, almost killed your friends and the girl you love, all because of your dealings with a drug lord. Time to move on. And I don't think Leia is the type. One of her defining traits is how fiercely loyal she can be so I don't think she would do that to Han. If anything I think the events of Push's Why Not Now is the closest thing to Leia ever cheating. But that stories canon so of course that's what happened. Plus I think Luke would chop Han's balls off with his lightsaber if he ever hurt his baby sister. Go Luke!

    Lastly, I love the whole Rieekan thing. I don't know why but he has always been my favorite military figure from any Star Wars movie. Why? I have no idea, he just seems really cool. I think the fact that he is from Alderaan is why everyone assumes he would take on a father figure role to Leia. And I dunno, I just sensed a deeper connection between them in those five mins in ESB, and he seems to have a lot of respect for Han too. Rieekan is just a bad ass. Enough said. And as some of you know I am playing up that aspect in my own story so get used to it. ;)

    Z, you do need to beta Digs comments. She can get out of hand sometimes. And Digs is the one always talking about Han's blaster. I told her to stop but she just wont stop talking about it. Although if you remember my blaster euphemism went farther than just Han's member, lol!

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  8. By the way did I mention this is my blog now?

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  9. Wow, Jarik, you didn't have anything to say about that, did you?

    I would assume that Digs is the one always talking about Han's blaster. I never for one second thought it was you who were to blame since one of the times she sent me part of her story to beta before I even read it she said that I was going to come across something she had put in for her own amusement and had forgotten to change before she sent it to me. In this case she was literally talking about Han's blaster, only she'd replaced the word blaster with something else...

    The sexual experience one I'd argue does have some basis from the movies and Jarik, I agree with you on Leia. She was busy with other stuff and still so young in the movies that I just don't think she would've gotten there yet. And Han is just Han, so come on. The cheating thing doesn't seem in her character at all. Like you said, she's fiercely loyal and I don't think she'd take any relationship lightly, let alone what she has with Han. But, well, I suppose sometimes people just like to add some conflict in there. I don't like it, though!

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  10. I agree that this is one of our most interesting blog conversations so far. Thanks to Zyra for posting such a thought (and blaster) provoking topic! :-)

    I do and have subscribed to all of those myths/truths in my stories (except Leia cheating - neither cheat in my universe). I like to pick on Leia for not being able to cook and in my mind she could if she wanted to (because she can do anything) but she chooses not to and enjoys being able to sit back for at least one thing in her life and say, "I can't do that, do it for me!" Because believe me, if she started cooking it would be one more thing the universe would have her doing for them!!!! So, go Leia - stay out of the kitchen!

    The rest, well - I would be hard-pressed to believe that Han Solo was a virgin, in fact, no - I don't think I could be made to believe it. Could Leia not be a virgin? I could be convinced but in my universe, she is.

    Don't really give much thought to Han's childhood, other than it's kind of a pain to have to invent an entire childhood for someone, so it's easier just to go with what's on Wookieepedia. Although it would be kinda funny if Han kept running into these tall, beautiful women that would run up and hug all over him and he would keep claiming they were his sisters and Leia would be all like "Just how many 'sisters' do you have, Han Solo?" and in the end he would have like 7 sisters, or something...

    Anyway, great topic! And Rieekan? I just like him, don't know why. So I subscribe to that myth, too.

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  11. HEY! Thanks guys, just gang up on me! Suddenly talking about his "blaster" ten times a day is too much?! ;)

    Fair enough, Z, I did do that. But, seriously how funny is the image of Han running into Mon Mothma's office and waving his "blaster" around. :)

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  12. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the image at all ;) Push and I have actually never discussed Han's blaster. We'll see if this prompts more conversation on the subject.

    I pretty much have no trouble accepting these things as "truths" either. And good point about Leia. She has enough to worry about, why should she learn how to cook?

    I usually just go with the "official" version of Han's childhood as I'm ok with it. Minus Bria. There were girls/women in his past, but I don't think he ever got in that deep with any of them. I mean, wait, that's not what I meant...

    Rieekan has seriously no basis from the movies, but like most people, I kind of like her having someone like that in her life. So whoever was the first person to do that, thanks.

    I should have also added our assumption that Mon Mothma is a bitch who doesn't want them to be together. I mean, all she does in the movies is explain the mission, and we have her trying to keep them apart. It's probably the fault of COPL though where she DOES try to make Leia marry Isolder. You know if you look on Wookieepedia it says that Mon found out RIGHT before her speech that her son was killed? Bet you all feel bad now, don't you?

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  13. Was her son a Bothan? Ba-dum tshhh...

    I remember hearing sound byte of Carrie talking about that she didn't think Leia had dated much...getting back to the virginity thing. Not that anyone was disagreeing.

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  14. Ok let me just say that I am 90% sure that I think about Han's blaster far more than any of you guys all put together, lol! I just never voice that out loud. The entire reason I am here is because of Hans blaster. I was just trying to throw the heat onto Digs. Now I just feel bad, lol. So the cats out of the bag on that one.

    Love the sister idea, Push. Would be a hilarious story. And I think I have read a few stories where Mon Mothma wasn't a bitch and I actually liked that better. Dont know why because that doesn't seem very interesting but it was cool.

    Bothan, lol. I get it!

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  15. Yeah, where did the idea that Mon was a bitch originate from? Also, autovalet? Kaffe? Kriff? Shavit? Fresher? Who made up all these terms!? And I just love how often they are used. It's like some universal agreement. So cool!

    And I do recall reading SIGOAP's (I don't feel like I have the senority enough yet to call her Push :( ) first story coming from Han having a sister, hmmm? I'd love to be able to read it again (sigh).

    And also, Jan Dodonna also seems to be a bitch, along with Janson being a sort of joker. But I think Limelight started that. Does anyone know what happened to LASOS, Mathmathica, ScarlettSully, Leela Starsky, or Limelight? Geez, the numbers are dwindling...

    Keep it up guys!

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  16. Ah, yes, the rogues are apparently practical jokesters. But I guess they needed something to do to pass the time between battles.

    Mon as a bitch probably originally stemmed from the book "Courtship of Princess Leia" where she seems to be encouraging Leia to drop everything for Isolder and forget about Han. I'm guessing you haven't read the extended universe books? Fanfic writers didn't make up those words, we learned them from reading the "official" books. I don't really get why they speak English just like us here on Earth and yet for some reason they're too cool to call it the bathroom, but whatever.

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  17. Oh, and as for the missing authors... LASOS wrote in her profile over a year ago that she WILL come back to update... though that seems unlikely aftr this long, Mathematica actually has a live journal posted to her profile and says she won't be posting on ff.net anymore, Scarlett Scully says outright in her profile that she's outta here (at least she had the decency to tell us) Limelight also linked a live journal to her profile (apparently the site is too "impersonal" but I'd take impersonal over zero feedback...) and I remember her saying somewhere that someday she actually would finish TNQLL, but, well, I'm not holding my breath... and Leela Starsky has left us to go and write... wait for it... Harry Potter. So it can't all be blamed on the young and inexperienced.

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  18. POTS, you can call me "Push", we don't check ID's around here :-)

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  19. Yes, I realize that people probably aren't paying attention to my comments since these conversations happened long ago, but it makes me feel better to give my two cents.

    First off, I was cracking up laughing just at the words "Leia can't cook." (I don't even know why.) I've noticed this in stories, and I always thought it was kind of funny that everyone said that. So I guess when I saw it here too, I was just glad someone else had seen the same thing and I wasn't going crazy.

    As I was reading this list, I realized that in my current fanfic, I've included three of these outright (the two about sex, of course, and the one about Han's past). I also have a little bit with Rieekan - when the government does something Leia isn't happy about, Rieekan is mentioned as apologizing.

    I can't go into the one about Leia cheating, because it reveals more than I'd like to right now. However, while she doesn't cheat on him, it kind of follows that same idea.

    I think the only one that I didn't touch upon at all is the one about cooking, although I like it. I find the idea that Han is an amazing cook and Leia a horrendous one very amusing.

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  20. We're still paying attention! At least I am and I'm glad you are enjoying all of the posts! Keep commenting. :-)

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  21. just thought I'd add here that the Rouges are definitely a gang of jokesters in the EU. I acquired a stack of X-Wing series books off the dollar rack at Half Price Books the other day and have been whipping through them for the first time in ages. I'd forgotten what fun they are. very little mention of my favorite characters of course but still. reminds me that Han and Leia aren't the only ones who get witty dialogue.

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  22. i have been of the mind for some time that han cheated on her (or at least wanted to / could have) after Chewie died and he went all "dont love me, it hurts" on everyone. I'm working on something. I'll keep you posted. :)

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  23. What?!?!?! I prefer to think of that as alternate Han anyway, but still. I think I recall reading somewhere that the author of a couple of the books where Han went crazy did want to put something like that in there but was nixed by the higher-ups. I think I would've stopped reading the EU all together if that had happened. Oh, I am not looking forward to reading the first 5 books of the NJO again...

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  24. I know! I know!
    that's just the point tho - he wasn't himself. and what would he do if he wasn't himself? Turn his back on Leia. I thought I read somewhere that he did, but now i think it was a FF.

    Zyra, I hear you. I am in the middle of Star by Star. At least Han is back, and back to normal, for the most part anyway. and now, i have to brace myself for what happens to jaina after this book. Im not sure my heart can handle it. I actually haven't read any of the Legacy of the Force series. I know loosely what happens, but i cant bear to read about them loosing another child. its awful. most of the time during the whole tragic EU experience, i just want to scream and beg the authors to let them have a normal-ish life. just for one book. heck, even for more then 2 pages at a time.

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  25. He wasn't himself, that's for sure. But he didn't have to do EVERYTHING that his normal self wouldn't have done. I doubt he went and got a pedicure, either. The thing that bugs me about that whole thing wasn't just that he left her, but I just don't see him turning his back on his family if he lost Chewie. I feel like it would make him want to be with them even more. Just my opinion though!

    Star by Star, while sad, is a GREAT book. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading it again.

    They had some normal time in more recent books. There was one where there was a fairly long scene of Han and Leia watching TV with their granddaughter while drinking hot chocolate.

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  26. that gives me hope!

    and yeah, i totally know what you mean. he valued his family above everything. why then turn away from them? it also really bugged me that throughout the 3 or 4 books where he was away from them, he always had these "brilliant moments" where he saw why Anakin did what he did, and that he had no choice. and that he would make everything okay with his family. but he kept putting that off. he's a man, he can admit to making a mistake. perhaps the authors need to be reminded of that. I actually couldn't read about it for a while after his "big galaxy" comment to Leia. it broke my heart.

    on a different topic, i'm totally on board with the leia cooking thing. i'm going to write a story on her being this fab chef. challenge accepted.

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  27. I haven't read or even browsed the NJO books where Han "leaves" Leia. Around the time the series was first released I had drifted away from SW a bit, and didn't even know what this NJO business was. Then around 2001 I came back to SW and looked online at forums and read absolutely horrific stuff about Chewie being killed off and Han and Leia being estranged and some fans worrying they would divorce...as you can imagine after a few years away from the fandom, and then coming back to read that, I was not a happy bunny at all.

    It took a few years more before I even dared purchase a NJO book, but I eventually did, and I've got them all now except the Dark Tide and Agents of Chaos ones. I've read lots of stuff about what Han does after Chewie dies, and a lot of it angers me greatly, so I refuse to buy those books. I know it happens, but it doesn't mean I want all the gory details.

    I am considering being brave and getting them for book club though. Maybe.

    So because of that I haven't read the NJO properly, didn't see the point with books missing. I have however read all the Han and Leia scenes in the books I've got!!

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  28. Old post, I see, but I'm hoping people still follow it. I just did a piece on underrated pop culture heroines, of which Leia is one. I also included Princess Allura of Voltron. In the course of writing that piece, I had a discussion with the Voltron fan fic crew, and a few of them were aggressively rude. Apparently they have a whole rift in their group over how Allura is written. I've lurked in the Leia ff area for a while and I don't see anything like that. Given these almost universal troupes mentioned in this post, does anyone get bent out of shape if a story deviates? Do y'all fight over 'they did it on the way to Bespin' or 'they did it after they got married'? (Assuming that the horrible COPL doesn't exist, of course). Is author infighting a ff thing or a certain ffs thing? If you write in other fandoms? And BTW, I am so glad I have never bothered with the NJO books now. They sound awful.

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    1. Hey, AHLondon. Old post or no, we have no problem dredging up old conversations, especially when they were good ones! Since this post was written and only up until about last week it was the most popular post on the blog. That slot has been overtaken by the post about Leia being a super sex goddess. We all know what's on your minds ;) anyway...

      I've never involved myself in other fandoms. One of the things I've always liked about ours is that for the most part I've really only seen people be nothing but respectful of one another when it comes to discussing those sorts of things. I have my own personal opinions on things like Leia being a virgin or what happened on the way to Bespin, and that is my own personal "canon" but at the same time I can still read, enjoy and buy into stories that show things the complete opposite. The easiest example of course being that personally I don't think they had sex on the way to Bespin, but a few of the most notable stories in the entire fandom and stories I've thoroughly enjoyed have involved them having near constant sex for days. And I don't just enjoy those stories because they feature lots of sex, but because the author presented the events in such a way in which it made sense that that was what happened.

      I'm less inclined to believe things that go against my "canon" when they are not thoroughly explained but more just mentioned in passing. Another easy example is a story set later where maybe Leia says something about one guy or even a couple of guys that she had slept with in her teenage years. If you write me a story and show me that it makes sense to her character I might be more willing to buy it, but that just seems unlikely to me given how she acts.

      So, no, for the most part I don't get "bent out of shape if a story deviates" as long as I'm given a convincing argument as to why things deviated. However, there have been times where I might read something and find it totally out of character. Like, the story may say that 'Leia' is saying and doing those things, but to me, there is just no way she would act that way. Like if the strong woman we see in the movies suddenly in this story is acting like a sniveling 13-year old or a blubbery cry-baby. I'd say this doesn't happen that often within our fandom, though. Maybe it's because we are given a pretty clear picture (I think) of these characters from the movies and it's fairly unambiguous as far as how things would progress. With your example of Princess Allura (apologies, I no nothing about her) perhaps there is more fighting because her character is less clearly defined so there are harder lines between people and how they think she'd act or what she'd do.

      I also think that our fandom maybe tends to attract more mature writers. I could be totally wrong about that but I'd bet there are a lot more young kids writing Twilight and Harry Potter than Han and Leia. So I think as you mature you tend to understand human nature a bit more and can write these characters better. On top of that, I think the more mature writers and audience is a bit more reasonable when it comes to reviewing and arguing. When I come across a story which to me is totally out of character, I choose not to bring it to the author's attention. I simply choose not to read it. I don't think I've ever come across anything Han and Leia that was actually well written but also out of character. If it's poorly written and out of character, I chalk it up to immaturity and me telling them that their story is out of character is probably not going to help. It's probably just a kid enjoying writing and who am I to stifle that? I don't have to read everything and everyone is not required to live up to my admittedly high standards. Well, actually, admittedly there are some very high profile stories that I do enjoy but also feel can be a bit out of character at times, but not to a huge degree.

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    2. So, we don't "fight" over those things, we discuss them. We have a few posts on the blog discussing just those sorts of subjects. I think the most recent one was simple titled "When did they do it?" It's a fun topic and open to plenty of discussion. The great thing is, there is no "right" answer. I have my answer that I choose to believe and everyone else has theirs. I think the only reason I'd start to get irritated was if someone not only believed the opposite of me, but refused to even entertain the possibility that it could have ever happened any other way. They're all just theories. So as far as author infighting I am happy to say that I haven't come across it for us. It might just be luck, I really have no idea. But I think it's a much better way to function. This is all just supposed to be fun!

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    3. Always good to bring up an old conversation and this is a good one. I have to agree with Zyra. I certainly have my own ideas of what happened and what should have happened. And I think we tend to discuss things. I don't mind a story with alternative ideas as long as it's believable and well written. They really are just theories and I'm sure you can come up with evidence to support any theory you want. There's so much we don't know like how long the trip to Bespin took. If it was long, then I doubt Leia could hold out that long. But that's just me. ;) But if it wasn't, then who knows?

      Ah, Voltron. Now you are taking me back. Nice. Interesting people see Allura in different ways.

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    4. Zyra, glad to know I'm not crazy. I expected writers to be like you frankly. I've even written long—and publicly poorly received while privately well received—reviews along the lines of do what you like with the character as long as you support your deviation. That is, like amara z mentions as well, there is plenty of wiggle room to send the characters one way or the other, but just declaring something without foundation doesn't make for a good story. I thought this was a relatively straight forward objective critique.
      I second everything you wrote, save the bit about older writers. These are 30something plus intelligent women. (Mostly women, at least. I've written a piece about that as well, that most fan fix writers are intelligent, college educated women, not lonely teen and 20something Peter Pans as most non-fandom people assume. That didn't go over well either.)
      I get that I write slightly provocative stuff. (I've got a new piece up now with Leia as an underrated heroine, that I'd expect many of you might quibble with. http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/12/31/the-5-most-underrated-pop-culture-heroines/ ) But I'm happy to discuss any of it. The need for unqualified endorsement annoys and depresses me. I see it often and it usually signals a lack of confidence in one's beliefs or actions. But I hadn't seen it here even though it is older, more mature writers. And even though both characters are well written. Because of ratings issues both Leia and Allura are written consistently but only suggestively so there is plenty of room for discussion of things like exactly what happened to Leia aboard the Death Star even while the character is fairly well established. That's why we still talk about these characters 20 years later, no? Allura, in all her Velvetta glory, is written and performed better, I think, but like I said, I write stuff that invites quibbling.
      By the way, wrong thread, but I'm with the they did it on the way to Bespin group. Also, I can't post pictures here, but y'all should check out my twitter feed (AHLondon_Tex) from today to see the coffee mugs my brother gave to my husband and me for Christmas. Trust me. I'll ask him where he got them and report back.

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    5. I've found it very surprising, though in a good way, that most fanfic writers are actually very much like me. It seems more like something that would be suited to high school or college students. I discovered fanfic in college and I'm sure I would've read it earlier if I'd actually had internet then :) The point is, I was comforted to learn that so many fanfic writers are like I am, but I didn't realize that is actually the most common demographic. I do wonder why so many of us are female as opposed to male. Is it because the romance angles of certain genres are often neglected and we take it upon ourselves to explore them with our own writing? something to consider.

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    6. My basic take on ff writers: the number of male writers probably stayed stable. Women's numbers exploded because the internet made writing ff with its established characters and worlds, more social. Furthermore the Internet gives us anonymity to explore things that modern women aren't supposed to talk about like romance with strong males. It is no accident that a breakout fic had to do with something nominally feminist taboo like male domination in the bedroom. There is a ton of stuff, traditional or domestic, that we just aren't supposed to examine. That's the sort of stuff I write about and why fan fic intrigues me. It's one of the few places we play with what we really think.

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    7. In case anyone is still reading these comments :P thought I'd add that my theory is that alas, the majority of "official" fic (in this case, the Star Wars EU) is created largely by and for males. Hence, the to my mind perfectly ridiculous way Han and Leia are treated in the EU after the events of ROTJ. Maybe it's reverse sexism on my part, but come on: the way they sacrifice their time together in favor of non-stop action and running around saving the galaxy, or whatever it is they do, has got to be just so the powers that be could sell more books to teenage boy readers, right? I really can't imagine two reasonably mature adults who love each other spending so little time together, especially after they get a bit older. I think women fans (certainly not always, but often) care a great deal about their relationship, and write fics that focus on that. They may include action too, which is great, but not to the exclusion of the H/L relationship.

      So yeah, I agree with Zyra that the romance angles are neglected, and yay! for women writers who explore that territory. And yay! for the Internet that gives women the freedom to write and to find an audience, as AHLondon says (although I have to add that imo plenty of fic published in book form that is written by women nowadays is not shy about exploring romance with strong males, often quite explicitly :P).

      Okay, stepping down off the soap box now! :D

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    8. Still monitoring. I love this thread.
      Exactly what you said about the EU. Leia in particular comes off as a prop in most of the EU.
      About those other stories--links please!

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    9. Finally getting back here again... I'm sure the stories I know are familiar to all of you, because they're all posted on fanfiction.net, but I will share some of the ones I like: the Kismet series by suezahn, the completed H/L stories by Ivylore, and the series by Chanel19, especially "Diving." Oh, and "Shifting Impressions" by Push is definitely one of my faves. :) (I apologize for not being able to figure out links, but a quick search can locate any of these.)

      Yeah, funny thing about Leia... Lucas included a strong woman in his movies and even gave her something to do, but that doesn't always seem to carry over into the EU. I really think it's all about marketing and target audiences. *shrugs*

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  29. Some more "trueths" I've seen many times in FF:

    Getting married is Han's idea and Han wants children. Leia doesn't or she's not sure.

    Leia can't forgive her father but names his son after him. That's also in some EU-books, I guess. It doesn't make sense to me, because I haven't read them all.

    Leia has massive nightmares and other issues that are quite underrated in the movies and books. Han is very patient to take care of her.



    My opinions:

    Leia can't cook, Han & Chewie can but I don't know are they Master Chefs.

    I don't want them to cheat each other. Leia cheating is out of character. She was tortured but she didn't reveal them what she knew.

    Leia was definitely virgin at least until Death Star I. I'm 30 years old virgin because I'm a geek and so dedicated to my hobbies, so I know. ;) Some twisted part of me wants her to get raped in the Death Star. That and of course Alderaan would explain why she was such a bitch toward her rescuers. Gladly, in FF she's not THAT moody.

    BUT I want Han to be her first so maybe the Storm troopers, Tarkin etc raped her somewhere else or sewed her back together to do it again... xD But it's lovely to read Han teaching Leia this stuff. I would think their first time was after the battle of Endor or something. Because on the way to Bespin, Han was leaving.

    I also love Leia losing control and Han being "the boss" in the bed. Because that's what she needs, because she's trying to be so controlled all the other times. And I don't think that was what they trained her in Alderaan about self-control. ;)

    Leia is always performed very decent or even shy person what it comes to clothing. So I hate to see her in the famous metal bikini that guys so much adore!

    And I can read and enjoy well-written FF even though things are going different than I thought. If it's well "explained" or just for me having fun... :D

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    1. I would beg to differ that Leia was a bitch. Was she harsh? At times. Could she dial it down a notch? Yes. But I never took her as not having a good reason for the way she was or acting unnecessarily mean. She was always independent and strong willed to me. Some people are just more shapred tongue than others. There is even a profic quote of Han admitting he likes strong women.

      I personally would not wish something like rape on anyone living or fictional. I'd hope that even the Empire would have enough sense that she was a princess and maybe that would be going too far. Pipe dream possibly, but I'd like our princess to be treated well.

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    2. Yes, the Empire had to consider also WHAT IF they for some reason had to return her? Some FF about Leia being on Death Star an officer told that if it happens than she had to be released, they would wipe out her memory with some medication or something and the interrogation couldn't leave any physical evidence.

      Maybe the word bitch was too much to say, but the Walking carpet and all the times she refers to the Falcon in ANH and ESB isn't actually gratitude for being rescued! :D But again, Alderaan had just been blown up and although the movie shows barely no reaction from her, she must react somehow and maybe that was her way. Well, if you've listened to the ANH radio drama, she was crying and shouting at Tarkin and Vader when her home world was blown up.

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  30. The Han and Leia mugs I mentioned are here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LennyMud
    I felt stupid. I didn't need to ask my brother. The name was on the bottom. I like the stormtrooper travel mug too, but the Lionel Richie stuff? I'm in a Lionel Richie run. We were back in London last month and he's all over the easy listening store intercoms. I've not heard him in years here.
    BTW, Lily Skywalker, have you read Death Star? That's my favorite EU book. But the radio drama was Star Wars as soap opera starting with Leia getting all weepy the first time she fires a gun and kills that Imperial officer who was trying to force a marriage with her. The plot didn't bother me in the sense that it made sense. The wailing was over the top though. I'd write silent shock and perhaps collapse in the observation deck of the Death Star too. Carrie Fisher always wanted her to break down like the NPR Leia, but she always struck me as a bottle it up, control until you can't kind of gal. That's where Han came in. She couldn't control that; he wouldn't let her control that. She tried to push it all away and love everything, mankind and the galaxy, from afar. That way nothing could touch her. And in that way she was like her father after his fall--I'm gonna save the galaxy and nothing will get in my way--and the opposite of Han who loved nothing but his ship and Chewie. That is, they used opposite self defense mechanisms to keep from letting anyone close and able to hurt them. And now I'm rambling...

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    1. Cool mugs!

      I don't know that we can really take the characterization from the radio dramas into account. Radio dramas have to be "acted" a lot differently because we can only hear what's going on. Think about so many moments between Han and Leia that are conveyed far more by the look in their eyes/on their faces than anything they ever say. You lose that when you lose the visuals. You're forced to have everyone audibly display their emotions. If Leia had been silent through the destruction of Alderaan in the radio drama we might wonder if she fell asleep or was unconscious or something. We need to HEAR what she's feeling. Same goes for things like when Han is going into carbonite. Either way though I do feel like radio drama Leia is way more emotional than I'd expect Leia to act and I like the version we see in the movies much better.

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    2. Those are cool mugs. Hubby gave me a set of SW mugs for Christmas. Such a sweetie. One has a pic of Han, Luke, and Yoda on it. It's quite cute and definitely going to work with me.

      Man, still need to listen to the radio dramas. They are hard to listen to in my car. An Imperial officer was trying to impose marriage? Interesting.

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    3. Amara, you should listen to them, really. There is a TON of back story before they even get to the things that happen in the movies. Leia on Alderaan with her father, the whole thing with Lord Tion wanting to marry Leia, Luke and his friends back on Tatooine, Leia and her father kicking the whole Death Star plan into action. You do need to listen.

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    4. Definitely on my list to do. My speakers in my car suck and hard to hear anything spoken. And my commute is pretty short.

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  31. Zyra yeah the hearing rather than seeing is an issue. But it's still over the top. And y'all want to talk bad sound? My copy of the radio drama is on cassette.

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  32. I have the radio dramas. :) They are nice and informative, but that's true with the characterizations, just didn't understand that before you said that, Zyra. I didn't notice/remember the part where the officer was gonna marry her. :D Have to listen them again. Since English is not my native language, it's very possible I just didn't get that.

    Well, that's good to understand the radio dramas better. There were some things about the characters I didn't like. In the ROTJ movie, when Luke finds out that his sister is Leia, he just gets this determined face "To keep Leia safe, I'll do anything for her". Or I'm just thinking he does. In the radio drama, Luke is wining to Ben why can't his sister kill Vader instead. Or something.

    All most forgot! I haven't read the Death Star. Would be interesting though! I've just got all my ideas from FF's, and of course, because I'm twisted and evil, more machine now than man. :D

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  33. I figured that Leia would have had servants as a young girl, and lives largely on military rations during the movies, so I can see her not being able to cook. However, I would like to do a fic where he teaches her how. That could be a lot of fun.

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  34. My god, I thought I should just mention I have spent hours re-reading through older posts on this blog. My eyes hurt! But I thought you guys should know how engrossing these discussions are :)

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  35. Okay, here's how I see it: Han can cook basic food really well. He's not a Food Channel maniac. And I think he will teach Leia over time how to make some things so that the family will stop fearing for their lives every time they sit down to a meal.

    Mon Mothma isn't a very warm person. She's probably sacrificed a lot to the cause and is a little resentful of those who, in her mind, haven't given up as much as she has. I think she may have lost a husband or lover and too many friends for the Rebellion to not engage in some bitterness. She probably sees Han as an opportunist and thinks Leia could do better.

    Cheating on each other? Nah, not seeing it.

    General Riekkan as a father figure is to me very believable. The way he addresses Han as Han explains why he has to leave is warm and kind. I think you can get a sense of a person's disposition with very few words.

    Whatever Han experienced growing up was certainly distasteful; being born into poverty leaves one very few options. I can understand why he hates talking about it. He's survived on smarts and wit, and he's built a life for himself that he never imagined he could have. He regards his life with Leia as the beginning of his life.

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  36. What about dancing? It seems to me that Leia can't dance, or she doesn't care about dancing, or she is just clumsy, or she was forced to learn when she was a child and she hated it... but maybe I haven't read enough to consider it a universal truth.

    I can't see how that can happen growing up as a Princess. I think dancing is a very important part of a politician's life. It's a common activity in most social events, so maybe she should know how to dance. Besides, alderaanian culture is supposed to be so advanced and refined and all that. We agree she can't cook but, would it be so terrible if she knew how to dance AND she enjoyed it?

    On the other hand, when Han dances, he does it like a true proficient, hahaha. But maybe because he is so good in bed he can't possibly be a bad dancer.

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  37. Let me add:

    1. Ice Princess=Leia
    2. Luke likes Leia.

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  38. Oh wait, I've got another realization. I made a fanfic wherein Leia can't sing.

    But thinking about it later on, maybe she can.

    In real life, Carrie Fisher was a singer first before she became an actress. There's even a picture of her in her school choir.

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    1. Ever seen the Star Wars Holiday Special? ;)

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    2. Yep! At least I heard Carrie sing in there. She also sang in a Laverne and Shirley episode ("The Playboy Show"). She's got the pipes for it.

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  39. Hey, another thing I see often is that Rieekan and Han have a mutual respect and esteem for each other, and that Rieekan approves of Han and Leia getting together. Guess those few minutes in ESB are enough to give that impression. FWIW. :)

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    1. Yep, it doesn't take much and we don't have to be spoon fed. I just wrote a positive review of Veronica Mars, stating among other things, that without the need for studio approval, characters and stories can still come though in little moments on their own, without a tell-me-what-you're-thinking scene.

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