Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Universal Han and Leia Fanfic Truths: The Sequel

No, this is not a story update. We still want to do some normal posts, too, not just turn it into a story blog. You'll have to wait until Friday. The universal truths post is by far and away our most popular post on the site. So I decided to see if I could come up with some more options. Some of these were taken from comments of the last post, but I think they're worth repeating.

1. Mon Mothma doesn't like Han and/or his relationship with Leia. You'd be hard pressed to find a fic in which Mon Mothma is all excited for Leia and ready to help her pick out a wedding dress. She either wants Leia to lose Han and marry someone else "for the good of the New Republic" or she just doesn't seem to think that Han is good enough for her and she can do better. Why does she seem to hold some personal interest in Leia's love life? Is it just because she's apparently the only other woman in the galaxy? All she does in the movies is give exposition, yet we have her meddling in Han and Leia's relationship constantly. Perhaps she just wants Han to herself...

2. Their relationship is often plagued with others saying that Han isn't "good enough" for Leia. Sometimes this gets used a bit too often since it's such an easy and obvious way to put a strain on their relationship, but I'll admit to using it now and again. I suppose there are certainly legitimate reasons for people to see things this way. The fact is I don't think I've ever read a story where Han's buddies are telling him he should break it off with Leia, where many, many stories have Leia being told by lots of people that she shouldn't be with Han. Yeah, I suppose she's a princess, but is she really anymore? And it's not like the Royal House is even alive anymore to disapprove. The girl has suffered enough, can't you just let her date who she wants? Besides, the guy ends up a general of the New Republic and was integral in taking down both Death Stars along with protecting Leia and many others. Isn't that good enough?

3. Han buys Leia presents and surprises her a lot, and Leia almost never does either of those things. For some reason we all seem to think that Han would buy Leia special presents or surprise her with dinners or vacations or whatever. I have read very little in which Leia buys Han a present or surprises him with something. Do we all think that Han constantly has to vie for her affection, even in marriage? That just giving him herself is enough and she doesn't owe him anything else? Do we just love the idea of Han doing these nice, romantic things for Leia? I've actually thought about writing something in which Leia gives Han a meaningful present. The problem? I can't think of anything. I mean, with her it can be something commemorating Alderaan or something about the kids or jewelery or all sorts of different things. I don't know of anything he would get excited about. Engine parts, maybe? But that hardly seems like a romantic present.

4. General Rieekan is like a surrogate father to Leia. This was touched on a bit in the comments of the last post, but I think it is worth repeating. Let's all think back to The Empire Strikes Back. I'm sure anyone reading this blog pretty much has it memorized. Remember General Rieekan? I am pretty sure that if all you did was watch the movies a million times without reading any supplemental material that you wouldn't even know which one he was. Leia mentions his name once, but we can't really be sure which person she's referring to. There's nothing that tells us it was that guy who Han told he had to leave. He has a handful of lines that aren't particularly important. I suppose the only thing about him is that apparently he actually likes Han and appreciates his participation in the Rebellion based on telling him he's a good pilot and he doesn't want to lose him. Okay, well, I guess that's something. How do we even know he's from Alderaan? He says about two things to Leia. But in a lot of stories, apparently he was with her a lot growing up and she goes to him for a lot of fatherly advice. And in spite of what we all know most fathers would probably think of Han Solo, he seems quite supportive of their relationship. Go figure.

5. Leia is often portrayed as cold and unfeeling and doesn't like to be touched. This one doesn't make that much sense if you go back and watch the movies. Aside from Han, who she is actively trying to push away, think about how touchy/feely she is in the movies. I mean, within a very short time of being rescued she hugs and/or kisses all three of her rescuers. She hugs Han after the garbage masher stops, she kisses Luke on the cheek before they swing over the chasm and then again before he goes off in his X-wing. She hugs Chewie - who she had just recently referred to as a walking carpet - after they destroy the Tie Fighters. She hugs Han and Luke again when they come back from destroying the Death Star. Do these sound like the kinds of things that a cold and unfeeling woman would do? Probably not. And once she and Han share their first kiss, she almost always has her hands on him when they're together, even if just casually. She's actually quite openly affectionate.

6. Han is all about having kids and Leia is reluctant. All right, I guess if you found out you were carrying Darth Vader's DNA you might be a bit worried about what your kids would turn out like. But Leia never seems anxious to have kids. You'd think maybe on the other side of the fence, she'd really long to create a family of her own after she lost hers. On the other end of things, let's think about Han's recent past. Flying around without having to answer to anyone, doing what he wants when he wants. Sleeping with just about anyone he wants. Do you suppose in the midst of all of those smuggling runs and one-night-stands he spent much time longing to hold a baby in his arms? I don't think so. I get that things obviously would change for him once he met someone he might actually want to have kids with, but he is never the one to step forward and say, "Whoa, wait a second. If we have kids, doesn't this mean that we won't just be able to have sex anywhere we want whenever we want? I'm not sure I'm that excited about this idea..."

7. Han never has second thoughts about getting married. This sort of goes with the above. The guy took an awfully long time to commit to the Rebellion, and that was far less of a commitment than marriage would be. Now, of course I'd like to think that he wants to marry her from very early on, no doubt in his mind. But I haven't really come across anything where he sort of steps back and thinks that maybe settling down might be too much for him, as would kind of being stuck dealing with Leia's career. Not to mention only getting to sleep with one woman for the rest of his life. Like I said, I don't really see him being reluctant about marriage, but it's an option that hasn't really been explored and given his past you could certainly make an argument that that would be in character.

8. Leia often lets her work/career take precedence over her personal life. Again, I suppose you could argue that this is kind of what her character is like in the movies, so it makes sense. But wait, does it? Let's think about this. After enduring what we can only assume was brutal torture on board the Death Star, she doesn't reveal where the Rebel base is. Then, they decide to target her home planet for destruction. She caves immediately. I mean, I know she lied, but she basically let her personal feelings override her duty there. Same thing later on when she goes to find Han on Tatooine. You think the Rebellion might have thought sending Leia, one of their faithful leaders, and Luke, one of their commanders and a Jedi, to find one ex-smuggler pilot while there was another Death Star being built? I'm pretty sure that wasn't considered a priority. She dropped it all for a personal mission. So why later on do we have her so preoccupied with work and ignoring her family when in the movies it would seem that she is willing to drop "duty" without a second thought if it will help her loved ones? Yeah, think about that.

So there you have it, part 2 of the universal truths. As always, feel free to comment on what I've written here or add more. We love getting comments on the blog. Not only makes it feel like people are actually reading it but encourages some discussion and maybe sparks some interesting debates.


  1. I think the Mon Mothma against their relationship thing stems from COPL where she is all about marry the guy from Hapes, for the good of the republic. she does seem to warm toward Han after they are married, the Thrawn Trilogy doesn't make her out as a bitch or anything.

    for myself I will say I am guilty of LAZINESS in this area in that I am too lazy to think up an actual character with a back story or anything who is causing conflict in a story. it's just easier to use a name I know already.

    Same thing with Rieeken, really, I mean how many Generals are named in the credits of the movies? sometimes you are just too interested in the advancement of the story to think up new people to use, and you just pick a random name. at least I do. Rieeken is the go-to guy when you want a sympathetic ear or father figure for Leia.

    One thing you don't mention that I've seen often enough to think of it as a universal truth is that Leia has no close women friends. No one ever writes a story about Leia and her girlfriends going out and talking about hair and dresses and sex and men. You know?

    Another one is, that Leia always wears white. She wore two dresses in the first movie, both white. She wore the snowsuit in ESB, then she wears that freaky jumpsuit thing in Bespin, then back to the snowsuit. Ok, bad wardrobe choices, but still. she's not all ice princess boring white gown all the time. then ROTJ I don't think she has white on at all! she wears the bounty hunter costume and the bikini at Jabba's, she wears that cute little khaki uniform at the big briefing, she wears the funky camo stuff to Endor, then the Ewoks give her a dress, then she's back in the camo again for the raid on the bunker. so why does everyone talk about how she never wears anything but white?

    Ok, now I've inspired myself, I've got a whole girl talk thing spilling over in my brain, and I'm taking Leia to the dress shop. I need to go type this up while I'm on a roll :-)

  2. BTW I think the stuff about Han buying her presents falls into the "Han as our ideal man" category. I think we just want to write him as super husband and not jerk of the year.

    the thing about having kids isn't really based on anything in the movies but I think we are all influenced by the EU canon there, Tatooine Ghost, and all that, where she's freaked about her genetic heritage.

    Here's what I want to know about the EU, while we;re on the subject of "universal truths": who says that Jedi always have kids who are Jedi? I mean, where is that in the movies? where did that come from? we know nothing about where Jedi younglings come from. there's the one comment about the Force being strong in families but that's it. so why is it a given that Luke and Leia's kids will all be Jedi? Luke, at least, has a Jedi wife so it sort of makes sense genetically but I mean, what are the odds? why is poor Han the only one in the whole freaking family who is totally force blind? And if non-Jedi can have Jedi kids, why can't it work the other way? we have all these Jedi whose parents weren't Jedi that Luke finds after he opens the academy, but whenever Jedi have kids, boom, they have to be Jedi. it just bugs me. Why can't Jag and Jaina have a normal kid? What if Han and Leia had twins and one of them is force sensitive like its mom, but the other is a mechanical whiz like its dad. are they jealous of each other? who does mom like best? think of the possibilities!

    whew. I'm going to bed now before my head explodes.

  3. OK seriously. who thinks up these stupid words Google makes you type in order to post? I just got OINKIER.

  4. These are really good points about fanfiction stories! I am not a writer, but as a reader, I have noticed these themes repeating a LOT and a few of them, like Leia having no girl-friends and the whole Alliance Command (with the exception of General Rieekan) disliking Han, are starting to get a little old...

    I admit I get a little annoyed when a story has other New Republic Generals (usually Dodonna or Madine) disliking Han's military appointment solely because he was a smuggler. Sure, he took forever to officially join the Rebellion, but I believe we are supposed to assume he has a pretty impressive track record with leading missions or whatever the heck he did for the Rebellion between the first two movies, so why (besides adding drama) all the hatin'?

    I think a lot of the themes mentioned above(#'s 1,2,6 and 8, maybe others) have grown from the EU books...but I like to pretend those didn't happen most of the time lol

    I found a story that was unfinished (I think it might have been abandoned, but I don't remember where I found it) about Han and Leia having a fourth child that I believe was older than the twins and Anakin who was not force sensitive, and I really liked that idea. The plot was only starting to develop, but basically the idea was that the kid and Han were really close, I guess because they were in the same situation of being a non-Force sensitive person in a family of jedi.

  5. Damn, I was just thinking about another one the other day and now I can't remember it.

    I still think a lot of these fall under the influence of 'perfect man syndrome'. Han buying Leia stuff, Han all for marriage and kids.

    Julzimmer, maybe you've done this already, but check out some of Suezahn's stories, she actually gives Leia a girlfriend on Hoth. But yeah, it is quite rare to ever see Leia with a friend. I guess that goes back to the ice princess thing. Leia never gets close to anyone. But it's true, if you go back and look at the movies, she's happily hands out hugs and kisses left and right...apart from when she's trying to escape Han's grasp in ESB. But we all know she wants it real bad. ;)

  6. I agree with's really easy after seeing her in the first two movies to assume that Leia puts the Rebellion (and later the New Republic) and her ideals first, her personal happiness second. "We have no time for our sorrows" kind of says it all....BUT I agree that the entire point of her role in the rescue at Jabba's was to show how she's changed. Sure, Han's important to the Rebellion, but probably not important enough to risk Leia's life (since she's probably MORE important to them). I also assume that she insisted on being involved, regardless of what the best interests of the Alliance may be.

    Funny, I'm trying to think of something Leia could give Han too...and it's really hard. But then again, I'm trying to think of a gift...ANY gift, that I've given a man, be it my husband or an ex or anything else, that was really meaningful...and I can't think of too much. Expensive clothes? (Han wouldn't care) DVDs? (don't exist in SW, and Han probably wouldn't care) Guitar picks? (okay, probably in the same category as ship parts, but not very romantic) It's hard to think of romantic gifts for guys!

    That should be a fic challenge! The first person to come up with a good story about Leia giving Han a meaningful gift eternal respect? :)

  7. "Oinkier" is my new favorite word.

    For Leia not having close female friends, I don't think that's her fault. There are seriously like NO women in the Alliance. I can think of seeing women twice. Mon Mothma in ROTJ and that woman who says, "Stand by ion control" in ESB. Maybe I should watch ROTJ again and see if there are any more in the briefing room at Sullust, but honestly, there was nobody for her to be friends with! She never gets to interact with a woman in the entire trilogy. So by default, we have to make someone up out of thin air or fast forward and use Mara or something. They guys can be friends with the Rogue Squadron pilots or whatever, but Leia gets nobody. I can't even picture Leia having a girl conversation in my head. Not to say that she couldn't, but circumstances did not afford her that option.

    Good point about meaningful gifts, too. Guys don't tend to be as sentimental and certainly wouldn't (or probably shouldn't) be affected by receiving jewelery or something. I just had a thought of a possibility, but not sure if it would work. I do think though that maybe we feel like Han is going to love her anyway no matter what and he sort of has to put in some extra effort to make sure she knows how great he is.

  8. Apparently I need to clarify that I don't think that these things shouldn't be included in stories. I've used at least some of them and again, a lot of them could be argued as being in character. All I'm saying is that nobody ever seems to argue the other side of things, even though it's possible that Han maybe isn't such a thoughtful husband and isn't so interested in kids or Leia drops her career completely to be a housewife or whatever. Just trying to form discussion, not imply that you shouldn't use these elements in a story.

  9. Well it was brought to my attention that a few of you hit me pretty close to home. Maybe in the future there will be some good fanfiction for you to read... or maybe not. Great minds huh?

  10. Oh and PS I can think of one gift Han would be pretty happy to receive from Leia. ;)

  11. Jarik, I definitely thought of that. I was thinking of gifts in more of the traditional sense. But yeah, Leia can probably get away with not giving him anything as long as she... does some stuff for him. He probably prefers things that way, anyway.

  12. that's it. the oinkier, the better.

  13. “BTW I think the stuff about Han buying her presents falls into the "Han as our ideal man" category. I think we just want to write him as super husband and not jerk of the year.”

    “I still think a lot of these fall under the influence of 'perfect man syndrome'. Han buying Leia stuff, Han all for marriage and kids.”

    Come on guys, is no one going to admit it? Han is written that way because we want him to be amazing, yes. But why do we need him to be more awesome than he already is? Because we’re all in love with him.

    “Oh and PS I can think of one gift Han would be pretty happy to receive from Leia. ;)”

    Yeah, he wants her to use the word ‘oinkier’ in regular conversation.

  14. this has nothing to do with this post but I was afraid if I went back and posted it under the one about "should we be ashamed of ourselves", no one would ever know it was there.

    But in the continued saga of how I got my son addicted to Star Wars, guess who picked out a Lego X Wing set for his birthday? I love this boy.

    Now don't ask me why an X Wing set includes Han and Leia but WHO FREAKING CARES???? Small son and I immediately came to terms whereby I traded him two stormtroopers, Obi Wan with a lightsaber, and an Ewok for Han Solo.

    I thought it was a bargain myself.

    PS I totally think Han would love for Leia to use oinkier as an all purpose word. way better than kriffing.

    PS#2 I think an excellent present for Leia to give Han would be a remote control for Threepio.

  15. I think that trade was well played. And a remote for Threepio? Sheer brilliance!

  16. Yes, and said remote really only needs one feature: an off button.

  17. the perfect remote for the perfect man!

  18. Haha I wondered the same about that particular X-wing set. I WANT IT SO BADLY THOUGH. That one because not only do X-wings look awesome, but it has Han.

    Threepio Remote Control. I feel like someone should write a story that involves that and someone using the word 'oinkier' in a conversation (possibly several times), and no one else ever questions it.

  19. Lego X Wing update: looks awesome. cannot be carried about as it is quite fragile. wings fall off if you breathe hard at them. small son is already plotting design improvements, which, frighteningly, involve super glue.

  20. That is the biggest drawback of those Lego kits, they look awesome once complete but they fall apart when the A/C cuts on! Enjoy it while it lasts and super glue might not be a bad idea.

  21. I still want that set... and 352072964 more. ...I might need A) cash and B) some nice shelves.

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