Sunday, May 1, 2016

What's Your Star Wars Tolerance Level?

"And then, I made out with Lando!"

I thought of this blog topic a few weeks back and although I kept promising Zyra to write it, I had just not gotten around to it.  I guess seeing Zyra in the flesh (she happens to be in my neck of the woods again) has inspired me to stop procrastinating and live up to my promises.  She just left here and I'm hoping to have this posted before she gets back to her computer.

The gist of the idea is in the title of the post:  What’s your Star Wars tolerance level?   

And what I mean by that is: what will you read about and enjoy in regards to Han and Leia (or Star Wars in general)?  We may have discussed this before on here, I can't remember, but even so, we've been talking about cycling back to old topics for the new followers to weigh-in on anyway, so here goes... 

For me, I think my tolerance level is pretty high.  If something is written well, I’ll read just about anything and enjoy it and it doesn’t have to be ‘happily ever after Han and Leia’, either.  Zyra knows I’m a big Fett/Leia fan, for instance.  I happily follow FettsOnTop series on this subject.  I even wrote my own trashy Fett/Leia fic and sadistically subjected Zyra to it.  I also enjoyed “Unlikely is an Understatement” which was a Leia/Thrawn fic. 

Now, just to be clear, I’m not talking about my ultimate, strict head canon.  In that (my head canon), Han and Leia are married and have a few happy, healthy kids and lots of grand kids and great grand kids.  I’m talking about the limits set in your mind on what you can enjoy and read about.  Let's face it, the internet makes these boundaries a bit non-existent.  If you have the stomach for it, I think you can go as far as you want here. 

To go a bit further for me, for instance, I have enjoyed some Han/Luke/Leia fics out there.  I even wrote a few scenarios a few years ago to amuse LadyPeter (Zyra doesn’t even know about those).  I’ve enjoyed things where Han and Leia don’t end up together or go through some pretty tragic times.  I’m thinking of IvyLore’s fic with Leia pregnant with another man’s child (another one of my favorites).  And there was a fic (by Luke1) where Leia has a child by Vader, a child by Luke and a child by Han.  It's very Luke-centric as he deals with what happened, but I thought it was very well done and I enjoyed it.

So, inquiring minds want to know:  what are the limits on what you’ll enjoy when it comes to reading about Han and Leia?  After all the happy fics have been read and reread, where do you go?  How far down the rabbit hole do you wander?  What is your tolerance level?  What are your secret, guilty pleasures (c’mon, I shared mine)?  Come clean (or dirty) and share!   


  1. My tolerance level is pretty low. I look for Han/Leia together and happy endings. That said, I think some of the stories about Han being lost in the carbonite for years are interesting to consider - what if Han were rescued when Leia was an old woman? He'd still be a 30-year-old man.

    But i still really only like Han/Leia together...maybe because there are really no stories out there where you can look to a "happily ever after" and fan fiction is really the only place that still exists...(until I get off my ass and write something original in the scifi/fantasy genre, but fan fic is more fun and less difficult in the end. NO world-building needed).

    Sorry. You'd think vanilla would be my favorite ice cream flavor too. (It's not, don't worry)

    1. I really really used the word way too much in that post. Really.

    2. Well, Han and Leia with happy endings do not necessarily mean "vanilla" as per other posts on this blog. LOL! But I hear you Kels. That is my favorite type of fic to read as well.

  2. I love reading angst, even if it's not within my head canon. Ivylore's fics are amazing and some of the best written fan fiction out there - Renewal where Leia has an affair while Han is away is done in such a believable, in character way it doesn't take away from their relationship at all.

    Also, don't mind fics where Han and Leia break up, as long as they get back together - Cindy Olsen's the Wager another excellent example.

    I have an issue with fics that show Han as a horndog who falls into bed with a woman despite being in a relationship with Leia just because she's beautiful because a lot of those fics don't seem in character and paint Han as sort of gullible and easily tricked. A lot of those come off to me as Spacer Sue - like the author is trying to insert her own character to sleep with Han Solo vicariously and have him cheat on Leia.

    Also, fics where Han and Leia have long-term affairs I can't buy either. I can MAYBE buy a brief infidelity during a rough spot in their relationship I can buy, but not one where Han or Leia are cheating on the other for months and the other person is oblivious. I read one where Han had this affair with Bria (who came back from the dead) for like eight months and hid it from Leia the entire time who was clueless. Yeah, no.

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  4. My tolerance is... low. But I don't think that is a secret. I know Push and I have discussed this, can't remember if it has come up before on the blog or not. I have been around the fandom a very long time so I don't think I ever had that moment of discovering fanfic and then going crazy reading absolutely everything without really thinking about choosing WHAT I wanted to read about. I do sometimes feel bad, because there are more than a few writers out there, Ivylore and Channel19 come to mind, who are excellent writers and very much worthy of anyone's time. But I just can't get past the subject matter (both tend to view the relationship in a darker way, and both include affairs) to really enjoy it. I really do feel bad about that, because as I said, I'd recommend their writing to anyone, but I just can't enjoy the story, especially knowing that there are dozens if not hundreds of other fics out there which include much more happiness.

    I mean, I get it. Angst and conflict is what makes stories interesting, and I've certainly been drawn into stories before knowing what they would be about and once things got dark I still had to keep reading to find out what happens. But those are not the stories I revisit later. If I know before hand that they don't wind up together, or where one of them cheats on the other or some other plot point I don't like, I probably won't read it.

    I'm like this with most entertainment, though. I don't like sad/dark/dramatic movies with difficult subject matter. I've seen plenty of movies I know are GOOD, but I never want to see them again, and had I known what I'd be seeing, might not have watched in the first place. Same with a lot of darker TV shows that are out there now. I don't know, I like happy endings, and I like things that leave you feeling hopeful even though I realize that the other stuff might actually make for better and more compelling stories.

    I do find it interesting when people mention stories of Han cheating on Leia. I really don't think I've read one of those even accidentally. Don't tell me where they're hiding.

    Also, as Push knows, I only want to read about Han and Leia. So it is amazing that she got me to read her story about Leia and Boba Fett (which WAS interesting) and also got me to help her come up with reasons for her to be with him. So, I CAN be persuaded, it's just really difficult ;)

    1. I do want to add, I think people should be able to write whatever, and I think it's great that we do basically have endless options for what we can write and read. This is strictly as far as what I actually want to read about.

    2. I call the Han cheating on Leia fics Spacer Sue fics, because most of them are so obviously the author's Mary Sue who they get to vicariously sleep with Han through.

      Ha, found the definition of Spacer Sue on an old Han/Leia site: Spacer Sue is usually way more beautiful than Leia, taller, and often blonde. Spacer Sue is usually a smuggler or some other type of "fringe" character who is just as wild as Han and gets into bed at the drop of a hat. Spacer Sue is of course a real expert in the sack and while she might have feelings for Han, she is content to let him have his space and won't press him into any commitments. Unlike that runty, dark, prudish, wet-sack, clingy princess ;).

  5. Oh, this blog is pure crack! I read this entry and had a serious LMFAO moment .Hardcore.

    I'm pretty respectful of what anybody wants to do in fandom. I mean, it's their thing, and prerogative to write what they want, so in theory I am open to everything.

    In reality, I like reading stories with Han and Leia's relationship as the focus and if I know beforehand there isn't an ending where they are together and in love I tend to pass in favor of fluff, romance, and SMUT. (Hey, it's me.)

    I've passed on Leia/Fett stories. Just can't get into them. I've also passed on a lot of stories where Han or Leia get married to someone else and have affairs with each other. Or are married/in a relationship and end up having affairs with other people. (Too depressing.) Ivylore and Cindy Olsen's work is an exception, mainly because they're good writers but I know I don't go back and re-read those stories. (I barely made it through "The Wager" once, I don't think I could do it again - it was too traumatizing!) I have to admit, I love stories when either Han or Leia are jealous. It triggers so many insecurities! I love seeing how they react to exes, or other romantic threats, perceived or otherwise. (Push's "Why not Now" is a great example of that. But we get a happy ending! Hooray!) I also love angst, but usually only if the angst can be resolved, or is in the context of the OT, where you know things end with them in love and together eventually. To that end I tend to avoid TFA-era fic. Most of it depresses the heck out of me. I'll take "new canon"-ish post-ROTJ and pre-TFA era work if it's fluff/romance/SMUT and not heavy or depressing.

    Leia/Fett, Leia/OC, Leia/Anyone else does not do it for me. Same for Han/Bria, Han/OC, Han/Whomever.

    Han/Leia/Luke is just... not where I want to be. So I don't go there. I'm not into slash, and twincest is just... no thanks. But I will say the few fics I've read where Luke and Leia's force bond goes wonky and creates some squicky situations to amuse me immensely!

    Han/Leia/Lando... same. Pass.

    The only thing I will seriously say I'm just grossed out by, rather than respectfully pass on are any stories involving romantic entanglements with Chewie! Those are enough to make me want to lose my lunch!

  6. Well, in fanfic, I pretty much have tolerance for anything unless there is violence involved.

    Are you talking about canon, too? In canon, I only want them to be happy and together. Nothing else is accepted. Now, I don't mean that they can't fight or have discord at times (that's normal), but they should overall be happy. The canon in TFA sucked. It sounds like "Bloodline" is a novel for "damage control."

    1. I think the question centers on what you like to read, rather than what you'll "tolerate." I tolerate everything! (Except Chewie being paired with any of the humans. Please no!) But, if we're talking about what I personally like to read I'm rather conventional regarding Han and Leia. Heterosexual romance and a loving relationship (even with challenges and threats from external forces, or internal conflict) is pretty much what I like reading. Boring! But it's what I like.

  7. The two fics that came immediately to mind that are at the very edge of my tolerance level are Cindy Olsen's "The Wager" (killed me dead and I will never read it again but it was amaaaaazing, love you Cindy!) and IvyLore's "Renewal". They were both so very well written and in-character, it's hard not to admire them. But the content of those stories just borders on unacceptable to me.

    That's because I'm a very simple creature who enjoys very simple pleasures (at least in this world of fanfic). I want my Han/Leia to be HAPPY and TOGETHER, through thick and thin. I don't mind angst, but only if there's a happy ending. The very unhappy ending given to Han and Leia in TFA is what sent me diving back into writing after a long absence from the fandom. I tried to give them a somewhat happier ending of my own... although even that is unsatisfying to me now, considering how canon seems to be angling away from making Rey their daughter, alas. Throw me a bone, JJA.

    Now I'm enjoying reading (and writing) fluffy, sweet, romantic, sexy, lightweight stuff that makes me smile. And I'm really only interested in reading about Han with Leia. I do enjoy stories that explore other relationships (e.g. Han & Chewie, Han & Luke, Leia & Chewie, Leia & Luke) but only in the sense of friendship and family. I'm so vanilla, I know, but that's me. The minute I see something like, "Han realized he was in love with Luke...", I'm out. Not my cuppa.

    Having said that, I'm just in the middle of co-writing a short fic set between ANH and ESB that explores the idea of Han's last-ever sexual encounter with a woman other than Leia. (!) Even so, I don't expect I'll include any juicy details. Not because I'm afraid of being flamed, but because it's just not the kind of thing I would want to read myself. And even though it features another woman with Han, it's really all about Han's growing attachment to Leia. That's just all I care about, I suppose.

    1. Oh Erin Darroch, that's my kind of fic right there! I actually don't mind that kind of scenario, especially when it leads to eventual (implied or otherwise in the OT timeline) Han and Leia. I can't wait for the fic! I'm sure I'll love reading it.

    2. Ooh, can't wait to read your fic Erin! It's funny, I just finished Honour Among Thieves and I was telling my H/L friend who I was getting super jealous of all the flirtation/attraction moments between Han and Scarlet in the book. I know it's irrational because it's between ANH and ESB and Han has no obligation to Leia at that point to remain celibate, but I wanted Leia to get that UST dammit! The author even has them check into a room! So I spent much of the book being jealous of Scarlet on Leia's behalf, but it's all good because we know who he ends up with. I do wonder if when Han hooked up with other women other than Leia during those years he felt himself thinking of her or comparing her to them...

  8. Well, it's been awhile on this blog entry but I figured I'd jump in...because I'll read Han with Leia, Luke (Luke & Leia - and written it), Lando...but not Chewie. I also am fine with Leia with all those - except Chewie! And I don't see any of them with Wedge... And I can't see Boba Fett either, that I might have to track down and read...

    I have read Leia/Poe and Han/Poe and it honestly worked really well, despite my general avoidance of anything TFA. Usually the summary on AO3 will send me away before I read anything bad (and let me tell you, I have read just summaries that would make you ill).

  9. I have almost zero tolerance. I read almost nothing but Han and Leia rated M. And I like her to be unexperienced, vulnerable (without lying naked in front of Jabba...) and/or even submissive. :3 I don't like to read anything with her being Domina or something...

    If I want to read something else but them making love (preferably for their first time), it happens very rarely. But when it happens, I like angst/comfort and it still has to be about Leia. It could be her dealing with her nightmares or other issues related to the Death Star and destruction of Alderaan.

    I like happy endings, too, then a sudden brake up in a story doesn't matter. Of course I can't know the ending before it ends. I don't like them cheating, but if it's written reasonably, I can handle her ending up in bed with some one else... But I don't like it.

    I don't usually read AU fanfics. OT is my favourite time period. To Han/Leia/Luke: all though I'm bisexual myself, I don't like to read slash AT ALL in fanfiction and Star Wars is the only ff I've ever read. I guess I consider slash to be AU? I am ok with incest in fiction, but I want to keep Luke the innocent little farm boy. I have read one TFA ff. It was good and really saved the day, but I guess it will be the last for a long time.