Study Guide

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Love

Love

LEIA: Han, we need you.
HAN: We?
LEIA: Yes.
HAN: And what about what you need?

Oh, just kiss already, you two. Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait some time for that to happen, as the first half of the film is steeped deep in some classic will-they-won't-they tension.

HAN: Come on, you want me to stay because of the way you feel about me.
LEIA: Yes, you're a great help to us. You're a natural leader.

Although Han tries to come across like a cool customer, he's clearly shaken by Leia's refusal to admit that she likes him. Needy much? Sure, Leia is obviously hiding her feelings for this hunky smuggler, but he must really love her to keep banging his head up against that wall.

C-3PO: It's Princess Leia, sir. She's been trying to get you on the communicator.
HAN: I turned it off. I don't want to talk to her.

See what we mean? Han tries to exude a devil-may-care attitude, but it's obvious that the dude has fallen head-over-heels for Princess Cinnabon. We can't blame him, either—there's nothing more attractive than a powerful lady.

HAN: I must have hit pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, huh, kid?
LEIA: Why, I guess you don't know everything about women yet.
[Leia kisses Luke]

First off, we have to throw out the obligatory "Gross! Incest!" even though by all accounts George Lucas hadn't decided that Luke and Leia were siblings by the time of Empire's release. Second, this is the most blatant case of a lady protesting too much that we've ever seen.

LEIA: Why are you still here?
HAN: I heard the command center had been hit.
LEIA: You got your clearance to leave.
HAN: Don't worry. I'll leave. First I'm going to get you to your ship.

Besides showing Leia's dedication to the Rebel cause, this exchange shows Han's dedication to Leia. He might turn off his communicator when she gets on his nerves, or get cranky when she doesn't give him attention, but he'll always have her back when the chips are down.

HAN: You like me because I'm a scoundrel. There aren't enough scoundrels in your life.
LEIA: I happen to like nice men.
HAN: I'm a nice man.

Leia is a princess, so she spends most of her life with political big-wigs and other Very Serious People. In other words, she doesn't know anyone like Han. Although this might make her hesitant at times, it's the same thing that drew her to him in the first place.

LEIA: I don't trust Lando.
HAN: Well, I don't trust him, either. But he is my friend. Besides, we'll soon be gone.
LEIA: And then you're as good as gone, aren't you?

Even in the face of serious danger, Leia shows concern about Han leaving. This represents a big leap forward for their relationship, as it's the first time Leia admits (or, at least, kind of admits) that she'd be personally affected by Han's departure.

[Han has just been tortured]
LEIA: Why are they doing this?
HAN: They never even asked me any questions.

After Lando's betrayal, Leia is reminded why she fell for Han in the first place. Although he's always ready with a sarcastic quip, he's also incredibly determined, loyal, and resilient.

HAN: Chewie, this won't help me. Save your strength. There'll be another time. The princess, you have to take care of her.

Although Han is literally about to be frozen into metal so he can be turned over to a giant slug-man, he still puts Leia's life ahead of his own. What a scoundrel, right? If that's not evidence of true love, then we don't know what is.

LEIA: I love you.
HAN: I know.

This might be our favorite line in movie history. Not only does it represent Leia finally admitting her feelings towards Han, but it also sees him responding in the most Han Solo-like way imaginable.

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