Relationship Goals I Learned From 'Star Wars'
Full disclosure, I’m really anxious to see Star Wars: Force Awakens Friday because I don’t know if I can handle being reunited with the oldest (heavy emphasis on that word) of my old boyfriends, Han Solo. I’ve been totally head over heels over the Corellian smuggler since I was a kid, and even though Harrison Ford is basically geriatric now, my heart still beats for him. What can I say? In all of the galaxy, nobody gives me #relationshipgoals quite like Han and Leia do.
And kids, you know I use that last line pretty liberally (as in, literally every week) but there is a sick realness to the statement this time around. I grew up in a Star Wars family, and watching those two banter with a fire that could easily melt all of Hoth was romantically aspirational to little Mary Grace. Not only do I, to this day, emulate the feistiness of Leia (and Carrie Fisher, tbh), but I totally wanted a Han for my own. Which, if you know me at all, definitely puts a piece of the Mary Grace puzzle into place.
So in honor of Force Awakens, here’s everything Star Wars taught me about falling for rebels, kissing in space ships, and expressing your feelings at inopportune moments. Um. Original trilogy only. Han Solo is a problematic fav as it is, I don’t think I need to walk you through why you shouldn’t fall for an intergalactic evil dictator.
If your crush is being a scoundrel, you have to call him out on it.
What makes Leia a great character is that she does not take any nonsense and always has a line ready. And you’d think that Han, with all his roguish charm, would be able to get away with these jabs. Not the case. In fact, Leia totally points out when he’s being a Grade A jerk. I believe the term “stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder” has been thrown around.
Follow her lead, ladies. I know you think that guy you met on Tinder is super hot, but you don’t have to put up with his brash arrogance just because he drives a secondhand Lexus. Child, plz.
Nobody happens to like nice men. Come on.
That said, I’ve danced upon this controversial subject before, but we’re going to get into it. Right before Leia and Han’s first kiss (swoon) they have an exchange where Leia declares, “I happen to like nice men” and Han’s all, “I am a nice man.” Honey, no and no… and that’s ok. Here is the thing.
“Nice” is pretty much the bare minimum that anyone can be. It’s boring, and more importantly, it’s lazy. Han makes his transition from anti-hero to hero because he unlocks his inherent goodness. He finds a cause worth fighting for, he helps give Luke a shot at destroying the Death Star, he becomes admirable, decent, and not just a handsome, witty slacker. Han is not nice, not by a long shot. But he becomes a good man, and beyond that, he retains all the snark and badassery that makes him exciting. It’s a good mix, I have to say.
Again, I don’t think that all your romantic choices should be full Darth Vader. You never go full Darth Vader. I’m just saying that there’s a particular delight in an ultimately good man who challenges you versus (bleh) nice.
If you’re gonna make out, make sure to do it away from the droids.
Sometimes people don’t know how to express their feelings.
Alright, kids, “I love you” and “I know” are some of the most potent exchanges in film history. Frankly I do, from a cinematic perspective, think it’s great he doesn’t say it back. It’s very on brand, and also very…real for those of us who have gotten weird responses to “I love you” (“Okay,” slow blinking, an endorsement for copywriting on Linkedin). My only qualm is that they don’t capture Leia’s post-“I know” anger. I would be like, “‘I know?!’ Chewie, do you hear this scrub right now? Yeah, ok, great, have fun finding some other chick in the galaxy to get you unfrozen. ‘I know,’ oh my God.”
It all gets resolved in the end, I’m just throwing it out there.
But at the end of the day, all is well if you find someone who truly loves you…who isn’t your blood relative.
The fact that there was even a flicker of a Luke-Han-Leia love triangle still wigs me out, like that’s a thing that went on entirely too long… and enough of a reason why Han was meant to be the top contender. But even if, you know, Luke and Leia didn’t end up twins, I solidly believe that yeah, everyone should have a Han Solo for themselves. Yeah, he always shoots first, but don’t you love him for it?
[Image via Lucasfilm]