Love has always been a big part of Star Wars. The love of friends. Of family. Of ideals. Of all that is good. But what I’m going to talk about here is romantic love, which is just as important. In fact, a tragic love story is at the heart of the very existence of the saga.
Here’s my top five favorite love stories in Star Wars:
Han Solo and Leia Organa
The Han and Leia love story was the first Star Wars romance I experienced (and probably the first movie romance, come to think of it, besides all those Prince Charmings in Disney films), and it still remains my favorite. Han Solo was definitely not a Prince Charming; in fact, it was his “scoundrel” status that made the romance interesting to my young mind. The feisty Princess Leia had met her match (and vice versa), and the sexual tension lurking in their verbal sparring made it all the more sweet when we finally heard “I love you” and “I know.”
The Han-Leia romance is the only one on this list that ends with a long-lasting marriage. Yes, they were seperated at the time Han died at the hands of their son, but they’d had many years of arguments and reconciliations and the things married couples do in the course of their relationship. I’m sure they washed the dishes together a couple of times, maybe changed little Ben’s diapers when the droid nanny wasn’t around, and rocked a screaming Ben to sleep on countless nights. This is what married couples do, the things that either cement the relationship and deepen it, or blow it apart. So yeah, they argued and annoyed each other, but they also got on with it and loved each other, too. And tried to build a new government while they were at it, and maybe weren’t there for Ben when he really needed them. But they loved each other to the last.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Satine Kryze
I didn’t realize Obi-Wan had a love interest until I watched Clone Wars, and I was enthralled by the idea. Who could possibly win Obi-Wan’s good, kind, but platonic heart? She’d have to be an extraordinary woman indeed. And Satine Kryze, Duchess of Mandalore, turned out to be that woman. True, they met and fell in love when they were quite young–when hearts and hormones are easily aroused–but that love, though never consummated, endured through the years. Even though Obi-Wan never said the words “I love you” to Satine, his admission that he’d have left the Jedi Order for her speaks volumes. And the fact that Satine didn’t ask him means that she loved him enough to want what was best for him–that he was meant to be a Jedi–and that she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness for him. These two did a bit of verbal sparring themselves when they first meet up after years of not seeing each other, mostly concerning her pacifist postition in ruling Mandalore, but I believe it’s Obi-Wan’s concern for her welfare (and maybe a wee bit of sexual tension) that gets him all riled up about it. I believe he truly respects Satine for her pacifist beliefs, and loves her all the more for it. And I love how they call each other “my dear,” in their prim little way.
Like almost all of the relationships on this list, this one ends with a premature death. When Maul takes his revenge on Obi-Wan by killing Satine, it’s Satine who reiterates that she loves him with her last breath. Obi-Wan is speechless, but we can see the pain and love in his eyes as she dies in his arms. And it’s his memory of Satine that prevents him from falling to the Dark Side in his rage, as he envisions killing Maul and everyone in the room in retaliation (this is shown in the short story “Kenobi’s Shadow” in the book Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark). But he knows it’s not what Satine would have wanted for him. He wins the silent, solitary struggle for his soul because of her. This love story will always pierce my heart.
Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla
This relationship enchanted me, because I was never quite sure where they stood during the whole of Rebels until the very end. Hera and Kanan certainly had some kind of connection going on, and they were quite flirty. So are they in love? Or are they just lovers? Friends with benefits? Do they sleep in the same bed? What’s going on??? These questions kept popping up in my head, but they didn’t necessarily need to be answered. They clearly cared for each other, and would give their lives for each other, and that’s enough for me.
But toward the end of Rebels, it was clear Kanan wanted some clarification himself from Hera. He questioned her about what would happen after the war ended, what kind of life she wanted. Hera had been too busy fighting the war to give it much thought, or to want to commit to anything else–or anyone; but Kanan, early on the more flippant of the two, was getting serious. He didn’t push her, but once he was blinded, Kanan gained a depth of wisdom that made him “see” what was important in life. It was only at the end, just before he gave his life to save her and the others, that Hera finally realized she loved him and told him so. I admit it, I cried when he died.
So imagine my happiness and surprise when, at the end of the last season, Hera appears with a green little boy by her side (no, not Baby Yoda)–Jacen Syndulla, Kanan’s son–Ha! Same bed after all. But I was truly delighted that Kanan lived on in their little boy.
Quinlan Voss and Asajj Ventress
This was a surprising but strangely satisfying relationship told in the book Dark Disciple, by Christie Golden. The Jedi Quinlan Voss and the former Sith assassin Asajj Ventress fall in love while she teaches him a bit of the Dark Side of the Force so he can accomplish his mission of assassinating Count Dooku. I wasn’t too familiar with Vos, but it was gratifying to see someone like Ventress–full of anger and bitterness–open herself up to love. This girl’s had a rough life, after all–being taken away from her Nightsister family at a young age to become a slave; taken in by a Jedi to be taught how to use her Force abilities, only to see him killed before her eyes; apprenticed to Count Dooku as a Sith, only to be abandoned and betrayed by him; her return to her Nightsister family, only to see them slaughtered by Grievous and his droids; and on and on. This girl deserves a little happiness, darnit. And she finally gets it through Vos and a love neither of them had ever known. But, naturally, the course of true love never does run smooth. Vos falls to the Dark Side when he’s captured by Dooku, and their fate is uncertain. So she suffers again. In the end Vos comes back to the Light, but Ventress is killed while protecting him in a battle. Her death crushes him. Some of her last words to him are “Remember…you always have a choice to be better…you always have a choice to…to pick the right path.”
Vos buries her on Dathomir with her Nightsister family, and Ventress is finally at peace. I had wondered what happened to Ventress after Clone Wars, and though I’m sad she died, I’m glad she at least had a little bit of happiness toward the end.
Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala
Ah, Anakin and Padme, the great tragic love story of Star Wars. I was never particularly enthralled by it, maybe because Anakin’s obsessiveness turned me off. And to see Padme, a strong, intelligent, capable woman in the first two movies of the prequels become undone by love, to just die of sadness when she had babies who needed her–well, that just galled me a little bit. Am I being unromantic? Sorry. Maybe if I had seen the prequels when I was younger, in my teens or early 20’s, I would have melted over it. But I saw it when I was older, and I’m even older now, so I guess I just prefer the steadiness of Han and Leia, or the quiet endurance of Obi-Wan and Satine. Or even the light touch of Hera and Kanan. Maybe I don’t have the patience for the grand passions of the young anymore. How sad for me, right?
But this isn’t about me, it’s about Anakin and Padme, and it IS tragic, and I do get choked up when Padme says, “I don’t know you anymore. You’re breaking my heart. You’re going down a path I can’t follow.” Evil has touched and poisoned this love, and it’s horrible and unfair and it affects the entire galaxy. So even though it’s not at the top of my list, it’s here because of the sheer importance of it to the saga.
- Bail and Breha Organa. We don’t see too much of this couple, and we don’t see Breha at all except at the end of ROTS when Bail puts baby Leia into his wife’s arms. But I’ve read some books that have the Organas in them, and especially in Leia: Princess of Alderaan. These two have been married for many years, and it’s a happy relationship. Breha is the Queen of Alderaan, and Bail is her Viceroy. She deals with the politics at home, and he deals with it in the Senate and the galaxy at large. It’s an equal partnership, one of love and respect. And they adore their adopted daughter, and raise her well. I hate that they perished when Alderaan was destroyed.
- Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. So this is Legends material, and to be honest I haven’t read any of the books that puts these two together. I just know about it from fan sources, but I still love the idea of Luke having a wife. They had a child together–Ben Skywalker. I love that. I liked grumpy Luke in the sequels, but was a bit sad at the idea of him being an old hermit who had never known romantic love. Early on, I’d hoped Rey was his daughter, possibly from Mara Jade, or someone else, but it was not to be.
- Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun. Luke’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s long-lasting marriage gave young Luke a grounded and stable childhood (besides the natural dangers of Tatooine like Tusken Raiders or other scum and villainy), raising him in a way Obi-Wan couldn’t. The Lars’ were practical, down-to-earth folk who wanted nothing more than to work their moisture farm and stay out of trouble. They were committed to Luke and to each other. Owen was perhaps a bit hard on Luke sometimes, but only because he feared his lineage and what might happen to Luke.
- Ziro the Hutt and Sy Snootles. Just kidding.
Love Stories Not Meant To Be
Han and Q’ira. I liked this romance between young Han and intrepid Q’ira in Solo: A Star Wars Story, as well as their getting to know each other in the book Most Wanted, by Rae Carson. Han’s heart being broken by Q’ira is the reason he became such a scoundrel in the first place. Luckily he met an equally feisty princess later on to melt that armored heart of his.
Cassian and Jyn. I would have loved to see where this relationship could have gone if they HADN’T ALL PERISHED at the end of Rogue One. Truly devastating, but their sacrifice meant everything to the saga.
What’s your favorite Star Wars romance? Did I miss anyone? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
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