Leia and Han or Leia and Luke? How the 'Star Wars' Cast Answered the Love Triangle Question in 1980

Gwynne Watkins
·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford in <em>Star Wars.</em> (Photo: Lucasfilm)
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford in Star Wars. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

Do you sense a disturbance in the Force? Maybe that’s because May 25 will be the 40th anniversary of the original release of Star Wars in theaters in 1977. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, we’ll be posting Star Wars stories all month, including choice vintage interviews, original videos, and some of our favorite pieces from years past. Just keep coming back here all month to see what’s happening in our galaxy.

When The Return of the Jedi opened in 1983, audiences learned that Luke Skywalker was Princess Leia’s twin brother — giving a definitive answer to the question of whether Leia was meant to be with Han Solo over Luke. But until that fateful reveal in Yoda’s hut, the “love triangle” was a hot topic of speculation among Star Wars fans. While promoting The Empire Strikes Back, the movie in which Leia initially kisses Luke, but later declares her love for Han, the actors were frequently asked about Leia’s romantic intentions. At that point, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford didn’t know what Lucas had planned for the final part of his trilogy, nor did they know that Luke and Leia were siblings. So they had to get a little creative with their answers. Here are a couple of vintage videos from 1980 that show how they handled the “Luke or Han?” question.

In this joint interview below with new cast member Billy Dee Williams, Fisher was asked who Leia would marry in the third movie. Because how else could a female character’s arc possibly end, except with a wedding? (That was sarcasm.) “If they even have marriage in space,” Fisher responded with her usual witty panache, before suggesting that Leia use the carbon freezing chamber to combine Luke and Han into “the perfect mesh of a guy.”

The Today show’s Jane Pauley told Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill that she was “surprised” at Leia’s choice in The Empire Strikes Back. In this interview, she tried to get them to give viewers a hint. “I think it’s best to keep as many surprises as possible,” said Hamill. “It’s like your sister telling you what you’re getting for Christmas.”

It may seem like Hamill was dropping a sneaky spoiler here, but nope — he didn’t yet know that Leia was Luke’s sister. (And as we recently learned at Star Wars Celebration, Hamill still hasn’t gotten over that Christmas-present reveal.) When Pauley congratulated “the lucky man,” Hamill was sure to add a disclaimer — after all, she might have ended up with Chewbacca.

Watch Carrie Fisher talk about that ‘Empire’ kiss with Mark Hamill:

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