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In Return of the Jedi, Luke and Leia

are revealed to be brother and sister.

This development was... strange, to say the least.

On one hand, they kissed in the films twice.

On the other hand, one kiss was for luck, and the other was to make Han jealous, so it could be argued that they weren't really interested in each other.

Have any expanded universe works, of either continuity, directly answered the question of whether or not either of them were romantically attracted to the other, at any point in their lives?

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26  
It sounds like you're plotting out an especially unpleasant erotic fanfic. – Valorum Mar 2 at 0:43
10  
@Richard Actually, I'm trying to gather evidence for a rebuttal for the next time someone accuses Star Wars of promoting incest. – Rogue Jedi Mar 2 at 0:48
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As far as I can tell, Luke was quite pleased (and tingly) to have been kissed by a woman as attractive as Leia but never really got much beyond that. By the time he'd gotten around to sorting out his feelings, he was busy saving the galaxy and then training as a Jedi. – Valorum Mar 2 at 0:50
4  
There's some retrospectively awkward stuff in Splinter of the Mind's Eye. – Elliott Frisch Mar 2 at 1:09
4  
I don't see that it's promoting incest. A brother/sister that were separated early enough are very likely to be attracted to each other upon meeting, once they found out their relationship they dropped it. – Loren Pechtel Mar 2 at 5:00
up vote 36 down vote accepted

Yes, but it's not very strong; and usually mainly on Luke's side.

Disney Canon - new

  • "Heir to the Jedi" by Kevin J. Anderson explored Luke's feelings for Leia a bit.

    He admits to Nakari that he has "yearning" for Leia, romantically, but that he basically has zero hope of ever getting anywhere (and ends up preferring Nakari as a partner).

    I thought that was just a polite noise and my cue to continue, but Nakari drummed her fingers on the table to stop me and then asked a dangerous question couched in a coo. “Tell me, Luke, am I mistaken in thinking you have feelings for that princess? Because I thought I heard a note of yearning there.”

    “No, you’re not entirely mistaken,” I said. “But we’re just friends.”
    “Uh-uh, pilot, that’s not going to fly. I’m talking about what you want, not what you are.” ...

    ... “No, that’s not it at all. Why are you angry? You asked if there was a note of yearning and I was honest and admitted one, but it’s nothing beyond that.”

    He also clearly wants to have Leia like him more than a friend at the start of the book:

    “Thanks. I will,” I said, though I wasn’t so anxious to leave anymore. It felt good to see Leia shed her all-business demeanor for a few moments and speak to me on a personal level—especially without Han around. But I could hardly prolong the moment when I had a mission waiting. ... ... Leia returned the way she had come, leaving me to wonder why my brain had seized up so badly. It must have been the infinite number of things to say and how most of them would have been the wrong thing. I’d just have to hope I did better next time.

Disney canon - old

  • ANH novelization by George Lucas ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster explicitly stated that Luke was jealous of Han vis a vis Leia:

    “Still,” Solo ventured thoughtfully, “she’s got a lot of spirit to go with her sass. I don't know, do you think it’s possible for a Princess and a guy like me …?”
    “No,” Luke cut him off sharply. He turned and looked away.
    Solo smiled at the younger man’s jealousy, uncertain in his own mind whether he had added the comment to bait his naive friend—or because it was the truth.

    And Luke is clearly attracted to Leia when he meets her

    She was even more beautiful than her image, Luke decided, staring dazedly at her. “You’re even—more beautiful—than I—”

    Leia clearly cares about Luke, though it's not made clear if the caring is romantic:

    Relief swept the war room, and it was most noticeable in the face of the slightest, most beautiful Senator present. {{ when Luke almost got killed over Death Star before his run }}

N-canon

  • The infamous sequel book to A New Hope, "Splinter of the mind's eye" by Alan Dean Foster, was of course written before the sibling-ing became canon fact; and therefore openly had Luke and Leia romancing each other. Luke more so than Leia, admittedly.

    "The other [Leia]... whenever he looked at her, the other caused emotions to boil within him like soup too long on the fire, no matter if she was separated from him by near vacuum as at present or by only an arm's length in a conference room."

    ...

    "Awkwardly pressed up against him, the Princess seemed to take no notice of their proximity. In the dampness, though, her body heat was near palpable to Luke and he had to force himself to keep his attention on what he was doing."

    ...

    "Disheveled and caked with mud from the waist down, she was still beautiful."

    ...

    "It was not the face of a Princess and a Senator or a leader of the Rebel Alliance, but instead that of a chilled child. Moistly parted in sleep, her lips seemed to beckon to him. He leaned closer, seeking refuge from the damp green and brown of the swamp in the hypnotic redness."

  • In Star Wars #25 comic (by Goodwin, Infantino and Gene Day) Leia passionately kisses Luke.

    enter image description here

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12  
+1 and welcome back. – Null Mar 2 at 2:40
1  
This makes me wonder how Luke felt when he realised Leia's his sister. And why Obi-Wan did nothing about it for four years... – thegreatjedi Mar 2 at 9:16
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@thegreatjedi You're assuming that the people of the galactic republic have an issue with incest. Is there any canon evidence that they do? (I mean they probably do given that their morals and ethics are mostly based on 1970's america, but I'm not sure it's explicitly stated anywhere). – Cubic Mar 2 at 10:38
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I would think that in a galaxy with advanced knowledge of genetics, the implications of incest would be well known and socially considered undesirable lol. You don't see Luke confessing in spite of knowing their sibling relationship, do you? – thegreatjedi Mar 2 at 11:34
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@thegreatjedi: On the other hand, given advanced knowledge of genetics they could allow incest, using screenings in the case of 1st cousins and genetic mixins in the case of closer relationships. Hell, "1st cousins can marry but have to undergo genetic screening." is the law in some places, on Earth, right now. – Williham Totland Mar 2 at 15:10

Luke:

It is certainly implied that Luke, at least, has strong romantic feelings for Leia, and doesn't want Han competing for her affections:

Princess Leia Organa: [to Luke] Your friend [Han] is quite the mercenary. I wonder if he really cares about anything. Or anybody.

[she stalks out]

Luke Skywalker: [calling after her] I care.

[to Han]

Luke Skywalker: So, what do you think of her, Han?

Han Solo: I'm tryin' not to, kid.

Luke Skywalker: Good.

Han Solo: [baiting him] Still, she's got a lot of spirit. I don't know, whaddya think? You think a princess and a guy like me...

Luke Skywalker: [quickly] No.

And of course, Luke is very pleased with himself when Leia kisses him - just after the kiss, everything he does is intended to make Han jealous and demonstrate Luke's satisfaction with this apparent victory.

This shouldn't be all that surprising, since it is fairly clear that even George Lucas didn't "realize" (or "decide", if you prefer to call it that) that Luke and Leia where related until some point after the first draft of the script for The Empire Strikes Back was written and rejected.


Leia:

From the books I've read to date, especially the original novelization of A New Hope, it seems that Leia thought Luke was sweet and cute, but she never really had any significant romantic feelings for him - she was just too focused on her instant love/hate feelings for Han. As we see in the movies, she is irresistibly attracted to Han, but she hated herself for being attracted to him, and it took a lot of effort for her to keep herself from showing her true feelings.

Luke was a nice guy - much nicer than Han - but he was also very naive, and he came across as much younger than he actually was and far less worldly and not at all the handsome bad-boy scoundrel that Han was.

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"Bad-bot scoundrel"? Han is secretly a droid?!?! – Todd Wilcox Mar 2 at 19:28

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