The subject says it all. George Lucas has so much to say on the topic of Han shooting Greedo—like the nonsense in this Washington Post article—but doesn’t say squat about Luke kissing his own sister in The Empire Strikes Back?

I have seen the discussion in this thread as well as this thread. And while I acknowledge the in-universe ideas such as the Westermarck effect—as pointed out in Jeff’s answer—I still have a hard time swallowing how quickly dismissed that kiss between Luke and Leia was/is.

Outside of casual in-universe speculation and fan fiction, is there any evidence anywhere of George Lucas trying to justify that kiss between Luke and Leia? I’m old enough to have remembered the limited Star Wars universe of 1980 and how it was clear that Han and Luke were played as romantic rivals for Leia’s affections. In this new, retconned world of “Greedo Shot First!” nonsense—as well as other things in the “Special Editions”—has anyone from the Lucasfilm/Disney camp such George Lucas himself justified oddness of that kissing scene in The Empire Strikes Back in light of the brother/sister narrative.?

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    IIRC, Gary Kurtz has given interviews along the lines of “Leia wasn’t always Luke’s sister; she was supposed to show up much later”, as part of a larger original plan for nine episodes. I don’t know when those plans changed though; I’d imagine they’d be decided by the time they made Empire.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 7:46
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    @JakeGould Still not sure what the issue is. She didn't know he was her brother. If she did, it would be creepier. But she didn't. Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 7:54
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    So, to sum up... in-universe, they didn't know they were siblings. Out of universe, nobody knew they were siblings. Case closed.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


Leia wasn't originally supposed to be Luke's sister. From an early draft of The Empire Strikes Back we can see that when Luke is asking Obi-Wan about his sister, he was originally using the name "Nellith" which was later crossed out and replaced with "Sister", indicating that there was another character who was originally supposed to be Luke's sister.

Additionally producer Gary Kurtz revealed that Luke's sister was originally supposed to be revealed in episode 8.

So at the time of the kiss they weren't meant to be siblings. It was later added as part of the cut down from nine films to three.

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