In ROTJ Leia says

"somehow I've always known"

If she has always known then did she know when she kissed him?


9 Answers 9


There's a difference between consciously and unconsciously knowing. No, she didn't consciously know this - i.e. she wasn't aware of it.

Leia meant that the connection she always felt towards Luke now made sense - the one that she originally misinterpreted as sexual love, but realised was (appropriately enough), sisterly love.

Even when Leia kissed Luke she had other motivation - to annoy Han in particular - this, combined with a sisterly love she didn't know was in fact a biological connection, was enough for a kiss.

  • 1
    On TV Tropes, one person argues: > The "she only kissed him to make Han > jealous" argument does kind of ignore > the fact she practically snogs him > again at the end of the film, when > he's unconscious and there's no-one > else in the room...
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Apr 26, 2011 at 0:25
  • Doesn't she kiss Luke twice? I'm pretty sure she also kisses him when they are about to swing across one of those endless death holes in Hope.
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 21:17
  • That was a kiss on the cheek for luck, as she states just after she kisses him. Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 4:20

No. She was not aware of the blood relationship at that time, though she certainly felt the connection that most fiction insists is there between twins.

She may also have felt a strong desire for him, as they are twins (and thus very similar in appearance, though the performers playing them are not). People in general are attracted to people who bear a close resemblance to themselves, and they were separated literally from birth, preventing the Westermarck effect from occurring.

It's entirely likely that her 'always knowing' represents the way that the Force tried to guide her away from Luke, possibly directed thusly by the spirit of Kenobi.

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    Very interesting reference to the Westermarck effect. Good answer!
    – Chris_O
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 19:34
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    Fraternal twins are not necessarily very similar in appearance. They are no more alike than any pair of siblings, except they happen to be the same age.
    – Martha
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 18:59
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    @Martha: true, but this is fiction. Twins always look alike.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 0:44
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    @Jeff, there's a hole in your logic. Manifestly, twins do not always look alike, not even in fiction.
    – Martha
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 14:23
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    @Martha, I don't know. I can never seem to remember if it was Leia or Luke in the gold bikini. Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 17:17

Not consciously anyway. She might have "felt" it somehow when she was kissing him. At least that's the angle they usually spin on those kind of scenarios.

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    Perhaps Leia first had this impression when she kissed him, like Lorraine Baines did when she kissed her son Marty McFly in 'Back to the Future'?
    – oosterwal
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 16:58
  • After searching her feeling, she always knew it due to the force. But, she never confident about it because she didn't know the force was with her. So, - at the time of kiss - she knew it abstractly... not confidently like real fact.
    – user931
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 22:30

Both Luke and Leia are, to some point, force-attuned. This is proven when Leia is able to hear Luke calling out her name when Luke is hanging off of the antenna after he loses his hand in cloud city:

LUKE: Hear me! Leia!

LEIA: Luke...We've got to go back.

LANDO: What?

LEIA: I know where Luke is.

In fiction, there is often a sort of psychic link between twins, but in the Star Wars universe, because Luke and Leia are not only twins but force-attuned twins, we can see that a psychic link between them most definitely exists. However, only Luke has been trained in the use of the force, having to explain the link to Leia:

LUKE: There's more. It won't be easy for you to hear it, but you must. If I don't make it back, you're the only hope for the Alliance.

LEIA: Luke, don't talk that way. You have a power I--I don't understand and could never have.

LUKE: You're wrong, Leia. You have that power too. In time you'll learn to use it as I have. The Force is strong in my family. My father has it...I have it...and...my sister has it.

LUKE: Yes. It's you Leia.

LEIA: I know. Somehow...I've always known.

Since Leia hasn't been trained in the use of the force but she is still a force-attuned individual, she recognizes some sort of a link between her and Luke but she doesn't know exactly what it is (as she hasn't been trained in recognizing the force and being able to understand what the link that she's feeling means). When Luke tells her that they're siblings, this confirms the link that Leia has been feeling all along, so she states that she has somehow, always known.


I'm sure I read somewhere that George Lucas didn't know they were going to be brother/sister when he wrote that scene.

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    It would be great if you found a citation to back this up. As it stands, your answer remains in the realm of speculation.
    – user56
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 6:47
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    @Gilles I've heard the same thing, primarily in The Secret History of Star Wars (amazon.com/Secret-History-Star-Wars/dp/0978465237/…). Basically he didn't have the whole thing planned out, but wrote one movie at a time.
    – Andy
    Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 0:17
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    @Gilles, I'm not sure this needs to be backed up. Every knows that regardless of what Lucas revionistically claims, he really didn't have an idea what we was doing right from the beginning. Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 17:21

Well she didnt know she just felt the connection between them even though thought is fun to play with (third time I watched them I realized it and got a good laugh out of it)


The kiss was genuine romantic attraction tempered with a motherly/big sisterly approach. I don't believe that Lucas decided that Leia and Luke were siblings until after The Empire Strikes Back. In the episode IV Leia was torn between her attraction to the shy, sensitive Luke and the brash, macho Han. She takes the initiative with Luke because she realizes that he is too shy to come onto her himself. Lucas created a beautiful triangle complicated by the strong brotherly bond between Luke and Han.

  • I always thought it was self evident that she kissed Luke to piss off Han, not because she was attracted to Luke. Actually, she kissed him twice - once "for good luck" on the Death Star, but only on the cheek, and once to annoy Han and make him look like a jerk. She never showed any romantic interest in Luke, as I see it. He was planted firmly in the friend zone as soon as they met.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 1:17
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    Welcome to SFF.SE. I strongly advise you to take the tour, because we're really not a discussion board; our model is Q&A. There was an answer in your post, and I've edited to bring that answer more into focus. You're, of course, welcome to make further edits to improve your answer as you see fit, but you may want to take a look at our guidance on answering Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 1:34

Actually Leia is daughter of Anakin which means she has midichlorians. She has jedi powers which never trained. That's why she can sense but can not understand if the sense is right because she is not trained.

And the kiss was to make jealous of Han.

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    she has midichlorians Well... yes, but everybody has midichlorians.
    – gobernador
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 20:31

No, Leia always loved Luke. She kissed him to prove to Han she didn't love him. They originally weren't even close to being related. Thus the love triangle. The story went downhill making Leia and Luke related, and it makes no sense. The twin was going to be found by Luke and Leia by Episode 7 I.E Expanded Universe. So no, Leia saw Luke as a man to fall for, and not sisterly love.

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    Please avoid using personal opinions in answers unless the question specifically calls for it. You say that "The story went downhill making Leia and Luke related, and it makes no sense." This is your personal opinion, and it might not be shared with the person who asked the question.
    – Paul Omans
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 15:00

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