What Star Wars Teaches About Marriage

What Star Wars Teaches About Marriage

I grew up watching Star Wars, Princess Bride, and Star Trek.

My parents have good taste, and passed on their love for the classics on to us. Some of my earliest memories of movies include the trilogy that involved light sabers, a large hairy dude, and some inexplicably lovable robots. Of the entire series, the romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia has always been my favorite part. I have always been a romantic, and the ongoing attraction between those two seemed, to me, perfection. Their relationship was up there in my estimation with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, and  Westley and Buttercup.While watching the utterly disappointing second trilogy (Jar Jar Binks anyone?) with the overdone special effects, strange creatures, and disjointed plot twists I could not help but wonder what had happened to Han and Leia. Where had their story taken them?

Spoiler Alert If you intend to watch the newest Star Wars movie DO NOT read past this point. There is no going back after I reveal certain aspects of the plot. I repeat, do not continue! You have been warned. 

Therefore, when the newest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was coming out and I found out it would include C-3PO, R2-D2, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Han Solo I was utterly elated! I, also, heard that the director, J.J.Abrams was attempting to make this newest movie more in line with the first trilogy which was exciting news.

With a lot of optimism (and even more popcorn) hubs and I headed to our local theater for a few hours of enjoyment.

We were, for the most part, not disappointed.

This film lived up to every good thing I had heard attributed to it. The beauty and magic of the first trilogy was resurrected in this beautifully made movie. Abrams’ choice to limit the special effects, introduce new and diverse characters, and bank on just enough nostalgia to carry the movie made this film a beautifully poignant experience.

As I walked out of the theater, tossing my empty popcorn container in the trash as I hurried by, flush with excitement, and chattering incessantly about the positive aspects of this film I could not help but feel a pang of disappointment in regards to my long held beliefs that Han Solo and Princess Leia had lived happily ever after. This movie had dashed those hopes, and tarnished the loveliness of their relationship in the first trilogy.

It seems in the future, while space travel became more common place, healthy marriages did not.What Star Wars Teaches About Marriage

While Han and Leia might have had a romance, and even got married–the test of time caused their relationship to lose their luster, and drift apart. This, to me, was a major disappointment. The movie would have been deeper had Leia and Han been flying around space as a couple . Their characters would have evolved with the passing of time rather than Han simply in the same bachelor pad (bachelor spaceship? Is that a thing?) that he inhabited as a twenty-year-old. Their relationship would have add depth, and richness to an already stellar movie. I truly believe that a couple that fought so hard for each other, when they were young, could have continued to fight for their marriage, thirty years later.

The majority of movies quietly teach us that the initial stage of a relationship is where the romance is found, and years later the two people that were so enraptured with each other have next to no romance whatsoever. I believe that this message has seeped into our culture. A majority of couples try to extend the dating relationship, and cohabitation has become the norm. Fear of commitment is often wrapped up in the wariness that with marriage comes boredom, and the eventual demise of the relationship. Movies and shows about hot flings are showcased as the epitome of romance (50 Shades of Grey, Sex in the City, etc…) while marriages always seem to fall apart.

Let’s remember, in our own marriages, that while difficult times come we do not need to settle for living across the galaxy from each other, estranged, and embittered. Marriages can work. Romance can be kept alive. And the first stage of the relationship does not have to be the best part.

The best is yet to come.

What did you think of the new Star Wars movie? 

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15 thoughts on “What Star Wars Teaches About Marriage”

  1. Wow, I hadn’t even thought about this! You are right in saying that a lot of movies share this same message. It’s so sad that so many marriages, both on-screen and off, fizzle out after the honeymoon stage is over.

  2. I love this. My only take is that losing a child, which is essentially what happened to them, can often change a relationship for the worst. One blaming the other. Blame being placed on yourself. It’s just difficult to weather those emotions a lot of times and come out on top for even the most stellar of couple.

  3. I agree!! I wish they had been together, but at the same time I respected their relationship apart. I think they should have done some more reflection on their relationship because I think it touches on something major: one person getting caught up in their business (or saving the world, like Leia) and the other feeling stuck in the past. I also think that falling apart after losing a child is very commonplace, so they could have touched on that more deeply. Overall, I LOVED it. I literally left feeling giddy because I, too, grew up on Star Wars.

  4. I love this so much! I was also very disappointed to see that Han and Leia had split. I thought they were the PERFECT couple and then … they weren’t. So sad. But it’s true what you say – media says marriage only lasts for those who like to be bored. My marriage won’t be like that because I choose to work on it! As long as we’re diligently making the choice every day to make our marriage as great as it can possibly be, we are much less likely to fail OR become bored.

    1. Me tooooooo. So sad. They were the perfect couple! Dratted screenwriters. 😉 Making the choice every day is the important thing, you are right. Let’s spur each other on towards thriving marriages!

  5. Pingback: How Our Marriage Was Not So Unlike Han and Leia's - Prairie Woman Arts at the Barnhouse

  6. Loved this post! I have been a life-long fan of Star Wars and a newlywed to another Star Wars fan (my husband builds replica lightsabers and we went to the Star Wars Celebration VII for our honeymoon) and I was so disappointed how Han + Leia’s story turned out. (It makes me feel like I’m betraying true love by keeping my I Love You … I Know hand towels up in our bathroom. 😛 Anyway, your post was the perfect response and I loved reading it. Looking forward to following and reading your future posts! Have a lovely weekend. 🙂

  7. I personally was disappointed with several things in the Star Wars movie, but then I’m also not one who would show up dressed as Princess Leia, either. I went for entertainment. It didn’t live up to all the hubbub, in my book. Aside from the fact that Hans’ son was a very weak character and bore not resemblance to his parentage…like… Zero resemblance. Anyway…I digress. That probably bothered me the most! lol I’m pretty shallow when it comes to movies.

    Long-term marriage and being romantically in love after 30 years, takes a plan and intentionality. I can safely say that in the first year or 2 of our marriage, I was hopelessly, romantically in love with the Hubs. And I’ll be blogging a lot about that later… But, it didn’t take being in different galaxies for us to drift apart. Speaking from experience, you can live in the same house and live very far apart.

    What the Star Wars storyline shows is that Leia and Han had individual goals and they chose to make that individuality more important than coordinating and being one. Coming up with a solution that worked for both of them. 🙂 It is Hollywood, but it’s nothing new.

    Good news is, and I won’t ruin my future blog posts, the Hubs and I are set to have a better 2nd 30 years than our first 30 years. 😉

    Dear Niece. Never stop being intentional. Never stop improving your plan to care for each other. And… romantic love is not unconditional. You have created the conditions whereby Saia is in love with you. If either of you stop doing that, the romantic love fades.
    The Hubs was every bit as romantic as Saia when we got married. We believed we would be the exception to all the broken marriages. 🙂 We got complacent. Learn from your auntie and uncle. 🙂

    much love,
    Aunt Anne

  8. I LOVED the new Star Wars movie! I think the Hans/Leia relationship is so tricky because it’s so…I don’t know how to word it exactly, so bear with me. It is simultaneously cherished and taken for granted. The characters were (are!) beloved, but they didn’t have their “happily ever after” and that is devastating! I do wonder if it was intentionally done to shed a light on the very issues you’re describing in your post? I’m not sure.

    Haha At this point this all sounds like total garbled nonsense but suffice it to say that I both agree with you AND think it was immensely powerful for the filmmakers to make the choices they made. (I hope this makes some semblance of sense to you! haha!)

    1. I totally get what you are saying Grady, and it has given me some food for thought! I would love to know if it was intentionally done in order to illuminate certain issues in our culture. What a fascinating thought! The romantic in me would still have liked to see a movie where Han and Leia are enjoying married life…sniff, sniff…but I totally understand where you are coming from.

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