ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, there are a whole lot of dysfunctional relationships floating around in the Star Wars universe. Whether we're talking about C-3PO and R2-D2's passive aggressive bromance, Han and Leia's consistent inability to tell each other how they feel or Darth Vader's big parental secret, that particular galaxy far, far away isn't exactly full of emotional normalcy.

Surely the most unusual of all of Star Wars' off-kilter relationships, though, is that between Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, who - after two films of intense flirting and periodic make out sessions - discovered in Return of the Jedi that they were, in fact, brother and sister.

The big question, then?

Did George Lucas Know That Luke and Leia Were Twins All Along?

And, if so, what the hell George?
And, if so, what the hell George?

After all, Lucas has long maintained that he had a detailed plan for the Star Wars movies even before he began shooting A New Hope, and though there's a pretty strong argument that there were several key details he didn't plan out - including Darth Vader being Luke's father - that would seem to suggest that Lucas had, in actual fact, planned for Luke and Leia to be twins all along.

Which, for the vast majority of the world that finds watching a brother and sister make out kind of icky, would be...a little weird.

The thing is, though:

It Really, Really Doesn't Seem Like Anyone Had Any Idea That Luke and Leia Were Related

Least of all Mark and Carrie...
Least of all Mark and Carrie...

Now, for one thing, there's the fact that the pair spent a large chunk of the first two Star Wars movies flirting up a storm and, as previously mentioned, making out in front of Han and Chewie to...make Han jealous?

Either that, or Luke had a thing for Chewie...
Either that, or Luke had a thing for Chewie...

As Brian Cronin over at SpinoffOnline has argued, though, that's not the only reason to believe that Luke and Leia were never actually intended to be twins.

Y'see, in screenwriter Leigh Brackett's initial draft for The Empire Strikes Back:

Luke Originally Had a Twin Sister...But It Wasn't Leia

"'s Threepio?"
"'s Threepio?"

That's right - Luke having a sister was originally revealed way back in Empire Strikes his father, Anakin Skywalker (who was, at this point, very much not also Darth Vader). The only problem? She was very much not Leia.

Instead, according to Empire producer Gary Kurtz, she was an as yet unseen character (seemingly, from the looks of a crossed out detail on Brackett's original draft, named Nellith):

His sister was someone else way over on the other side of the galaxy and she wasn’t going to show up until the next episode.

Add in the fact that Luke and Leia spent much of the early 80's Star Wars comics furiously sucking face...

And I mean furiously...
And I mean furiously...

...and it seems pretty much a given that they were very much not intended to be siblings until Lucas began work on Return of the Jedi.

Why is That Still a Big Deal, Though?

Other than for the obvious icky reasons...
Other than for the obvious icky reasons...

Well, the funny thing about iconic parts of our cultural heritage is that we tend to like to imagine that they were carefully and methodically planned. Our collective love of comic-books, Pixar and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been both reinforced and amplified by their internal interconnectedness - plot set-ups, Easter eggs, character references and the like - since it implies that there's a grand, meaningful plan behind them, which in turn validates our intense love of them.

In fact, though, the vast majority of the things we watch and read don't actually come complete with an epic ten year plan - and even if they do, there's a pretty good chance that budgetary limitations, audience responses or good ol' fashioned creator mind-changing will mean that the plan ends up being altered to the point that it's largely unrecognizable.

When those beloved cultural behemoths fail to seem consistent, though - when plot holes develop, for instance - it can seem to undermine our years of devotion to the icon in question. Which is why - despite the ick-factor of siblings kissing - it can be tempting to believe George Lucas when he hints that he had Star Wars planned out in detail all along.

The only problem being that he pretty obviously just kind of made it up as he went along - hence all of the references to Darth Vader killing Anakin Skywalker, and Luke and Leia's unfortunate twin-kissing - and just happened to create one of the greatest stories the world has ever known in the process.

Which, in fairness, is still more than most people who've ever lived have done, so maybe we should give the guy a pass on this one...

What do you reckon, though?



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