My Heart Was Lost to Han Solo (Or Where I Let My Geek Flag Fly)

Here’s the great thing about the interwebs and being a grown up and stuff: it’s totally okay to be a geek. When I was a kid, my geekdom led to being ostracized, never getting asked to school dances and basically having glasses way too big for my head (some day when we all know each other better, I’ll post pictures). But now, as an adult, my geekdom means I get amusing cultural references, I actually get to do what I like for a living and my friends speak my language.

Which led to a very geekish conversation on Facebook with Orbit’s own Lauren Panepinto (who designed all my awesome covers, as well as most of the other awesome Orbit covers because she is ridunkulously cool). See, she had posted one of my favorite lines of all time as her status. Okay, it’s two lines and they’re from “Empire Strikes Back”. Han is about to be lowered into the carbon freezing station and Leia stands above him. She says, “I love you.” And he looks up at her and he says, “I know.”

Just as in the zombieverse, where you can start a three-day argument about fast versus slow zombies, these two lines can inspire long and heated discussions amongst the Star Wars faithful. Is the line romantic or does it just prove that Han is the most bad ass scoundrel in the universe? Well, he IS a bad ass, I won’t argue that.

But I also think it’s such a romantic line. And here is why:

For two long movies Leia has been telling Han Solo that he is no good. He’s not the hero of this story, you know! He’s a smuggler and a mercenary and a scoundrel (yay!!). She doesn’t like him. She’d sooner kiss a wookie (which can be arranged, you know). But now, at what is probably the end of him, the end of “them”, what she’s trying to tell him really is that she was wrong. That she knew all along, just like the audience, that this guy is the real deal. That he’s the good guy wearing black. That he’s dependable. Really what she’s saying is, “I screwed up.”

And when he says, “I know.” what he’s really saying is, “It’s okay.”

In that moment, she doesn’t need to hear that he loves her. Obviously he loves her. She has wacky hair and he still makes out with her. He says she has “spirit” even when she’s being a total bitch to him. What she needs to hear is that HE knows SHE loves him. That all her resistance was a smoke screen because he’s real and she’s a little scared of that.

And that is why it’s a really romantic moment.

And that is also why I have no revealed my geekitude to you fully. That’s right. I’m here. I’m a nerd. Deal with it! And tell me, “I know” romantic or “I know” jerk?

  • Chewie

    It’s Wookiee. From Kashyyyk.

  • ZIggy

    And this is why Star Wars is one of the best ever arguments for the Death of the Author (a concept I am uncharacteristically sympathetic to). George Lucas would not recognize any part of your interpretation. IIRC, the original line was “I love you too.” Fortunately, Harrison Ford noticed that that line sucked, and, getting impatient at having to say it one too many times, changed it to something a little more in keeping with the character.

  • Karlee Simonson

    Hey Jesse!!! I just wanted to let you know that I just read your book ‘Married With Zombies”. It was AWESOME. Keep it up and I think your very talented! Also, I love that quote.

  • KrazyKain

    It’s really a bit of both though isn’t it? He’s too bad ass to just outright say “I love you too” but it’s also a way of confirming what she’s said and all the feelings they both have for each other.