CT Han/Leia and Gone with the Wind

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by PiettsHat, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011
    So I was watching Gone with the Wind on cable the other night, and it struck me that it seemed to greatly resemble Han and Leia's romance, specifically Empire Strikes Back.

    Would anyone happen to know if it was ever directly stated if GWTW was an influence in the relationship development? I found some evidence with a quick perusal of the internet, but I was wondering if anyone had anything conclusive.

    The posters for instance:


    They definitely share similarities. Then there's the fact that both Han and Rhett are rogues and smugglers. And then, of course, there are dialogue similarities:

    Han – Come on, admit it. Sometimes you think I’m all right.
    LeiaOccasionally, maybe… when you aren’t acting like a scoundrel.
    Han (grabs her hand) – Scoundrel? Scoundrel! I like the sound of that.
    Leia (meaning the fact that he is caressing her hands) – Stop that.
    Han – Stop what?
    Leia – Stop that. My hands are dirty.
    Han – My hands are dirty too. What are you afraid of?
    HanYou’re trembling.
    LeiaI’m not trembling.
    Han (leaning towards her) – You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There aren’t enough scoundrels in your life.
    LeiaI happen to like nice men.
    Han (closer) – I am a nice man.
    Leia (just before they kiss) – No, you’re not.

    Compared to:
    “Don’t giggle,” he said, and taking her hand, he turned it over and pressed his lips into the palm. Something vital, electric, leaped from him to her at the touch of his warm mouth, something that caressed her whole body thrillingly. His lips traveled to her wrist and she knew he must feel the leap of her pulse as her heart quickened and she tried to draw back her hand. She had not bargained on this -this treacherous warm tide of feeling that made her want to run her hands through his hair, to feel his lips upon her mouth.
    She wasn’t in love with him, she told herself confusedly. She was in love with Ashley. But how to explain this feeling that made her hands shake and the pit of her stomach grow cold?
    He laughed softly.
    “Don’t pull away! I won’t hurt you!
    “Hurt me? I’m not afraid of you, Rhett Butler, or of any man in shoe leather!” she cried, furious that her voice shook as well as her hands.
    “An admirable sentiment, but do lower your voice. Mrs. Wilkes might hear you. And pray compose yourself.” He sounded as though delighted at her flurry.
    Scarlett, you do like me, don’t you?
    That was more like what she was expecting.
    Well, sometimes,” she answered cautiously. “When you aren’t acting like a varmint.
    He laughed again and held the palm of her hand against his hard cheek.
    I think you like me because I am a varmint. You’ve known so few dyed-in-the-wool varmints in your sheltered life that my very difference holds a quaint charm for you.
    This was not the turn she had anticipated and she tried again without success to pull her hand free.
    “That’s not true! I like nice men -men you can depend on to always be gentlemanly.”

    Then, of course, there's actions -- both Han and Rhett are rather forceful in their pursuit of romance.

    I was hoping someone might have some official word on the subject. Are there any interviews or official statements?

    I think it, in part, might explain some of my dissatisfaction with the way the Han/Leia romance was handled (besides Han's lack of respect for Leia's boundaries). The thing is, I can't imagine why they would have chosen to use Gone with the Wind as a model romance because the romance between Scarlett and Rhett, while very passionate, dramatic, and entertaining, is also deeply unhealthy. Time and time again, it's demonstrated that theirs is a dysfunctional relationship and it expectedly, ends poorly, with Rhett walking out on Scarlett after they've abused each other for years.

    I am at a loss, then, as to why such a relationship would have been used as a template for Han and Leia given how destructive it is. Perhaps Anakin and Padmé, I could understand to a degree, but it just strikes me as disingenuous to try to portray such a relationship as concluding with a "happily ever after."

    Count Yubnub likes this.
  2. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 15X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

    Sep 2, 2012
    Maybe at the time the "happily ever after" ending for them in RoTJ wasn't on the cards?
  3. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011
    That's a good point. If I recall correctly, wasn't this because Han was supposed to die, though? I guess where I find Han and Leia problematic is that their romance seems to be based on Rhett and Scarlett's, which was a disaster for both parties. I suppose I would have liked to see some narrative acknowledgement of how, despite the passion, the beginning of their relationship had some troubling elements.
  4. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 15X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

    Sep 2, 2012
    The fact that they didn't actually marry till 4 years after RoTJ- might be a hint that it takes more than just romance for a relationship to work.
  5. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 13, 2001
    As I recall, Han dieing never appeared in any of the story treatments. It was only brought up by Harrison Ford and then Lawrence Kasdan during story meetings as a suggestion, but Lucas shot it down pretty quickly.

    Keeping that in mind, it makes you wonder if something tragic is in store for the couple in the future, if they are following Rhett and Scarlett's romance as a model. Maybe Episode VII will open without Han and Leia together any longer. It's something to think about, anyway - if they even go down that route.
    Hitchhiking-Ghost and DarthBoba like this.
  6. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    From JW Rinzler's Making of Star Wars:

    - George Lucas, December 1975
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  7. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011

    Thanks for the info.

    I still think it's an odd choice of inspiration given how abusive Scarlett and Rhett could be towards each other, but perhaps Lucas' love of classic films won out in this case.


    That's an interesting idea. I do wonder how they will handle the Han and Leia romance. Although, frankly, I'm skeptical that they'll follow Rhett and Scarlett through to conclusion. This is Disney we're talking about, so I imagine (more likely than not) Han and Leia will get their happily ever after. One of them could die, of course, but I don't think that the relationship itself will be called into question.
  8. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    I don't think GL was taking the GWTW analogy to that extent anyway, merely the state of the love triangle - Leia (Scarlett) likes and admires the good boy (Luke/Ashley), but she's really in love with the bad boy (Han/Rhett).
  9. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    My initial reaction when I saw the thread was "No," but that was because I like Leia and think she's an admirable character to say the least, whereas Scarlett is a whiny little ***** who needs to be slapped from Atlanta to Dublin. And as I saw it, the story ended the way it did because Rhett decided he had finally had enough.

    I can see some similarities between Han and Rhett though, they are both very straightforward realists in a society that doesn't necessarily appreciate straightforward realism, and I like both of them for that reason but that's my own bias.

    You all do make some good points.
  10. Yanksfan

    Yanksfan Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 3, 2000
    I think the Han and Leia dialogue was intentionally cribbed from GWTW, and that the Han/Leia dynamic was supposed to be based on Rhett/Scarlett (As in, "I pretend to hate you, but I really love you..." kinda thing), but other than that, I don't think the story has to/or was meant to mirror theirs. Sure in 1975 George Lucas might've flirted with the idea, but by the time the final draft of ESB was done, he'd obviously changed his mind (I mean Han gets taken away, but he doesn't leave by choice). And Leia was obviously meant to end up with him at that point.

    Oh, and here's another similarity: Han and Rhett are both smugglers for the "rebels" in a civli war.
  11. -NaTaLie-

    -NaTaLie- Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 5, 2001
    There's even a direct reference to GWTW in Han's line "You could use a good kiss!" ().

    The comparison goes only thus far. Leia is, fortunately, not Scarlett and the situations are different. Although I can never quite get the sense of Leia's and Han's motivations in TESB.
  12. krtmd

    krtmd Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 5, 2012
    While I think these are some interesting comparisons, I think the similarity really lies in the official posters for the movies. I can't remember where, but I know I read somewhere that the TESB poster art was deliberately based on the GWTW poster.

    Otherwise, Scarlett is the antihero in GWTW, while it's Han that plays that role in the OT.
  13. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011
    I guess I find the whole use of Gone with the Wind a bit of an odd choice is all. Darth_Nub's quote, for instance, makes it seem like Luke was intended to fill the role of Ashley in terms of being the object of Leia's affections. And yet, for me, Leia never once comes across as believing herself to be in love with Luke or infatuated with him in the slightest. I mean, she obviously loves him, but her affection for him seems more like that for a brother, even before the plot twist came into effect

    In ANH, for instance,she doesn't really show any particular romantic interest in him. In ESB, she's naturally worried when he's lost and kisses him to make Han jealous, but besides that, I never saw much going on between them in a romantic sense.

    There's also the disconnect that I mentioned before of having Han and Leia's romantic foundation mirror that of Scarlett and Rhett when the latter pair's is deeply unhealthy and abusive. It's one thing if you intend for the relationship to end poorly, but quite another if you intend to finish the story with them being happily together, in love.

    It may perhaps be why I've always felt that Han and Leia seem a bit artificial in the sense that their relationship seems to exist for the audience's entertainment first and foremost, rather than the characters. Or it might be the result of trying to rework scenes from GWTW in a new mold that doesn't quite fit, in my opinion.

    Just my thoughts on the matter.
  14. Cantina Bassist

    Cantina Bassist Jedi Knight star 2

    Nov 5, 2012
    Their relationship always felt real to me, & their feelings for reach other were genuine, but I've never believed for a second that they'd be compatible enough for a long term relationship. That's one reason why the notion of "Solo twins" is completely stupid. Han & Leia would not have a family together. That whole concept is contrived nonsense to me.
  15. -NaTaLie-

    -NaTaLie- Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 5, 2001
    Han in ROTJ seemed like he didn't care either way.
    You can be sure they're going to be married and have children in the ST.
  16. Gilad bel Iblis

    Gilad bel Iblis Jedi Youngling

    Dec 1, 2012
    Guilty as charged. I was bored with Gone with the Wind and i never finished it.
  17. Felicia

    Felicia Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 3, 2012
    I believe that Harrison Ford wanted to kill the character of Han Solo in the Empire Strikes Back. Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to sacrifice himself for his friends. However because we know that Lucas would not do that it was settled on having Han Solo encased in Carbonite at the end of Empire.
  18. DRush76

    DRush76 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 25, 2008
    God, I hope that wasn't what Lucas was aiming for.
  19. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    That was an option considered for ROTJ, not ESB.