5 lessons of life and love from Star Wars couples

Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Peter Mayhew in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). COURTESY OF DISNEY MEDIA DISTRIBUTION.
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Peter Mayhew in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). COURTESY OF DISNEY MEDIA DISTRIBUTION. /

For a saga that is entwined with the Jedi, who are often denied romantic love by their core beliefs, there’s a whole lot of Valentine’s sentiment spanning decades of friends, lovers and clever companions. Here’s a quick look at what our Star Wars heroes, and sometimes even the villains, can teach us about love with lessons from a galaxy far away.

1. Some things are worth fighting for

The core tenets of the Jedi hold that attachment is a great danger to any member of the Order. We’ve seen how the Dark Side twisted Anakin’s love for Padme into his ultimate downfall, but what about another love? An attachment denied?

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi knew such a love. On the run as teens during a Mandalorian civil uprising, Obi-Wan and the Duchess Satine found themselves in a situation very much like Anakin and his “angel.” Obi-Wan adhered to the code just as strongly as Satine clung to her faith in nonviolence governing Mandalore, resulting in a love that allowed neither to escape their responsibilities or the pair to be together.

Fighting for those beliefs was a choice that they both likely knew would lead to personal tragedy, in one form or another. Either was willing to leave it all behind if the other would just ask, and both respected the other’s decisions enough not to.

2. Some things are worth living for

Perhaps now lost to Legends and fallen out of canon, Mara Jade seems to be the perfect person to devote herself to a calling. A former Hand of the Emperor who has served under Grand Admiral Thrawn and been a member of the Smuggler’s Alliance, she finally ends up falling in love with none other than everyone’s favorite Jedi Master farm boy, Luke Skywalker.

There were few who display the devotion that Mara shows, regardless of whom she serves. She was a master assassin for the Empire and a worthy foe of a smuggler. Perhaps the most telling was how her love for Luke transformed her into a powerful agent of the New Jedi Order and how that informed her relationship with her niece, Jaina Solo. Of course, they also gave birth to a son named Ben…

3. Some things are worth the risk

“I love you.”

“I know.”

The words that everyone was dying to hear in The Empire Strikes Back. While Han Solo and Leia Organa got off to a playful start with plenty of insults and tension when they first met, time spent together after the first Death Star left plenty of room for them to become acquainted. During the Empire, they didn’t have time for anything else, but somewhere between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order, they risked love enough to have and care for a child.

Han put his life on the line trying to bring Ben Solo back into the fold, and Leia knew there was still good in the younger Solo. Risks abound for both smuggler and Rebel general, and they trusted Luke to instruct Ben in the ways of the Force. But you know how it is with kids. Sometimes you get Sabacc, and sometimes there’s an Idiot’s Array.

4. Some things are worth dying for

Star Wars Rebels fans enjoy the tales of the surviving Jedi, Kanan Jarrus, and the love of his life, the Rebel leader Hera Syndulla. Their love is definitely one for the ages, but the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. While Jedi are typically denied potential attachments, Kanan seems to know his time is short.

On more than one occasion, he tries to reach out to Hera for confirmation of her love and desire for them to be a couple. With the Order fallen, the Jedi dead or dispersed, the old rules didn’t always apply.

As the cliche goes, we do crazy things for love. Kanan, born Caleb Dume, discovered the likely need for his sacrifice at the same time his beloved Hera was captured. He lost everything to ensure that she and “the kids” survived. And the kids did, including Jacen Syndulla.

5. Some things may last forever

“You must repair him! Sir, if any of my circuits or gears will help, I’ll gladly donate them.”

Not all great loves are romantic or even organic. And while the chances of such a relationship surviving for all time are at least 725 to 1, it seems clear C-3PO will take those chances. It can be unclear whether it’s his willingness to donate literal body parts to help his erstwhile companion or the constant berating of the “nearsighted scrap pile” for R2-D2 “having delusions of grandeur” that really sells the relationship between the two.

By the end of The Rise of Skywalker, C-3PO is even relying on the astromech to preserve his memory backups. They seem to be made for each other. It’s their lot in life.

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