Why Star Wars is actually a rom-com movie franchise

Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002). © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002). © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

It’s that time of year again, where everyone starts to pull out their favorite romantic film. From Sixteen Candles to She’s All That to You’ve Got Mail, everyone has their favorite romantic comedy. But there’s one rom-com that’s been missing from all the lists, and it’s high time that error is rectified. I am talking of course, about Star Wars.

For those prepared with what they think is the obvious “Star Wars isn’t a rom-com” statement, I would argue that Star Wars is the ultimate series of rom-com movies. After all, what are the ingredients of a good rom-com?

One (or more) romantic couples.

Charming leading characters.

A miscommunication that breaks up a couple.

A makeover and reveal scene.

Famous romantic lines.

Star Wars has romantic couples. Each trilogy has its own will they/won’t they couple from Anakin and Padme in the prequels, to Han and Leia in the original trilogy, and finally Rey and Ben in the most recent trilogy (or Rey and Finn if you’ve only seen The Force Awakens).

In every case, you’ve got the perfect male lead to match whatever flavor you’re looking for. If you like the serious type who never cracks a (natural looking) smile, you’ve got Anakin. If the charming rake is more your speed, Han is the perfect fit for that. Finally, if the tortured bad boy who you want to change is something you’re into, you’ve got Ben, going by his bad-boy name, Kylo Ren for most of the trilogy. (And if you want the best friend who could be something more, The Force Awakens works. Again, this is if you’ve only seen that one.)

That takes us to a miscommunication that breaks up a couple. You might be thinking this is where it all falls apart, but I would direct your attention to the original Star Wars couple from 1977, Luke and Leia. What once seemed to be the “it” couple of the series quickly fell apart because it turned out that nobody knew who was related to who. And if that’s not a miscommunication, I don’t know what is.

Next up is the reveal scene. It’s Rachel Leigh Cook walking down the stairs in She’s All That, or Julia Roberts wearing designer fashion for the first time in Pretty Woman. All romantic comedies need that moment where a new look is revealed. For our prequel couple, that’s easy. Padme gets a new look every fifteen minutes in those movies. But Leia gets a makeover reveal as well, in Return of the Jedi when she comes out of the Ewok hut, sporting a new look, and revealing to Luke, Han and the rest that they were about to be eaten by tiny, furry forest fashion designers.

The sequel trilogy puts a twist on the formula by giving the makeover scene to the male lead. We all know that letting your hair down is the defining makeover moment and the thing keeping up Kylo Ren’s hair was that blasted helmet. So, we got the scene in The Last Jedi where the helmet was destroyed and we could see his new, helmet-free, look.

“You had me at hello.”

“I wanted it to be you.”

“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

They’re all great, romantic quotes, but they all pale in comparison to two simple words.

“I know.”

It’s the movie line so romantic they put it in the next movie with a twist. It’s a Star Wars line that people get engraved on their wedding rings. Two simple words can charge the entire saga with an air of romance. Besides, if that doesn’t work for you, there’s always “Are you an angel?” for great romantic kickoffs.

So there you see. Everything you need for a perfect romantic comedy to watch this year, is right there in Star Wars. In many ways it’s even better than most romantic comedies. Where as most romantic comedies give you one love story, Star Wars gives you at least three. Plus there’s lightsabers.

light. Related Story. Did Obi-Wan have a child with Satine?

Join me next month where I explain how Star Wars is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day movie.