This Is the Hottest Moment in All of the Star Wars Movies

The Big Picture

  • Leia and Han’s first kiss in Star Wars is considered one of the most romantic scenes in the franchise, reshaping the sci-fi epic into a fairy-tale in space.
  • Leia and Han’s relationship started with bickering and contempt, but their chemistry and opposites-attract dynamic kept fans returning for more.
  • Their fiery love story is considered one of cinema’s greatest romances, with Han and Leia navigating love during war and teasing intimate emotions out of each other.

George Lucas‘s worldwide phenomenon, Star Wars, is notoriously recognized for its epic, intergalactic tales from a galaxy far, far away. Besides the iconic lightsaber battles and extraordinary space creatures, the third-highest-grossing franchise of all time is home to some of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history. Shocking fans and even the cast and the crew in 1980 with the big reveal of Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) being Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) father, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is not only considered an influential film; it also has one of the hottest moments in the entire Star Wars saga!

No doubt, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) are the fan-favorite couple in Star Wars. The couple’s romance has lasted throughout the decades, ending with Han Solo’s death at the hands of their own son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Fans first fell in love with the headbutting pair during their meet cute in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. From then on, their tension and tantalizing one-liners kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Leia and Han’s relationship comes into full bloom during Empire Strikes Back when the couple solidify their first kiss aboard the Millennium Falcon. Paired with an enchanting score, this highly-anticipated moment brought out the unspoken emotions of both characters and is arguably one of the most romantic scenes in Star Wars history — reshaping the sci-fi epic into a fairy-tale in space.

Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Film Poster

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

After the Rebels are overpowered by the Empire, Luke Skywalker begins his Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued across the galaxy by Darth Vader and bounty hunter Boba Fett.

Release Date
May 17, 1980

Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz


124 minutes

Main Genre

Why Is Leia and Han’s First Kiss in ‘Star Wars’ So Hot?

In The Empire Strikes Back, Princess Leia and Han Solo finally confront their stubborn feelings. Set three years after the events of the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope, the Empire, led by Darth Vader, finds the location of the Rebel Alliance’s secret base. The Imperial fleet launches an attack, the Rebels are forced to evacuate, and Han and Leia manage to escape unscathed with C-3PO and Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon. During hyperdrive, however, the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” malfunctions, putting the ship in great danger. They decide to hide the ship in an asteroid field where the pair must tolerate each other until the Falcon is repaired for travel again. The confined space raises the sexual tension to a boiling point.

Inside the asteroid field, the crew tries to fix the Falcon’s power settings, during which Leia and Han get caught up in the heat of the seclusion. Han finds Leia tinkering on her own when he sneaks up behind her out of the blue. Leia pushes him away, objecting to his advances, but Han insists he’s only trying to help. Leia admits that he always makes things difficult for her as she accidentally hurts her hand fixing a crank. Han smoothly takes the opportunity to massage her hand, commenting Leia could be nicer to him. Leia becomes defensive and calls him a “scoundrel” — only exciting Han even more. Despite Leia’s disapproval of his touch, believing her hands to be unclean, Han reassures her his hands are just as dirty. The space between them dwindles second by second. They can’t keep their eyes off each other. Han’s sultry voice deepens when he corners her to the wall. Leia has nowhere else to go.

“You’re trembling,” Han says. “I’m not trembling,” Leia insists. Han inches closer, staring back and forth from her eyes to her lips. “You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There aren’t enough scoundrels in your life,” Han persists, but Leia tries to convince him she only likes nice men. Han doesn’t buy it. Leia has yet to pull her hand out of his grip, and it’s obvious that her breath quickens at his nearness. The taunting, the teasing, and the passion are all so scrumptious. Han plunges in for the kiss, and the music swells! The smooch is a burst of sizzling passion, confirming the couple’s mutual feelings. What makes the scene all the more memorable is C-3PO interrupting the couple’s foxy moment to inform Han that he fixed the “reserved power flux coupling”.

Beautifully acted, Han and Leia’s first kiss is conceivably the hottest scene in the Star Wars franchise as well as the best kiss between them. It defines their unbreakable, endearing relationship for the whole franchise. Earlier in the film, Leia had called Han a “stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder” just before kissing Luke to make Han jealous. She clearly changed her mind.

Leia and Han Have the Best Chemistry in ‘Star Wars’

Han and Leia Almost Kiss in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Image via Lucasfilm

“You think a princess and a guy like me…?” says Han in A New Hope. Princess Leia and Han Solo have been through hell and back. Their swooning love story can only be credited to their impeccable chemistry that kept millions coming back to theaters just to catch another glimpse of the couple, year after year. Star Wars fans couldn’t get enough of the fiery duo, which is all so ironic since their relationship began with a bickering hatred for each other. The scoundrel and the princess couldn’t be any more different, but opposites attract.

In Episode IV, Han Solo is only in it for the wealth when he agrees to help Luke on his mission to save the princess. His first impression of Leia was drastically contrary to his expectations. Being the independent leader of the Rebel Alliance, Leia Organ can surely handle her own in battle despite her small stature. With Han being a greedy smuggler, he’s not used to meeting intelligent, cunning royals. When they first meet, Leia doesn’t hold back her judgment against Han’s reckless behavior, which puts the gang into life-threatening situations during their escape on the Death Star. The pair exchanges multiple sarcastic jabs at one another, and their dominant personalities lead to a quarrel over calling the shots. Han later expresses he believes Leia is a spoiled princess, but his flirtatious nature finds joy in ridiculing her. “Looks like you’ve managed to cut off our only escape route,” Leia comments. “Maybe you’d like it back in your cell, your highness,” Han Solo replies.

Eventually, Leia becomes fond of Han when he saves Luke during the Battle of Yavin, awarding him a medal at the end of Episode VI, and their fire-and-ice dynamic slowly melts away into a passionate love affair. Bickering turns into flirting, and flirting turns into sweet nothings. Leia proves to Darth Vader that not even freezing Han in carbonite can stop their love when she rescues him from Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine.

Leia and Han’s romance is considered one of cinema’s greatest romances. As per the Star Wars database, their galactic fairy tale hypnotized audiences, as “it recalled the ‘I can’t stand you/I love you’ romances of ’40s Hollywood.” They honestly fell in love and teased intimate emotions out of each other. They both had to learn how to navigate love during war, which is just as hard as fighting in one. Ford and Fisher’s secret, off-screen love affair also aided in spicing up their infectious chemistry. Today, loyal fans continue to wildly melt over Han and Leia’s taunting banner that developed into an iconic heart-throbbing, romantic saga.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is available to watch on Disney+

Watch On Disney+

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