When The empire Strikes Back an initial hit cinemas in 1980, audiences didn"t yet understand (40-year-old spoiler alert) that Luke and also Leia to be twins — or the Darth Vader was their father. So once Leia kissed Luke early on in the movie in an initiative to do Han Solo jealous, it to be played together a joke that introduced some mild sexual tension between the three main characters, and also upped the will-they-won"t-they Leia and Han relationship stakes. 


It was only three year later, in Return of the Jedi, that Luke and also Leia learned the they were fraternal twins, and also audiences started to look earlier at that minute as much less funny and more... Well, incestuous. We uncover it a small bit funny that in a franchise full of aliens, lightsabers, and hyperspeed room travel, the minute Star Wars pan still battle to accept the most requires humans. (And no, us don"t typical the one Rise that Skywalker step that"s being censored.)

If you still cringe thinking around that kiss, just know that it could have been so much worse. Thanks to a deleted scene that was exit on Disney+ in November 2019, us now understand that the relationship in between Luke and Leia nearly got even an ext romantic. Here"s what happened, and also why this Luke and Leia scene was reduced from The realm Strikes Back.

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Lucasfilm/Disney
In the variation of the scene us all know and also are retroactively uncomfortable with, Han and Chewbacca come to the medical bay come say goodbye come Luke, who"s recovering indigenous his near-death endure with the wampa. Han speak Leia she"s secretly into him, she calls that a "scruffy-looking nerf herder," and Luke watch uncomfortable. Finally, Leia brusquely kisses Luke in former of Han, then exits triumphantly.


Apparently, Luke wasn"t just feeling like a 3rd wheel: that was jealousy of Leia and Han"s noticeable sexual stress and anxiety (buried under a slim layer of shared resentment). In the deleted scene, it"s plain that nearly being ripped limb from limb has awakened Luke to his romantic feelings because that Leia. 

He make the efforts to define this to her as soon as she visits him in the clinical bay, yet when he goes in because that a kiss, ever-reliable C-3PO interrupts. The minute gone, Luke tells Leia that he plans to leave. She accuses the of deserting her and the Resistance, just like Han, who then arrives through Chewbacca, and the original scene plays out.

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Yes, the kiss is poor once you have actually all the info. However this longer version introduced a love triangle subplot that would certainly have created a entirely different dynamic in the movies. Luke secretly being infatuated through Leia would have thrown a significant wedge in between the three main characters and potentially stalled his Jedi training, because Jedi frown ~ above trivial matters like love. (For reference, we straight you come the totality of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.)


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Lucasfilm/Disney
Say, here"s an amazing question: did director and creator George Lucas know that Luke and Leia to be siblings by the time he was making Empire? If he did, it would describe why he decided that this would-be romance had to go. Annoyingly, he has deftly avoided the subject of the shed "Luke and Leia incest" story line, but he does prefer to hint that he knew just how the Star Wars saga would certainly play the end all along, i beg your pardon is partly why Lucas started Star Wars with episode IV. 


That would average that he"s fine having siblings smooch when they don"t recognize they"re related, but he"s not about to have one explain a full-on like on the other. However, over there is some proof that Luke and Leia hadn"t been figured out as siblings at this allude in the franchise. The reality that they got as far as filming the deleted version of the medical bay scene suggests that there was some question around what kind of partnership the two characters were going to have. Also, in earlier drafts of the Empire script, Vader was going to play ~ above Luke"s romantic feelings for Leia to rotate him to the Dark side (via Wired). 

Also in these previously drafts, Luke was supposed to have actually a sister, return she was supposed to be a totally brand-new character who wasn"t walking to show up until Return the the Jedi. The concept goes the this extra character proved to it is in one plot element too much in a story currently teeming with subplots (via HuffPost). ~ Leia confessed she love because that Han in ~ the end of Empire, Lucas chose to kill 2 Stormtroopers through one blaster shot and also have Leia be the sister — and also that"s exactly how it all settled for Han, choose it always does.