Dramatic Irony in Star Wars 33

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There are a lot of upsetting things that happen in The Empire Strikes Back: the Rebellion loses its primary base,Han is frozen in carbonite, and Luke finds out Darth Vader is his father. For all that, the perhaps the most disturbing part of the movie happens early on when Leia kisses Luke on the mouth in an act that borders on incest. That Leia and Luke didn’t know they were siblings when this happens doesn’t make the kiss any less disturbing, but you have to wonder why Leia even thought about it in the first place.

Luckily, issue 33 is here to bridge that gap. Fleeing the Empire after some unknown adventure, Luke and Leia crash land on a remote island on an ocean planet (yes, single weather planets are still a thing in Star Wars). There they have to forage for food and do their best to survive until they can figure out how to get off the planet. In the meantime, the two get closer to each other than they ever have before.

Staring up at the sky on starry night, the two discuss their families and the idea of home. They connect here because, as Leia notes, they are both orphans whose guardians were killed by the Empire. This quiet moment the two are allowed to share together shows why the two just might be romantically interested in each other when the events of Empire Strikes Back begin.

Of course, the irony of the situation is that we know the two are related and this romantic moment between them is more than a little squirm inducing. Even if you don’t read this scene as two people growing closer romantically, the irony still remains. Leia says the two are orphans, which isn’t true since they share the same Lord of the Sith father. For anyone who has watched the original trilogy (which I assume is anyone reading this comic) this moment is oddly satisfying because it tells us why Luke and Leia are close while at the same time reveling in a dark twist of fate that will dominate the events of their future.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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One comment on “Dramatic Irony in Star Wars 33

  1. I’m always amazed that Leia kissing Luke is seen as the big, icky scene considering the chaste nature of the kiss. Leia is actually flirting with Han, and therefore the point is that the kiss is chaste and utterly without sexuality. She’s just trying to get a rise out of Han. In fact, the more chaste you see the kiss and the more you see Leia not having any attraction to Luke, the stronger the scene is. Because the less threatening Luke is as a romantic rival, the mkre Leia makes her point to Han. The really icky scene is in A New Hope, where Luke actually discusses his romantic interest in Leia. That feels much more incestuous.

    I’ll be interested to see how Aaron handles this when I catch up to this part. I’ve been reading some of the Star Wars Legends Collections Marvel have released. Been interesting to see how those comics approached the same topics. The Star Wars: Empire series basically ignored it to avoid the incest subtext, and the original Marvel comics released during the 70s were naturally completely ignorant of what was going to happen in later movies (just as they got Jabba the Hurt completely wrong), and therefore wrote with the idea that Leia was Luke’s love interest, to really awkward or icky results at times.
    But Woods Star Wars series, very interestingly, played it up, placing Luke in a love triangle with Leia and a fellow pilot (while Han was interestingly sidelined to his own subplot and was replaced by Wedge Antilles). Played it for dramatic irony, with Luke sabotaging the relationship he has out of an interest of Leia that not only does she never acknowledge, but the reader knows exactly what will happen. A fascinating choice, as it plays a key part of Luke’s arc about his struggles fitting into the Rebellion

    Going to be interesting to see how Aaron deals with this stuff, compared to Woods. Both have taken the ‘start five minutes after A New Hope idea, so are ripe for comparison (Woods run is interesting. Aaron does a much better job of getting the pulp adventure heart of Star Wars, while Woods makes a point to go heavily into military and espionage genres, creating a story that lacks the adventure you expect, but creates a really tense, twisty story really dramatising the skulduggery involved in running a Rebellion. Some of the stuff reminds me of the street ambush on Jedha in Rogue One, and honestly the story may be a better fit for a story about the Rogue One squad. In fact, were it not of the fact that the characters didn’t exist when the book was written, and that the characters would be dead in this time period, they would probably be a much better fit for the first arc)

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