As far as Star Wars goes, the relationship between Han and Leia could have gone in any direction that Lucas and the writers wanted. It starts off as adversarial in “A New Hope”, and in "Empire" it could have been turned into a clash of ideologies – fighting for the good of the galaxy versus looking out for your own interests – just as easily as it was turned flirtatious.
But that’s not what the writers wanted. Somewhere between “she’s beautiful” and “there is another” a major narrative shift took place, and it was decided to go with Han over Luke.
And lots of fans will insist that’s the way it should be. That it was the way it was always meant to be. Well, as someone who’s read plenty about how the films were made, I call B.S. on that. Stories changed. Plots were altered and with that so were character motivations. And that gave us Han and Leia falling in love.
It could easily have been Luke.
4. Luke isn't the perfect nice guy, either. I don't have a lot of sympathy for Luke when it comes to the ladies. I forgive the kid for being an immature whiner. Ep. IV Luke had a lot to learn. However, he was NOT a supportive bro.
One: He doesn’t know he’s Leia’s brother.
Two: Han was using that “ya’ think a princess like her and a guy like me…” line to needle him, NOT express interest.
Three: Let’s say Luke does know he’s Leia’s sister, and Han IS expressing his interest in her, what has Han done up to that point to show that he even merits Luke’s approval?
Show me a guy who will let his sister hook up with a guy who was more than willing to let her get killed just a half hour earlier and I’ll show you a crappy brother.
Seriously, as if I’d let my own sister hook up with the first smuggler she’d met. Sheesh.
5. Coming-of-age protagonists don't find romantic love.
Again, I point to “The Little Mermaid”. Then again, she never really did “come of age” did she?
How old was Ariel again? Was she an ocean-weary person who had enough of life under the sea and needed to seek out new adventures in the world above? No, SHE WAS SIXTEEN!
Did her story end with her walking on dry land and being more self-aware yet not with the man she fell in love with?
No, she ended up getting MARRIED AT SIXTEEN. And she left behind her family, friends and the ability to survive the eventual floods brought on by Global Warming.
And look at all the other “Disney Princesses” who have their stories conclude with finding their “true love” as well.
Oh yeah, and speaking for the guys, how about “Aladdin”? The whole story is about finding his true self and…what? Oh yeah, FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE PRINCESS.
As for Luke, he is a bit older than Ariel at the beginning of “A New Hope” and ages both physically and spiritually as the trilogy continues. He goes from being a farmboy, to a battle-weary war veteran, to a Jedi Knight in the span of three films.
And yes, he redeems his father; finds a sister he never knew he had; gains a surrogate brother in the form of the man she loves; and helps bring peace to the galaxy. So, in the end, Luke does okay for himself.
It just bothered me that Luke never got to fall in love, like the knight and the princess usually do in fairy tales.
Sure, he does end up with Mara Jade in the Expanded Universe books. But sorry, they’re not canon so they don’t count.
I will conclude with these last two thoughts:
First, “nice guys” who are “nice” just to get a girl aren’t nice guys at all. So please stop calling them that because it makes the real “nice guys” look bad.
Second, with this whole Luke versus Han debate, I’m willing to bet money that this isn’t even an issue if Christopher Walken had played Han Solo instead of Harrison Ford.
You know that’s a fact.