I've decided just how much I love Han/Luke slash fics. They're like
live-action Duo/Hiiro fics, but usually a lot hotter. This is probably because I
can get the visuals working better. I mean, I've been hooked on Star Wars
since I was a little kid; Luke and Han and Leia and Lando and Chewbacca and all
the others are as much a part of my consciousness as my old friends and family. The
Empire Strikes Back is the first movie I can remember, even before any of
those silly children's movies we all watched when we were younger. (My first
movie memories are Vader cutting off Luke's hand - which was the stuff of my
nightmares for months and probably explains why my "boogieman" has
always looked and sounded like Darth Vader - and Han being frozen in carbonite.)
It's strange. So many other things that I grew up with I can't find any slash in, as hard as I may try. I really wasn't expecting to see it in Star Wars. Then, after not watch the original trilogy for years, after watching The Phantom Menace and seeing the goodness that was Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, I sat down to re-watch the original (and thus far, immensely better) trilogy. And there it was, Han and Luke, staring me in the face and all but screaming "Why didn't you notice us before?"
It's all there, all the slash-happy moments one could ever want. The split second Han gives up in the middle of a battle to congratulate Luke on a good shot. The way Luke pushes Leia aside to leap into Han's arms after the destruction of both Death Stars. The lingering gaze and the way Luke couldn't say anything when they're preparing to abandon the Hoth base. Han rushing out into a Hoth snowstorm and declaring in response to the fact he's likely to die out there, "see you in hell". When Luke gets the vision of Cloud City, his first word is "Han" then "Leia". The fact that Vader, another Force user, who surely would know who is more dear to Luke's heart, tortured Han instead of Leia, who Luke supposedly loves. The way Luke is distracted throughout the entire sail barge fight worrying about Han's safety. The dreamy looks. The way a hardened loner asks Luke to leave the Rebellion and join him - then when Luke doesn't, he come back, saves Luke's ass, and stays with the Rebellion. Han's willingness to change or suspend a disbelief of his regarding the Force, from where he described it as a "hokey religion" to his reluctant "May the Force be with you" as Luke leaves to try to destroy the first Death Star.
It's all there. I'm just glad I finally saw it. And rewatching the trilogy again now, I see so many more moments that make me want to go "See! They belong together!"
I'm not discrediting Leia. She's a wonderful character, strong but fragile, a brilliant and competent leader, everything so many movie women are never quite portrayed to be. Yes, Star Wars novel fiction (all that comes after Return of the Jedi) point to her and Han getting married, having kids, the cutesy works. But rewatching the films, I can't see it. I think settling down like that would kill the part of Han that we all (including Leia) love: his independent spirit. I think Leia's necessary involvement in the politics of keeping the New Republic going would tax their relationship to the point there really would no longer be one. Han strikes me as the type who, when he decides to open up to someone and give of himself to them, he gives them his everything, as can be noted from his closeness to Chewbacca. Han, I don't believe, would be able to deal with the day-to-day monotony of a bureaucrat's life, nor would he be able to cut himself completely off from that part of Leia's life; it would end up being a very stressful relationship, with the strong possibility they would eventually come to hate each other. She loves him, yes, and he says he loves her (though it's more in admiration of her courage than true affection), but I don't believe they could last.
These problems don't present themselves as strongly with Luke. Yes, he has the sole responsibility of recreating the Jedi Order, but to do this, he will have to travel to other worlds, meet so many people, take the risk of people who only know the Jedi as Darth Vader wanting to kill him. I don't think Han would be willing to let him take those risks alone and, because of these risks, he'd travel with Luke, be by his side. It certainly wouldn't be the dull life he'd be certain to have if he stayed with Leia. And thinking of it from Luke's perspective: We've seen him how he has grown and matured from A New Hope to Return of the Jedi, yet he's had Han (or the thought of Han during the stretch when Han was frozen in carbonite) to back him up every step of the way. He depends on Han's strength, knowing Han will watch his back. He's certainly not dependant on Han; if he was, he'd be useless as a Jedi Knight, as a star pilot, and as a rebel soldier; but he knows Han will be there to help him if he needs it and he's willing to return the favor if needs be. Note how he completely throws away the Rebellion for six months (a long stretch in terms of a war for the galaxy's independence) to work at rescuing Han, how he's the one who orchestrates the entire rescue mission, and how he's willing to sacrifice himself, Lando, the droids, Chewbacca, even Leia to rescue Han.
There's so much more I can say -- and probably eventually will -- about why I think Han and Luke together rocks my world, but that will have to be for another time.
NOTE: This entire essay is my opinion and need not be construed as absolute fact. Thank you for your attention.