i don’t know if it is because i have been watching period dramas, but i have suddenly got it into my head that it is really fun to consider the different wars star wars characters would express romance. think about it: they come from very different societies, and very different cultures, and rey ‘raised by sand’ rey is going to think romance means something very different to poe ‘’in a committed relationship with rebellion’ dameron, or leia ‘had protocol hammered into her from a young age’ organa, or anakin ‘what is healthy relationship’ skywalker. and i find the idea of these cultures/rituals clashing absolutely fascinating.
to take a well-tested (and still fucking adorable) example: rey has spent her entire adult life on the brink of starvation, in a desert planet where only the strong survive, where your worth is completely dependent on the work you can do. on jakku giving food and water to someone was a sign of bone-deep commitment and adoration. for like a straight week she thought that everyone in the Resistance was hitting on her and she was both flattered and terrified. I’m not that pretty, she said to bb-8 in private, and went half insane trying to keep track of the various debts she thought that she was accruing (jakku has a very complicated economy of favours and debts that one has to balance if one wants to avoid grievous bodily harm). it takes her a while to calm down. she hits on finn by giving him half her lunch every day. finn does not understand, because stormtroopers always share everything; it is part of being in a unit. there’s no real privacy in the first order. (this attitude almost costs him an arm when he goes to raid rey’s secret stash of moisturizer – he learns quickly and violently that one does not just take things from a half-feral scavenger from a hell planet). for the same reason, finn is oblivious to the significance of The Jacket. Stormtrooeprs always share kit. (for what its worth, troopers flirt via an intricate series of tiny body movements and finn is constantly vexed by his intended target’s – poe or rey or both, he still can’t work out precisely which – complete obliviousness because his fingers have been splayed open like that for ages surely everyone knows that this means i would hold your hand if it wasn’t for regulation)
and i see tattooine as pretty mercenary about courtship: you have to prove that you are a good provider before anyone will want to pair-bond with you. when luke was fifteen and intent on getting into biggs’ bed he killed four krayt dragons over the course of four weeks, skinned them, and dumped both skin and meat in biggs’ larder. biggs had only consented to luke’s advances after the fifth dragon; and he had pretended that he wasn’t impressed, because that’s what the one being pursued is meant to do (tattooine is an ancient planet with long-held rules that don’t always make sense but everyone keeps to them; tradition is important; and oh how stifling it is to farmboys who dream of the stars – ). this stringent idea about courtship really really stilted luke’s flirtations with leia (thank the Force for that!) because he couldn’t work out if he should be the aggressor, or if she should be: she was of higher status, but seemed disinclined to commence courtship; but she kept flirting, needling away, and that was something briggs used to do, taunt him about being shite at flying and hunting. then again, leia did that to han as well. and han! corellian courtship is the simplest thing in the world, and he’s just so confused when luke drops a dead rathtar outside the falcon one day and grins, blood all over his hands. or when leia, raised to believe that it is improper to display overt affection, shorts at him for ten straight minutes over him using her conditioner – because when you get a girl full of fury and try to get her to be a diplomat you tend to get random outbursts, like too much energy stuffed into too small a space.
(han’s directness baffles the obtuse skywalker twins; but they work it out, in their own way)
anyway: thoughts? what does romance mean to different characters?