The writers are: Chris Carter, Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan and James Wong Gabe Rotter (who served as a writers assistant on Season 9) Benjamin Van Allen (a writers assistant on Season 10) Brad Follmer (Carter’s personal assistant during Season 8 and 9)
The scene on Endor is so important to me for many reasons but one of them is that in it, Han Solo apologises. Which marks one of the very few times that I’ve seen a male character apologising for getting jealous of his own volition, not because he got yelled at or anything, but because he realised that Leia was upset and that this was not the time for him to get petty and stupid over his own insecurities, and I love that.
Because jealousy is so often portrayed as a funny or even romantic thing, a sign that the guy is in love or whatever, when in fact, jealous behaviour is almost always hurtful or even controlling behaviour. As an instinct or reaction, it’s very human and understandable, but when I see characters acting jealously, I see them acting in a way that’s possessive, manipulative, controlling, hurtful, and ultimately, lacking in trust. No one ever does nice things out of jealousy.
Here’s the thing: who Leia falls for is her choice. Who Leia trusts and confides in is her choice. Who Leia has a relationship with is her choice. And Han knows this. He gets momentarily jealous and annoyed because he’s been away from her for a year and he’s scared of losing her and maybe she doesn’t care as much as he does, and they’re back to fighting, and he doesn’t know what to do about any of it. He tried asking her outright, and that didn’t work, and that’s Han out of ideas. Not like Luke, who’s good at this emotional stuff, damn him anyway. But then Han realises very quickly that Leia’s upset, and he’s being petty and unhelpful and making everything worse. Luke just left, and whatever he is to her, whatever they said to each other, Leia is upset.
Leia, obviously, doesn’t really care about love triangles right now. Leia has just had several major revelations, she has a brother, she has a father, they might kill each other, and she’s also in the middle of a life-or-death mission. What Leia needs right now is just someone to be on her side, not demands for answers or petty jealousies. She doesn’t want to talk about it. She needs to process it all first.
So then it’s Han’s choice whether he storms off in a huff because she’s not putting him first, or turns back to comfort her because he’s putting her first.
He chooses the latter. He chooses her. He puts his jealousy and his insecurities to the side, he swallows his pride, he apologises for losing his temper and being an idiot, and he doesn’t try to offer an excuse or explanation or justification for it, either. He just says “I’m sorry” and stands there, saying nothing, making it clear that he’s here for her in whatever way she needs. Putting her first. No expectations. Because he has no idea what Leia needs or wants right now so he’s decided to just give her a chance to tell him.
He’s also made himself vulnerable, because you know that between these two, an apology is a Big Deal, a major score for the other side. But what it also means is that Leia can now turn to him for comfort, because he’s being sincere, so she can be, too. You can tell it surprises Han, because of course he didn’t even realise he was doing it right, but unlike their earlier fights, this one ends well because what do you know, a relationship is about trust and consideration and putting each other first.
The point is: Han realises that he’s being an idiot, he apologises for it, he doesn’t make excuses, and he doesn’t demand any particular reaction to it. It’s a genuine apology and it’s given, with no expectations or conditions attached, for a behaviour that’s romanticised far too often. It turns the “jealous lover” trope around and puts the romance where it ought to be: in the apology, aka the act of genuinely putting the other person first.