Star Wars Composer John Williams Explains Why He Wrote A Luke & Leia Love Theme
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Star Wars Composer John Williams Explains Why He Wrote A Luke & Leia Love Theme


  • John Williams mistakenly wrote a love theme for Luke and Leia due to misleading narrative buildup.
  • The twist of Luke and Leia being siblings in Star Wars was not planned from the start.
  • Luke’s emotional reaction to the revelation added depth to the Jedi path in Star Wars lore.



In a recent interview, Star Wars composer John Williams explained why he wrongly wroote a love theme for siblings Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. While the twist that Luke and Leia are actually twins is well-known now, when it was revealed in Return of the Jedi, it came as quite a shock. This was not only surprising because it was a plot twist, though; the original Star Wars trilogy had long been building up the narrative that Luke and Leia were potential love interests, culminating in the Luke-Leia kiss in The Empire Strikes Back.

It seems it wasn’t only audiences confused about the relationship between Luke and Leia, though. John Williams, the famous composer who worked on the most impactful Star Wars movies, revealed in an interview with Variety that he, too, misunderstood their connection, explaining:

“I mistakenly wrote a love theme for Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. I learned later that they were brother and sister, so it was an incestuous idea to have a love theme for them. But George never told us there was going to be a second film!”

Of course, no one could really blame John Williams for this interpretation; up until the big twist in Return of the Jedi, all signs seemed to point to Luke and Leia having romantic feelings for one another, not sharing parents on the Skywalker family tree.


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Did Even George Lucas Know Luke & Leia Were Siblings?

Luke and Leia speak to one another in Return of the Jedi

Because of Star Wars’ penchant for secrecy, it’s difficult to pin down exactly who knew that this major twist about Luke and Leia being siblings was coming and, of those who knew in advance, when they found out. It’s well-known, however, that this was not always the plan. This is clear even just in the first movie (later titled A New Hope), when Luke not only openly expresses romantic interest in Leia but also sees Han Solo as his competition. However, George Lucas had a reason for making Luke and Leia twins, even if that wasn’t his plan all along.

Luke Skywalker had (just about) kept his composure even in spite of discovering that the great Sith Lord Darth Vader was his father. That meant Lucas needed one specific, excellent reason for Luke to finally lose control and attack Vader. Ultimately, he decided the motivation that would make the most sense in that moment would be a threat to Leia, and, presumably just because of the nature of familial bonds, making Leia his sister would add even more fuel to that fire.

More than a disturbing plot point, though, this laid the groundwork for the prequel trilogy to demonstrate how dangerous attachments can be, which, of course, it ultimately did. This moment, with Vader threatening to try to tempt Leia to the dark side, fills Luke with so much fury that he goes back on his commitment to not fight his father, proving that attachment is a great threat to one’s Jedi path. Star Wars follows up on this beautifully with Anakin Skywalker’s arc in the prequel movies, but it’s a shame that things had to become so awkward along the way.

Source: Variety

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