Star Wars is a vast universe filled with fascinating creatures, well-thought-out landscapes, and more stories than could ever be told. Since the 1977 debut of George Lucas’s Star Wars: A New Hope, the franchise has morphed into a colossal empire whose fans are loyal, knowledgeable, and insatiable. Star Wars fanatics (and we don’t use that word lightly here) fill their time analyzing films, collecting merchandise, and learning new information about the franchise. They’ve had much to keep them busy since Disney took over and acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. Shows, books, new films, Theme Parks, you name it, everything seems to be Star Wars these days. Disney is, without a doubt milking that proverbial cow, and it makes sense as they purchased the property for a whopping $4 billion. They’ve got to make their money back!
With so much new Star Wars content out there, it’s easy to lose appreciation for where it all started. Lucas’s vision of a “space opera” is what started it all, and he did so with a trio of not-so-well-known nerfherders named Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher. Cast as the three main characters in the original film, Hamil (25 at the time) served as the main protagonist as he became the first Jedi Knight we’d become familiar with. Fisher (19) took on the responsibility of Princess Leia Organa. Although initially portrayed as a sassy damsel in distress, Organa’s character has evolved into a pivotal focus point as Star Wars continues to expand. Harrison Ford (32) played Leia’s would-be love interest as he was immortalized as the Millenium Falcon pilot Han Solo.
Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher: A Star Wars Affair
You probably noticed that these actors’ ages were placed next to their names. Upon doing some timeline research, we realized that there is a pretty healthy age gap between Ford and Fisher. Why is this of interest? Well, fans of Carrie Fisher will be very familiar with her final memoir, The Princess Diarist (2016). In the recount of her life and time filming, Fisher recollects an actual real-life affair with Harrison Ford when she was just 19 years of age. Ford was 33. As both were consenting adults, there’s nothing excessively flashy about the affair, especially if you’re familiar with Carrie Fisher, who seems more emotionally mature than most 19-year-olds. If I hadn’t looked it up, I would have never guessed she was as young as she was. Although both are of legal age, the large gap in years is a little weird and unsettling.
Leia and Han: Fictional Realty
Maybe you already knew about Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford’s heated romance while filming Star Wars. Maybe you even knew that Ford was married and would eventually split from his then-wife. But did you know that the large age gap between him and Fisher existed in real life and between their characters? Yep, there was a thirteen-year age gap between Princess Leia and Han Solo as well as their respective actors. This doesn’t seem too wild until we consider that Solo was 32 and Leia was just 19. That’s right, Leia liked the older guys.
Star Wars: Leia’s Age
With all the Star Wars content that Disney has pumped out, it is easy to grasp character ages. Although not exclusively mentioned in the films, it’s straightforward to figure out what with a little bit of math, despite Lucas choosing to keep this information private from audiences. For illustration purposes, it’s best to have a central point of time for reference. Often, Star Wars fans use the Battle of Yavin (BBY) for this, so we’ll do the same. The Battle of Yavin takes place in Star Wars: A New Hope and Leia is born 19 years prior at the end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. The Kenobi series mentions her age, which takes place nine years BBY. Leia is around ten during this time frame. We can further include Leia in Star Wars: Rebels, which takes place five years BBY. Considering Leia doesn’t show up until later in that storyline, we can safely assume she is 15 years old during her initial portrayal in that specific series.
Star Wars: Solo’s Age
We can take the same approach with Han Solo to discover his true character’s age. We can derive that he is older than Luke and Leia (twins) as he continuously refers to Luke as “kid” throughout the early films, hinting at a significant age gap between the characters. Although there isn’t as much to go on, Han’s movie Solo: A Star Wars Story occurred around 13 years BBY. Solo is 19 years old during the film. This would make him 32 during Star Wars: A New Hope. However, Han’s age is not set-in-stone, but it’s a safe bet that he, much like the actor who played him, was in his 30s while filming the first Star Wars film.
Fans React to Star Wars Age Gap
Pff, as if Padme and Anakin didnt Meet when He was Just a Child & Han Leia have an age gap of 12 years old. https://t.co/mv5rd1qq0n
— Ella L (@EllaLisa15) June 3, 2022
Upon discovering that Han and Leia, as well as Fisher and Ford, share a significant gap in years between the two, fans were notably uncomfortable. Reddit user u/adeze points out the the age difference is “kinda creepy,” while others went on to call it “shady,” “gross,” or even “perverted.” Many Reddit and Twitter users have voiced their concern over the uncomfortable age difference and some even feel as if the details of their ages were purposely left out of the initial films.
seeing ppl trying to cancel reylo bc of the 10 year age gap,,,, han and leia had a 13 year age gap, poe and finn had a 9 year age gap, padme and anakin had a 5 year age gap. as long as the relationship consists of two consenting adults then the age gap doesn’t matter.
— jungkook (@JEONSGUCCl) January 15, 2020
To be honest, this isn’t the only time Star Wars has made fans uncomfortable with age differences. Upon release of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker fans were quick to not the Kylo Ren and Rey shared a ten year age gap between the two characters. Of course, there’s also the creepy scenes of 7 year-old Anakin rizzing up a noticeably older Padme in Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace.
Han and Leia have a 13 year age gap, so why don’t you call out George Lucas next
— Jason Todd’s lawyer (@jaybirdreylo) May 11, 2020
Fans also pointed out that we could potentially see another Star Wars romance budding on the horizon that entails an even bigger age gap between character Din Djarin and Lady Bo Katan Kryze. As Bo has been around since Star Wars: Clone Wars, this would make her much older than her Mandalorian counterpart.
I don’t wanna hear anyone coming for padme and Anakin’s 5 year age gap anymore, bo’s got like 15 years at least on Din😅 https://t.co/BBeIpu4g6e
— Ben Quadinaros’ favorite avenger hawkeye (@cloneturbotank) June 5, 2023
Others have suggested more extreme views related to the age gap trend that we are seeing in Star Wars films. One Twitter user suggested that Padme actually groomed Anakin Skywalker. Although, I’d argue against this, it’s of note that the noticeable age gaps envoke these type of feelings amongst viewers.
I need to put this out there because it has been an ongoing stream conversation.
Padme groomed Anakin.
There was like the 6 year age gap, plus the fact that she was a Queen and he was her bodyguard at one point. That's a weird power dynamic.
— 🏳️⚧️GreGor2424💙 (@GreGor_2424) May 4, 2023
In closing, I think the biggest takeaway here is not only that Han and Leia shared a significant difference in age, it’s that Fisher and Ford did as well. The two also had an actual physical relationship despite the fact that Harrison Ford was married. It is most definitely an uncomfortable situation to ponder. As the world becomes much more equipped to discuss grooming and other areas of sexual misconduct, I think more people will potentially recognize this relationship as troublesome. Not to assume that it was, both Ford and Fisher were consenting adults, as were Leia and Solo.