Scene it on Friday – ESB Scene #63

This scene was actually originally scripted differently with a kiss between Han and Leia and a bit of teasing.

“The scene in the Cloud City apartment where Han Solo enters to tell Princess Leia that the repairs on the Millennium Falcon are almost complete played out differently in the finished film than it did in the original script. There, Han Solo is lounging around in the apartment when Princess Leia enters, having changed from the white combat clothes she wore on Hoth to the brown dress and having her hair done up differently. In a surprised reaction to how she’s dressed, Solo attempts to flatter her (“You look beautiful. You should wear girls clothes all the time.”) and Leia teases him by mentioning Luke; the scene ended with them sharing a kiss. The film was originally shot this way, but director Irvin Kershner felt it wasn’t coming out right, so he re-shot it to appear as it does in the finished film.” [taken from]

I love this scene how it was filmed and I’m glad it was changed.  Yay, Kershner, for going with your gut!  It shows a simple moment of Han and Leia in each other’s company, with Leia finally acknowledging that she has some kind of feelings for him.  It’s not sarcastic, there is no teasing, no bickering between both of them, just a beautiful statement from Leia, “And then you’re as good as gone, aren’t you?”

At this point in the Empire Strikes Back, I’ve almost forgotten that Han was trying to leave to pay off Jabba the Hutt.  There were those minor problems with, you know, the Empire attacking the Rebel Base on Hoth…and then the hyperdrive is not working on the Falcon…and then a near brush with death in an asteroid field…and then being in the stomach of a space slug…  By the time we actually get to this scene in ESB, the fact that Han was leaving the Alliance has been all but forgotten.  But Leia’s tender words remind us that he’s going to leave and who knows when he will come back?

I don’t know; I just love that line at the end of this scene.  I think it marks a turning point in their relationship.  After their kiss in the Falcon, she does kiss him again, but it’s attached to her sarcastic comment, “You do have your moments. Not many, but you have them.”  None of her kisses have had feeling or emotion in them.  I can understand why – Han is completely a bad boy and Leia wants the Rebellion to be her #1 priority.  Getting involved with him is dangerous and not ideal at this moment in her life where you never know who is going to survive and who isn’t.

We also notice some “agitation” in this scene as Leia reveals she does not trust Lando, especially with C-3PO suspiciously absent.  As a viewer, we know there is every reason to be wary of Lando because we saw what happened to Threepio earlier in the movie, but our heroes, however, have nothing but a gut feeling before his disappearance.  And we don’t even know if Han doesn’t trust Lando at this moment or just doesn’t trust him because he knows who he is as a “friend”.  Lando is a scallywag and always up to no good, and Han probably knows this.  So Leia’s admission of not trusting him comes as no surprise to Han.  I don’t think it hits him that something really is very wrong until Chewbacca enters with the disassembled C-3PO.

Good scene, gave me more to work with than last week.  And I still applaud Kershner for changing it around to show the tenderness between Han and Leia as I feel the bickering would have gotten stale at this point.



 A twin-pod cloud car flies away from the suspended Cloud City.  Another cloud car banks along Cloud City’s surface, between buildings and behind and around the tower room. Through a window, Leia can be seen pacing.


 Within the quarters assigned her on Cloud City, Leia paces in agitation. She has changed from her cold-weather pants and jacket to a lovely dress. Her hair is down, tied back with ribbons. She moves from a large, open window and turns to see Han entering through the doorway.

 HAN: The ship is almost finished. Two or three more things and we’re in great shape.

 LEIA: The sooner the better. Something’s wrong here. No one has seen or knows anything about Threepio. He’s been gone too long to have gotten lost.

 Han takes Leia by the shoulders and gently kisses her forehead.

 HAN: Relax. I’ll talk to Lando and see what I can find out.

 LEIA: I don’t trust Lando.

 HAN: Well, I don’t trust him, either. But he is my friend. Besides, we’ll soon be gone.

 LEIA: And then you’re as good as gone, aren’t you?

Not speaking, Han considers her words and gazes at her troubled face.


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