Thursday, October 15, 2020

Why Do I Love Han Solo?


A couple of years ago, I started to wonder if I really loved Han Solo (Harrison Ford) best of all Star Wars characters.  I mean, he's been my favorite since I saw the original trilogy for my first time when I was in my early teens.  Maybe I just kept loving him out of nostalgia mixed with loyalty?  That happens to me sometimes, that I insist something is still my favorite even if I discover something else I like better right now.  (This happens to me with ice cream flavors, for instance.  I say mint chocolate chip is my favorite, but if you give me a good mocha ice cream, I will probably like it better.)

However, this summer, I showed my kids the original Star Wars trilogy over the course of just a few days.  And I realized that nope, it's not nostalgia.  It's not loyalty.  I really do love Han Solo best.  No other Star Wars character makes my eyes shine and my lips curve up and my heart beat a little faster the way that he does.

And it's not just because Harrison Ford is one of my favorite actors.  Nope, I still love Han even when he's played by Alden Ehrenreich.  Though I do prefer him when he's played by Harrison Ford, Han Solo is Han Solo, either way.


So, why do I love him, anyway?

I think I love Han Solo because he needs to be loved.  

In fact, that right there -- that nutshell of a sentence -- is basically why I love many of my favorite characters.  Maybe even most of them.  Possibly all of them, now that I think about it.


I love Han Solo because, when we first meet him, he's convinced he's unlovable.  He's trying his best NOT to be lovable.  He doesn't need any friends except Chewbacca.  He is too cool to care about people, and too cool to care if other people care about him.  (Shh, that sentence totally made sense.)

My dudes and dudettes, you do not get that way by being a happy person.  Show me someone who insists "I don't need anybody" and I will see a person who has been hurt in the past, and hurt badly.  Who is still hurting.  Who desperately needs someone to care about them, care for them.


I volunteer as tribute!  I will care about you, Han Solo!!!  I will dedicate the Star Wars section of my heart to caring about you.  Vehemently.  Passionately.  For decades.  Unreservedly.  You are now mine, I am now yours, and that's what makes the world go 'round.

I think that's why I like Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) so much.  It confirms my belief that Han Solo had been hurt in the past and had created his I'm-too-cool defensive shields as a result.

Anyway.  This post is totally a ramble by now.  But yes, I love Han Solo because he needs someone to love him.  And, over the course of the original trilogy, he finds such people!  Or, such people find him.  He makes actual friends.  He falls in love with someone who loves him back.  He learns how to be caring, how to be cared for, and his whole outlook on life changes as a result.


Also, he's sarcastic.  I love sarcastic characters.  And characters who are super nice and kind and helpful inside, even if you can't always tell at first.  Han didn't become a helpful guy, he always was helpful, even while he was also a scoundrel.  He's right, you know, when he tells Leia that he's a nice man.  He is.  A nice man AND a scoundrel -- not an impossible combination, you know!  Simply an irresistible one.  I could eat him up with a spoon.


So, yeah, I do love Han Solo best, of of all the thousands of characters in the Star Wars universe.  He's a cynic who learns to hope, a loner who learns to befriend, and a hotshot who will always be the best pilot in the galaxy, as far as I'm concerned.


This has been my first contribution for the Everything Star Wars Blogathon hosted by Coffee, Classics, and Craziness and I'm Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read).  Come back tomorrow to find out why I love Cassian Andor!

30 comments:

  1. Ooooooooooooooh. This idea intrigues me.

    I think I understand better now why you love Han Solo, as well as why you're drawn to a lot of the characters you like.

    Thinking about it, I don't see myself being drawn to characters who need love. I seem to be drawn above all to characters who I see myself in, characters where I can "become them" and merge into them for the duration of the story and walk around in their shoes.

    Failing that, if I don't relate enough to a character to "become them," I want to feel safe around them ... and I'm very very picky about which characters make me feel safe and which don't. xD

    I can't wait to read your Cassian Andor post tomorrow! Thanks so much for participating!! :D

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    1. Katie, yup. It wasn't until I was writing this post a couple days ago that I realized THAT is why a character I love will be a favorite, versus just... a character I love. I can love many characters, but them needing love is so often what boosts them up to being my favorite.

      Characters I see myself in are rarely my top faves. There are a few exceptions, most notably Bard the Bowman, but usually if I can see myself in a character, they'll be 2nd favorite, at best.

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  2. I love characters who aren't loved, too! My sisters think I'm crazy, but even with an antagonist who I have complained about through a whole book or movie and have disliked a lot, if for one minute they have a moment like: "Am I worthy of life?" or " I am not able to be loved." My immediate reaction is, "YES YOU ARE! I LOVE YOU AND YOU CAN BECOME BETTER JUST KEEP TRYING!!!" It drives my sisters crazy.

    I also feel loyalty towards my old favorites. It makes me so happy to hear that you introduced your kids to the originals! Did they like them??

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    1. MC, yes, EXACTLY. "You think you're not loveable? I WILL SMOTHER YOU WITH LOVE, YOU PRECIOUS BEING!!!"

      And it only works if the character initially thinks they don't *need* love. Lonely loner who's alone? MINE, MY OWN, MY PRECIOUS.

      Ahem.

      Yes, my kids did like the movies! They'd seen A New Hope and Rogue One before, but this was their first time for Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

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  3. Of course Han Solo is the best Star Wars character! ('Course, I've only seen four or maybe five? of the movies. But still!)

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    1. VT, I've seen all of them, and he's still the best. Hands down. :-D

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  4. I love this post! It's very you and it explains a lot about you! (I now understand how you can love Sawyer on LOST...)

    Hans needed to find someone to care about and a Cause, to overcome his selfishness and do something for the greater good.

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    1. Charity, um, yup. It really does, doesn't it? Sawyer, Wolverine, Angel, Sherlock Holmes, Sgt. Saunders, Boromir, Sirius Black, Han Solo, Cassian Andor, Din Djarin, Shane (heck, basically every character Alan Ladd ever played)... every one of them is convinced they either don't need or don't deserve love. Beware, for my love is fierce and strong and will convince them otherwise!!!

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    2. *pictures you running at them with a giant banner that screams YOU SHALL BE LOVED and most of them running away in terror* XD

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    3. Charity, lol! More like chasing them with freshly baked brownies and the offer of hugs...

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  5. This is such an interesting concept. I love how you manage to actually explain why you love a character. I'm dreadful at that.
    I definitely love characters who aren't loved, too.
    And, yes, sarcastic characters are the absolute best.
    Great post.
    Also, did your kids like the original Star Wars? I love the newer movies, but the originals are my favorites.

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    1. McKayla, it's a HARD thing to explain, isn't it? I stumble around to a few conclusions, anyway.

      And sarcastic characters are just wonderful. Mmm, mmm, good.

      My kids did like them! They haven't seen the prequels or sequels, except for Rogue One. I insist that they watch the original trilogy at least three times before they get to try the prequels. And they're really too young yet for Revenge of the Sith anyway. And for the sequels. They could probably handle Solo before long, though.

      But the originals are my favorites. So they must get good and familiar with them before they can start adding.

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  6. I love it! This is such a you post, but nicely explained. And this does explain a lot of characters you love. :-D

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    1. DKoren, doesn't it, though? Like, I haven't thought of a single favorite yet that doesn't fall into the category of needing to be loved, but thinking they don't. (And man, no wonder I fell so hard and fast for Alan Ladd, king of playing Lonely Loners Who Need No One.)

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  7. I'm going to get Disney+ again, and hopefully get to watch lots of Star Wars stuff for the first time like Solo (I'm not up to date on what is on there), the next season of Mandalorian, and possibly Clone Wars and Rebels.

    I just have a basic girl love of sarcastic, loner, bad boy types* like Flynn Rider, Han, etc., that is my oh so "deep" reason for liking Han. I mean I like the hidden sensitivity only if it is super hidden. But mostly I fall for the charm.


    *In movies, real life guys like that lack the charm and need to be hit with a two by four.

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    1. Livia, I hope to watch Clone Wars and Rebels after season 2 of Mandalorian :-) Your plan sounds solid!

      Yes, real-life bad boys should be avoided. But lonely people, not so much. Though come to think of it, I don't know how many lonely people I actually know. Maybe that's why I'm drawn to the fictional ones!

      (I myself am something of a loner, though. Or, I would be if I didn't have all these friends and family members around all the time. I often feel like a loner and an outsider, anyway.)

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  8. Han Solo is my beautiful & worthy boy forever and I will not be accepting criticism at this time. <3

    (Love this post! As others have said, I think you've uncovered something very insightful about your interactions with fictional characters.)

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    1. Olivia, yes, I rather think I am. Always another layer to peel back on why we like what we do!

      And yes, he is exactly the sweet human with a side of sass that I ordered, thank you very much.

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  9. Ahh, I loved this post!! Han is one of my favourites, although I'm still undecided as to exactly which character is my ultimate favourite. (I do love Obi-wan and a few others too, but I love them all for different reasons!)

    (Also, incredibly random by the way, but I can so relate about the ice cream flavour situation. XD I literally have the same issue - I am so loyal to saying mint choc chip is my favourite, but danggg there are some good salted caramel flavours out there. xD

    But anyways, back to Han. I get both annoyed and also drawn to characters who are lonely and don't realize they actually NEED to be loved and have friends. It frustrates me, because they don't know what's good for them haha, but then I do exactly what you do - "ohh, come over here you precious little thing and I'LL love you!!"
    I find often the characters/people who have sarcastic types of humour are the ones that are hurting the most underneath.

    I loved the way you ended this post, too!! "He's a cynic who learns to hope, a loner who learns to befriend, and a hotshot who will always be the best pilot in the galaxy, as far as I'm concerned." <3 <3 SO TRUE AND SO BEAUTIFUL SAID.

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    1. Thank you, Gabby! Obi-Wan is pretty high on my list too -- he's definitely my favorite in the prequels, heh.

      (Loyalty can be very handy, but also sometimes a little limiting? People can be all, "I thought this was your favorite," and you have to be like, "Um, it is? But I felt like having something else today?")

      Sarcasm can definitely be a way of dealing with chronic disappointment, I think. And that's probably why I like sarcastic characters -- they make me laugh, but they also are showing that they're not super happy, lol.

      Thank you :-) I love paradoxical characters!

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  10. I agree with everyone else -- this is a very *you* post. (Hee, and hopefully you'll find this fun, but I remember one of the very first-est times I landed on your blog *sheesh what a long time ago!* and I IMMEDIATELY noticed your Hugs is My Department badge. So yeah, I'm kinda patting myself on the back right now. ;D)

    Sarcasm isn't my favorite thing in real life, but in story (particularly film) it can add sooooo much instant depth and intrigue and character development and is generally delicious.

    And I've seriously been thinking of giving up saying 'this is one of my all time favorites'
    or 'this is my favorite, hands down.' It doesn't allow enough for different times and seasons, let alone vagaries of feeling (which can happen alllll the time). So I'm discovering I have heart stories, the ones that go wayyyyyyy deep down and defy easy explanation and most times no, I. will. not. choose. between. them. And then I have others in a bigger category that are favorites -- in that I know I'll enjoy them over and over. And then there's all the rest. :)

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    1. Heidi, hee! Yes, it is. And whoa, have I had that button there for THAT long? Wow.

      Um, yes. The need to hug fictional characters is strong with this one.

      Sarcasm in real life has to be the right kind. Not the mean, belittling kind, but the pointing-out-life'sinconsistencies-and-nonsensicalness kind.

      I do tend to say that some things are "absolute favorites," and others are "all-time favorites," and still others are "current favorites." Because... there's a difference, you know?

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  11. Dear Rachel,

    I just had to tell you that I truly enjoyed reading your article about your feelings for Han Solo, since I feel very similarly. While I was first interested in the Star Wars universe because of Anakin Skywalker, played by Hayden Christensen, I was surprised by how much I liked Han Solo when I finally saw the original trilogy. In fact, he quickly became my favorite part of the original trilogy. I am now torn between him and Anakin for my favorite Star Wars character. I think that, like you, one of the reasons I like him because he is a "nice man" who has become a scoundrel because he has been hurt. I had never seen Harrison Ford before I watched these movies, but I now am a big fan of his! I really enjoyed your article.

    Yours Hopefully,

    Tiffany Brannan

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    1. Tiffany, I'm so glad you liked this post! And that you're also a Han Solo fan :-) I've been a Harrison Ford fan for decades, so if you ever want recommendations of his movies, or want to know if a film of his is good, let me know. I've seen a lot of them :-)

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  12. Ahhh love this! And him, I really like those characters who are convinced their unlikeable and act accordingly, they always win me over the most.
    I think he's my favorite character in the series.

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    1. Skye, yes. Those characters who are convinced they're unlikeable or unworthy or whatever will quickly find me grappling myself to them with hoops of steel...

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  13. "Maybe I just kept loving him out of nostalgia mixed with loyalty? That happens to me sometimes, that I insist something is still my favorite even if I discover something else I like better right now."

    This is exactly how I feel with the original Star Wars trilogy compared to the 'new' Star Wars series. (Rogue One is the only 'new' movie that I will allow into my personal/nostalgic sphere of Star Wars.) I agree with you in that Han is one of my favorite characters partially due to his sarcastic remarks and being a faithful friend to Luke. I can't pick a favorite...it's like picking a favorite child... I love them all.

    Thanks for posting!

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    1. Unknown, Rogue One really does feel like the originals, doesn't it? Like, even the techy stuff feels like a person in the '70s would have thought this is what futuristic tech would be like. So perfectly done.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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  14. I...do not like Han Solo in the original trilogy. I think a lot of that is due to Harrison Ford's acting (which sounds insane to say, but it rubs me the wrong way in those movies). However, I will totally stand by *your* love of the character. ;) And I do like Han in Solo and the sequel trilogy.

    Thank you for participating in the blogathon so enthusiastically!

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    1. Eva, that's interesting! I think because this was basically the first thing I ever saw him in, I'm just so used to Harrison Ford as Han Solo that it's just... utterly normal to me?

      Thanks for hosting! I'm sorry it's taken me ages to reply to this -- my stupid email decided to put all your comments into my spam folder. What even? So weird.

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