Recently I was writing a post about Chewbacca for COED.com in anticipation of the upcoming Han Solo spin-off movie Solo: A Star Wars Story. I was excited to write about a character that meant so much to my brother growing up. Whenever we would play Star Wars I would always be Han and he would faithfully always be Chewie. Now Chewbacca is his favorite character and I was happy to put more info on the big hair oaf into the world…But it hit me when I was writing about Chewie’s piloting, and loyalty, and dependability, and selflessness, and a myriad of other things… did I actually get the short end of the stick when it came to characters? Now don’t get me wrong I still love Han and he will always be on of my favorites but there is a case to be made that he is the far inferior character to the massive wookie and is in fact, a jerk. Let’s look into it…
Han Solo is known as one of the best pilots in the galaxy. For Pete’s sake, he made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs right!? Well, it does help that he has the fastest ship in the galaxy… and Chewie by his side. Every time Han is at the helm he has his trusty friend Chewbacca with him. You know who consistently pilots the Falcon with a different partner or no co-pilot at all? Chewie that’s who. He is seen in the movies at the helm with Lando, Leia, Rey, and a Porg… He is also the one in control during the asteroid field escape in Empire Strikes Back while Han is trying to repair the hyperdrive. The Corellian clearly has skills but we are not giving his Wookie partner enough credit.
Sense of Duty
General Solo. Hero of The Rebellion, Bastion of The New Republic. And a self-centered ass. In my Chewbacca piece for COED, I talk about a fan favorite moment in Star Wars. Luke is about to be gunned down in the trench of the Death Star by Darth Vader himself when out of nowhere the Millenium Falcon dives from the guise of the sun to clear a path for Skywalker to blow that thing! Awesome right? How great was it that Han came back to save the day? Well without Chewie he most likely wouldn’t have. It was, in fact, the Wookie who convinced the smuggler to return and help save the galaxy. This isn’t the only moment of selfishness shown by the Corellian. We don’t have the full story yet but when everything went wrong with his son Ben what did he do? Where did he go? Did he go after Ben? No. Did he stick around to be there for Leia? No. Leia kept fighting, Solo went back to smuggling, and from his interaction with rival gangs in Episode VII, still having to be bailed out by his big hairy partner. Granted the Expanded Universe may shed more light on this as it grows. At the time of writing this article, I’ve only read six EU books that are considered canon. Yes, he has his moments on Hoth and the Battle of Endor but at the end of the day, Leia and Chewie do what’s right no questions asked, Solo needs more poking and prodding to do so.
You Know, The Murder Thing
Solo is a carefree, charming smuggler, right? Sure, but he’ll also shoot you right in the face. This subject is no stranger to the HUAS guys, it was the subject of the first ever episode, but all I have to do is say one name… Greedo. This writer is on the outskirts of this debate but most fans vehemently agree that Han shot first. You know what that means? He straight up kills a guy in a bar and throws the bartender a credit to clean it… yay childhood hero… Yes, I understand that he did ‘what had to be done’ but our intro to a character that we are supposed to find loveable in a roguish way is a murder scene. Obi-Wan got in a confrontation, he maimed but did not murder… not Han though. Totally cool shooting a guy.
I could probably sit here and wax poetic about the flaws of this character for a long time. On the other hand, I could probably spend more time talking about how I love this imperfect person. That being said there are enough people out there telling you how awesome Han Solo is, time for one of us to play devil’s advocate–even if it means taking a stand against a childhood favorite. Regardless I am actually looking forward to the new Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out May 25th. Check out my Chewbacca article with COED and the trailer for the upcoming movie below.