WWHSD? (What Would Han Solo Do?)
What would Han Solo do? Well, truthfully, he’d probably do all the things he’s not supposed to do! He is a space pirate, smuggler, and all-around scruffy nerd-herder after all. Still, though, that is what makes Han Solo one of Star Wars’ most enduring and endearing characters in the galaxy. He’s a real person—with all his flaws and his imperfections— and he’s the character who we can relate to most. He isn’t a born-Jedi, destined to fulfill a prophecy. He isn’t royalty, an ambassador, or even a noble rebel leader when we first meet him. In fact, he’s actually kind of a jerk. He’s a gambling, smuggling, wise-cracking hoodlum and we love him for it! He may not always do the right thing— just like us— but he’s ultimately working to be a better guy and we can’t help but like him for it.
Nevertheless, you may not want to follow in Han Solo’s footsteps or emulate his every move. There are definitely a few instances where Han Solo should probably have sat down, made a pro/con list, and thought about how his actions affected the people around him. So, instead of the things that Han Solo “would do”, let’s focus on the four things that Han Solo should probably NOT have done.
There is no denying that Han shot Greedo on that fateful day in the Mos Eisley Cantina. As Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes played their upbeat space jam, Han Solo steadied his blaster under the table and shot that smug-faced Greedo. In Solo’s defense, Greedo extorted him for money, threatened to hand him over to Jabba, and THEN discussed killing him all in a span of a few minutes sooo…all is fair in love and smuggling. It just doesn’t exactly add up to the most gentlemanly way to do it – under the table and with no warning. The question of Han Solo’s shot – was it self-defense or not – is a question only George Lucas can really answer. However, for all the lovers of the original Star Wars trilogy out there, there’s no question that Han Solo shot first. The real kicker though is not that Han shot Greedo (which is still pretty uncool), it’s that he didn’t even feel bad about it! After shooting his fellow smuggler, Han Solo throws the barkeep a coin and says, “Sorry about the mess” and strolls out of the bar. So, not exactly hero material.
Luke Skywalker begs Han Solo to help him save Princess Leia. Han Solo is adamantly opposed though, and he is looking out for Numero Uno. He’s not interested in putting his neck on the line for a stranger.
LUKE: But they're going to kill her!
HAN: Better her than me.
It is only once Luke tempts him with Leia’s rich family and possible reward money that Han Solo decides to do the right thing. So, to sum it up, Han Solo isn’t exactly navigating life with a moral compass guiding him between right and wrong; he’s strictly in the “what is in it for me?” camp. So, we may not love him for it, but we can at least appreciate the sentiment. Nevertheless, it doesn’t exactly make him the kind of guy you want to bring home to meet your parents.
3) To Quote Whitney Houston: And I Will Always Knoooow You. Wait, huh?
He’s as cool as ice or, or well, as cool as carbonite when it comes to the ladies. The infamous exchange from The Empire Strikes Back:
has become one of those most quoted and beloved moments from the film. Nevertheless, imagine you are Princess Leia and you just told the guy you like that you love him and all he says back is, “I know.” Not exactly the best feeling in the world, especially considering that you think he’s about to die and you may never know what that “I know” actually means. “I know,” as in “I love you too” or “I know” as in “oh gosh, I really like you but I just don’t feel that way, Leia. Thanks, though!” I foresee a stressful night of analyzing Han’s comment over a pint of ice-cream and reruns of Friends…
4) I’m Out, Bros.
After Han Solo is paid for transporting Luke and Leia to the Rebel Alliance, he chooses the hero’s road and stays to help destroy the Death Star. Wait – that’s not true – Han Solo just bounces. He says, “what good's a reward if you ain't around to use it?” Don’t worry, though, because our lovable scumbag changes his mind and comes back in aid of the rebels and his friends! Close call; way to almost be the world’s biggest jerk though, Han. You’re on thin carbonite with us.
Han Solo doesn’t always say the nicest things, do the most appropriate thing, or choose the right path all the time. But, hey, he’s realistically flawed and we can’t help but see ourselves in him. We may not actually have shot Greedo in the bar…but there are definitely moments where we say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, or just have to go home and think something over before we eventually do the RIGHT thing. So, thanks, Han Solo. You are a reminder of what we can become. We can learn, grow, and improve and eventually marry the princess, become the hero, and save the galaxy too.