STAR WOES: Once upon a time, in a living room far, far away…

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If you love someone, encase them in carbonite

By Jennifer Costa

I have a problem: I am hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with Han Solo.

Seriously.

When I was about ten-years-old, my father brought home a VCR and the movie Star Wars. That pretty much was the beginning of the end for me. Han Solo has been my ideal man since then. A standard to measure all the men I meet. The problem is that there are absolutely no Han Solos out there. NONE! When I was growing up, I thought that I’d have no problem finding a hero of my very own: Boys grew up and turned into…Han Solo, right? There he was, an exact prototype to guide young men: This cocky, gallant cowboy; galactic knight; cynical hero. I thought I was set. I thought I was prepared. I was wrong.

You see, the thing about Han Solo in the first place is that he is absolutely impossible. I realize that. Princess Leia actually calls him a “scoundrel,” which is right on the money. Here you are with a guy who is pretty rude, selfish, who can be downright arrogant at times, but still manages to get the girl in the end. What is it? Why is that? Well, Han Solo isn’t really a bad guy when it comes down to it. He’s just a plain old good guy. Really! I’m not trying to be cheesy or saying “You know really deep down…” blah, blah, blah. The key is simply this: he always makes the switch from being a jerk to being the hero just in the nick of time. Just when you are about to lose all faith and any leftover scrap of hope is when he comes through for you.

Comes through for you…yeah, that’s it, that’s what I want. A guy who’s smart enough to know when to stick around, someone who will come through for me. Now that’s something that I definitely find is lacking in the wide world of testosterone. I’m not a demanding person. I’ve seen demanding people-and believe me, I’m not one of them. It just seems that right when you really need the “him” in your life to be there, “to come through for you,”…you can practically guarantee that he won’t. Han Solo never does that. Han Solo had confidence, that “nothing can stand in my way” attitude, bravery, leadership. After all, he’s Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon… “it’s the ship that made Kessel run in less than 20 parsecs.” Look at the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where he’s trying to escape from the Empire and the Falcon’s hyperdrive won’t work.

Leia: “What are you doing? You’re not actually going into an asteroid field!’

Han: “They’d be crazy to follow us wouldn’t they?:

Leia: “You don’t have to do this to impress me.”

C3PO: “Sir! The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3720 to one!”

Han: “Never tell me the odds!”

Now that’s attitude. That’s taking a chance. He’s the kind of guy who would go to any length to get what he wants. That’s dazzling. 

Another thing is presence. Han Solo didn’t just walk, he swaggered…casually. The way he moved, man, he had presence. Not that I want the whole world to start swaggering around, that would be ridiculous. The point is that there was an intensity about him that demanded your attention. And you can’t really help but do anything else. 

He has this determination, an instinctual drive that keeps him going. When he starts going after Princess Leia, wow, look out. He becomes suave, witty, almost courteous, without ever losing himself or who he really is. He’s still sarcastic, he’s still cynical, but now he’s a romantic too. It’s a new side of him that you get to see. But he’s still just being himself. Now I know what you’re thinking. Your thinking, “But hey! Han Solo is a complete jerk. What about Luke, there?” Luke Skywalker is a great guy. He’s idealistic, he has dreams, ambitions, morals…yawn. There’s not much fun in that. What about excitement, feelings, emotions, extremes? That’s what finding a Han Solo holds to me. Nothing other than the rawest, truest anger and love, hatred and happiness. Hey, anyone would be crazy to pass that up. But the whole Luke/Han relationship has tons going for it. Right from the beginning Han adopted Luke. Luke in many ways became his ‘kid brother.” While on the ice planet Hoth, Luke is captured by some ice-creature-thing. And it is Han who risks his life to save him. Han, as skeptical as he may be of the whole “force” thing that encourages him and backs him up from the beginning. His entire relationship with Luke and Chewbacca shows his loyalty and how far he will go for the people he truly cares about. 

I know that by now many of you are doubting my sanity, considering this obsessive fascination with a guy like Han Solo. I know, I know: Girls go for guys who are jerks, right? Wrong. Nice guys have a good crack at this too. Take the whole money situation. Han has this debt over his head that he has to pay right from the beginning. By the end of Star Wars, he’s been paid, he has his money, and he’s free to take off, pay off his debts and be a free man, the renegade rebel he once was. But what does he do? He turns around, goes to the Death Star and save Luke, the rebel base and freedom for everyone. Now are those the actions of a selfish, money-driven man? I think not. What a guy.

There’s something so very honest about him. He always lets you know where you stand with him. He’s a straightforward, no beating around the bush kind of guy.

Why is that so hard to find?

What is it that makes people want to cover everything up? Why can’t people be brutally honest instead of constantly being considerate and polite? I’d rather the truth any day. Han Solo to me is the epitome of honesty. He’s been from one side of the galaxy to the other and seen a lot of weird stuff, so why should he have anything to hide? What you see is what you get. And that is why I am so attracted to him. That is why I want so very badly for someone to walk into my life and boldly be just who he is. What’s so bad about wanting something badly? What’s so bad about being wanted so badly?

Let me recap a scene for you. Princess Leia is in the Falcon doing repairs and Han walks into the room. She’s having problems turning something. He tries to help her. She shoves him away.

[Leia gives up trying to turn whatever it was and starts to rub her hands.]

Han: “C’mon, admit it, sometimes you think I’m all right.”

Leia: “Occasionally…maybe, when you aren’t acting like a scoundrel.”

Han starts to rub Leia’s hands for her.

Han: “Scoundrel? Scoundrel? I like the sound of that.”

Leia: “Stop that.”

Han: “Stop what?”

Leia: “Stop that, my hands are dirty.”

Han: “My hands are dirty too, what are you afraid of?”

Leia: “Afraid?”

Han: “You’re hands are trembling.”

Leia: “I’m not trembling.”

[Han moves closer to her.]

Han: “You like me because I’m a scoundrel, there aren’t enough scoundrels in your life.”

Leia: “I happen to like nice men.”

Han: “I’m nice men.”

Leia: “No you’re not, you’re…”

He cuts her off. They kiss. God, I wish that someone would for once just sweep me off my feet like that. Nothing like a good take-charge attitude! And I’m not alone in that feeling. Granted nowadays it seems that girls are supposed to want to make the moves too, and don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that everyone likes to be the one that is swept off their feet every once in a while. Desire is a good thing. Acting on impulses can be wondrous.

So what more could a girl ask for! He’s my hero with a conscience. A swashbuckling cowboy in black. A majestic, manly man. A razzling-dazzling star. A knight in shining… Well no, he’s not that perfect. But almost. When you see, hear and watch him, he envelopes you. He reaches out and completely engulfs you with just one simple gaze. You don’t stand a chance.

And I am seriously hooked. I AM COMPLETELY HOT FOR A STUPID CHARACTER FROM A MOVIE!!! I guess I have some things to come to terms with, because I am losing hope on Plan A. And I sure didn’t have a back up plan. However, I’m not the only one suffering form “Han Solo Syndrome.” Most girls admit that he turns them on. His eyes. His smile. The way he walks, the way he looks. Those hiphuggers. That belt. My personal favourite is his blaster. In one scene in Cloud City, Han, Leia an dChewie are invited to have a drink with Lando. The doors open to reveal Darth Vader at the end of a long table. Han immediately whips out his blaster and starts shooting away at the big guy himself. Believe me, a girl can really appreciate a guy with a good blaster who knows how to use it. 

I’ll bet Leia thinks so. She’s got lots of thing going for her too. But please don’t think that I’m jealous of her. Because I’m not. I want to BE her. 

Leia gets to match wits head-on with Han. She gets to have him chase her, to want her, to need her. Even when he’s about to be frozen in carbonite, he turns to Chewbacca and tells him to take care of her. He’s still trying to make sure that she’s safe when he’s about to go into permanent hibernation. But the best part is that Leia gets to go in The Return of the Jedi, disguised as a bounty hunter to Jabba the Hutt’s palace. She gets to lower his carbonite encased body to the floor, and thaw him out. Leia gets to save Han Solo. She get’s to say she loves him. She gets to hear that he loves her. I want to be Princess Leia.

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