I love Han Solo. He is, by far, my favorite character from the Star Wars universe.
The force is useful and light sabers are cool, but the training, discipline, and self denial of a Jedi held no appeal. Han Solo was a cowboy, a gunslinger, a survivor. He was the original Malcolm Reynolds. He IS chaotic neutral.
Bill Whittle does a great Afterburner on Han Solo.
So, I’m was watching TV and saw a Star Wars The Force Awakens TV ad.
It’s a commercial, whatever, I’ll see it after Christmas, and then 7 seconds in … the wisdom of Han Solo.
Han: *Handing a blaster to Rey* “Here, take this.”
Rey: “I think I can handle myself.”
Han: “That’s why I’m giving it to you.”
YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!
Rey is self reliant, independent, and tough. Of course she needs a
gun blaster. Of course it was Han Solo to give her one, they were cut from the same cloth. Just as the lightsaber was the defining weapon of the Jedi, the blaster pistol was Han’s defining weapon. It got him out of countless jams. It was his peacemaker. His defense against the universe. Have blaster, will travel.
For all the emphasis Star Wars puts on the lightsaber, the only people (Creatures? Characters?) Luke kills with his are a hand full of Jabba’s goons out in the desert. Han Blasters his way through quite a lot of Storm Troopers. This is historically accurate. The knight and the samurai were both relegated to the dustbin of history by the musket. The lightsaber may be an elegant weapon for a more civilized age, but the blaster wins the day.
I don’t think J.J. Abrams or George Lucas realized just how much of a pro-gun message that three second, throw-a-way joke was. But it’s accurate. Arms are, and have always been, a key tool for independence and self reliance. Guns are what have allowed the common man to throw off the shackles of oppression. The ability to defend oneself is right made much easier when armed, be it at home, in a city like Detroit, or any in other wretched hive of scum and villainy.
Star Wars is an epic love song to good guys with guns, and Han with his blaster was the hero. Forget the farm boy on a epic quest. It’s a guy, with gun, who just doesn’t want to be bossed around. That’s a character so many more of us can relate to.