Sunday, May 13, 2012

5 On 5 RoundTable: Han Solo

Welcome to the 2nd edition of the 5-on-5 Star Wars Roundtable (and first to be featured on the SWU!), brought to you by our friends at the Star Wars Fanbase! This crew features Darryl, Shanna, and Troy from the massive "Star Wars Geeks" Facebook group. It also features Mark, author of the newly published Star Wars novel: Artoo-Detoo, Droid of a Kind and the SWU's very own Ben. Our topic this week is Han Solo.

1) Fill in the blank: Without Han Solo, Star Wars would be _________.  

Mark: Entirely different, and most probably lose most of its unforgettable lines and scenes unless of course a different character but with the same personality would be put in his place, but without Han, there’s no Chewie and the Millennium Falcon which would practically ruin everything that has transpired on the OT. But if they put another pilot in the story that Obi-Wan would hire, things might still transpire but not like that way with Han in the picture. So basically and essentially, Star Wars without Han Solo will never be the Star Wars we have all come to know of and loved.

Ben: Flat. He added a lot of wit, cynicism and realism to the story, countering his more straight laced comrades. For some, the absence of Han, or a character like him in the Prequels may have rubbed them the wrong way. He's just a super fun character that everyone loves, Star Wars wouldn't be Star Wars without him.  

Troy: Without Han Solo, Star Wars would be not interesting. In every great movie, they have the character that doesn't fit the mold. Han Solo is the awesome gunslinger that gets the job done every time and saves the day.  

Shanna: The story would not be complete without Han Solo. His character, regardless of name, is needed to make the plot interesting. He adds comedy, toughness, and love to Star Wars. His character plays an integral role by facilitating the story's ability to unfold and move forward.

Darryl: In desperate need of another anti-hero. He's almost a stereotype, but in a good way. Perhaps archetype is a better word. The classic "good guy gone...bad?" Not bad, but selfish. We know that he had some background as an Imperial Officer. His disillusionment lead to a personal, self-centered rebellion. His story is one of a "mini-redemption," foreshadowing, in some small way, Anakin's eventual redemption. Han showed that the most selfish can come around with the right motivation.  
2) Fact or Fiction: Han Solo would take Boba Fett in a straight-up fight, no armor, no weapons.

Mark: Fact, Han will definitely have a fair chance on that kind of a straight-up fight against Boba Fett. Although if Boba’s fighting skills are that of his ‘father’ then Han is in big trouble. Boba can be cunning so Han must watch out on that part very closely and as for Boba, if Chewie would be watching that fight he might get a little distracted, or even nervous. Should the Wookie lose control and intervene then he’s done for.  

Ben: Fact. Even though it would be hard to watch Solo whoop up on one of my favorite characters, Fett just wouldn't know what to do with himself without his equipment. He's always had them to rely on, while Han would be much more adept in using his bare firsts.  

Troy: Fact, Han Solo would take Fett in a straight-up fight, no armor, no weapons. Even though Fett looks cool with his armor and weapons, that is just it. Han Solo has survived with his fist and his pistols, while Fett has his walking tank. Han is also younger than Fett.  

Shanna: No way. Solo prefers not to fight eventhough he will. He seems to want to escape getting hurt where Fett is ruthless in pursuing his bounty. I believe Fett must have fighting skills that he can employ without his armor and weapons because I see him as a man that will accept nothing less than a win. I would imagine he would use his strategic skills to plan for all possiblities, including having to fight without armor and weapons.  

Darryl: Fiction. Han had some training and experience, as well as skill and native cunning. But Boba Fett was a highly trained, disciplined warrior. It would have been a battle, for sure, but barring some stroke of luck (which Han seemed to have in spades) I'd have to give it to the Mandalorian, all things being equal.

 3) You get one guy to fly into a hopeless combat situation with you. Are you taking Han Solo or Luke Skywalker?

 Mark: Han Solo of course, his reputation speaks for himself and the combination of him and the Millennium Falcon is nothing short of legendary already. But if we are talking about Luke Skywalker the Jedi Grand Master of the Expanded Universe then I’ll go with Luke, a little help with Force always turns the table.  

Ben: Han would would come in handy but I pick Luke. He's a skilled and cunning pilot, and if you happen to crash land, he's a freakin Jedi! Case closed.  

Troy: If I could take one guy into a hopeless combat situation, it would be Han Solo, because Han Solo has more experience in a fight and he knows a lot of stuff and people.  

Shanna: Han Solo. If the question were comparing Han and Anakin, then no contest. It would be Anakin because we know without a doubt that Anakin is one of the best human pilots. On the otherhand, I'm not positive about Luke, whereas we know that Han makes his living with his flying skills - evading those in hot pursuit. Then again, a hopeless situation.... the force may could be used to your advantage. Maybe I'd choose Han but hope for Luke to be a co-pilot.  

Darryl: If you asked who I'd rather be buddies with, Han Solo, hands down. But in this scenario, hokey one-liners and ancient Corellian freighters are no substitute for the Force by your side. Gotta be Luke.

4) Did Chewbacca persuade Han to go back and save Luke in “A New Hope”? Or do you think Han talked himself into it?  

Mark: A bit of both, Chewie’s been convincing Han to stay and since Chewie is a Clone War veteran he’s not new on rebelling against the Empire. Han is not entirely that all-for-himself type, in his days after leaving the Imperial Academy, he has proven himself a natural hero, one who’d die for his friends and would fight for a noble cause. He just hid his hurt in a mask of uncaring and selfishness, but it doesn’t work always, the biggest proof was when he helped Luke.  

Ben: It could have been some of both. His strong "May the Force be with you" when Luke is walking away shows he was beginning to have a change of Heart. And as close as Han was to Chewie I think he would have caved had Chewie said, "Arrrrrg!"(We should go help Luke!)  

Troy: I think it was Chewie and Han's conscience that persuaded him to come back, 'cause maybe he was thinking how could I leave Luke and them to be massacred, when I could do something.  

Shanna: Han serves as Chaotic Good. He may have used Chewie as a sounding board, but he knew he had to go back. He may be a rogue, but he is a good guy.

Darryl: I think Han was already struggling when he decided to leave. He seemed uncomfortable, awkward, and probably felt guilty, which I doubt was a terribly common thing for him. Chewie apparently commented on it as the prepared to depart - ie., Han's "I know what I'm doing!" - but Han was already feeling it a bit. If I can speculate, a part of him probably knew he couldn't really leave them even as he was leaving. I doubt that Chewie had a long, drawn-out "heart-to-heart" with him about it, but his Wookiee buddy had to have been an influence on some levels. So, was it Chewie or was it Han? We'll never know, but I suspect a combination of the two.

5) True or False, Han Solo is the greatest non-Jedi or Sith character in the saga…PT, OT, EU included.  

Mark: True and if I have to explain this then you are not a Star Wars fan at all.  

Ben: True! He's a highly influential character, both in and out of Universe. He's one of the most quotable and recognizable of the Saga. He looks epic, drives a bad ass Ship, shoots first (Sometimes), gets Chicks, and just straight up knows how to be awesome. Try and top that!  

Troy: True, Han Solo is the greatest non-Jedi or Sith character in the saga (all timelines included). Without Han, Luke probably would have been shot down by Vader in the Death Star's trench run. I think any other smuggler would have taken the credits and leave.  

Shanna: False. I think he is at the top of the list, though. Top Three. Captain Rex is the greatest. (Just Kidding) While his character is needed and is definitely a great character..... Wait. I don't think I've ever thought about this before. It's difficult to say he is the greatest, but I have no reason for that. I do like him a lot, and I also can't think of other characters that are "The Greatest." I would say that Han Solo is ONE of the greatest characters of the Star Wars saga.  

Darryl: True. It was a tough choice, especially when comparing him to such stellar characters as Jar Jar and Wicket, but....okay, okay, sorry. As a OT purist, and being far less knowledgable in the other categories, I can only address what I am familiar with. The guy flat out rocks, and I can't think of a single other character you could compare him to. I'll throw in a wrench, however...I have often wondered if he didn't have a bit of unknowing sensitivity to the Force as well...all that luck, those mad flying makes you wonder a bit.


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