Tag Archives: Mark Hamill

Star Wars Character Review: Han Solo

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the original Stars Wars trilogy. Read at your own risk if you are just now discovering the original trilogy.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from the original Star Wars trilogy to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Two weeks ago, I examined the character of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Last week I examined the character of Luke’s twin sister, Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan (the late Carrie Fisher). This week I will be talking about Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

The bad boy or girl. The pirate. The lone wolf who appears to be only be out for themselves. The character who is as quick with a charming smile as he or she is with their weapon of choice. This character has been adapted time and again over the centuries. Standing in contrast to their counterparts that are more innocent and less world weary, this character has seen quite a lot in their life.

In the 1930’s and 1940’s, this character was played the likes of such actors such as Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power. In the Star Wars universe, the pirate is Han Solo.

The audience is introduced to Han in the bar scene in Episode 4. Han and his co-pilot, Chewbacca the Wookiee need a lot of money fast. His business relationship with intergalactic mob boss Jabba the Hutt has soured and Han has a bounty on his head. He agrees to help Obi-Wan (Alec Guiness) and Luke rescue Princess Leia for a handsome financial reward. What starts out as a job will change Han.

As a result of helping to rescue Leia and destroy the death star, Han becomes far more than the space pirate. He becomes part of the rebellion. In the Empire Strikes Back, not only does Han fall for Leia (and she falls for him), but the audience also learn more about Han’s back story. In meeting Han’s old friend Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), we learn a little more about Han’s life before A New Hope. Lando betrays our heroes and Han is frozen in carbonite. In Return Of The Jedi, Han is freed by his friends and leads the final battle on the planet of Endor, which finally destroys the Empire.

Like his predecessors, Han Solo is and will forever be the bad boy. But over the course of the three films, Han becomes so much more. He is not  only bound to himself and Chewie. In joining the rebellion, he finds love, family and something greater than himself.

To sum it up: Characters need to grow. Without growth, their story is implausible. Han’s growth from rogue space pirate to rebellion general reflects life and circumstances change. Without change and growth, the audience may find it hard to grasp onto a character and follow them on the journey.

P.S. I don’t know about anyone else, but the exchange  between Han and Leia “I love you/I know” just before Han is frozen in the carbonite is one of sexiest romantic exchanges I’ve ever seen on film.

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Star Wars Character Review: Luke Skywalker

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the original Stars Wars trilogy. Read at your own risk if you are just now discovering the original trilogy.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from the original Star Wars trilogy to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

When the audience is introduced to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), at the beginning of A New Hope, he introduced as the average boy next door. On the cusp of manhood, he lives with his aunt and uncle on their moisture farm on Tatooine. Like most boys his age, he would rather do anything but work on the farm. A chance encounter with the droids C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2 -D2 (Kenny Baker) will forever change his destiny.

R2-D2 is looking for Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). Princess Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher) has been captured by the empire and seeking Obi-Wan’s help in rescuing her.

They hire space pirate Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to help them rescue Leia.  The rest is movie history. Over the course of the three original films (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi), Luke grows from a boy to a man. He is a Jedi, the son of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and Queen Of Naboo/Republic Senator  Padme Amidala and the twin brother of Princess Leia. In A New Hope, he discovers his fate. In Empire Strikes Back, as he begins to seriously learn the ways of the Jedi, he is tested time and again. In Return of the Jedi, Luke must face not only his own darkness, but the darkness that turned his father into Darth Vader.

In the fantastical world of Star Wars, Luke is the every man going on the hero’s journey. The young man who at the beginning of adulthood who doesn’t expect much at the outset of the story will become the hero. But not before overcoming multiple obstacles and facing his own demons. Luke is interesting because even in a galaxy far far away, his journey feels very human and normal.

To sum it up: The audience needs a focal point. They need a character who they can root for and who they can see themselves in. Luke’s journey is about growth and change, while dealing with the sometimes painful reality that is life. In creating an every man or woman character who goes on a hero’s journey, the writer is reflecting ordinary life and ordinary struggles that we all face everyday. When these characters are created successfully, the writer is engaging the audience with the every day humanity that hooks the audience and keeps them coming back for more.

 

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Rey is Not a Skywalker, She is a Kenobi

*The theory below is strictly based on the narrative and characters presented in the movies, not on any of other media. This post also contains spoilers about the Star Wars movies, read at your own risk if you have not seen them.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), fans were introduced to a new heroine: Rey (Daisy Ridley). We are introduced to Rey as she is climbing through the remains of a downed Empire battleship, scavenging for metal that she can sell. While the audience has yet to be told anything about Rey other than the details that were released in The Force Awakens, multiple fan theories have been flying around the internet since the film’s release.

My theory is that Rey is not a Skywalker, but a Kenobi. My reasons are:

  1. The force and the abilities to control the force are an inherited trait (unless your Anakin Skywalker and believed to be created by the force.) There are only a few surviving bloodlines and families within the Star Wars Universe that have transfered the force from parent to child. Unless Rey were partially created by the force, she has to have inherited her abilities from someone.
  2. If nothing else, the narrative within Star Wars is known for huge, jaw dropping, completely out of left field plot twists (i.e. the big reveal in Empire or Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) killing his father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in The Force Awakens). While the easiest and most direct theory is that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is Rey’s father, that would be almost too easy to predict.
  3. Rey is an outsider at the beginning of The Force Awakens. She lives on the desert of Jakku and is without family or friends to rely on. If she were Luke’s daughter, she would be wearing an outfit that is completely white. But instead, her outfit is  white, tan and grey, closer to the outfit that Obi Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness) wore in a New Hope.
  4. If Rey was Luke’s daughter, both Han and Leia (the late and very missed Carrie Fisher) would have recognized their niece.
  5. Rey could be Leia’s daughter from another relationship. In The Force Awakens, Han and Leia seemed to have separated for a time. That might have led to a relationship with another man, but again, Leia did not recognize her or make mention of another child besides Kylo Ren/Ben, so from my perspective, it is highly unlikely that she and Rey are mother and daughter.
  6. There is no mention in The Force Awakens of a relationship that between Luke and a woman that might have led to the birth of a child. Unless that is the big secret that both Daisy Ridley and J.J. Abrams have almost let slip over the past year.
  7. Unless some of Obi Wan’s history between Revenge Of The Sith and A New Hope has been alluded to in other media, the audience knows nothing of his life between those years. There could have been a relationship and a child somewhere along the way.
  8. The audience is given so little of Luke’s life in the thirty years between Jedi and The Force Awakens. Mark Hamill was not given any dialogue in The Force Awakens and he gave no indication, at least for the short time he was on screen, that he recognized Rey.
  9. Obi Wan is one of several prominent voices that Rey hears as she picks up the light saber and learns how to yield it.  Given his status as Luke’s mentor and father figure, as well Rey’s natural abilities with the light saber, it’s not hard to imagine that Obi Wan is related to Rey.

Therefore, based on the information provided provided, I believe that Rey carries Kenobi blood, not Skywalker blood in her veins.

Do you agree or disagree? I’d love to know what my fellow Star Wars fan think.

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