My closest friends and family members were probably wondering when a Star Wars character was going to pop up on this list. It was certain to happen. In fact, there’s a very good chance that it will happen again. (Shh…)
My obsession with Star Wars has waned over the years, but the original three movies still remain at the top of my favorite-things-of-all-time list. I wasn’t even born when the movies originally came out, but I was somewhere around the 6th or 7th grade when they remastered and re-released them. My two best friends, who had seen the movies before, suggested a marathon to introduce me to the films, and so it was that we spent a night with the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance and a metric crap-ton of microwaved popcorn.
I didn’t say so at the time, because it was obvious that we were meant to be putting most of our love and attention on Luke, but I totally fell for the Han Solo character the moment he first appeared on the screen. He was cool and cocky, a little aloof and occasionally dumb as a bag of hammers (in a cute way), and he played by his own set of (skewed in his favor) rules. In other words, he was a bad boy, who also was known to have a really good heart. And he also happened to be played by a young, handsome Harrison Ford. What thirteen-year-old girl wouldn’t fall for that?
I continued to swoon over Mr Solo through all three movies and right into the expanded universe. I read dozens of Star Wars novels and gravitated toward the ones that featured Han as an integral character. One such series of three books was all about how Han became a smuggler in the first place, and I’m sure I read each of them a dozen times. Another set of books was about a future in which Han and Leia had had three Jedi children, who were subsequently kidnapped. My favorite chapters were the ones in which Han was losing his mind trying to track down his kids. Even as a father he was a total rogue and I ate it up.
Yeah, okay, Han Solo is pretty egotistical and self-centered. In fact, even Harrison Ford himself said that he hated the character. But, come on…he’s a a handsome, gun-toting space pirate. How can you not think that that’s at least a little bit freakin’ awesome?