Han Solo

NOV / DEC 2016: BY RACHEL KOVACINY

han2

What is it about the wrong kind of guy? The rogue, the rascal, the scoundrel. The one you know you shouldn’t trust. And you truly don’t trust him. You know better. Obviously. Everyone knows better than to trust a guy who gets paid to lie, cheat, and hide. He makes his living being untrustworthy. So you don’t trust him. At all.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t like him a little. I mean, how can you not like this guy? Sure, he’s the wrong kind of guy. You know that, but you can still like him. He’s funny, in his own dry, sarcastic way. And he’s kind of nice sometimes, too. Sure, it’s only sometimes, but you like him for those moments. He might make money cheating the establishment, but, come to think of it, you’ve never been a big fan of the establishment either. Who doesn’t like a guy who’s willing to stick it to The Man now and then? If he makes a buck or two at the same time, well, everybody’s gotta eat.

So you don’t trust him, but you like him. And you’re cool with that level of appreciation. Because you’ve also noticed he’s nice scenery. I mean, for the wrong kind of guy. He’s got this swagger, and he leeeeeeeeeeeeans against door frames and walls, and he slouches, and come to think of it, he’s got a nice voice too. You’re pretty sure you saw him smile once or twice, I mean genuinely smile because he was happy, not because he was being cynical. It was a good smile.

And you know, sometimes he’s not such a scoundrel, either. He does good things too, after all. Helps people who needs helping, shows up when someone needs rescuing, even puts his own life on the line for a pal now and then. A lot to admire, really.

In fact, you’re starting to think maybe he’s not the wrong kind of guy after all. Sure, you thought he was pretty bad when you met him, but he’s changed. You can trust him now. You don’t feel silly for liking him. He’s actually a fairly nice man, and you’re not just saying that so he’ll help you out with some problem or other. No doubt about it, he’s changed.

han1

Or maybe you have.

Maybe you’ve learned to see past a person’s outsides. Maybe you’ve discovered that a guy who wants the world to believe he’s the wrong kind of guy is only trying to convince them to see him the way he sees himself. Maybe you’ve realized you’re not all that different, always trying to live up or down to what other people think of you. You might even envy him a little, his willingness to do stuff you can’t or won’t. The fact that he’s probably earned that swagger.

And then you start to wonder if that means you’re a rogue too. I mean, let’s face it — you’ve got it bad for a guy who’s no good. Not only that, but you admire him now, too. You identify with him, in a way. You feel like you understand him. Your perspectives and ideas must be shifting… or is it him that’s changing? Do people change? you wonder. Or is the change in how we view them?

Either way, you tell the world he’s not such a bad guy after all. In fact, he just might be the right guy. The right guy for the job, the right guy for the right time, the right guy for you. Especially for you. And just like he spent all that time and energy convincing people he’s not a nice man, now you’re going to spend yours convincing them he is.

I know. Because that’s what happened when I was fifteen and first met Han Solo. By the time I’d finished watching the original trilogy, my whole world had flipped like the Millennium Falcon doing a barrel roll, and it’s never been quite the same smooth, level, easy-to-navigate place since. But you know what? He was right: I like him because he’s a scoundrel. And while I would never advocate getting friendly with the wrong kind of guy in real life, fictionally speaking, I’ve learned a lot from them. Like that people who change and grow are a whole lot more interesting than the ones who never reach, never try to be more than they used to be. That’s been Han’s biggest lesson for me, I guess: that a lot of life doesn’t come down to whether you do or do not — what matters is that you try.

femnistanovdec2016

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachel Kovaciny’s story “The Man on the Buckskin Horse” appears in the Five Magic Spindles anthology now available in paperback and Kindle editions. Learn more about her at her author website, rachelkovaciny.com

Advertisements

16 Replies to “Han Solo”

  1. It fascinates me, how the original Star Wars movies had such a huge permanent impact on both of us–and yet, they affected us in completely opposite ways. For you, the most influential character was Han Solo, because he sparked your fascination with “likeable scoundrel” types . . . and for me, the most influential character was R2-D2, because he sparked MY fascination with characters who are safe, who are reliable, whom I know I can trust in absolutely any situation.

    Because that’s been a constant thing with me–to this day, I still look for that feeling of “safety” in the company of fictional characters, that feeling I had (and still have) whenever R2 comes onscreen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica, that’s definitely a cool comparison! I do think Han was the first case where I felt like, “It’s okay for me to like a secondary character more than the hero,” and one of the first not-a-straight-arrow characters to pull me in.

      R2 is wonderful, and I got tears in my eyes when he first showed up in The Force Awakens.

      Like

      1. Your mothers must treasure you girls.

        Mine looked at me askance when I answered that my favorite character in “The Lion King” was Scar, and HMM’d. Her concern deepened when, inevitably, I liked the villain the most in every subsequent film.

        She’s never said as much, but she SHOULD blame me for the two gray hairs on her head. Mothers worry about these things, you know.

        I won’t tell her about you, however; she may attempt to recruit you to “straighten me out.” 😉

        Like

        1. Oh, I gave my mother plenty of worry, just of a different sort. I hated dresses, ran around pretending to be a cowboy or a soldier or Daniel Boone all the time, made my Barbies compete in rodeos and go on camping trips and go hunting instead of having them go to dances and tea parties, and generally did everything in my power to not be at all “girly.” My dad was always like, “Oh, it’s cool, she’s just a tomboy,” but I think my mom was convinced I was going to identify as male all my life. Even in college, I went by Ray instead of Rachel, so yeah… she probably would have traded “loves villains” for “thinks she’s a boy” with few qualms.

          Like

          1. Ray (Rey) is now cool, though. 😉

            Haha, you sound like my mother in her childhood, actually. She spent more time with her brothers in blue jeans playing pirates and “raiding” the grader man than in skirts. Her mother forced her to wear skirts three days a week at school. In Mom’s words, “I chose Mon-Wed, to get it over with.” Haha.

            I, meanwhile, was a very girly-girl, right down to refusing to wear pants (instead of skirts) until I was thirteen years old.

            Ahh, aren’t our little personalities great?

            Like

      2. You guys are hilarious 🙂

        Yeah, I was just a straight-up “girly girl” . . . but I was also extremely sensitive and anxiety-prone, so that was a whole other Thing for the parental units to deal with. We all put them through SOMETHING, I guess.

        I did notice you like villains, Charity 😉 Is that because they tend to be intelligent, and intelligence is something you value? It seems we all have *something* that we consistently value and look for in fictional characters.

        Like

        1. Yes, it’s all about their intelligence (and often, in the case of NTJ characters, their ability to visualize what they want and succeed in obtaining it). The stupider a character is, the less respect I have for them. Villains usually (not always) have intelligence and cunning on their side (often along with a side of arrogance, which sometimes is their downfall). Also, sometimes their “evil” is rooted in some deep emotional psychosis, which is fascinating to me on an intellectual level. I’m a bit of a psychologist, and idealist, at heart. I think everyone has a little bit of good inside, even the bad guy.

          Like

      3. That’s so fascinating. I can understand the appeal–I mean, on an intellectual level, I can understand it–but it would never occur to me to actually look at fictional characters that way.

        In real life, intelligence is definitely something I value, but more than anything, I want trustworthiness. My attitude is basically, “I can perfectly well do the thinking for both of us, as long as I can TRUST you. That’s all I care about.”

        Like

        1. As an author, I suppose I look at all characters as an author would — the psychology behind their actions; their actions must make sense, both into themselves and to the broader narrative.

          I think in real life, I value Loyalty, which encompasses trustworthiness.

          Like

  2. Really like this post! Han was my favorite character from the very time I first saw Star Wars. And this description would work for several of my favorite characters outside Star Wars as well. I’ve been re-watching White Collar recently and reading this made me think of Neal. There’s just something so fascinating about the rogue in fiction.

    Like

Interact With Us:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s