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Han Solo and the Prequels

S0…I finally saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Yes I know…about damn time.

Sorry…I have been sick. And I did not want to ruin anyone else’s experience. That is just me. Not like the movie was not already spoiled five hours before I could have seen it here in Florida.

I loved the movie it was great. Fun, exciting, everything you want in a blockbuster movie. They did a great job introducing the new characters as well…this is not about all that.

Today I write about what we lost and what that loss revealed to me about why I feel the way I do about the prequels.

We lost Han Solo. Han! Of all the original cast we could have lost why did it have to be Han.

For me Han Solo is what brought me to the series to begin with. It was always the rebel without a cause space cowboy with a healthy dose of snark that made me care. It was never the Jedi. It was never Luke Skywalker. Not for one moment.

It was always Han.

Star Wars has always been more Science Fantasy than Science Fiction and one common element of fantasy is the use of the skeptic. From the Alice in Wonderland to Scully in X-Files you always need that person that has not drank the kool aid quite yet to be the viewers eyes. That is exactly what the companions are in Doctor Who. They are us. It is only through these characters eyes that we can truly experience the wonder. That is Han’s role. He is our skeptic, our hero. He does not believe in the force.

“There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. Its all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense”-Han Solo

He brings us in and his sense of humour and blind heroics make us want to stay. And now he is gone. I already feel the loss. They have positioned Finn and Poe Dameron to fill his role: the fallen stormtrooper and the hotshot pilot. While they may stand in his place…they may never fill his shoes.

Now you may be thinking what this all has to do with the prequels…I am getting there.

Anyone who knows me knows that I was never a fan of the prequels. I have often said “They are telling a story that we all know the ending but they are not getting us there in an interesting way.”

Part of it was always an over-reliance on CGI. Too much Jar Jar. A horrible waste of a great concept in the Clone Wars. Or even a fairly weak turning to the dark side by Anakin. All of these are valid reasons not to like the prequels. But I realize that there is another for me.

The prequels are all Jedi, all the time. So much Force Sensitivity, so many Jedi and Sith and far too few actual people. Everyone seems to have powers…where is the person for us to identify with. Where is our Han? I have always been drawn to the normal in over his head in a world he cannot possibly understand.

In the prequels that was missing…at least for me.



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