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CT Han Solo's Motivations

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by windu4, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. windu4

    windu4 Jedi Master star 4

    May 15, 2008
    When it comes to Star Wars I've always had this noble, if not pretentious, approach to how I view the films. I've always grown up with a strong affinity to Campbell's form of storytelling because of how I was raised. So, when it comes to analyzing the movies I used to think they were a grand part of an amazing and predictable storyline.

    This perspective kind of changed when I went to college and in the midst of that I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. I felt that Han Solo had returned to aid the Rebels in the Death Star because a sense of honor and with the nagging of Chewbacca. Yet my friend thought that Han had returned because of his personal feelings for Leia and wanting to get that [interject obvious phrase here]. That always bothered me because I thought Han Solo had acted on his convictions and not on his er, man parts.

    Over the years this theory has made more and more sense. Why would Han Solo return? He had no real stake in the adventure, had his award and wasn't risking his life for an obvious suicide mission! (Let's face, it was a suicide mission. They would have died if it wasn't for Han Solo magically returning at the exact moment. If Han Solo had joined in the battle in the first place he would have likely ended up like Biggs or Wedge.)

    I don't believe in the "will of the force" or even "destiny" in Star Wars. I believe in people who act on impulse and follow their heart. So what reason did Han Solo really have to go back?

    This is an open question. I don't really think he was "in love" with Leia for a very long time. I don't really think he was truly concerned about the Rebels at that time either. He had a bounty head and was in over his head and had been since he had dumped those spices. So he knew that he had to get back to pay off the bounty on his head as soon as possible.

    So, what do you guys think?
    MOC Yak Face likes this.
  2. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Sep 2, 2012
    That's an interesting question. It may be a mix of things rather than just one motivation. Chewie's nagging, Han's attraction to Leia, Han's affection for Luke, and so on.
  3. Beezer

    Beezer Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 5, 2013
    I figured that despite the tough guy exterior, he had a heart of gold and yes, a guilty conscience. When he says to Chewie "what're you looking at? I know what I'm doing" he seems to be trying to convince himself as much as Chewie that he's doing the right thing by leaving. Obviously he had second thoughts.
  4. timmoishere

    timmoishere Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jun 2, 2007
    I can't remember which novel it is, but one of the EU books has a flashback to Chewie nagging Han about his just abandoning the Rebels, until finally Han says "All right, all right, let's go back."
  5. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Chewie's 'nagging' is mentioned in the radio drama.
  6. CT1138

    CT1138 Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2013
    Same as wat I thought, too. I always felt that Hans' motivation even post Yavin was that he could never in good conscience, abandon the Revel cause simply because he would feel too guilty about leaving his friends to their fate. Also, by the time of ESB, Solo does have a bi of a crush on Leia, so that keeps him hanging around as well.
  7. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I wouldn't say Han had a heart of gold, but definitely the guilty conscience. Despite his dismissal of the Rebels, they're the little guy fighting against The Man and so is Han. Han called it a suicide mission, yet he doesn't care for odds.

    In Han's line of work he probably doesn't come across many decent folks, so he probably saw Luke as a good guy and a potential pal. His attraction to Leia was obvious.

    By the time of ESB Han is full on in love with Leia and willing to "see you in Hell" for Luke.

    Han's actually very loyal, probably because he hasn't had many good friends.
    TaradosGon, Barbecue17, Sarge and 2 others like this.
  8. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    The radio drama tells it better than the films. Han had a real affection for Luke, he had seen Luke grow just over knowing him a few days. Been through a daring escape with him, seen him witness the death of his mentor. Yeah Leia was a hot piece of [insert obvious phrase here] but I think he went back for the bromance not the romance.
    Mr. K likes this.
  9. sluggo1313.

    sluggo1313. Jedi Knight star 4

    Aug 23, 2013
    I think his line after helping support the going back to help Luke, not really to save the Rebllion or anything idea. Chewie seemed to want to stay and help, and Han liked Luke so he came back to help him out.
  10. Vaapad Master Daeg Tynan

    Vaapad Master Daeg Tynan Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 22, 2013
    I've always submitted to this line of thought... seems it has justification in other sources as well...
  11. SlashMan

    SlashMan Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2012
    Chewie may have nagged him, but it was still Han that had the final say. Despite calling it a suicide mission, he went back anyways, so he probably had some hope in the Rebels. Plus, Luke and the others needed all the help they could get.
  12. DRush76

    DRush76 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 25, 2008
    Probably guilt and affection for Luke.
  13. Lord Ctessor

    Lord Ctessor Jedi Youngling

    Nov 25, 2013
    Also it's not fun to live in a dictatorship for anyone including the dictator. Han would probably rather live in a corrupt democracy.
  14. Sith-Mullet

    Sith-Mullet Jedi Master star 3

    Aug 2, 2003
    I think it may be a little deeper than just that he went back. Han, as far as we know is more of a loner. His closest friend is Chewbacca, I believe that Han saw the closeness of the Rebel, he saw the closeness of Luke and Obi-Wan. Yes, he was interested in Leia, but I think Han was at an age where he was interested in a cause, not just smuggling. Remember, Han was on the run, but he wasn't doing anything one would call fulfilling. This was his new family, and he had a new sense of purpose.
  15. Yanksfan

    Yanksfan Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 3, 2000
    As big a Han/Leia fan as I am, and as much fun as it would be to believe otherwise, I truly think Luke was his main motivation for going back in ANH. Maybe there was a smidgen of motivation for Leia, but definitely most of it was for Luke. However, when it comes to the reasons he ended up staying for so long, well in that case I think we have to blame the princess. But that's just how I see it.
  16. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2013
    Han is the bad boy with a heart of gold, or at least gold plated, Han probably felt guilty and came back to help what he clearly thought was some dumb farm kid from killing himself. He is a bit like C3PO thinking and looking down at R2D2, but still cares about him.
  17. Moviefan2k4

    Moviefan2k4 Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 29, 2009
    I think your original idea before college was right, Windu4. You can see the beginnings of doubt with Han before the battle, when Luke tries reasoning with him. At the very end of it, Chewie looks at him as if to say, "you selfish moron", and Han tries convincing himself he's still right. He came back because he wasn't willing to let his friends die; it had nothing to do with sex or greed.
  18. MOC Vober Dand

    MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 6, 2004
    Interesting question. As has been stated, the radio drama expands on this point well. Even in the film, though, there's signs of Han softening before he heads off with his reward. 'What are you looking at?' and 'May the force be with you' among them. Whilst feelings for Leia may have been a secondary factor, I don't think they alone would've brought him back as at that point there was little chance of anything happening between them.
  19. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    It would be pretty funny if he thought he would get laid by, of all the people in the galaxy, a rebel princess.
    MOC Yak Face likes this.