CT Is Han Solo useless in ANH?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by StartCenterEnd, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. StartCenterEnd

    StartCenterEnd Jedi Master star 3

    May 2, 2006
    All I hear from other fans is how cool and awesome and badass Han Solo is. He is deified as one of the greatest and coolest characters in cinema and yet...upon further reflection on ANH, his premiere film...he's actually kinda whiny and a little annoying and messes up more than he helps. Think about it.

    He almost gets himself killed by Greedo, getting cornered and only surviving thanks to Greedos ineptitude of not making him put his hands on the table.

    He just barely gets them out of Mos Eisley and takes a long time to jump to light speed despite his constant boasting.

    Han not letting that Tie Fighter go as Obi Wan advises is why the end up being tractored in by the Death Star in the first place.

    Han wants to just go out all guns blazing but it is Obi Wan who concocts the plan to sneak into the control room using stromtroooper disguises. Han complains and bashes Obi Wan as a damn old fool the whole way.

    Han blasts the whole place making it incredible the whole station doesn't know they are there as Luke points out. Han arrogantly says brings them on and whines about staying put until an opportunity to actually do something comes up and he cowardly insists not to help save Leia. He only complies for money and then blames it on Luke whenever he doubts it will work even though he agreed to it.

    Next he stupidly blasts the intercom instead of making up an operating number to stall them like Luke did with 1138 and this is why they are cornered by stromtroooers and nearly die. Of course he blames it on Luke. Leia comes up with jumping into the garbage chute which was their only option and he stupidly claims he had everything under control. Luke is the one who contacts 3PO and R2 who shut down the compactor. Then Han goes all sexist and says they might make it if not for anymore female advice.

    Han dumbly rushes a bunch of stormtroopers and nearly gets himself killed.

    Han denies the Falcon has a homing beacon on his ship leading the Death Star to Yavin and then cowardly leaves with his reward.

    The only things he actually accomplishes are just barely getting Like and Obi off Tatooine, shooting two Ties in the escape from the Death Star and returning just in the nick of time to shoot at Vader and save Luke.

    Did he even deserve that medal??
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  2. Master_Rebado

    Master_Rebado Chosen One star 6

    May 31, 2004
    So the part where Han shoots out the TIE's and makes Vader spin (not in a good way for him) away and let's Luke take out the DS1 is useless?
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  3. cubman987

    cubman987 Your Friendly Neighborhood CT/PT/Saga Moderator star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 7, 2014
    Yes. The Rebel Alliance on Yavin is destroyed by the Death Star if he doesn't come back and save Luke from Vader.....which was pretty brave and a pretty big deal.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  4. StartCenterEnd

    StartCenterEnd Jedi Master star 3

    May 2, 2006
    The Death Star wouldn't even have been there had Han not lead it there.
  5. cubman987

    cubman987 Your Friendly Neighborhood CT/PT/Saga Moderator star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 7, 2014
    That's not on him though, Leia was well aware of what was going on and decided to still go to Yavin. Han had no idea where the base was so getting there was all on her.
  6. Oissan

    Oissan Force Ghost star 7

    Mar 9, 2001
    Where exactly does Han deny that there is a tracking device on board?
    He wasn't responsible for the Death Star following them at all. Without him Princess Leia is dead, and who knows what happens to the plans for the Death Star.

    Most of the stuff you list seems to be stuff you pull out of thin air. How exactly is it his fault that they "barely get out of Mos Eisley"?, he wasn't the one that was followed by a spy. He also didn't "take a long time to jump to lightspeed". Luke has never flown a spaceship before, how would he know what it takes to get to lightspeed?
    How exactly was Han supposed to make up a believable ID on short notice? Where exactly is Han blaming Luke for that situation? And how did Luke succeed with stalling the Imperials when his claim led to the guards drawing the guns?

    He had a few scenes that bordered on stupidity, which comes because of his character, but at the same time a lot of important things don't happen without him. You selectively ignore the parts where he is important, while accusing him of stuff he isn't in any way responsible for. Hardly a correct picture of his character.
  7. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 8, 2015
    Good Points @StartCenterEnd. And I should add that it takes Chewbacca to motivate him to do the right thing at the end (at least that was my impression, someone should add Chewbacca subtitles...)

    Good Observation about Luke making up a cell block number. At least Han could have used the operating number of TK-421...surely he heard that call. ;)

    Harrison Ford reportedly didn't like his lines, but I think Lucas wrote him deliberately as a kind of devil's advocate to have some conflict between the characters.

    But of course he isn't useless as he provides the vehicle
    1. to help Luke and Obi-Wan to shake their Imperial pursuers on Tatooine
    2. that has smuggling compartments to hide in
    3. to pick up the Princess on the Death Star / escape the Death Star
    4. that ultimately helps the outcome of the Battle of Yavin
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  8. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    The movie is designed to show us how an appealing character like Solo would be a formidable ally if he wasn't kind of a jerk. Relying on a guy like that, no matter how appealing he is, is deluded wishful thinking under normal circumstances. Zooming off with his reward was the inevitable cap on his jerk credentials.

    Zooming back in with nothing to gain for himself and saving Luke, Yavin and the Alliance was a monumental twist. I don't mean a surprise , since the audience collectively willed such a thing to come to pass. But a crucial turnover if ever there was one.

    If you've got no use for snatching victory/survival from the jaws of certain annihilation, the yea. Solo is useless in ANH.
  9. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    "They're tracking us."
    "Not this ship, sister."
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  10. HandofSkywalker86

    HandofSkywalker86 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 12, 2004
    Han is many things in A New Hope, but useless is not one of them. He's essentially the Hero's hero.
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  11. StartCenterEnd

    StartCenterEnd Jedi Master star 3

    May 2, 2006
    "Not this ship, sister!"

    Without Luke you mean. If it was up to Han, she would have been dead.

    You're right, I'll give you this.

    Luke did and it worked long enough to stall the officers and give Han and Luke the element of surprise. Han had to simply keep them going in circles until Luke got Leia and they could escape.

    "He's the brains sweetheart!"

    They were drawing their guns to escort Chewie into a cell while the officer was checking with command to clear it up. The only thing Luke had to do was stall and confuse them and it worked.
    Sith Lord 2015 likes this.
  12. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    Certainly there was a shift between ANH Han and after but what happened as well is that much like how we translate Vader in TESB from after ROTJ (and TESB Vader from ANH) the same happens to Han:

    The actual Han and Vader we see in ANH are like many things in that first movie effectively retconned. Vader in fact was retconned into being a cyborg after production which he actually was not when filming the movie. There really is nothing in ANH to indicate that he was one and it was only after the fact that sound effects were employed to give this indication.

    The actual Han of ANH is NOT a cool customer and is a hair trigger to blast away (and miss) when cornered. Good thing Greedo was so close or he'd have missed him!

    Both Han and Vader became in TESB what people THOUGHT they saw in ANH even if they weren't really all that. Han became the cool smuggler of perfect aim while Vader the calm evil overlord that was feared by all (which certainly wasn't the case in ANH where everyone is mouthing off to him!)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  13. B99

    B99 Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 10, 2014
    And giving them a ride to Alderaan or eventually Yavin.
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  14. BookExogorth

    BookExogorth Jedi Master star 4

    May 4, 2017
    Also, Han gets them through the unknown debris of Alderaan.

    He may not get an A+, but he's not useless.
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  15. Master Endz-One

    Master Endz-One Jedi Padawan star 2

    Jun 30, 2017
    Taking Han's first appearance in a movie and judging him mostly on that, is like judging Michael Jordan on solely on all his failures and finally winning his first championship, forgetting everything else he has done.

    Han helped them escape the Empire with just his one ship and no battalion, while having to worry about bounty hunters coming after him. He keeps Luke on track to destroy the TIE Fighters ( don't get cocky kid). He gets caught in a tractor beam from something that no one has seen before, the most powerful technological device on the planet, it's led by Tarkin and Vader. After his bonehead idea Obi-Wan suggests a different way, but I am sure with the Falcon being his ship he helped in the plan. He provided the Wookie, that made the plan believable. The station has anywhere from hundreds of thousands to over a million enemies ( based upon reading Cannon Novel Lost Stars and judging on the size of the ship ) and every time he seems to be in danger, quick thinking and adaptability gets him out of it. He brings confidence to a hopeless situation, never quits and snaps Luke out of it, to get Luke back on the Ship. Let me remind you in the Battle of Yavin he didn't just Destroyer 2 ships and has one spinning out of control, those 2 are clones 501st Legion and according to many the best Pilot in the Galaxy, who has the Force ( notice Vader looks up just before we see Han arrive )as his all and still couldn't do anything about Han.
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  16. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 8, 2015
    ^ The resources Han supplied were invaluable, most of his actions in ANH not so much.

    I believe we missed one item on his 'hothead list':

    HAN (sarcastically)
    Oh! The garbage chute was a really
    wonderful idea. What an incredible
    smell you've discovered! Let's get
    out of here! Get away from there...

    LUKE No! wait!

    Han draws his laser pistol and fires at the hatch. The
    laserbolt ricochets wildly around the small metal room.
    Everyone dives for cover in the garbage as the bolt explodes
    almost on top of them. Leia climbs out of the garbage with a
    rather grim look on her face.

    LUKE Will you forget it? I already tried
    it. It's magnetically sealed!

    LEIA Put that thing away! You're going to
    get us all killed.

    HAN Absolutely, Your Worship.

  17. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    Han is cocky and has nothing but disdain for his current escapade and the people he is forced into it with. Not least because it's a neck saving venture he'd rather not have to take.

    Later on, when danger is relatively far behind them, he is compelled to soften towards Luke and Leia. The fact that the two gave him back as good as they got on the banter score had a big influence on that.

    Luke leaves him in no doubt that it will take more than just platitudes to emerge from the ordeal they just overcame with any honour. Han's deeds ultimately install him as a worthy friend and comrade.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  18. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd Hand of the Mod Squad and Enforcer of the Realm star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 1, 2012
    I really hope SOLO gives us enough backstory on Han's early life that we have a better understanding of where he comes from.
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  19. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    I've been hearing as many people telling us that's the last thing they want.
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  20. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd Hand of the Mod Squad and Enforcer of the Realm star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 1, 2012
    Any particular reason why? Or is how they want to leave the character-open ended.
    StartCenterEnd likes this.
  21. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    I think some fans just can't abide being told things they don't already know.

    Or the other reason is that going back in a timeline just demystifies everything in Star Wars. (In a universe that was introduced to us in the fourth movie of six/nine)
  22. Sara_Kenobi

    Sara_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Sep 21, 2000
    Through out the films, Han proves himself as being anything but useless.
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  23. Your Pal Friendpatine

    Your Pal Friendpatine Jedi Youngling star 1

    Dec 29, 2017
    It wasn't like Han walked into some obvious trap. He was in the cantina and Greedo pops out with a blaster. He escaped a sticky situation. If you think it was more about Greedo being inept than anything to do with Han that's your opinion, but I don't see how this can be a mark against Han. The way he kept his cool during and after are one of the scenes that made him such an icon. Greedo may have been inept but Han wasn't.

    Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops boy. He was bragging about the ship's speed not how fast hyperspace jumps can be calculated, something that takes time for everybody. And how is Han to blame for the escape being a close call? Who said it was supposed to be easy? He had no idea how hot his passengers were and it was Luke and Obi-Wan who led the Empire to the docking bay. They escaped a sneak attack (quite impressively I thought) and then evaded the pursuers in space. What more did you want Han to do? Besides blast into hyperspace from a standstill within a planet's gravity.

    They HAD to go to the Death Star though, so it's actually a huge blessing in disguise that they were caught. Otherwise Leia would have been killed and who knows when or if they would have gotten the plans to the Alliance. He may have won the war with that decision.

    That's Leia's fault not Han's. She was convinced they were being tracked but still had Han take her to the base, he was just taking her where she wanted to go. He wasn't being a coward when he left, he'd done the job he agreed to do (and a WHOLE lot more) and was leaving with his payment. He got caught up in this because he had a charter to drop off a couple of passengers, he was not looking to join the army and fight a civil war. He'd just met these people and you expect him to give up his whole life and philosophy to join their cause. He wasn't a crusader, just a blue collar guy. He wasn't being a coward, he just didn't want any part in their business and wanted to get back to his life/work, until his conscious got the better of him and he did something extremely brave... which you seem to be purposely forgetting.

    As for all the other stuff... Han wasn't supposed to be perfect. He makes mistakes but he get himself out of jams, that's part of his charm and what makes him awesome. Who says movie characters can't have flaws or make mistakes? If every character was a goody goody who never made a mistake then we'd have some very dull and extremely short movies.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  24. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    I think there is a basic assumption that R2 can or would supply Luke and Han with the location of the rebel base. I don't think it is safe to assume this.

    Bringing Obi Wan to Alderaan was the droid's mission. I believe in the early drafts, and the casting sessions, the dilemma of how to locate the rebels once they discover that Alderaan is destroyed was the pressing issue being explored until they are captured by the Death Star.
  25. wobbits

    wobbits Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 12, 2017
    No, he wasn't useless.
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