I still think the funniest thing about Han Solo becoming this archetypal figure in speculative fiction, oft mimicked in science fiction and fantasy, is that so many of the imitating characters are Stone Cold Badasses respected by even those who hate them, but … Han Solo is not a Stone Cold Badass. Like, yes, that is the image he carefully cultivates, and he totally shot Greedo first, and I will not deny that he is very cool and very witty and very dashing, but he is also hilariously inept at his job, really bad at fighting and strategizing, and wholly dependent on sheer luck and the bravado and skill of others to pull his ass out of the fire. People don’t respectfully hate him; the haters think he’s annoying.
(Which is why I’ve never had a prob with Han Solo playing the comedic right hand to Leia in the third film and why I’ve always been weirded out by people who do have a problem with that. HAN SOLO IS A GOOF. HIS IDEA OF A GREAT PLAN IS TO GO RUNNING DOWN A CORRIDOR SCREAMING, GUN AT THE READY, INTO A MASS OF STORMTROOPERS. HE DISTRACTS GUARDS BY TAPPING THEM ON THE SHOULDER AND RUNNING AS FAST AS HE CAN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. HIS SHIP IS A CRAPHEAP HELD TOGETHER BY PRAYERS AND DUCT TAPE.)
Yes! Yes! I have to admit that I also feel this way about AOS Kirk; there were a lot of reviews coming out at the time that were very much like “but he’s in the Han Solo vein of ACTION HEROES,” which is a hilarious combination of LIES. Kirk does not solve problems by punching them; Kirk solves problems by getting punched by them (and falling off them, bleeding on them, becoming a teen drunk over them, falling hopelessly in friendlove with them, throwing up on them, having an allergic reaction on them, and sometimes, thinking about them).