Can we talk about Han Solo for a minute?
When I first got into Star Wars, what I thought I knew about him could basically be summed up as “ridiculously attractive fuckboy”. Maybe because I was aware of how popular he was as a character in a male dominated fanbase. I can clearly see now how wrong I was.
Make no mistake. Han is definetely a stuck-up scoundrel, deliciously so. But if he is any sort of role model for fuckboys, whiny pissbabies, neckbeards or whatever the current nickname for the less than stellar representatives of the male species is, they have completely misread the character.
In fact, for all his smugness and unshakable pride, Han is antithesis of the Nice Guy trope. The reason why Leia felt drawn to him was the fact that he treated her like an equal. He wasn’t awed by her position nor intimidated by her status. Her independence and fiery determination are precisely why he fell for her. When Luke asks what Han thinks of her in A New Hope, his answer is “she’s got a lot of spirit”, not “she’s beautiful” or anything of the sort. When she pulls out a blaster to finish off the stormtroopers that surprised them in Endor, like the badass she is, that’s when we first hear Han say he loves her.
Han puts Leia’s happiness before his own. When he thought she was in love with Luke, he offered to step aside. When he thought he was about to die in the carbonite chamber, his final thoughts were about her safety and well being. “I know” is such a Han Solo answer to Leia’s love confession. It’s presumptuous and witty, but oh so romantic. He was basically telling her not to worry: if he died, she could rest assured that her feelings for him were made pretty clear and she wouldn’t have to live with any regrets.
For all the heartbreak we were left with after The Force Awakens, it was a pretty fitting conclusion to his character. Leia’s first impression of Han - that of a mercenary who didn’t care about anyone - was just as wrong as mine. He does care. He cares so much for his son that he died for him and forgave him for what he did. Like always, Leia’s well being was his priority and he thought being around him was a painful reminder of what they had been through, so he kept his distance. And yet her request to bring their son home was the whole reason why he stepped on that bridge. He no longer had any hope, but he did it for her.
I just have a lot of Han Solo feelings tonight.