Popped Culture: Han Solo Is A Dudebro PUA And You’re An Enabler
Luke Skywalker is the hero in Star Wars, but being the hero he is bound by certain heroic parameters and conventions. His is the struggle, the crises and the consequences. In quasi-religious epics like Star Wars, being the hero is no walk in the park. You might grow and learn and overcome, but it’s not a given you’ll have a ton of fun along the way. Especially if there’s some sort of family meltdown at the centre of the whole thing. Ah here, yer man’s me da. [broods]
So it falls to Han Solo to bring the
yippee-ki-yay to proceedings. A man of no importance in the scheme of things – his role was to fly shit, get frozen in carbonite, and hang around with ewoks – he has the legroom to… air out his balls a bit. While Luke has to go through intense training, inner turmoil and Lightsaber Construction 101 in his quest to resurrect an ancient religious cult, Han has time to be an awesome space pirate mope around complaining about not getting paid enough, occasionally taking time out of his busy whinging schedule to harass the shit out of Princess Leia.
Han is kind of appalling.
He’s a skeazy dudebro trained in the ways of the pick-up artist, or PUA, those sad husks who think abusing women is the path to life fulfilment. They’re all about bros before hos and they like to fully comply with the ‘treat ‘em mean to keep ‘em keen’ tenet. Han Solo is all about that shit. If Han Solo was a nightclub, he’d be Coppers. You can practically see the embittered desperation rising
off him like steam from new piss on a cold night.
Here’s how we know.
He keeps banging on about his stupid souped-up shitbox.
Han flies a hunk of junk, but it’s a fast hunk of junk; the Millennium Falcon is basically a’99 Honda Civic. Han is very fond of crowing that it made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, but as a parsec is a unit of distance, not time, what he’s basically saying is that he got from Athlone to Mullingar in less than twelve miles*. Han Solo is either a fucking moron, or a bloke who drives through lots of back gardens. Would you put it past him? Him and his skanger banger.
He’s reluctant to save the princess because what’s in it for him?
Save a woman, is it? Nah, dude, fuck that. Women wanted equality, and now they have it. Let her rescue herself. Oh, she’s rich? UGH FINE.
He has a wingman.
Han is nicer to Chewie than anyone else in the whole galaxy. They’ve got camaraderie and hugs and they enjoy cruising around in the Civic and hanging out in pubs. In fact, Han cares so much about Chewie that he’s learned his language of yowls and snuffles, whereas every time he opens his mouth to another human, he can’t speak for foot.
He hates the fact that a woman knows how to handle herself.
It turns out Leia’s loaded with as much sass as cash, and Han’s first reaction is to be really angry about it. By calling her sarcastic names. It’s a classic PUA technique – make the assertive bitch feel bad about herself so that she starts trying to reassert herself by pleasing you. It’s basically like being burgled just so the thief can sell your stuff back to you, all stained and broken. Leia is the most qualified of the gang to be the leader; she’s a politician who moonlights as a rebel leader and she isn’t even one bit bothered about your monster needle torture techniques. That doesn’t fly with Han, and he immediately turns into a 1970s Harlem madam and starts calling Leia ‘sister’ and gesturing angrily. The worst thing? IT WORKS.
Enablers like to say that you only know a boy likes you when he starts insulting and upsetting you. ARE YOU AN ENABLER? STOP THAT NOW.
Here’s a series of images of Han Solo Pointing Angrily At Princess Leia.
He reacts with unbridled anger when Leia doesn’t drop her knickers immediately.
Leia neglects to fall at Han’s feet, lamenting and pulling her hair out, when he says that he’s leaving Hoth to pay off his bounty. Han’s reaction is… well, we think his face says it all.
He tells flat out lies about how he’s totally nailing that chick.
He has no problem telling Luke that Leia’s dripping for him, even when she’s in the room and ready to hop off him. In fact, that she’s ready to hop off him makes him even worse. You ain’t never seen smug like Han Solo smug. The passive aggressive toolbag.
He’s gonna kiss you and you’re going to like it. Or else.
Sure, she wanted it once he got going. That’s how consent goes, right?
He gets all stand-offish when his girlfriend expresses her love for him.
‘I love you.’
Nothing quite as tender as being rude to your missus in front of a crowd of strangers because you can’t bear the idea that other dudes might be all like, ‘Wip-issssh!’.
Peter Griffin’s got it down pat.
He gets wanky when he thinks she’s into someone else.
Perhaps George Lucas thought that it’d be noble to have Han Solo offering to step back when he noticed the bond between Luke and Leia. Instead, it comes across like a thinly-veiled threat to have both of them made into bantha burgers. Nobody does badly pent-up rage quite like everyone’s favourite low level career criminal.
He shoots first.
And you know it.
Despite all of this, it must be said that Leia is no slouch when it comes to being a biting ream of Snark, and that she does seem to have genuine regard for this scruffy-looking nerf herder. Oh, and that most of the points of this theory are based on Harrison Ford’s interpretations of the character, which is important to note because we’ve met hardwood balustrades better at acting than Harrison Ford. Star Trek: TNG’s Data has a better grasp of human feeling than Harrison Ford. Just putting it out there. Han, ma bookie, maybe it’s not strictly your fault you’re such a creep.
*Lucas did come up with a bullshit excuse for this, but he’s a great man for 20-20 hindsight, so yeah.