Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds?
I was working on some 3D models today, and the thought struck me: ships are cool, but they’re only part of the equation. What about the crew? I am a big Han Solo fan, but have to rank Firefly and Mal Reynolds right up there with him. So, I wondered, which captain would I rather be? Not to be confused with the standard “which captain is cooler/more badass/gets more ladies,” just a matter of which person would I rather live the life of?
Both guys are rogues who ply the grey areas of life as they try to make a living. Both fought as ‘Rebels’ of a sort, though Mal’s Browncoats came out on the losing side.
Both have crews. Han has Chewie, a strong, loyal, and smart co-pilot who would see him through anything. Mal definitely has more mouths to feed. His First officer, mechanic and pilot are above board, his ‘muscle’, Jayne, probably gives him nightmares, his doctor and wayward sister have him on most-wanted lists across the Alliance.
They both have their own ships. Han has the Falcon, arguably one of the most iconic and coolest ships ever to grace the genre of sci-fi. Serenity is cool in its’ own way, though. It has a different mission, so must conform to that role, and yet I wouldn’t mind tooling around in her, either.
So it comes down to the captain. Han has had to make it alone in life, got kicked out of the military for saving Chewie, and now tries his best to keep one step ahead of all the people who he’s made enemies of along the way. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, and has a soft spot for lost causes.
Then there’s Malcolm Reynolds. He seemingly has a very similar story to Han- outcast, rebel, hard worker, and will do whatever it takes to protect his crew.
I can’t remember where I saw the quote, and I use it loosely now, but there was a comment attributed to the Greeks that one should take oneself lightly, but have some conviction they’d die for.
Here is where Han and Mal are both identical. I’m not sure if, (at least in the beginning with Han), they’d put their life up for such something on such a scale as the fate of the galaxy. They both live in the moment. Now, both fought and risked life and limb for their causes, whether it was the Rebellion or the Browncoats, but in the end, I think their priorities are the same: they’d do anything for their crew, and that’s what makes them leaders worth following.
Despite all the tangible evidence, I must make my personal decision on a vibe more than anything I’ve seen on film or in a book. I think that, personally, I’d rather use Mal as a pattern to live my life of adventure as. I see just a little more grit, the same sense of honor, and a high potential for badassery. Oh, and a great sense of humor. Though, Han blasting Greedo is one of the most awesome pre-emptive shots ever…
Still, for me: Mal Reynolds, in the Millennium Falcon.
How about you?