A Letter to General Han Solo

General Solo, Han, how are you doing sir. My name is Devin Howard, I realize that you are an entirely fictional character of the Star Wars Universe and that, were you even a real, living, breathing person you would have been dead millenia before I came into existence, but I still want to say that you have been one of my heroes for a long, long time.

Sure, your moral constitution is a little on the flexible side, but you know what, we don’t live in a universe of ethical black and whites. One must consider temporal, technological, legal, and precedential contexts if any kind of working moral system can be ensured. We may define acceptable boundaries in hyper-articulate language designed to prevent ambiguity but how often have those efforts been successful? In America we’ve been debating the meaning of our itsy bitsy founding documents (when compared to the voluminous tomes of other legal and procedural texts we rely upon of course) almost since the moment they were ratified, for going on two and three quarters centuries!

So yeah, your habit of bending the rules here and there is 100% cool by me.

A few other reasons I inaugurated you into my individual pantheon years ago: pragmatism, poise (landing claw? While being chased by 2 Imperial Class Star Destroyers? Bravo general), rakish looks and brash demeanor, (on earth, this is now called ‘swagger’), lots of stuff there for an aspiring brigand to emulate.

Speaking of being a badass, you were also a gunslinger. Right up there with Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, you absolutely were.

What else? You married a princess, an impressive feat for the captain of a smuggling vessel, particularly considering the rigidity of class structure in the galaxy at the time (I know we would later discover that you possessed a royal heritage, but that was ex post facto, and thus did not influence your marriage to Leia Organa).

You evaded, destroyed, out-witted, battled, cajoled, raced, and sauntered around more of the galaxy than anybody I know here (more than anybody that’s ever lived actually). I just can’t help but be in awe, to appreciate in near totality your colorful past.

To top it all off you do, underneath that guarded exterior, own a sincere and well-developed sense of right of right and wrong. Why else would you return to the first death star and take out Vader’s Advanced TIE Fighter as he was closing in on Luke? Honor, duty, valor, that’s why.

Yes General Solo, you have been a hero of mine for quite some time, and so you shall remain, because if I live to see half as much of this modest planet as you have of an entire galaxy, I’ll be able to say when it’s over that I had a damn good time until the end.


Devin Howard


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