I’m 55 years old and a near lifelong fan of Science Fiction. In books, Asimov, Niven, Clark, Pohl, Bradbury, and Heinlein fired my imagination for days on end. On Television, the cathode rays of Star Trek, Space:1999, UFO, and Battlestar Galactica forced patience for soap and cigarette commercials. And in the Cinema, Star Wars and Star Trek blew my mind while showing me I was not alone in my fandom world.
Today I am a father of four who absolutely loves sharing Sci-fi with my family. In 1979 if you had told me that in 40 years I would be watching spectacular new Star Wars and Star Trek movies and Television series with my wife and kids, I am confident my vivid imagination would have tapped out. Yet here we are!
Now to the headline…
I love Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo. His perfect combination of rugged good looks, charm, and “accidental bravado” brought the space pirate invented by George Lucas to life for
millions billions, and has helped make phrases like “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” truly colloquial.
However, Harrison Ford is not Han Solo just as Sean Connery is not 007, Christopher Reeve is not Superman, and <gulp> William Shatner is not James Tiberius Kirk. Each of these actors must be credited with delivering iconic and even definitive portrayals of legendary fictional characters, but no more (or no less!).
Why am I strong on this point? First, and selfishly, I want to continue enjoying new stories about fictional heroes and villains for as long as possible- certainly well after any one actor is prepared or able to portray them.
I _wanted_ to see the origins of Han Solo (and Chewie, Lando, the Falcon, and more), and thought that Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of the young rogue was superb. So too was I delighted by Chris Pine’s take on Captain Kirk, Daniel Craig’s Bond, and more. I also love enjoying these new stories with my kids!
Secondly, as a reader of fiction as a teen, I spent countless hours developing my own unique character interpretations as informed by the author. Saying this, I am naturally okay with the thought of many versions of the same character existing; indeed, with every reader comes a new take!
I love Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo. However, Harrison Ford IS NOT Han Solo. He can’t be. He’s Indiana Jones… 😉