No Right Explanation

Indiana Jones vs Han Solo


Last week the boys debated which Harrison Ford role was the greatest ever, Indiana Jones or Han Solo. But since the debates you see are only a small slice of the discussions and decisions that make up an entire episode. With that in mind, we’re allowing Chris and Kyle and Dan the chance to bring a bit more context in a new follow-up feature, No Right Explanation


Chris: The debate between Indiana Jones and Han solo may be over, and I may have won with Indy, but there’s a lot that’s not setting well with me. Yes, I like winning as much as the next man or cybertronic sex machine, but knowing darn well that some punches were pulled, some shots were fired second, well that just rubs be the wrong way, and as a cybertronic sex machine I’m very much against that.

For one, Kyle didn’t hammer the point home that although Indiana Jones hasn’t had his iconic three movies tampered with, his final outing really did seek to undo all the good graces that have befallen him. Han Solo, while the butt of many a Lucas-focused joke, was nowhere to be found in the prequel trilogy of Star Wars, meaning at worst his low moment is a wonky head bob, whereas Indiana Jones has cringe-worthy moments of goofy old man shenanigans. A whip is a selling point when you’re at Nazi-punching prime. It’s not so cute when you’re just a few years from Depends.

Furthermore, Kyle’s ultimate ace in the hole should have been the exact argument I brought up: Han’s companion. I threw a poorly-conceived notion in his face claiming that Chewbacca is somehow a hard sell for a woman. I’m a bit stunned I didn’t get booed right out of the Internet for that as Chewbacca is universally loved by all, whereas Indie’s companions have been a shrill blonde bombshell, a traitorous Nazi minx, a small Chinese stereotype, and a woman who birthed Shia LaBeouf. Again, simply the fact that Indiana Jones had a Shia sperm swimming around his temple of doom should be enough to torpedo any claims of his badassery.

Finally, the fan angle should have been brought into the foreground a bit more from Kyle’s end. People don’t lose their damn minds about Indiana Jones news, but things related to Star Wars can set off another crusade, or at least a month-long bitch session. That comes from a strong connection, and perhaps the reason there’s a stronger connection to Star Wars is because Indiana Jones is cool but ultimately a single male fantasy. When we watch Indiana Jones, we like Indy, but we don’t really relate to Indy. In Star Wars, the good three, Han Solo thankfully doesn’t have to be the only character you can connect with. More of a nerd? Head to Luke. Even more of a nerd? Maybe C-3PO’s your droid. Feel like the rebel wherever you go? Hey look, Han has got your back. This lets the character breathe a bit instead of requiring him to steal every moment. He feels more … believable.

But Kyle didn’t mention these things and I won. The galaxy is at peace.


Kyle: Chris definitely should have mentioned that Indiana Jones is much better at foreign relations with the indigenous peoples he comes across. While Han was trying really hard not to tear those ewoks apart out of annoyance, Indy was respecting the traditions and customs of
the folks he came across. He always ate whatever was put in front of him regardless of how gross and vaguely racist it was.

And Han was a bit of a slippery dickwad. He bails on his debts, runs away from most fights, and whenever he gets cornered, he gives a bunch of crappy excuses. When Dr. Jones gets captured or caught, he usually stares down the villain and explains why the ancient relic will kill them all.

Honestly, I’m surprised Chris didn’t nail me with a large discrepancy in Han Solo’s reputation. While I described him as suave and cool in the debate, there’s evidence to the contrary. Immediately upon coming face-to-face with Darth Vader, he draws his blaster and fires, which could have gotten him, the Princess, and everyone else in the room killed. When faced with the same situation in his own galaxy, Indy kept his cool while hanging out close enough to Hitler to smell his vile breath.


Kyle continued: Plus, Indy has a much easier time respecting his elders. The old Indian man in the village was treated with perfect reverance, Marcus Brody was a valued friend (despite his bumbling), and then there was Connery. Sean Connery as Henry Jones, Sr. revealed where Indy’s undying allegiance to history and ancestry came from. It was born out of a respect for his pappy. Solo, meanwhile, basically called Obi-wan a senile old pecker and gave his entire religion and way of life the space-finger. Uncool. Just uncool.

Imagine what kind of crap he would have spewed if he had met Yoda!

Now that I think of it, there are so many parallels between the characters. Han shot Greedo unfairly, and Indy shot that swordsman unfairly. Han dove into a garbage chute, Indy crawled through the filthy catacombs under Venice. Indy’s girlfriend was forced to put on a dress, Han’s girlfriend was forced to put on a metal bikini. It’s spooky. Anybody got a theory on this? Bob?! Where’s Bob?!


Dan: So, getting right into why the points landed where they did, I want to address the first point that went to Kyle; Han Solo is always a rogue suave smuggler, whereas Indiana “Junya” Jones has to spend part of his time basically defending his history thesis. Some would say that this makes Han Solo more one-dimensional, but I thought that Han still manages to have a mysterious past where anything could happen. Indiana’s past was obviously hours in the library or in the classroom. Point goes to Kyle.

The second point seems to fly in the face of what I just said, making me seem like a flip-flopper. Neigh, I say, it only shows that both sides made valid arguments. While Han does have a mysterious past that isn’t bogged down by some 18 years of schooling, none of that past other than owing some space-Italian money is ever fleshed out. Meanwhile Indiana’s past is, with the beginning of the third movie and the accompanying television series. So Chris evens it up.

Theme song! Oh mah gosh theme song, how could the next point not go to Chris? The Indiana Jones theme (yes I know it is technically ‘Raider’s March’) is so ingrained in my mind as the “Adventure” theme that Herr Jones can’t help but gain a few cool points. The only other theme that comes close to making me want to adventure is the LOTR theme. The Star Wars theme, closest Han has to a personal jingle, just makes me want to stare wistfully at a binary star system.

Chicks dig the car, and Kyle benefits from that fact. There is no Indiana Jones vehicle, unless you count a Nazi’s face under his boot. Which I do! Han Solo goes together with the Millennium Falcon instantly, so much so that in the third movie when Lando pops the satellite dish off, I still get angry. Hey dude, I don’t care if the ship was yours and Han won it off you in a hand of cards, you don’t scratch the ship that carries Mr. Solo. Only Chewie is allowed to do that. So Kyle grabs another point.

Fifth point goes to the man who made me realize that between E.T. and Star Wars, Indiana Jones may be one of the few big movies that Lucas and Spielberg have not performed a special effects cavity search on. Indy still shoots with a gun instead of a radio, and for that, Chris pulled into the lead.

Last point before the drinking stage, Kyle evens things up with mentioning the fourth Indy movie. Poor ol’ bastard lost a lot of “Cool” ground with that one. I don’t want to keep thinking about that one … just … just keep going.

The last point, and the point which ultimately gave the debate to Chris, was hard to decide. He tried to defend Indy violating the laws of fusion with a few millimeters of lead paint, using nothing but the argument that it was cool, if you don’t think about it. Kyle tried to come back and argue that Han doesn’t get hurt as much as Indy, supposedly making him much cooler. I tried to remember all the times that both characters got injured, and it seemed to be neck and neck, until I remembered that Han spend the bridge between the second and third movie frozen in carbonite. In fact, that very “Injury” is basically synonymous with Han as much as Chewie or the Falcon. Indy has no defining injury, and so in the end I had to give the last point to Chris.

And in case anyone is wondering, Mondays will be the new time for No Right Explanation, mostly due to satanic rituals and the third ingredient of marshmallows.

About the author

Daniel Epstein
Father, filmmaker, and writer. Once he won an Emmy, but it wasn't for being a father or writing.