Author Topic: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?  (Read 1895 times)

Offline Paul

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Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« on: February 19, 2011, 08:52 AM »
I am on a trip to visit the in-laws (anybody in St Louis know of a good toy run location?) and so i downloaded the radio Dramas for Star Wars and Empire.

It got me to thinking,  during the OT are Han and Luke really close friends or are they just good teammates?   

In the movies they seem to be closer than they do in the Radio Dramas.

Thoughts?

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #1 on: April 6, 2011, 03:16 PM »
Maybe it's kind of a Bert and Ernie thing? 
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #2 on: April 6, 2011, 04:25 PM »
I got the feeling that, once ANH passes and Han saves Luke's life, they're pretty close...  We don't see a lot of it, but they are pretty good friends.  Leia's that weird bit of tension for them but at some point Luke seems like he lost interest in her of course.  Thank god.
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Offline R5Don4

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #3 on: April 7, 2011, 10:40 PM »
My vote is for teammates.

I think Han's closest friend is Chewbacca.  Whatever the situation Chewie is with Han.  Han maintains his indepenance free-agent status with the Rebellion until RotJ.  Luke on the other hand has invested himself fully into the Rebellion as well as his dabbling in the Force, which Han regards as a hokey religion.  

« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 10:14 AM by R5Don4 »

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #4 on: April 8, 2011, 01:08 AM »
I disagree....  Han openly invites Luke to join him, leave the REbellion...  I don't think Han's wanting to distance himself from the Rebellion necessitates a distancing himself from Luke.  I look at it as Han is who he is, he wants to leave and pay his debts and not run from them.  He literally just got sidetracked...  He doesn't want to lose Leia or Luke in his life, but he's his own man is all.

Think about it too...  Vader uses the torture of Leia, Han, Chewie as a ways to lure Luke to him...  Luke has a bond there that goes well beyond "We just work together".  Luke cares about them, and is attached to them.  And it's stronger than him doing what's best for himself and the galaxy by staying with Yoda.  Luke sees them in his visions though, Han included.

I do think Chewie and Han are best friends though...  Chewie is willing to kill himself to save Han.  There's a bond there that's unmistakeable.
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Offline Matt

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #5 on: April 8, 2011, 10:53 AM »
If Shabby's fanfic artwork of Luke, Han, and Leia is any indication, Luke and Han are more than just teammates.  They are double teammates, if you know what I mean. 

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #6 on: April 8, 2011, 02:06 PM »
I always looked at it as they became good friends at the end of Star Wars and remained that way.  the novels would agree with me.
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Offline R5Don4

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 08:25 PM »
Let me clarify the context of teammate.  More like the guys from Easy Company than the folks from The Office.  Don't forget Han is more than 10 years older than Luke & Leia.  Han has seen it all and is jaded, while Luke is inexperienced and trying to find his way in the world has latched onto the Rebellion as well as Remedial Jedi Training.  Han is more like an older brother to Luke.  Luke's best friend in the Rebellion was Biggs.  I just don't think in downtime Han and Luke would really find much common ground, but when they are on the job, they'd make great sacrifices. 
Also Leia I think is very wrapped up in the Rebellion and too busy to interact socially with either of them until RotJ.
Now I've only read the movie novels and none of the EU to support any of this, it's just my take.

Offline JediJman

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2011, 09:28 PM »
I think it really depends on how much of the EU you buy into between ANH and ROTJ, as there's a lot of ground they cover together in the Marvel books.  They're together through much of those stories and rescue each other enough to be close friends by the end of Jedi. Even before the battle of Hoth, you can see Han's concern when Luke doesn't report in and his eagerness to make sure Luke is okay.

If you just go by the movies, I don't think they're really friends until the end of Jedi.  They've really just met in ANH despite the shared history and fighting together.  I'd say there's mutual respect and a bond, but being close friends probably takes more time. They spend most of the other two movies apart: Separated at Hoth, Luke goes off to Dagobah twice, Han is in carbonite for a chunk of time.  Even at Endor they really don't spend much time together.   

By the end of Jedi, they've each saved the other's life and their combined efforts (along with others) have taken out two death stars.  Han's even dating Luke's sister, so at that point, I'd say they're pretty close friends either way.
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Offline MikeT

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2011, 10:59 PM »
When Luke is lost in the ice storm on Hoth, Han instantly gears up to save him. When some guy warns Han that the temperature is dangerously low, Han exclaims "That's right! And my friend's out in it!"

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 02:55 AM »
That's an interesting explanation R5, and I like that thought process...  "Like 'Band of Brothers'" makes a lot of sense...

I agree with Jman too, about a lot of it depending on how you view the EU...  There are years between ANH and ESB, which is a big gap to grow a bond.  Then, as MikeT just mentioned, Han's willing to throw his life down for Luke.  He calls him his friend for sure (I'd totally overlooked that part of Empire), and much like Chewie on the Carbon Chamber platform, he's willing to die...  The deck officers merely call him Cmdr. Skywalker, and just acknowledge he hasn't checked in...  It's possible some others left in search of him but I'm going to guess only Han was willing to.  That speaks volumes.

Also I think we have to look at Luke as having nothing...  He's lost his home, and what family he had.  He loses his best friend a short time later, after a brief reunion. 

Now in the time between ANH and ESB, I think it's safe to say LUke would've made new friends...  Wedge for instance.  I imagine he's one of Luke's buddies.  I think the bond Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, and the droids to some extent, is a deep friendship though...  Han's older than Luke, but I never really thought of their age gap as that distant.  Experience, yeah, probably.  Han's kind of immature in his own ways too though.

I like to think that, by ESB, Han and Luke are more than just comrades in arms, but also good friends, and that Leia is in there too.  By ROTJ, they're bonded even closer since they all sacrifice their time to their cause to save Han, and Han is ultimately brought even closer in with them.  I get what you were saying though R5, and that makes a lot of sense to me.
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Offline Scott

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2011, 12:38 PM »
There is something in one of the ROTJ books (novelization maybe) that speaks of Han and the name Solo are no more after he is rescued from Jabba.  He finally realizes he has friends and a family more or less...I think up until that point he is more on the teammate side.  Viewing Luke as "junior" and "can't even take care of himself".  After he sees what Luke can do and is...he views him as a peer and friend and the circle is complete.  That is Pre-Endor for me

Offline R5Don4

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2011, 10:13 AM »
Good topic, thoughts just keep rattling around in my head about this one.

Regarding Han being the only one to go after Luke on Hoth.  Han was the only one that was able to because he was a free agent.  Everyone else was part of the military structure, which prevented them from attempting to rescue Luke.  Riekeen/Leia could not safely send others because odds of success were so small, they could not justify risking the lives of their men to possibly save one person.  All of Luke's other "friends" within the alliance had to operate within the military structure, would be going AWOL to search for Luke, how does that help their cause?   

If you think about the Rebel Alliance, they are all outlaws going against the established government.  With all the risks associtated with that alone the need for a highly controlled military structure that would not allow for soldiers running off to save their friends, without the entire structure falling apart.

Back to the original question, are Han and Luke close friends or just teammates?  I think Lando and Han would probably be closer than Luke and Han.  They are closer in age and background.  Clearly, Han forgave Lando when he risked his life to save him from the Sarlaac and again demonstrated his forgiveness when he insisted Lando use the Falcon for the Death Star attack.

I would think that Han and Luke would consider each other good friends who no doubt owe their lives to each other but at the end of the day their would be fundamental differences between them that would prevent them from being as close to each other as they are to others in their lives.

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2011, 12:05 AM »
Regarding Han being the only one to go after Luke on Hoth.  Han was the only one that was able to because he was a free agent.  Everyone else was part of the military structure, which prevented them from attempting to rescue Luke.  Riekeen/Leia could not safely send others because odds of success were so small, they could not justify risking the lives of their men to possibly save one person.  All of Luke's other "friends" within the alliance had to operate within the military structure, would be going AWOL to search for Luke, how does that help their cause?   

Other rebels went out to look for Luke....but they did all return before they shut the doors.
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Offline R5Don4

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Re: Are Luke and Han close friends or just teammates?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2011, 09:50 AM »
"All patrols reported in.  Still no word from Solo and Skywalker."

If special search parties were also sent is really just semantics. 

I think the main characters undeniably had a strong bond through their shared experience.

As for Luke on Dagobah feeling the pain of Vader's torture on Bespin could be explained that Leia was in trouble and reaching out to universe at large through the Force even though she wasn't aware of it, as was she not aware of the strong connection through the Force she shared with her twin brother Luke. 
I'm not sure how much the EU has explained Imperial Intelligence's knowledge of the crew of the Falcon; in the original version of ESB Vader feels through the force that Luke is his son and reveals this to Palpatine, not information the ISB had already.  So Vader only recognized the Falcon from ANH's Death Star escape of the Princess and associated it with Luke's presence then in the Force. (?) If Leia had not been aboard the Falcon when it left Hoth and it was only Han and Chewie being tortured on Bespin, I'm not sure Luke would have felt the need to come running. Also if Leia had not strongly emotionally bonded with Han on their journey to Bespin she would not have been in such distress at his torture.  The only one the universe at large (the bounty hunters) knew was on the Falcon was Han who already had a large price on his head, so the Falcon was an enticing mark, because you would get two paychecks for the same job.

Talk about super nerd over analyzing.  Thank you Lawrence Kasdan and Irving Kirschner.