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Face-Off: Indiana Jones vs. Han Solo

Apr. 11, 2013by: Paul Huffman
In last weeks Face-Off we put together a match up between two Steven Spielberg classics in Jurassic Park and Jaws. After much consideration and a re-visitation of both I leaned towards Jaws for the official verdict. Interestingly enough you lot seem to agree with the most part giving Jaws the victory on behalf of our readers as well, a well deserved victory to Spielberg's first foray into exploiting our fears.

This week, in anticipation of the release of the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic 42, which Harrison Ford has lent his talents to I thought we'd put a match together featuring what many believe to be the highlights of his career. A match between Indiana Jones and Han Solo is interesting to me, part of me thinks people love their Indy so much the verdict will be a landslide...but Han Solo in the first two Star Wars films at least was no slouch in the kick ass character department. Pitching this idea to the head honcho JoBlo himself got him to divulge that he always preferred the scoundrel to the professor. Any chance you agree? Let's discuss.
Resourcefulness
To elaborate on this category, how is Indiana Jones in a fight? How good is he at getting out of a jam? Well let's see he's mastered countless booby traps and jumped out of a plane and survived with nothing but a lifeboat, then there's that while surviving a nuclear blast in nothing but a fridge gag. Indy's got bullwhips, brains, and ingenuity to last for days. Did I mention the man can maneuver in a vehicle chase like no other? I mean you'd think the confined spaces would vex somebody but nope not Indy, half the time he ends up outside said vehicles and still owns their asses.
Han Solo, great pilot and essentially a fearless bad ass. The mans focused on what he needs to do, hence being able to make it out of that...thing that wasn't a cave in one piece. Then you have him running at a gang of storm troopers like taking them all out would be just another day at the office, then being smart enough to gather he would have been f*cked. Solo can also sneak attack like nobodies business, seriously how did big bad Vader not see that sh*t coming? As far as resourcefulness goes...he knew what he had to do to keep Luke alive in the middle of a frozen over version of hell...good on ya.
Memorable Lines
"It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."

"You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do."

"Mola Ram! Prepare to meet Kali... in Hell!"

"I suggest you give me what you owe me... or 'Anything Goes!'

"I'm like a bad penny, I always turn up."

"Nazis. I hate these guys."

"Sorry about the mess."

"Wonderful girl. Either I'm going to kill her or I'm beginning to like her."

"Laugh it up fuzzball."

"I know."

"This is no cave."

"A Jedi Knight? I'm out of it for a little while and everyone gets delusions of grandeur."

"Scoundrel? Scoundrel? I like the sound of that."
Personality
I love Indiana Jones' fascination with the artifacts he hunts down and his determination in preserving them and getting them where they belong, I mean his bluff was called by a villain that knew he couldn't destroy one of them. His way with women was a little shaky as he could clash with them pretty easily, but also had a soft side and had a habit of telling them how it is...admirable. I also loved how good he was with Short Round and to lesser extent his interactions with Shia when he found out the nature of their connection. I connected mostly with Indy in his struggle to gain the approval from his father he was so craving, it's something I related to in a big way and it added a lot of dimension to his character.
Han Solo had some great character development throughout the original trilogy, started out as a man all about the benjamins with only a Wookie and a ship as things he considered close to him. He showed us his mean streak in a New Hope that I dug (he f*cking shot first George). But like most great loner characters, he found something deeper to fight for and dedicate himself to, and never abandoned his new comrades when they needed it...although he almost did. He is also more stable when it comes to romance, he knows who he wants and he's a go getter...suave bastard. This is a tough category to judge because they both are stand up gentlemen...but to make this match more interesting I'll give Indy the edge here and nitpick because Han is pretty consistently a dick to C-3PO the whole time...leave the protocol droid alone man.
Tie-Breaker
While Han Solo is a great character who really got to shine in Empire Strikes Back, the franchise wasn't really his. Indiana Jones puts Harrison Ford front and center and he fully embodied the character and made him great...yes even in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He's smart, he's good in a fight, he doesn't exactly have grace under pressure but still knows how to get out of tight situations, and you can relate to some human elements that his character was given such as his certain fears and his deep rooted family history. I always have fun revisiting his adventures, and most importantly bought the idea that he could still go in the 50's. Indy's time may be done, but he's definitely made a hell of a mark on cinematic history.
The original Star Wars is full of characters that grew and evolved as a result of the epic journey they found themselves on, and Han Solo was no exception. He made a hell of an impact when he was introduced and we were rooting for him to get his head out of his ass the whole time, then it was great to his new found sense of honor in ESB. He was a bit neutered in ROTJ and not as compelling to watch but that doesn't take away from how great the character is in the slightest. The best compliment I could give Han Solo is that if it was the norm back then to produce spin-off films, and Han Solo would have gotten the treatment I would have been all for it. He is one of Ford's best characters as loved as Indy is this can't be denied.
Indiana Jones
There you have it Schmoes, as much as I love Han Solo I think Indiana Jones just has to take this particular Face-Off. Ford carried a classic franchise on his back and made it one of the best to this day. While I'm confident this is going to be the general opinion from you our readers, I've been surprised before and some may prefer the scoundrel that is Han Solo. It's that time...strike back!

If you have an idea that you'd like to see in a future FACE OFF column, feel free to shoot an email to me at paulhuffman@joblo.com with your ideas and some ideas for the critique to base your ideas off. Thank you and in the meantime...

Which Stephen Spielberg film is your favorite?
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9:05PM on 04/11/2013

You have chosen...wisely.

There is no doubt that on a scale of coolness from 1-10, Han Solo is a 10. But Indy is an 11. I think Indy wins by a hair, just because he has his own John Williams theme song, and one could argue it is probably the greatest theme for any character in the history of film.
There is no doubt that on a scale of coolness from 1-10, Han Solo is a 10. But Indy is an 11. I think Indy wins by a hair, just because he has his own John Williams theme song, and one could argue it is probably the greatest theme for any character in the history of film.
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2:27PM on 04/11/2013

Dr. Mother fucking Jones!

Han Solo is an incredible character with a lot of depth and I'd put both in the top 10 screen heroes ever but it's Indiana Jones. I mean, has quite possibly the most iconic hero ever and in my opinion the best fictional character in movies.

Oh wait, am I biased? My picture is Indy - whoops
Han Solo is an incredible character with a lot of depth and I'd put both in the top 10 screen heroes ever but it's Indiana Jones. I mean, has quite possibly the most iconic hero ever and in my opinion the best fictional character in movies.

Oh wait, am I biased? My picture is Indy - whoops
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12:21PM on 04/11/2013

Agreed.

Love em both, but Indy wins.
Love em both, but Indy wins.
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12:06PM on 04/11/2013
I love how in Temple of Doom (which is set before Raiders of course) Ford plays Indy as a rougher character. He's more the 'nefarious' Dr Jones as described by Toht in Raiders. It's subtle, but it's there in Ford's performance if you look for it.
I love how in Temple of Doom (which is set before Raiders of course) Ford plays Indy as a rougher character. He's more the 'nefarious' Dr Jones as described by Toht in Raiders. It's subtle, but it's there in Ford's performance if you look for it.
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10:37AM on 04/11/2013
Tough competition but I have to go with Dr. Jones.
Tough competition but I have to go with Dr. Jones.
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10:17AM on 04/11/2013
Good call. Indiana Jones is still arguably my favorite movie character. A lot of that goes back to one of MY personal favorite quotes of his "I don't know, I'm making it up as I go."

Harrison Ford was indispensable when it came to both these characters, but particularly Indiana, since some of his most famous signature moves were actually Ford's ideas (like shooting the swordsman). The fact that he was always first and foremost in it for fortune and glory, and not to save the world, also
Good call. Indiana Jones is still arguably my favorite movie character. A lot of that goes back to one of MY personal favorite quotes of his "I don't know, I'm making it up as I go."

Harrison Ford was indispensable when it came to both these characters, but particularly Indiana, since some of his most famous signature moves were actually Ford's ideas (like shooting the swordsman). The fact that he was always first and foremost in it for fortune and glory, and not to save the world, also makes him more relatable. As much as people talk about John McClane being more human than most action heroes, Indiana Jones did it first.
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+8
9:24AM on 04/11/2013
Gotta say I agree with a lot of this. Indy would be my winner as well, but you forgot one of his best lines (from Last Crusade): "NO TICKET!"

PS: If you wish to continue the theme of a Face Off between a single actor's two iconic characters, how about Rocky vs. Rambo?
Gotta say I agree with a lot of this. Indy would be my winner as well, but you forgot one of his best lines (from Last Crusade): "NO TICKET!"

PS: If you wish to continue the theme of a Face Off between a single actor's two iconic characters, how about Rocky vs. Rambo?
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9:00AM on 04/11/2013
I have to go with Han Solo. I think Indiana Jones is better, but personally I like Han Solo more.
I have to go with Han Solo. I think Indiana Jones is better, but personally I like Han Solo more.
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8:52AM on 04/11/2013

sigh

This is one of those face-offs that makes me scratch my head and ask "why I am being asked to consider choosing one over the other?"
This is one of those face-offs that makes me scratch my head and ask "why I am being asked to consider choosing one over the other?"
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7:44AM on 04/11/2013
Indiana Jones by a little bit.
Indiana Jones by a little bit.
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7:18AM on 04/11/2013
Got to go with Dr. Jones on this one, the man hooked up with barmaids, hot nightclub singers, a Nazi spy. He put out three awesome movies, still refuse to acknowledge the fourth even exists. Han was a cool character but Indie always struck me as a likeable character who anyone could relate to, and every time he was almost out of the crap, bam he is one more problem to stand in his way.
Got to go with Dr. Jones on this one, the man hooked up with barmaids, hot nightclub singers, a Nazi spy. He put out three awesome movies, still refuse to acknowledge the fourth even exists. Han was a cool character but Indie always struck me as a likeable character who anyone could relate to, and every time he was almost out of the crap, bam he is one more problem to stand in his way.
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6:27AM on 04/11/2013
Oh man, this is a tough one, but I've gotta say Indiana Jones. Han Solo is an amazing character, has every right to be as popular as he is and is the "rogue with a heart of gold" to a tee - but I think part of why he really works is as part of the trio that also includes Luke and Leia. He's the bad boy, Luke's the goody-two-shoes, Leia's the girl (and Chewie's the team pet/ loyal sidekick). Sure, Indy's had lots of really cool supporting characters in his time, but I think he's more of a
Oh man, this is a tough one, but I've gotta say Indiana Jones. Han Solo is an amazing character, has every right to be as popular as he is and is the "rogue with a heart of gold" to a tee - but I think part of why he really works is as part of the trio that also includes Luke and Leia. He's the bad boy, Luke's the goody-two-shoes, Leia's the girl (and Chewie's the team pet/ loyal sidekick). Sure, Indy's had lots of really cool supporting characters in his time, but I think he's more of a standalone hero than Han is, if that makes any sense.
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6:19AM on 04/11/2013

Tie Breaker

Author got it all wrong. Yes Indiana Jones had his own franchise but Han Solo didn't and he shone through so resiliently that everyone either loved him or wanted to BE him over Luke. Now thats powerful stuff. Im still 50/50 tho between the two.
Author got it all wrong. Yes Indiana Jones had his own franchise but Han Solo didn't and he shone through so resiliently that everyone either loved him or wanted to BE him over Luke. Now thats powerful stuff. Im still 50/50 tho between the two.
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5:23AM on 04/11/2013

The hardest face-off so far

I love them both and even though I prefer Star wars, I guess Indi has to win, because he has his own franchise.
I love them both and even though I prefer Star wars, I guess Indi has to win, because he has his own franchise.
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+9
3:36AM on 04/11/2013
Indy. He's my favorite movie character.
Indy. He's my favorite movie character.
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2:24AM on 04/11/2013

Solo!

The guy's got a blaster! Pretty much decides the battle. :-)
The guy's got a blaster! Pretty much decides the battle. :-)
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