In a genre full of irritating optimists, it is important to recognize those who champion the ideals of critical thinking and rational decision making.  Every so often, CynicalScifi.com will spotlight a true cynic for the hero that he or she is.

Up first… Han Solo

The Star Wars saga has many wide-eyed characters who fantasize about how great the galaxy will be if only they could overthrow the empire.  They have grand plans and take stupid risks to bring those plans to fruition.  Han Solo stands out among them as a level-headed survivor.  For that alone, CynicalSciFi.com is proud to count him as one of us.

Top Tier Quotes

What good is a reward if you ain’t around to use it? Besides, attacking that battle station is not my idea of courage. It’s more like, suicide. (Star Wars, 1977)

Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money. (Star Wars, 1977)

Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. ‘Cause no mystical energy field controls my destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense. (Star Wars, 1977)

Challenges

If Han Solo is such a cynic, why does he fight against the empire?  Doesn’t that mean that he turned into a believer?

You can still be a cynic and take up a great cause.  Cynicism isn’t about apathy or accepting that things will never get better.  It is a view of what motivates others to do what they do.

But doesn’t Han Solo come back and help destroy the Death Star after calling it “suicide”?

Yeah, he shows up at the last moment and catches Darth Vader by surprise.  He doesn’t pull this off by some magical feat, either.  He takes advantage of a distracted enemy and helps destroy a great evil in the process.

Doesn’t Han Solo come around to Luke’s way of thinking about the Force?

Han might at some point accept that Luke is a Jedi Knight, but that in no way means that he subscribes to his world view.  How many friends of yours have religions that you don’t agree with?  None?  You do know that there is a difference between a cynic and a bigot, right?

A Cynic’s Cynic

Han Solo holds strong to his cynicism throughout the saga.  It keeps him and his friends alive in situations that would have left many of them dead and the rebellion in ruin.  He is a good guy at heart, which will confuse people.  But make no mistake…

A cynic keeps his ship running faster than imperial cruisers just in case.

A cynic doesn’t trust his scoundrel friend, even when that friend is a needed ally.

A cynic shoots first because he understands what motivates the guy across the table.

han-shot-first-o

 

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