May the Fourth Be With You!

There’s no mystical energy field controlling MY destiny! – Han Solo

Today is Star Wars Day and I’d like to share a story of friendship from the SW canon. There is more than one hero in this classic. At the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke Skywalker went missing, the entire rebel station at Hoth was worried but was ready to give up on finding him, thinking that he would never survive the temperature drops at night on the icy world, and not wanting to risk more lives than necessary by sending out a search team.

As his name appears to imply, Han Solo starts out a kind of Lone Ranger figure, a scoundrel, a mercenary, a man who lives and works only for himself, a rogue bounty hunter who owes loyalty to no one. His sole friend and companion was a Wookie who assisted him with his missions. And he likes it that way.

However, after having lived out the adventures featured in A New Hope with Luke, from a relationship that began for the sake of self-interest–a mercenary gig by which he hoped to earn enough to pay his debt to Jabba the Hutt–a disinterested friendship had blossomed, and Han swerved out into the snow to look for his friend!

This is how Han risked his own life to save Luke’s life. He must have been deeply endeared and felt great love for his Jedi companion. Lifelong friendships often emerge that way. This is what the Epicureans of old had to say about this matter:

All friendship is desirable in itself, though it starts from the need of help. – Vatican Saying 23


About hiramcrespo

Hiram Crespo is the author of 'Tending the Epicurean Garden' (Humanist Press, 2014) and 'How to Live a Good Life' (Penguin Random House, 2020), and founder of He's also written for The Humanist, Eidolon, Occupy, The New Humanism, The Secular Web, Europa Laica, AteístasPR, and many other outlets.
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