Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Truth can be Stranger than Fiction

Ahhhhh. Who among us hasn't watched that scene at the end of ROTJ and wondered what happened to this happy crew? Leia moving on to President of the Galactic Senate. Luke recruiting throngs of new Force users and sculpting the Jedi Order with his naive hands. Han Solo....doing exactly what? And Lando ending up where, I wonder? I mean, just look at ole Lando up there in this photo, his eyes on some fuzzy, little female Ewok across the way, shimmying to the tribal music in a low cut dress. Who knows were Lando ended up after that night? But, seriously. In spite of the whole EU I still give thought to my own post-ROTJ canon and it gets a little fuzzy, at least for me, once you get past Luke and Leia (the Jedi and the politician). Isn't this something we've all given quite a lot of thought about? Of course, we have! That's why we're here. And if you haven't, you might want to move along. Move along. This is not the blog post you are looking for....

Anyway, on that note, Zyra emailed me and let me know that Lando was on 'Dancing with the Stars' the other night. Now, I don't watch 'Dancing with the Stars' so this is something I would've never known about if not for my 'finger on the pulse of all things SW across all mediums', beta-reader extraordinaire, Zyra. For this, I thank Zyra profusely. I had been at the ballpark at the time of the airing (for the start of Little League) but Zyra promised me it would probably be on Youtube the next day and she would send it to me in a link (which she did). I have to say, it was really fun to watch. I mean, really enjoyable. Hilarious and notstalgic all wrapped up into one mediocre dance routine. Not to spoil it too much (because you can see it for yourself here: - just copy and paste that, you know the drill) but this isn't just Billy Dee all by himself and me using my imagination that it is Lando post-ROTJ doing this. But this is Billy Dee in full Lando regalia (cape and all) with Storm Trooper back up dancers and several other cameos. Not to mention what his partner is dressed liked. Priceless stuff this really is. Really, go watch it and then come back. I'll wait.

See? I told you so.

Well, after the initial novelty of this wore off and I quit smiling from ear to ear and sending links to everyone I knew that would appreciate it (ie, my husband), I got to thinking. I often struggle with what the SW characters do post-ROTJ. Honestly, mostly with Han Solo. Poor guy. But really I've struggled with Leia, too. Would she be fed up with politics, ever? Would her relationship with Han change her priorities? I think so, but just how much so and how drastically? Well, after seeing Lando spinning (warning: Spoiler, you better go watch that video before you read any further) Slave Leia around in a Cha Cha, I began to think that maybe I had been over thinking things. Just a little.

Now, this (the Dancing with the Stars gig) is something I could totally envision Lando doing post-ROTJ in the actual Star Wars universe. Hell, slave Leia and all (meanwhile keeping his fingers crossed that Han and Leia wouldn't find out or see). So why do I attribute a much stodgier existence to the big three? Luke all Jedi obsessed, Leia all politically engrossed and Han becoming at best a squadron trainer or something or other that's pretty respectable and nowhere close to a pirate smuggler. All of this reminded me of an old fanfic called: Perfect Pairs by Great One. Just a fantastically funny story about our SW gang (post-ROTJ) going on a television show. It's brilliant. Go read that and come back. I'll wait again.

See? I told you so, again. :-)

Perfect Pairs is a perfect example of what some light-hearted reality would look like for these guys. I mean, post-ROTJ Leia ends up with Han Solo, there's no way she lives as some frigid politician. Han melted her and IMO will keep applying that heat until one of them is dead and buried (or spaced, or whatever they do in the GFFA). So, does Lando on 'Dancing with the Stars' make me rethink what my headcanon might look like for Luke, Leia, Han and others? Quite possibly. And for that, I thank you Billy Dee Williams, you and your 77 year-old body with a double hip replacement, arthritis in your back, heart attack survivor, getting down with Slave Leia and mixing it up with Artoo Detoo and a bunch of Ewoks. BRAVO. Bravo for keeping it real Lando Calrissian and never apologizing for how and where you find your happiness. You've just moved the gang one step closer to a warehouse loft on Nar Shaddaa overlooking the redlight sector where Chewie is a bouncer at a local gambling establishment (pulling down big bonuses for every arm he yanks out of socket), Leia works as a high-end clairvoyant (using her Force abilities to dole out life-changing advice) and Han runs a sold out trip on the Millennium Falcon through the Kessel Run at least three times a day in less than twelve parsecs each. LOL! Just kidding. But you get the picture, right?



  1. Good topic :) I've actually never watched that show either, but it came on after I was watching something else and when I saw who was on it I figured I needed to see Lando dance. I didn't realize though that I really would be seeing LANDO dance. You people should know that I haven't seen Push this enthusiastic after seeing something in.... well, maybe ever. It was highly entertaining, even if the poor guy is just too old to dance impressively. So he's probably going to be kicked off early, hence not too many times to watch Lando dance. Part of me also wondered if maybe this would be the venue where they would finally actually announce some Episode 7 news, but then I remembered that was silly, because they're never going to announce anything and probably are just going to hope that we'll forget they ever mentioned it. Anyway...

    Oh, the age old question of what they'd do after. I have to say, I've discussed this topic in the past and thought about it myself, and honestly? I have no idea. We tend to jump to the logical conclusion with Leia, mostly because it is such a huge part of her life as written in the EU. Would she be that politically involved? I honestly can see it both ways. Part of me wonders if it's truly that much of just who she is as a person, and she needs that. But then part of me also thinks that after all of that, and now having a personal life, she'd just be like, ain't nobody got time for that! And just find a simple job and enjoy her life with Han and their kids.

    Han is so much tougher to figure out though. He obviously needs a totally new career. And I think he needs his own identity rather than just being "Princess Leia's husband" or he'd go crazy. As much as we love to write him as this perfect man who would do anything for his woman, I do think that if he was forced to sacrifice too much and merely exist to support her that he would fairly quickly grow resentful and certainly wouldn't be very happy.

    But the specifics of WHAT he would do elude me. He can't smuggle anymore. Something with piloting, maybe? But it'd have to be interesting, not just glorified truck/bus driver. If we're to assume they aren't at war anymore though then he can't really train fighter pilots, can he? And as amazing as he is with the Falcon, is he even qualified to train military pilots? Seems like a very different kind of flying.

    This is why I so often leave the specifics of Han's "job" or life outside of his wife and family ambiguous in my stories. I really don't know what he would do and what would make him happy.

  2. Awesome post, Push. That totally made me chuckle :)

    Post ROTJ? Well, obviously Luke will be very preoccupied in building a new Jedi Order. I don't see Leia as a Jedi, but she will have some basic training I think. But I still see her as an important figure in the political arena, especially since, presumably they are building a new government following the defeat of the empire. Han I can see rising through the military ranks, proving he's more than respectable, and maybe being an Admiral or something. But then I wonder if he would be happy with that? Lol, he would HATE the uniform for a start. As for Lando, I can actually see him in politics too. You know, the charming, but slightly shifty looking politician that you are not sure if you can trust or not.

    Ideally though, and as mundane as it sounds, I'd just like Han and Leia to set up home somewhere, maybe Corellia and not do anything particularly significant accept raise a few kids. And maybe Chewie will go back to his family on Kashyyyk, I'm sure Malla would be pleased to see him, and they could visit the Solos regularly.

    As for Billy Dee, lol, well, wasn't it obvious from that Ewok party that Lando CANNOT dance?

    1. Lol! Nice one. Was anyone good at dancing at that party? Maybe it was the music. Why didn't we get to see Han dance? ;)

    2. Only Artoo and Wicket the Ewok were impressive dancers

  3. One other comment on this: Push is right. Perfect Pairs is an excellent, hilarious story. You should all go read it.

  4. I find this topic intensely amusing and would love to run with it. :)

  5. I think of Han as an independent businessman. While peace in the galaxy may have been achieved, I think some economies have taken such a pounding that the black market is alive and well and still requires a blaster strapped to his very hot thigh. And it probably would take a generation to bring the galaxy under one set of common laws. As for training, I think he'd be great training squadrons but he's gotta get out and fly the old girl, probably pretty often.

  6. Omg, HOW did I miss this? I even saw it was starting up the other night. But didn't want to watch after they kicked off some good dancers last season. And brought in their own ABC/ESPN announcer. But that dance was hilarious. Is it bad the stormtroopers were better than him? But at least he tried. Very interesting Slave Leia with buns. Like a bedroom game gone wrong. I loved the Ewoks though. Too funny. And Bruno's comment on frozen Han Solo was great. Yes, I'm still mad about that too.

    Hmmm, I may have to give what they might do after ROTJ some thought. It sure would be nice if they set up house somewhere and just had some kids. I do wonder if Leia would be all that political after the war or just tired of it all. I definitely don't see her as a Jedi and kind of hope she told Luke to stuff it. What about Han as a mechanic somewhere? I agree that he wouldn't want to be Leia's husband only. But I can't see him in the military for long and not sure he'd be good at training. He's not much of a joiner. But he is pretty good with people. Lando would make a good politician. :)

    1. Oh, yeah, loved the comment about being mad at him for freezing Han in carbonite.

      As for bedroom game gone wrong with the slave Leia + buns from the first movie... they did the same thing on that episode of Friends where Rachel dresses up for Ross. I think the general public will recognize the buns more than what her hair actually was like in that scene.

      As a side note, oddly, I think my favorite Leia hair style was the simply ponytail when she comes out of the Bouschh disguise.

    2. Forgot about that with the Friends. That was cute. I still like the Hoth braids. And Bespin.

      Btw, love the profic and blog quote to the right there. And the translation is priceless. :) I do sometimes date myself by saying I'm old enough to remember seeing ANH in the theater (original release of course). But awww, I miss the pic of Han in the background.

    3. Ha ha, Zyra, that's my favorite Leia "hair" too! I always thought that was completely random of me, glad I'm not the only one!

  7. Great topic Push.
    Hmmm I've always loved the before ROTJ era more than the EU but love thinking through character development so it’s fun to speculate.
    Han is really the tough one isn't he? His character goes through such a transformation from knight errant to knight protector in the movies that I often wondered how permanent that change really was...
    I kind of think he would always charge in head first to protect Leia (and any children they had) and Luke too. I figure he'd stick with the General gig for a while but would probably ‘retire' to go have freedom to chase after his charges. I hadn't thought of the Black Market Merchant angle but I like it and can see that direction as a fun one. Gives him more freedom and control over his life. Allows him to fly the Falcon frequently. And control when he is away from his family (including Luke and Chewie).
    I do see Leia involved in the government but more as an ambassador or negotiator than Chief of State. I always saw her as more active and a fixer rather than a true politician. That would actually mesh well with Han as free trader merchant and would allow them to raise a family together with their personalities intact. I also see them having a fiery relationship. I can’t see two such strong willed people being happy any other way. They will have mellow times but also banter, argue, and make up. I do think the tone of banter will change in that Leia will be more comfortable with sexy time and able to tease Han back. There will be new in jokes and teasing names etc.
    As for Luke… he’s the one I think the EU actually did a decent job with. I think the idealism will still drive him to recreate the Jedi order as best he can. I think it would be interesting to explore the questions of how much of the old order rules to bring back… no marriage for example… in more depth than was done in the books.
    I really ignored Lando as a bit character. Unlike Han, Lando does not have a hook (Leia) to drag him in to the fold permanently. I see his character continuing as the gambler, con artist, scoundrel with integrity that is in all the Lando books. “Winner Loses All” being a short I could see happening before or after ROTJ.
    Fun to do our own AU/EU creation discussions.

  8. Wow, yeah, Han has always been *such* a blind spot for me. I really have trouble seeing him in *any* role. I mean, he's clearly outgrown the smuggler thing. And being a general might work for awhile, but again, I feel like that would get old…yeah, I can never figure him out. It will be interesting to see how Episode VII handles his character.

    Luke is gonna do the Jedi thing. Leia is probably gonna do the political thing (but I actually DO want to see her have some Jedi training. I don't want her to *be* a Jedi with the robes and all that, but I want her to be quite Force-capable if that make sense. I think it would be cool).

    But Han? Man, I just have no idea…gash, no wonder Harrison Ford wanted to kill him off. (I'M KIDDING!! That would've been terrible….and sad….and terrible some more).

  9. I feel bad because Han doesn't seem to have a clear path. Let's face it, his is the trickier profession to domesticate. I felt that Leia could be different than a politician, perhaps. Maybe the equivalent to a non profit organization to help people damaged by the Empire (granted that's a pretty broad scope, but it's an idea). She always seemed to be passionate about her fight against the Empire, why not try to help those hurt by it?

  10. Good question. I remember thinking about this after seeing ROTJ, as I wondered what would be in store for the characters. Luke's future was obvious (training Jedi), but Han and Leia were a lot harder. I was torn between wanting to imagine more of their adventures, and just wanting them to have a quiet, happy life together. I favoured the latter, because I figure they'd more than earned it.

    But, as others have pointed out, I'm not sure either of them would be happy settling down. And yet the thought of them having an endless string of galaxy-threatening dramas is almost as depressing. Can't these folks just get a break?

    After thinking about it, I asked myself this: Does it need to be this absolute dichotomy of either working/risking/sacrificing themselves silly vs. settling in the 'burbs with the kids and the 9-5 job and the SoroSuub minivan?

    How about a middle ground? Maybe after a few years of Leia being a politician/diplomat and Han being a general they could retire from the New Republic government, but keep their hand in the pot by getting called in occasionally as consultants in their area of expertise (like peacekeeping for Leia and uh, trade route negotiation and such for Han?). And I totally agree with the previous comment about the two of them doing humanitarian work: Alderaan refugee aid and cultural preservation, slavery abolition, etc.

    In between their occasional consulting assignments, they could raise their family, taking off regularly in the Falcon, kids in tow, to spend extended time on some of those worlds that they worked so hard to save from the Empire, and taking the opportunity to participate directly in local humanitarian projects. I've known real-life people who've lived an exciting and ethical life like this while traveling the world and raising their children. It's a cool and close-knit family environment to grow up in -- though probably not interesting enough to turn into a hundred-plus-volume Extended Universe mega-series!

    - Sabacc Gal

  11. Luke is pretty easy. I mean, if he doesn't become the next Master Jedi, who would? He's so Zen-like during ROTJ that I can't see him doing anything but that.

    But Han and Leia are tougher. If you follow ROTJ's story line, Leia is not in a command role anymore. In ANH, she was watching the battle from Yavin in the command center. At the beginning of ESB, she's also in the command center. But in ROTJ, she must not have had anything to do during the battle because she volunteered to be part of Han's command squad. Sure, that was just a way to get her onto Endor to be part of that story, but it sure seems like she's not part of the inner circle anymore. So, would she end up leading the galactic government?

    I could see her being an ambassador and then end up being involved with some philanthropic organization. She has the background for both and probably the interest.

    Now, for Han, I never saw him in the 'General' role. Sure, he might have officially joined the rebellion for Leia, but I can't see him being a career military man. But, the smuggling days are over as well. So, I could see him running his own business or being a consultant to the new government. After being his own boss for so long, and despite his 'lack' of temperament in ROTJ, I can't see him doing anything that he isn't in charge of. If he did stay with a government job, I think it would have to be in an intelligence type of role (NRI), not a strict hierarchical military role. Something where he has freedom to work on his own and the liberty to work around Leia's schedules.

    What happens with everyone else? Does Chewie stay with Han? Probably, but in a looser role and eventually they part ways. Lando goes back to being a public official of some sort, he's got politician written all over him. C-3PO could stay with Leia as a protocol droid if she's an ambassador and R2-D2 stays with Luke, just because.

    I agree with the other comments that none of this makes for 30 years of EU stories. So, they are thrown into one conflict after another. Honestly after about 5 years of that, you'd think they all would just get in the Falcon and fly to the outer rim some where to hide out to get some rest.

  12. The "And they all lived happily ever after" really doesn't lend itself to interesting stories does it. But I do think they could have made a lot of stories about the ambassador/negotiator and her bodyguard husband and their children flying around during the cleanup of the old Empire forces and building the New Republic.... Lots of adventure in those options. With Chewie to help as bodyguard/babysitter... and heck the challenge of keeping the children out of trouble during negotiation on world x,y, or z.... especially Han's children, could have all kinds of fun ;)

  13. Okay, I've been meaning to come back to this all week and only now got the chance.

    Han really is a bit of a problem here, isn't he? What would he be doing if he hadn't fallen into smuggling after his dishonorable discharge?

    The more I think about it, the more I realize how little insight into him the movies gave us in this respect. He was willing to hang around between ANH and TESB, and the general consensus is that much of that was because of Leia. But did he miss the smuggling life, or not so much? How much flying did he get to do in those three years with the alliance? Because I'm guessing it's the thrill of flying that he loves, not smuggling. But while he was with the rebels he seemed happy to volunteer for dangerous stuff that didn't involve flying, like rescuing Luke and checking out the probe droid. Again, was he just trying to help his friend and impress Leia, or does he actually thrive on the adrenaline kick?

    I'm not well-versed on the Expanded Universe, but from the little I've read it's interesting to me to see the different authors' depictions of young Han's life-view.

    At the end of the first Crispin book Han suggests to Bria (sorry, I know she's not well-liked in some circles, and I can understand that) that they could simply get married and look for any old job to make ends meet. But he was so young. Everything else had just fallen apart around them, and it hardly seemed a well-thought-out plan (though believable to me given the circumstances).

    In Brian Daley's "Han Solo's Revenge," Han tells Fiolla that if he had that open voucher pad of hers, he'd buy himself a nice little planet and retire, which makes it seem like he'd be happy to get out of the smuggling business if he had the financial means. But then, later in the very same book, it's pretty obvious that he's not about to give up smuggling to take on a boring desk job like his old friend Roa has.

    In "Honor Among Thieves" (no major spoilers here, though I'm so very keen to discuss this book!) there's mention of Han being unable to imagine being trapped in the same star system for his entire life. There's also an interesting bit where he admits to himself that he doesn't belong in the "civilized part" of Leia's world, and that his place is "in the bowels of the Falcon, or the pilot's seat." He muses that of all the outlaw friends he's had, the ones who survived were "the ones who knew their place. The ones who developed pretensions of respectability usually wound up getting eaten alive by a society they didn't ever really fit into."

    And in "Scoundrels" Zahn has Han thinking about what he'd do with the huge sum of money at stake: "He could pay them (ie. Jabba et al) all off his back, and still have enough for him and Chewie to run free and clear wherever they wanted. Maybe for the rest of their lives." And when it all goes belly-up: "So much for his dream of being free of Jabba. So much for *all* his dreams." But what, exactly, were those dreams? Would he and Chewie have just run around the galaxy, "free and clear," aimless but financially secure? Zahn never says.

    Han's "life dreams" just seem to be a mystery, at least in the stuff I've read (which is mostly set pre-ESB). Is there anything in the later EU books that give more insight on this topic, particularly with respect to his transition from an outlaw to a royal consort?

    - Sabacc Gal

  14. I see him staying on as a general. But I'm only basing this on how good he'd look in a uniform ;-)

  15. Hey guys: anyone want to weigh in on the Wookieepedia debacle? I honestly didn't care much about it until this Club Jade post ( caused me to actually read the "Breasts" entry. And the truth is? It certainly doesn't make me feel welcome in the mainstream SW fandom. Not as the kind of fan I am making the kind of fan works I do. I'll be very interested to see how the fallout continues and whether Wookieepedia decides to have response other than "don't be so sensitive!"

    As this is a site populated by female fans, what do you guys think?

  16. This is so hard for me. My man Han seems to not fit in (in my opinion) in the post-Jedi era EU books. I can't draw up a great picture of where I think he'd be/what he'd be doing either. To me, he's supposed to be a true "rebel"/non-conformist type. This is why I love reading the pre-Empire books. Han is his fun self! I really enjoyed Honor Among Thieves for this reason. I hate to say this, it breaks my heart, but maybe Han and Leia aren't meant to be? Maybe they do their own thing but meet up for mutually passionate sexy times in some corner of the galaxy. They love each other still and it's that love that keeps one from making the other " fit" in their world so they can be together 24/7.
    I just think Han deserves his own path and role. He's as strong a character as Luke and Leia. Need to thjnk more on this I guess...