Here at ARoleModel, we love doing character analyses both on fictional characters and real people. In our analysis we look at diverse aspects of character, like body language, voice and image. Here we look at the character of Han Solo from Star Wars.
Han Solo’s Body Language
Body language is arguably the single most important tool in communication. Through the Star Wars trilogy, Han perfectly illustrates the body language of a cool and composed character. Want to look confident, self assured and cool? Then Han’s got some secrets to share with you.
Secret 1: Even if some ant-eater-looking green alien is about to shoot you in the face, STILL look cool
The famous scene in IV between Han ans Greedo shows how masterful he is with his body language. Han ‘s about to be shot in this scene, yet he’s still showing all the signs of confidence. His chest is exposed (not covered by his arms), which in body language means he’s feeling comfortable and confident, hes showing part of his palm as though to say “I’ll just tell it like it is, whatever” (showing the palms in body language means a person is open and being truthful) and he’s even got his foot on the table, which is a dominant sign showing that he’s owning the space. And all while he’s about to be shot. Now if that’s not confidence, I don’t know what is.
Secret 2: Make them think you’re too cool for school, then give them the most joyfully childish smile you can muster. They’ll be putty in your hands.
A charming and very revealing body language gesture is shown by Han Solo at the end of A New Hope when he is receiving his medal. He gives this childlike, big cheeky grin, which completely changes his face. You can tell its a genuine smile by the change around his eyes (for more on this see Smiling Body Language).
And this one moment of childlike joy pays off. The first truly sexual response he gets from Leia happens right after Han gives this smile. She wets her lips (a very clear “come-on” sign). This makes me wonder whether Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher knew that their characters were going to end up together when A New Hope was filmed (if you know this I’d love to hear it on either Facebook or Twitter — links on the top right) . Either way, there can be little doubt that Han has pulled as this point.
Secret 3 : Blink Less: Have you ever noticed how Han doesn’t ever blink? Everyone else in the movie blinks about ten times more than him, and that significantly helps boost the impression of confidence because high blinking rates are a sign of nervousness.
Secret 4: Get rid of your nerves before you go on stage: There’s a very important moment for Han’s character which happens just before he enters the throne room. He puffs his cheeks out as though excitedly nervous and surprised at the thought of anyone celebrating him. This proves that he actually is just a regular guy after all (though he’s wisely gotten rid of his nerves behind the scenes where no one can see him, that way he can still look cool when he bags his medal).
Han Solo’s Manner of Speaking and Thought
Han’s speech matches his body language perfectly to create a rapport which really brings his character to life.
Effortless wit: Han repeatedly uses highly intelligent sarcasm with ease.
Cute Mistakes: If it weren’t for occassional mistakes Han makes he would appear too perfect, almost inhuman, and would lose much of his charm. Quotes such as “We had a slight weapons malfunction. . . everything’s fine now . . .how are you?” show a vulnerable side which gives him a youthful energy, ultimately making his character more attractive.
Blunt and to the Point: “I’m not 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.” This is just one Han Solo quote which reveals a great depth of inner confidence. He doesn’t mind bearing his soul to the world nor showing both his strengths and weaknesses. This gives him a direct edginess, a bite, which shows that he is always in control of himself, a point he makes perfectly clear himself when he says, “Look, your worshipfulness, I take orders from just one person: Me.”
Possessiveness and Self obsession: Han finds exactly the right balance between being self centred and sociable / compassionate. At times he’s totally self-absorbed and materialistic (he’s angry when anyone speaks ill of the Millenium Falcon and repeatedly makes clearly self centred choices) but also knows his responsibilities and does what he has to do. This makes his character both responsible and a team player but also reserved and somewhat mysterious (because you’re never really sure what’s going on behind the scene with him) .
Reserved: Though Han is certainly not a shy guy, there are some touching moments where he shows reservation. Han makes clear that he’s comfortable with whoever he’s around, but that he’s going to keep himself to himself when he wants to, that he’s going to be in complete control of himself and that he won’t reveal to you any more than he wants to. This side of his character is revealed when he says to Chewie “What are you looking at. I know what I’m doing” and when he shuts Leia up with one word (in the Death Star Leia looks at the Falcon and says “You came in that. You’re braver than I thought,” to which Han simply replies, “Nice.”) The value of this characteristic is that it makes people want to know more about him. When you give too much of yourself to someone too freely, they assume that you haven’t got anything of value to give, but when you intentionally conceal parts of yourself, they assume you’re hiding something valuable. Try subtly suggesting to someone that you’re keeping something from them and watch how desperately they try to find out what it is.
And there we have it: Han Solo: Body language master with the gift of the gab. How could anyone not love him? More importantly, how much do you think people would love being around you were you to take the keys to Han’s character and apply them to life? Hmmmmm. . . makes you wonder, doesn’t it?