Harrison Ford has had the honor of playing two of cinema's most iconic characters, Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Although playing them has brought him unimaginable wealth and admiration, it's also brought incessant questions about who he thinks is best.
It's a heated discussion for sure, and I think it's certainly one that's hard to conclusively answer. However, with Ford returning to the Millennium Falcon (presumably) in [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158), Entertainment Weekly dusted off an interview from 2008 in which Ford provided his answer.
While promoting Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, Ford made it clear he prefers the rugged action-archaeologist over the rugged action-Smuggler. When talking about Solo he said:
He’s got a good heart, but I think he’s certainly a much less interesting character than Indiana Jones. The breadth of his story utility was never extensive. He was the foil between the other more compelling elements of the film, between the sage old warrior and the young hero. There’s not much breadth of character to explore beyond what we got out of him.
I've always got the impression Ford didn't care much for Solo, or the Star Wars universe in general. He's always been unforgiving in interviews, but in a recent Reddit AMA he answered the famous 'who shot first' question with an emphatic "I don't know and I don't care". Indeed, Ford even advocated killing off Han Solo in The Return of the Jedi, a move which would have fundamentally changed the tone of the movie. He continued:
I talked about it. I thought it would be fascinating to have him die and give the movie some emotional bottom. It wasn’t a heroic arc so much that I was interested in but giving the film some emotional strength.
Actually, I kind of agree with him on that one. It would have been a more moving end to the original saga than a bunch of teddy bears dancing around.
Personally, I also agree Jones is the more interesting character. Solo does perhaps have a more incredible backstory, but I actually feel Jones is slightly more morally bankrupt - which makes him more interesting in my eyes. Sure, both gunslingers have killed without a second thought, but the worlds in which they inhabit change the consequences of those actions. Solo inhabits a cut-throat universe and moves in sinister circles where killing is commonplace, while Jones apparently lives in the 'real' civilized world where killing has consequences which he seems not too concerned about. Furthermore, it should be completely at odds with his cultured alter ego as a genial, ancient history professor.
And another thing, although Solo gave little for the plight of the rebels at the beginning of the Star Wars original trilogy, by the end he is a dedicated revolutionary who fights for love and the rebellion. Yes, it's a compelling story arc, but Jones, on the other hand, does what he does primary to get his hands on valuable historical objects. Sure, he gets embroiled in other battles against good or evil, but the thing which makes him pick up his fedora and bull-whip each time is the promise of historical riches. Personally, I find these motivations of the material and bolstering his own ego far more interesting in a movie character.
What do you think? Jones or Solo? Let us know below.