Pantheon of Plastic: #3

He was a carpenter with a bad attitude, and then he became a movie star, and then he became two separate plastic figures – a pretty good approximation of the American Dream. The 1982 inductee to the PoP is Harrison Ford.

Han Solo, Star Wars
(movie, 1977; figure released 1977 by Kenner

Orphan. Smuggler. Wookiee stroker. Han Solo was the hard man of Star Wars — rough and uncompromising, but willing to subvert his principles if the price was right. His crucial intervention at the battle of Yavin (without him Yavin would be an asteroid field and Luke would be a stain on the equatorial trench) seemed proof of a mellowing of character. Was Han a nice guy after all? And while he could justify Yavin as an act of rugged mannish loyalty, the ass-freezing months on Hoth couldn’t be explained so easily. Even Chewie knew the truth – he was a bad man hung up on an unattainable woman.

And then something went horribly wrong. Maybe all that time in carbonite gave him some time to think, because he came out a changed man. He softened up. Mr. Rough-and-Uncompromising turned into Mr. Upset-When-Leia-Paid-Luke-Some-Attention. He let himself be captured by Imperial officers and he didn’t kill a single Ewok. He went on to marry Leia and popped a pair of L’il Jedi. He even tells that old Greedo story differently now. Sorry, Han – we liked you more when you were dangerous.

(Ever notice how the planetary environments in the Star Wars movies reflect the Han-Leia love story? The regimented Death Star when neither Han nor Leia would let down their guard, Hoth when Han and Leia were on frosty terms, Bespin when they were floating and flirting, Tatooine when they were just plain hot for each other, and finally a happy cavort among the priapic trees and diminutive satyrs of Endor.)

Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark
(movie, 1981; figure released 1982 by Kenner)

If you’re anything like us, you probably already know that Indiana Jones’ first name is, in fact, Henry, and that he received his pathological fear of snakes from a mishap that occurred when he was a wholesome boy scout in 1912, before his well-documented demise into drink and drugs, resulting in his death from drug-induced heart failure outside a fashionable LA night spot in 1993.

You’ll also know that his father, the noted archaeologist Henry Jones, Sr, spent many years as an agent for Britain’s Secret Service, thwarting the plans of SPECTRE and SMERSH, before being captured by the CIA and held prisoner in Alcatraz, before breaking out, and, yes, breaking back in, in order to save the free world.

But here’s some real knowledge: when a female student writes a message on her eyelids so she can flirt with you in class? Going on indefinite leave to Nepal is, in fact, the proper response. Girls like that are NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

[I think we both had a hand in this one. This is the last piece of PoP from a decade ago, but I’m not gonna stop here – I’ll see out the first five inductees at least…]

4 thoughts on “Pantheon of Plastic: #3”

  1. This might sound weird, but whenever you post one of these I think “someday, I will be included in the pantheon of plastic!”

    I just need to get famous enough for people to make action figures of me, right? How hard can that be?

  2. Jenni, that sounds very normal indeed. The Pantheon of Plastic is a highly aspirational group. It’s something for everyone to strive for.

    I think at least one of your action figures will be a vampire. Just seems likely somehow.

  3. Han Solo is one of the three or four screen characters I ever had a crush on (not sure if Scully counts giventhat I can’t imagine acting on it)… teenaged me would have loved one of these!!

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