The Reluctant Hero: Tests, Allies, and Enemies Part III

As synonymous as the name Han Solo is with Star Wars and all that comes with it, the name Solo is really on the nose of the archetypal character he represents. Solo. The lone wolf. The reluctant hero.

The reluctant hero, who is among a pantheon of archetypal characters, differs from our familiar hero, Luke Skywalker, the emerging epic hero. Luke, an epic hero, comes from noble birth, his father being “The Chosen One”, has superhuman strength, his becoming a Jedi, has humility, his official Star Wars Databank entry introducing him from “humble beginnings,” and battles supernatural foes, such as his defeating the rancor monster. An argument can easily be made to call Luke a classical hero, an everyday person who possesses some defining feature or characteristic that allows them to succeed where others have failed. I chose to look at it from the certain point of view that regards the entire history of the Skywalkers, including the mythological transcendence of Luke being a hero who saved the universe through Rey’s eyes in The Force Awakens, but I digress.

Han Solo follows the path of the reluctant hero. Whereas the classic Hero’s Journey includes a period of reluctance by the hero, the hero overcomes this before setting off onto the main journey. The reluctant hero is unknowingly pulled into a more serious situation than expected and continues to voice his hesitation to continue.

Han’s reluctance stems from his selfishness. We see this repeatedly. When Leia tells him he needs to listen to her to survive, Han responds,”Look, your worshipfullness, let’s get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.” When Leia tells him that the fight isn’t over after they escape the Death Star, Han says, “Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution…I’m in it for the money.” And, when Luke begs Han to stay after he gets his monetary reward, and Han refuses to speak, Luke says goodbye by saying, “Okay. Take care of yourself Han. I guess that’s what you’re best at isn’t it?” This creates an arc for the character to go from selfishness to selflessness when he comes back to help distract Vader so Luke can “blow this thing and go home!”

I said in a previous post that one of my arcs I’d need to get over to become successful in my journey was my complacency. Previously when I would tell myself I wanted to lose weight or something, I would sometimes see slight progress, then I’d plateau. It was here that I would say, “Well, I’ve achieved this. It’s good enough.” I would forgo the long-term goal because I’d become proud enough of what I’d already achieved.

Today marks the 20th day of my journey. For the past couple days, a sense of complacency, and therefore reluctance, has begun to loom overhead. I wanted to get this off of my chest and vent some frustrations in hopes of letting some clarity circulate through my mind. I have begun to question the destination of this journey. In fictional journeys, the hero embarks for a clear goal, for instance, wisdom, knowledge, money, fame, love, etc. My journey is mainly about health.

Is health just a glittering generality, a nice sounding word with no real significance or meaning? What does health look like? When have I achieved good health? Do I look at it scientifically and say health is when my physical body is functioning at the levels it is supposed to be? I don’t think my goal is just to maintain normalcy.

I recently gave myself an arbitrary goal of a 10-minute mile, which stemmed from a place of even numbers and probability of success. But does that mean “healthy?” I suppose it depends on one’s definition of health.

I’ve also stated that I’ve lost weight. Is weight loss a sign of health? It’s been nice to fit into some clothes that I haven’t been able to in quite some time. I was even able to pull out one of my shirts from high school and fit comfortably into it. So, that’s good enough, right? Now I can just maintain this current picture of myself. But, I know that this will only last for so long. I will settle into this weight and realize that I want to lose more. I know that this isn’t where I want to be either. So instead of just settling for what I’ve achieved now, I need to continue to look ahead.

So, again, what is ahead for me? When do I get there?” What is my goal? I’m calling into question the destination of my journey. Sure, I have obstacles that I want to overcome, internal demons to subdue. But what is the external reward? Like Han Solo, Captain of the Millennium Falcon, I “expect to be well-paid.” I just need to figure out my currency.

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