Malcolm Reynolds vs. Han Solo

As the pressure heats up for Fox to let Nathan buy the rights to Firefly, I realized that there too is another never-ending battle that shall live on in the annals of sci-fi history: Why Malcolm Reynolds is better than Han Solo….. and vice versa.

I was going to take sides, but then I realized that I’d be happier to take a tour around the galaxy with either of these bad asses.  But in the name of science, SCIENCE I TELL YOU, I will put my personal feelings aside and concentrate solely on their attributes.

And maybe their tushes.  But only a little.  And I make no promises about what I’ll concentrate on once I’m finished writing this post.

Let us proceed.

3 Reasons Why Han Is Better Than Malcom Reynolds

Study up. There will be a test later.

1) Han Has A Better Bucket: While Serenity is quite the ship, with folding toilets and all, it still lives in the shadow of the mother of all ships. In the Millennium Falcon we trust. Both have their issues and are pretty much giant buckets of bolts but the Millennium Falcon can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. Not even Kaylee can make Serenity do that. Plus Joss has even stated in the Firefly extras DVD that Serenity IS his Millennium Falcon. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

Point Han.

2) Han’s Got A Wookie: While Mal flies around the universe with 8 other people, Han only needs one. And why would you need anyone else? With Chewbacca by your side people will be too intimidated to even think about messing with you. Plus, no offense to Jane and Vera, but Chewie’s weapon of choice is a crossbow that shoots lasers. LASERS. “Oh, look, he’s got a cross bow, isn’t that quaint? HOLY SHIT, IT’S SHOOTING LASERS!”

Point Han. (And Chewie, cause sometimes you gotta let the Wookiee win).

3) Han’s Got Leia: Unlike Mal, who can’t seem to get his shit together when it comes to the girl he’s crushing on, Han grabs Leia’s heart with little more than a smile and a swagger. She’s just as hot disguised as a bounty hunter as she is sporting her (albeit forced on her) gold bikini. But regardless of how she got it, gold bikini Leia loves him and really, does anything beat that?

Point Han.

(BTW you should join the “Help Nathan Buy Firefly” fan page!)

3 Reasons Why Malcolm Reynolds Is Better Than Han Solo

1. Mal Shoots First: Anyone that has ever watched Firefly or Serenity has never had any doubt that Mal, when cornered, will always shoot first. Whether it be kicking a bad guy whose hands are tied behind his back into Serenity’s engines or shooting an unarmed Operative of the Alliance, when he knows he’s right he’ll end you. That makes him hot. Han’s good name has now been so sullied by the Lucas re-edit where Greedo shot first that people feel compelled to make shirts about it. Yuck.

Point Mal.

2. Mal Wears a Trench Coat:
The Firefly-verse is a western, sure, this I’ll grant you, but I will counter with the fact that so is the Star Wars verse, at least on Tatooine. Han’s vest is a relic of the influence from the 1950s westerns, hence the fact that his vest is black. It makes him look cool and edgy.  Mal’s brown makes him look rustic and able to blend in better when he’s, you know, riding horses.

Point Mal.

I will never get tired of this photo…. ever…

3. Mal Gets Naked: I’m sure that this means a whole lot more to the lady readers than it does to the male readers but I’m a lady and it’s my blog so there.  Sure, sometimes he’s getting tortured when he’s naked but even encased in carbonite, Han is fully clothed. A wasted opportunity, if you ask me.  Don’t get me wrong, Han is damn sexy but I simply can’t judge him accurately without seeing a little more skin.

Point Captain Tight Pants.

Oh, and did I mention that you should join the “Help Nathan Buy Firefly” Fan page? Oh good.

Decisions, decisions…



13 responses to “Malcolm Reynolds vs. Han Solo”

  1. Now there’s an interesting question, regarding point 2 for Han…

    Chewie VS River? The first went against… stormtroopers, admittedly the worst marksmen in the history of science fiction, while the latter went against a platoon of reavers.

    (not taking into account Rivers critical weakness against hair, which would definitely put Chewie at an advantage)

    1. That’s a tough choice…Chewie is awesome but River is BAD ASS. However, based solely on the fact that Chewie is more mentally stable and you know what you’re going to get from him every day, I’m sticking with Chewie.

      1. Petrohead Avatar

        Ah, but River would be able to know what Chewie was about to do. Every time. Y’know being psychic and all…

  2. brilliant post!!!

    hmmm… while we’re talking about SF hotties who wear awesome long coats AND get naked, what about Mal Reynolds vs Jack Harkness?

    1. Thanks! You remind me, I REALLY need to write a Dr. Who post.

  3. I recently stumbled onto your site as a result of your post at You write with a combination of wit and substance that is moving as well as entertaining, and your observations are spot on — I will even forgive your tweeting a) as a necessary evil if for a blogger trying to build a following, but more importantly, b) because of your uncanny to recognize 1996 html coding and share it with the world, giving some of us a nostalgic moment of careless times and and a less muddled intarweb. (It also helps that you could be the twin of a woman I had a terrible crush on a few years back~)

    Having arrived a month and a half late to the party I chose to respond to, I’ll say only this:

    The parsec is actually a unit of distance, not of time. Han’s boasting that he completed the Kessel Run in 12 parsec’s is more a testament to his fast-talking ability than it is to the Falcon’s speed capabilities. suggests that the statement has since been retconned in A.C. Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy, to give the claim an heir of legitimacy. I haven’t read the books, but I see this as another lame attempt to remove the “scoundrel” from his character profile (and yes, Han did shoot first!).

    I don’t know whether this tidbit changes your analysis in any way, though I will also mention (now in Mal’s favor) that he did manage to win the affections of a … companion.

    Ultimately, though, we must question the value in holding either of these characters up as heroes. Afterall, each is actively participating in an attempt to disrupt the governing body of the known universe, while having little to no plan on what to do if they succeed in taking down the existing governing structure. As written by Jonathan Last ten years ago: The Rebel “victory over the Empire doesn’t liberate the galaxy–it turns the galaxy into Somalia writ large: dominated by local warlords[, each with access to a sizable army and star destroyers,] who are answerable to no one.”

    In any event, thank you for helping me waste 2.5 hours of my day. Please don’t turn out to be the proverbial 4X yr old man with a cute friend/daughter, keep on blogging, and don’t forget to use protection (of the (c) or (R) variety~)!


    1. I must say that this is the best, nerdiest response that I’ve ever gotten to a post and for that I commend and thank you Sir. To address some of your points:

      I refused to be a Twit for as long as I could but as you said, it goes along with the blogging territory. If it makes you feel any better, I don’t actually Tweet, I just let everything I post copy over to Twitter. I don’t even actually know how to use Twitter.

      You’re right about Parsecs. I knew it when I wrote it. Now I’m reeeeeally wishing I had put something in there though to get my tone correct. Sarcasm is difficult when it’s not spoken. Truth be told, I love both characters/ships/franchises so much that it’s difficult to even compare them in the first place. But someone’s gotta do it right?

      Yes, but the one time they kissed Mal accidentally poisoned Inara. Until they bone, it doesn’t count 😉

      As for heroes, I come from a long line of true military heroes and make very clear the difference between real heroes and imaginary heroes. If and when I ever have kids, they will know the difference. That being said, I would rather my kids looked up to an imaginary hero like Mal or Superman than an athlete who is getting paid ridiculous sums of money to play a game and is probably cheating on his wife. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and spend large chunks of the year dedicated to football and baseball, but people who play a game for a living are not my definition of a hero. And sometimes in life, the spirit of it all matters more than the hard coded details of it, right?

      Haha, I’m glad I could help! And I promise you with every fiber of my being that I am real and not a 40 year old man. However, I am someone’s cute daughter so I make no apologies for that 😉

    2. I parsec is a unit of distance, but the run is measured in distance because to make the run you fly close to a black hole, thus the closer you fly to it, the shorter the run, and the faster you travel.

      Also since they are traveling faster than light I’d assume they also are traveling under the event horizon of the black hole, masking them from all sensors.

  4. Thank you, I’ll take that as high praise and maybe blush a little bit. 😉

    The fact that it took the 2010’s most beautiful woman to bring Mal and Inara together is but a plus, in my book… ah Saffron(as a side note it appears she brought about scenes near and dear to each of us)… but i digress…

    I made an off color remark really just to spread what I thought was a brilliant counterpoint I read years ago, and you’ve turned it serious on me! As a preliminary matter, in most circumstances I do not subscribe to the “evil you know” mentality. Our redeemed scoundrels are to be commended for their efforts to bring about change. Maybe they don’t have a full plan for the aftermath, but they’ve identified an evil that needs fixin’ and are certainly willing to fight the unbeatable foe. Maybe things will change for the better, maybe for worse, but the better certainly won’t come with inaction. So yes, the spirit of it certainly matters.

    Imaginary heroes teach us to dream of what might be. Real heroes show us what can be, and their heroism remains undiminished regardless of what policy or decision (flawed or not) put them in the situation in which they proved themselves. However, real heroes are human, and just are as susceptible to all of the maladies and temptations which torment the human soul. How do we celebrate their heroism while condemning their bad acts? Why do some feel the need to unilaterally praise or condemn, washing away the bad acts or the heroism, respectively, to make a point?

    1. Mis-posted early, here’s the rest of it:

      We live in a society that rewards some sex tapes with reality shows, and condemns others as harlots or attention whores. We love and hate the debate as to whether Sheen is really WINNING. We reward violence as heroism on a field or in a ring, but show indignant shock when it spills outside. We put millions of dollars in the hands of 16-20 year old “adults” and pass judgment on their misbehavior. How many of us were reckless during college? (Those who claim they weren’t may be living the unexamined life~) How much more reckless could we have been had we had the financial freedom to do what we pleased and ignore those who would try to restrain us?

      I too am a sports fan, listen to music, and don’t have any answers~ But ultimately, this is what makes Superman less interesting than Batman, the joker more memorable than Dr. Manhattan — well aside for some women’s obsession with his … What drives us to our love of the flawed hero is that its a more human story. More real.

      But again you’ve taken up an hour of my morning! back to work 🙁

  5. originally han solo was supposed to shoot greedo first, but they felt it made him look too villainous for the cheery serial space world they were trying to create. also han solo wears a camo trench coat in return of the jedi.

    1. Petrohead Avatar

      Yeah, Fox did a similar thing with firefly… They refused to use the actual pilot episode as the pilot episode because they thought Mal was “too dark.”
      This was also one of the reasons it ultimately got taken off air, along with the fact it didn’t get enough views. However, the only reason it didn’t get enough views is because they put it in a death slot. So… Yeah. It’s Fox’ own fault it didn’t do well.

  6. Han does shoot first, vs Darth Vader. That’s even more badass and important.

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