Han Solo and other depressing reminders of mortality

This picture was taken a long, long time ago. (Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved)

This picture was taken a long, long time ago. (Lucasfilm)

Painters used to have an irritating habit of including skulls and dead rabbits in their still lives as a memento mori, and when I heard the scoop from the Latino Review that Harrison Ford might be back in the upcoming J. J. Abrams Star Wars film to reprise his role as Han Solo, I could not help thinking of the dead rabbit.

If you are now wondering whether I am going to comment breathlessly on any rumored development on the new Star Wars film, the answer is: probably. I held my tongue on the rumored Young Yoda and Young Boba Fett movies, but the idea of a venerable elder Han Solo, lurching vigorously around the way Harrison Ford did in The Indiana Jones Film That Shall Not Be Named, is just what it takes to make the original trilogy feel like a Very Long Time Ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I am not sure I am ready for this. And I was a child of the special edition, so, really, I have no clearance to speak of this at all. I can only imagine how it feels to have been around in 1977 and to hear people on the Internet complaining that Harrison Ford is now 70 and decrepit — 6 years older than “Old Ben Kenobi” was in the original, as Ruben Bolling points out.

I would love to see a film with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. I’d go. I’m just not sure it should be the next Star Wars film. It should be the Best Exotic Corellian Hotel, or something. I love Han, but these days, Ford buckles more than he swashes. I am not sure I am up to seeing the ravages of time on my favorite universe. The used future is one thing. But the used used future –┬áStar Wars is Forever, ran the slogan at the 30th Anniversary. Forever doesn’t mean ageless, it turns out. Immortality and immunity from the ravages of time often go together, but not always, as that mythological figure who asked for eternal life and wound up aging into a cricket can tell you.

Then again, when 70 years old I reach, look as good I will not.

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