As a child of the '70s, I considered Han Solo the epitome of manhood.
Fiercely independent, yet secretly sentimental. Skeptical, but willing to believe in magic if he saw it with his own eyes.
Secure enough in his own skin to pursue a princess, but not above taking a wide-eyed farm boy under his wing. Best friends with a Wookiee.
A lovable scoundrel who posed as a mercenary, but who deep down realized that the best things in life are free.
In short -- the ideal dad.
And while Obi-Wan Kenobi was a superb mentor and (spoiler alert!) Darth Vader achieved redemption in the end, it was Han Solo who taught me the most about how to be a good dad.
Here are just a few reasons why I believe General Solo, who had not fathered children with Leia Organa by the end of Return of the Jedi, still might be the finest movie father figure in the history of this or any other galaxy:
1. When the kids get difficult, try redirection.
(And if you must leave a mess for someone else to clean up, tip well.)
2. Trust your instincts. Even if things seem hopeless.
3. If you don't like what's being said, change the conversation.
(To be fair, Don Draper also teaches us this lesson.)
4. Give praise where it's due -- but don't overdo it.
5. Make a smile your default expression.
6. Learn to work with your hands.
7. When all else fails, bluff.
(But if they call your bluff, know when it's time to cut your losses.)
8. Give them room to succeed or fail (but a little help now and then can't hurt).
9. Never let them forget how much you love them.
All gifs from giphy.com or imgur.com.
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