As a scientist, explorer and conservationist, I have spent much of my professional life in the rainforests of the world trying to understand and preserve these incredible and irreplaceable ecosystems. To many it seems unusual that a former NFL cheerleader would choose to go and live in some of the most remote places on earth and brave all the undeniable challenges and occasional dangers of living in a tropical rain forest.
Action! Adventure! Escape! If you were an 11-year-old boy in 1981 you longed to be Indiana Jones and the summer of 1981 was spent closing your eyes pretending the frayed jump-rope in your hand was a bullwhip, reimagining your flat, faceless, suburban surroundings as a forbidden, exotic jungle and that an abandoned 7-11 Slurpee cup was an ancient religious artifact as the soaring John Williams "Raiders" score ping-ponged from the back of your mind to the front of it.
We've already established that Harrison Ford is the biggest movie star of all time, mostly because of the two main roles that have defined his illustriously grumpy career. Han Solo and Indiana Jones are the perfect heroic extensions of Ford's personality, each wrestling with the roguish persona of what charming manhood is supposed to look like on-screen. They go on adventures, save or get saved by the damsel in distress, help defeat the bad guys, and look awesome in the process. They're the men that boys want to grow up to be. Whether you're the type to prefer your star role with a fedora and a whip or a black vest and a blaster, Han and Indy are the Platonic ideal of male pop culture virility. But there's one eternal struggle that fans of each icon wrestle with: Which one would win in a fight?