Defying a lot of early expectations, five of the most oddball characters ever to gain a mass audience the newest superheroes of the Marvelverse and, in Guardians of the Galaxy, one of the biggest hit movies of the year.
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.
The French have accused Hollywood -- and the United States by extension -- of culture imperialism from time to time but let's face it. You just can't keep good 'ol American pop culture in the armoire anymore.
The problem, as I see it, is with the whole "mountain" part of the equation. Riding up a mountain involves nothing but unmitigated pain, and riding down a mountain -- when one is as bad a biker as I am -- is a terrifying, white-knuckle experience.
George Lucas was right. It would have been a mistake to kill Han Solo in Return of the Jedi (which almost happened), and it would be a mistake to kill him in Episode VII, no matter how much Harrison Ford may want that to happen.
Interestingly, the animated series Clone Wars has tackled issues ranging from the banking industry, political corruption, lobbyists and corporate greed to the morality and ethics of war, and the right to health care.