Before the carnage begins, let me say that I’m both a huge Star Wars and Firefly fan. The thing is, there can only be one supreme Space Cowboy. So at the risk of unleashing a firestorm of controversy and eye rolling, let’s stand Mal and Han toe to toe in ten important areas of measurement. I should also say that I’m writing these one at a time, so I don’t even know who’s going to come out on top. First of all…
Mal’s boat is Serenity, while Han pilots the Millennium Falcon. Both ships are uber cool cargo ships retro-fitted for space piracy. Both sport handy hidden cargo bays big enough to hide contraband or crew when necessary. Serenity’s exhaust wash is way cool, but the Falcon comes with hyperdrive… off and on. It also comes equipped with bigger and better guns and can latch onto asteroids in a pinch. Sorry, Mal.
Han 1, Mal 0.
Mal’s oddball crew rocks, providing both comic relief and specialized awesomeness. He even has a preacher on board, for crying out loud (I’m a pastor, FYI). Han? He has a Wookie, which counts for at least three crew members all by himself. But alas… as cool, beefy, and barky my favourite fuzzball may be, I’m handing this round to Mal.
Han 1, Mal 1.
River Tam is a freak of nature, a dead-eye with a gun capable of single-handedly wiping out a platoon of Reavers in a locked room with nothing but her mad skills and a death wish. Han’s superfriend is a Jedi warrior, and though Luke grew up to offer one of the most painfully awful dramatic performances in the entire science fiction genre (which says a lot), that light sabre of his can block blaster fire and cut through the hyde of an AT-AT like a katana buttering toast. Not to mention Luke’s force jumping, force pushing, and force speed. He may be the lamest Jedi in history, but Luke helps Han win this round… by a hair.
Han 2, Mal 1.
Han packs the DL -44 heavy blaster pistol, a modifiable wonder with an option to charge a double-powered laser bolt. It could deliver hardcore damage without losing accuracy. Little is known about Mal’s weapon, which seems to work for him just fine—but I’m going with Han on this one.
Han 3, Mal 1.
Han’s iconic penguin getup may have survived pop culture for the last thirty-some years, but Mal’s look is clearly cooler, more functional, and hardier when stuff hits the fan. IMHO, this one goes to Mal.
Han 3, Mal 2.
We’ll finish this battle royale tomorrow by comparing five more qualities—wit, endurance, combat skill, reputation, and character. Don’t miss it. And in the meantime, it’s your turn. Am I out to lunch? Have I missed something?
Leave your comments, and set the record straight!
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Ok, I HAVE to chime in on this one, since you are discussing my two all-time favourite sci-fi worlds. Comparing Han and Mal is risky, but intriguing. I’m not sure who I even WANT to come out on top. That’s not true; I want them BOTH to come out on top. Tie, please? I’m hoping the next 5 items you compare are more related to Han and Mal’s personalities and abilities, rather than their equipment. While I agree that Han’s blaster is probably superior to Mal’s, I still think Mal would come out on top in a gun-duel. We know for SURE that Mal shoots first; George Lucas has made us not so sure when it comes to Han. (Kidding actually. Even my wife knows Han shot first.)
Ah, yes, Tom. This is exactly what I was hoping for. Let’s make sure the world weighs in on this one. So important. 🙂
I love both, but I think I must vote for Mal. Capt. Reynolds just has a special place in my heart. Sorry Han.
I’m curious to see the next post.
Tough call, isn’t it?
I cannot choose. I love both.
I agree with you Mary, it is not an easy one….I love both of them. But I love Mal BECAUSE of how much I love Han. Mal is like the Han Solo of Firefly…
I think I have to disagree with the result of the “Superfriend” category. River doesn’t need a weapon, and Luke can’t do much without his. His use of the force is spotty at best, while River has mastered her deadly arts.
I’d give the “Superfriend” point to Mal. Other than that, LOVE IT! 🙂
True on Luke’s force powers. He is the lamest Jedi in the whole Star Wars universe.
I’m going to assume your basing your comment completely on the movies. If you want to see a bad a$$ Jedi Knight ready some of the books! Luke wins hands down.
Plus River is hilarious! The only humour about Luke is how he kisses his sister without knowing it!
Not really sure how there can even be a comparison. Han Solo, hands down. The uber-coolness he exudes blows everybody else completely, totally away. Sorry, Mal, you’re awesome, but Han is The Man.
“Han is the man.” Love it.
No question. Mal all the way.
Yeah, I am a big Mal fan. But man does the “sci-fi” gun sounds in Firefly and Serenity annoy me. Like, I get that it’s the future, but an authentic gun shot effect is more powerful than adding laser sounds to a six shooter.
And while I love me some Han Solo, he is less nuanced as a person and a character compared to Mal. I mean, he’s a rebel, he broods, he flies a cool ship, but he’s more of a caricature of a space cowboy than a living breathing character with an interesting backstory like Mal. But this isn’t the “who’s the more nuanced character” post haha. Oh and welcome to writing about geek culture. First order of business, prepare for lots of nitpicking! (It’s River Tam, no Tan)!!
Thanks for the catch on Tam, Steve. And I agree with you on the laser sounds. Bah.
I know! It’s like, either it’s a gun with bullets or it’s a laser gun, you can’t have both! lol
As much as Star Wars is great, Firefly will always win for me, hands down.
P.S. Serenity may not have a warp drive, but it’s got a lot more character. Plus it’s actually a mostly plausible design.
Yeah, I think the writers even consider Serenity to be the “ninth character” or something on the show. And the warp drive only works like half the time lol!
I don-no guys, it’s kinda hard to beat a guy that becomes a General, steps up to help defeat a galactic empire, gets the girl (a princess), and his Jedi Superfriend defeats Darth Vader, the one who killed countless other Jedi.
Good point, Nick. Tune in tomorrow to make yourself heard.
If I can’t vote for The Doctor from two weeks ago’s episode (1. Tardis 2. Ponds 3. Isn’t he kind of his own super friend? 4. Sonic Screwdriver 5. Bow ties are cool…) then I will OF COURSE be voting for my first love, Han Solo. Most kids had pictures of New Kids on the Block (aging myself with that one), but I had Han…no contest 🙂
I gotta respect that.