This is a new way I thought of of reviewing for a change, rather than examining each feature on it’s own, I thought I would pit two similar; creations, people, characters or objection against each other in a verses round to determine which is the best.
Before I begin with this I want to clarify this is ONLY using the films and TV shows. No expanded universe books, graphic novels, games or animated shows are considered.
Round 1 – Best Ship
Where would a space fairing brigand be without their ship, so which captain has the superior vessel. Serenity or the Millennium Falcon. Now to be clear, this is not which ship would win in a fight or a race, it is just which ship is BEST.
Let’s look at each one. The Millennium Falcon, what it lacks in firepower it more than makes up for in speed and maneuverability, being able to hit point 5 past light-speed, and with a good pilot has been known to complete the Kessla run in less than 12 parsecs, it is without a doubt the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. It may not be pretty, but damn can it move. On top of this it is armed and has been involved in many a space battle and has helped in blowing up not one but two Deathstars. combined with its classic shape and design it is a ship anyone would wish to own.
Serenity on the other hand is a merchant ship, made up of parts that ain’t worth much on their own but put them all together and you have a Firefly. Favored by smuggles due to the number of places an illicit stash can be hidden. It’s a good ship, the short of ship that if you treat it right, will be with you for the rest of your life. Including more than a few ceramic parts, to reduce weight whilst maintain the tensile strength, Serenity can move when she needs to, and with its duel engines it has very high maneuverability.
Both these ships are similar, used by smugglers, hidden lockers, can move when they need to, but Serenity lacks the iconic design and class nature of the Falcon.
Winner of Round 1 – Han Solo
Round 2 – Best Crew
Before, this round can be discussed, the crew has to be identified. Han Solo often has passengers (this includes Luke, Leia and the Droids), but his crew consists only of a first mate, his best friend and trusted companion Chewbacca. A wookie; strong, loyal and and a good pilot in his own right, but an engineer he ain’t. Although he is willing to try and will do the best he can, taking lead from his captain and doing whatever is required, either flying or repairs.
In comparison Mal’s crew is much bigger each with a specialist role, pilot, mechanic, doctor, first-mate and gunner. Although they are bigger, they all obey Mal, even the easily irritable Jayne Cobb. He may not always agree with his captain, but he will obey.
I this is tough, but I have to give this one to Mal, I prefer a bigger, more diverse crew each with there own job.
Winner of round 2 – Malcolm Reynolds.
Round 3 – Best Weapon
This one is pretty easy, although both favor ‘handgun’ style weapons both a cable of using others, but at the end of the day it comes down to which is better; bullets or blasters.
I think we can all agree blasters are much cooler, it’s what we all want.
Winner of round 3 – Han Solo
Round 4 – Best Woman
Where would a space fairing rogue be without a woman, Inara and Leia, the woman they are always after. They argue, they fight be we all know they are destined to be together. Once again this is one is easy for one reason and one reason alone. within the confines of the TV show and the Film, Mal never officially gets with Inara.
But as Han Solo does get the woman in the end…
Winner of round 4 – Han Solo
Round 5 – Who has the Best Style
So let’s talk style, class and bad-assitude. We all know and we all love Solo shooting Greedo in a dessert bar in Mos Eisley, when I suddenly realized, Solo DOESN’T SHOOT FIRST. In the newest and most recent released version, Greedo shoots. That is certainly a mark against Solo. But Harrison Ford’s ad-libbed line ‘i know’ where he acknowledges how Leia feels about him just before he is frozen is a true mark of style.
In contrast, Mal like all true bad-asses does have the one think Solo in missing, a coat. Without a decent hat or coat it is hard to show you mean business. Other marks of style include, kicking a man through his engine when he refuses to negotiate, poking a guy with a sword TWICE because who wants to be ‘great’ and actually shooting first!
This would have been much harder without all of Lucas’ editing.
Winner of round 5 – Malcolm Reynolds
Round 6 – Best Villains
As with the crew, villains must first be identified. For Solo these are Jabba the Hut and Bobba Fett. I have discounted Darth Vader as he is really Luke’s nemesis. Nothing particularly interesting can really be said about inexplicable fan favorite Bobba Fett within the films. It can be inferred both Fett and Solo have met before but that’s about it. I would never describe Fett as an interesting character. Jabba on the other hand is much more interesting. A ruthless gangsta willing to punish, kill and display any who displease him or cause him to loose profit. He will execute an individual just for fun and is more than happy to disintegrate a translator if he doesn’t like what they say.
Mal also has two villains, The Blue Handed Men and the Operative. Although it could be argued both are River’s villains Mal has himself claimed “you come after any of my crew, you come after me”. The blue handed men are creepy killers. killing anyone who interacts with their prey before they reach it. The Operative a cold and calculating killer. Willing to kill innocence to draw out his prey.
The blue hands defiantly deserved more screen time, but its The Operative who swings this one for me.
Winner of round 6 – Malcolm Reynolds.
That’s 3 rounds each so its time for a…
TIEBREAKER BREAKER ROUND – Most Honorable.
Both men may want you to think they are renegades, both are honorable. fighting to protect the weak and saving innocents. Solo may be a smuggler turned leader, saving the galaxy, protecting his friends and defending small furry bears. But Mal is a soldier turned smuggler, having lost the war of independence, Mal turns his back on regular society, disregarding the rules and making his own way.
Mal has to win this one as he takes in Simon and River despite great personal risk. Solo is first motivated to join the rebellion by greed
Tiebreaker Winner – Malcolm Reynolds
OVERALL WINNER – Malcolm Reynolds – The best space captain there is.