Han Solo’s acknowledgment in The Force Awakens can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. To start, Han has been a version of the audience in the world of Jedis and Siths and intergalactic creatures galore. Where his reservations have gained him the nonchalance reputation of an outcast, and the attitude of a scoundrel has often landed him in the outskirts, there is something to be said about the way we’ve seen so much of this world through his eyes.
But so much of it is, at the end of the day, personal. Star Wars has always (and I suppose appropriately) resulted in internet wars, but at its core, it’s been a love letter to belief and the idea of hope that we’re all so desperate to hang on to as human beings. Or, whatever it may be that ties us to a galaxy far, far away—it’s personal. What is yours is just as sacred as what it is mine.
Thus, there is a tremendous amount that can be broken down to with the words: “A magical power holding together good and evil, the dark side and the light. Crazy thing is…it’s true. The force. The Jedi. All of it. It’s all true.” As much as it’s to reassure Rey and Finn, it’s everything (and maybe even, more to us). It’s everything and more for a character like Han Solo whose sole disbelief has been a large part of the greater picture throughout the original trilogy.
Those very words, in this very scene aboard The Millennium Falcon acts as a love letter of sorts the fans. Our experiences, our beliefs, and our love for this crazy monstrosity of a story that has shaped so much of who we are. The Force Awakens releasing 32 years after Return of the Jedi and setting something with this much heart at the center of the series always felt like a love letter to me.
When Han and Chewie come aboard The Falcon for the first time and Han says, “Chewie, we’re home,” it becomes our homecoming as well. Harrison Ford’s performance in that very moment is the most sincere scene throughout the entirety of the sequels, even more so I’d argue than anything else because however begrudgingly, it speaks to the audience directly through the character we’re all most like.
Where a galaxy far, far away is the world we might wish we belonged to, Star Wars was always about something bigger—the understanding that there’s more to the people we are and the worlds we are a part of. In shaping us, this scene acted as a reassurance of sorts, fortifying our own experience and our own memories with all that is tied to this world.
Han Solo’s acknowledgment is also in obvious ways a testament to just how far he has come in his own beliefs and the understanding that this is a world he’s a great part of. And more than anything, it’s hopeful. It’s a beautiful reminder of why we hold this series so close (no matter how often we talk about on the interwebs).
There is something about how desperately we all wish it were true. And in short, it’s a scene that can be so personal, which is where I’m at and where I’m staying.