The Star Wars franchise is chock full of hotshot pilots. From Poe Dameron to Wedge Antilles, there's a different flying style for every fan taste. That said, arguably the two most iconic pilots in the series are Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. That raises the question of who the superior pilot truly is, and we recently posted that question to the cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story during the film's recent press day in Los Angeles. However, when we asked Val actress Thandie Newton to explain the differences, she gave a near-perfect answer about why Han's from-the-gut style beats Luke's far more disciplined approach. The Westworld actress explained:
I think maybe they're very different types of pilots. Aren't they? Luke is probably much more by-the-book. Not to be rude, but more scientific in his approach, whereas Solo takes risks. And very often in evolution, the risks, the accidents are what make the stronger evolutionary choice. So, if you want to look at it scientifically, Solo probably.
That's pretty much a perfect encapsulation of what makes Han Solo and Luke Skywalker fundamentally different pilots in the Star Wars galaxy. Luke is arguably a far more disciplined pilot, and he lets The Force guide him. Meanwhile, Han Solo takes more risks and (often intentionally) puts himself in situations in which he's not sure if he will survive. Comparing the two styles side-by-side, Thandie Newton thinks that Han's method actually shows superior skill.
One other layer of this equation that feels worth exploring is the way in which Luke and Han work with others when they fly. Throughout the original trilogy, Luke was shown flying in teams as a member of Red Squadron (particularly in the Battle of Yavin and the Battle of Hoth), while Han (true to the origin of his name) was shown flying solo -- well, with Chewbacca in the co-pilot's seat, of course. Luke has the support of others around him, while Han has proven that he knows how to get by on his own.
Of course, if you want to hear everything that Thandie Newton had to say to CinemaBlend about the fundamental differences between Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, then make sure to take a look at a clip from our interview with her, below!
Now that Solo: A Star Wars Story is finally in theaters, audiences have a chance to see what kind of pilot young Han Solo is in his earliest adventures. On that note, make sure to take a look at CinemaBlend's full review of the most recent Star Wars franchise spinoff, and check the film out for yourself!