Answer quick here. Han Solo or Luke Skywalker? You said Han Solo, right? In all the years since there was a choice to be made I’ve never met anyone who picks Luke. You know why? No one wants to try to raise a family and pay the bills with a bad boy (or girl), but when we can indulge through fiction, most folks will choose the scuffed up, dangerous man for a dizzying night of dancing until the wee hours of the morning or a breakneck trip on a moon splashed road in a Harley over the guy (or chick) who will be there in the wee hours of the morning when you need to go the hospital. Luke will get you to the hospital, but Han will wreck you first.
I think this “we love bad boys” theory also explains almost every romantic interest in a Sarah Dessen novel as well as all the the vampire fiction out there, especially the stuff aimed at teen girls (Silver Kiss, Darkangel, Twilight.)
Fiction is full of these guys and you know what? It starts early. My first “bad boy” fictional crush was the dashing fur trapper in Calico Captive. Set during the French Indian Wars, our heroine in the end chooses the safe, steady, poor American who only wants to be a farmer and help establish his country when she could have been rich, had Quebec at her feet and her handsome voyageur husband by her side for a few weeks every five months or so. Imagine my disappointment. Louisa May Alcott threw two bad boys my way: Dan in Little Men and Jo’s Boys and Charlie in Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom. Because they were created by Louisa May there was never any chance at happiness for either one of them—she didn’t seem to have a good feel for a redemption story—so the bad boy dies, leaving the responsible, respectable fellows to pick up the chicks.
As a grown up of course I’ve got Richard Sharpe and Patrick Harper. They aren’t just your average scuffed up, rough around the edges bad boys. They are at times remorseless killers and cheerful thieves. However, they are a special type of “bad boy” because they will also take you to the hospital at 2:00 a.m. or bail you out of jail at 3:00 a.m. They might be the reasons you need emergency care or bail money, but they will be there. As will Rhett Butler, who never really worked for me but obviously he worked for some.
Okay, time’s up. Han or Luke?