Han and Ron: The Snarky Sidekicks of “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter”
The similarities between Star Wars and Harry Potter have not escaped the attention of fans. Both feature a young man (Luke Skywalker/Harry) on a mission to defeat a powerful villain (Emperor/Voldemort) after discovering he has superhuman powers (Jedi and the Force/wizard and magic). He is trained by a wise, elderly man (Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi/Dumbledore) and learns to use a special weapon (lightsaber/wand). He has two best friends who help him along the way and who eventually end up together (Leia and Han Solo/Hermione and Ron).
While Han Solo and Ron Weasley clearly play similar roles as the hero’s companion, they are quite different people. Han is a smuggler and skeptic who gets involved in the fight against evil only for the money, while Ron is dedicated to fighting Voldemort from the beginning. Ron is no scoundrel, surly as he might be at times. Han is cocky, while Ron suffers from low self-esteem. Han thinks that the Force and the Jedi are a load of mumbo jumbo, while Ron grew up in a wizarding family. Still, there are certain moments when their similarities in disposition, outlook, and manner come to the forefront.
Han and Ron both have snarky attitudes, injecting sardonic wit into even the most serious situations. Han’s response to potentially being crushed by a trash compactor? “One thing’s for sure – we’re all gonna be a lot thinner.” Ron’s retort to Snape when he refuses to give Harry credit for recognizing transparency as the difference between Inferi and ghosts? “Excuse me, are you the imprint of a departed soul?” These two could have some pretty entertaining banter filled with biting sarcasm.
While their protagonist friends are ready to charge headfirst into danger, Han and Ron are the ones who acknowledge just how insane their situations are (before joining in, anyway). Their reactions to harebrained schemes give them that relatability we love. Han gets dragged into a detention center and a garbage chute, and Ron would really rather not follow the spiders into the Forbidden Forest, but there they are. Unlike Luke and Harry, they don’t have a destiny requiring them to fight, and they’re consistently baffled by the wild missions they’ve signed up for, but they end up being the ones ready to fly through an asteroid field and make a sacrifice in a game of chess, proving that they’re committed.
However, that commitment wavers. Han and Ron both abandon their friends only to come back and rescue them, specifically from cold situations. Han’s planned departure at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is interrupted by Luke’s disappearance, prompting Han to venture out into the icy tundra of Hoth to look for him. Just as Han pulls his friend out of the snow, Ron dives into the freezing pond in the Forest of Dean and pulls Harry out before the Horcrux locket can strangle him. To push the parallels even further, Han uses Luke’s lightsaber to cut open his tauntaun and warm Luke with its insides, and Ron grabs the sword of Gryffindor that Harry was trying to reach. They have their doubts, but they’re ultimately heroes too.
Whether intentional or not, the filmmakers even echoed a Han Solo scene with Ron in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Yelling, “That’s my girlfriend, you numpty!,” Ron boldly pursues Draco and his cronies through the Room of Requirement. A few moments later, he comes running right back from a fiery blaze in a panic, screaming at the top of his lungs. This moment always reminds me of Han furiously charging after some stormtroopers only to run into a much larger group and make an immediate U-turn in both direction and expression.
Of course, Han and Ron finally end up with the female member of the trio after much bickering. Han’s assessment of Leia, “Wonderful girl. Either I’m going to kill her, or I’m beginning to like her,” applies to Ron’s feelings toward Hermione as well since he goes from being unable to stand her to marrying her. As for what happens to Han in the new Star Wars trilogy… Well, let’s thank Jo for showing Ron some mercy.