Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Two characters, one actor, and the heroes of an entire generation of men. Harrison Ford's portrayal of the Nazi melting archaeologist and arrogant but lovable smuggler influenced Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers in very deep ways. As boys, we were looking around for someone to teach us how to be men. Some of us had wonderful fathers, grandfathers, and uncles that filled these roles. The rest of us had absent dads and looked around for someone to show us how to swing the dong, (metaphorically). Star Wars and The Indiana Jones films were HUGE when I was a kid. I look around at the men of my generation who are adults now, many with sons of their own, and I see traces of Dr. Jones and Han. Just like the film left on the toilet bowl after a bachelor party.
So, with that in mind I conducted a wildly unscientific survey of my good male friends on the Facebook. I asked if they agreed that Han and Indi were the defining male archetypes of our generation and which one influenced their idea of masculinity more and why? I got some pretty interesting answers. For example, several friends mentioned that Mad Martigan from Willow or older heroes like Clint Eastwood were a bigger influence. Still, most agreed on my Han/Indi premise. Like all archetypes, none of us can ever really achieve Indi or Han level coolness. The best we can do is aspire to do our best. It's like living up to the constitution, the Bible, or the teachings of Bill and Ted. Anyway, here is the comparison between Dr. Jones, Han Solo, and masculinity.