Wednesday, July 4, 2012

May the Force Be With You, Bro!

The Ultimate Bromance - Clone Brothers in Arms
A few months ago I read an online article about bromance in movies. You know, movies that depict a platonic, intimate relationship between two or more men. The most famous bromance for my generation is probably Brian’s Song, the story of that famous bromance between Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. Our Star Wars own, Billy Dee Williams (aka Lando Calrissian) stars as Gale Sayers. This article included many movies in addition to Brian's Song that are famous for their bromance:

The Defiant Ones, The Great Escape, The Wild Bunch, Hell in the name a few.

I have seen most of the films listed and a few are on my list of all-time favorites - The Great Escape, for example, which I’ve watched with my father and husband many times.

However, there are some very notable exclusions: Ben Hur, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but most especially the Star Wars Saga. How can you write an article about bromance in cinema and not include Star Wars?!

Never has one saga exemplified the idea of bromance more. The very idea of the Master/Padawan relationship of mentoring and caring was made for bromance.

There are Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker, and even Yoda and Luke Skywalker. But the Jedi are by no means the only examples of bromance in Star Wars.

The most famous probably being between Han Solo and Chewbacca, wonderfully depicted in one of my favorite comic strips Calvin and Hobbes. Some of the funniest moments in the films are between Han and Chewie. When Han, like a nagging wife, goads Chewie to get in the garbage compactor, "I don't care what you smell!" As well as some of the most tender moments in the films, most notably for me when Chewie leans back his head and wails as Han is being frozen in carbonite. (I've mentioned that I rarely cry at movies...but this scene leaves me blubbering.)

No less bromantic is the relationship between R2-D2 and C-3PO. (Although, I still love to tease my husband that R2 has to be female, because "she" is just so darn cool.) If their constant bickering and concern for each other isn't brotherly love, then I don't know what is. Who else in the universe but R2 would put up with 3PO's constant flagellation.

These two relationships are by no means the only bromances in Star Wars. I could go on and on... 

There is Luke and R2.  I love the way Luke and R2 are with each other. They are so cute.  R2 offers to drive so Luke can get some rest and Luke warns R2 to be more careful. If they were a romantic couple, they would be the kind that still holds hands years into their relationship.

The three-way between Luke, Han and Chewie. I love that scene in Empire when Luke goes to say goodbye to Han and Chewie. Chewie, who is completely unashamed of his bromantic love, just grabs Luke and gives him a big Wookie hug. (I'm so jealous!) And of course, the locked gaze between Luke and Han as they share their silent goodbye.  I love these guys. *sniff*

Now the coolest bromance in the film is, by far, between Han and Lando. These two guys bicker over the Millennium Falcon like an old girlfriend. And when Lando matter-of-factly asks, "How you doin', Chewbacca?" You know these three have spent some nights in a cantina or two that you can't even talk about in mixed company. Even when Chewie has those big, hairy hands closed around Lando's can almost guess this isn't the first time.

The most dysfunctional bromance in the entire film and one that definitely needs to call Dr. Ruth, or whomever bromancers call when they are having relationship issues, is between the Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. What an incredible seduction by the emperor. He just lies and lies to Anakin telling him whatever he needs to, to get him under his thumb. And what does Lord Vader do, he just kneels down and takes it.  Talk about co-dependent.  Even when I was a kid, I just knew this was a relationship that had to have lots of domestic violence.

Are these the only examples of bromance in Star Wars? By no means, but I think I've made my point. You shouldn't make a bromance movie list and NOT have Star Wars in it.

May the Force Be With You, Bro!