2. Luke: “You don’t believe in the Force, do you?”
Han: “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of the galaxy to the other, I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny!”

In Episode IV: A New Hope, Han and Luke have this exchange as the Millennium Falcon cruises through hyperspace toward Alderaan. Luke is practicing his lightsaber under Ben’s tutelage, and Han is amused at Luke’s clumsy mistakes. Han claims that a good blaster is worth more than an old-fashioned weapon and a “hokey religion.” Han’s claim of never having seen evidence of the Force in his travels is clearly self-serving. That is, Han sees no evidence of the Force affecting his life precisely because he does not wish to see such a force affect his life. Han wants to shape his own destiny apart from others, which requires that he be cut off from the Force, which, as we have been told by Ben, penetrates us all and binds us together. Even after Luke is able to defeat the remote with his eyes shielded, Han would much rather trust in his own skill, and even in “luck,” than accept that his own fate is contingent on anyone or anything outside of himself.

Han begins to change after Ben sacrifices himself so that the others can escape the Death Star. The clearest sign that the change has begun is when Han calls Luke back in order to say, “May the Force be with you.” Still later, Han finds himself in a situation he can’t blast his way out of, when he is encased in carbonite and delivered to Jabba the Hutt. Han is rescued by his friends but is still temporarily without his sight. Like Luke aboard the Falcon, Han must fight blind, trusting his friends and accepting that he is forced to rely on others. Though he will never be a Jedi Knight, Han develops from a selfish, mercenary loner into a loyal friend and a committed leader of the Rebel Alliance.