I may be the one person in the civilized world who did not see the latest Star Wars installment, "Senior Citizens in Space," "Planet of the Depends Undergarments," or something to that effect.
I never developed a hankering for beeping robots or hairy space critters or that double cinnamon-bun Carrie Fisher hairdo that briefly caught on back in the disco age, and somehow, the prospect of a seventy something Han Solo in 3D just didn't motivate me to drag myself to a theater far, far away.
But an old Indy, as weathered as his thrift store leather jacket and creased as his sweat-stained fedora, sounds way more fitting somehow.
The announcement this week that there will be a new Indiana Jones movie, with Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg, gives us all hope that maybe there is some adventure left beyond the age of buff pecs, perky butts, unwrinkled faces and ungreyed hair. By the time this is in theaters, Harrison Ford will be 76 years old, and even if he's defeating undead Nazis by hitting them with the tennis balls from the bottom of his walker, he's still going to be cool.
It might be a bit like a "Beatles" or the "Stones" debate, but for my money, Indy is the better Ford character, and certainly better dressed. One reviewer described the Han Solo look as "pocketed vest, knee-high vinyl boots and peasant shirt that looks like it was stolen from the 1972 New Jersey Renaissance Festival."
There's a reason geeky college profs, assistant managers at video game stores and hip Halloween kids still try to dress like Indy. Also notice pretty-boy Han only got one girl in the whole Star Wars franchise, and that one seemingly took over 30 years. Indy, well, he tended to find more than treasure in every installment.
Han uses a sissy watergun-looking "blaster" to win his battles. What kind of unimaginative script writer names a weapon "blaster?" That's not even trying.
Indy uses a whip. Old school Lone Ranger violence. And when he isn't punching somebody in the face, he's employing his wits to get out of hot water.
I'm not sure of Han's parentage, though I may have just missed it in the last seven or so Star Wars movies I skipped (maybe Yoda is secretly his father, or Chewbacca's second cousin? We probably won't find out until episode #382). Indy's dad? Sean Freaking Connery. Win.
Finally, in terms of Disney rides, Indiana Jones beats the snot of a Star Tours, the latter being one of those '80s era simulators that jiggle you around in your seat while a filmstrip plays on a TV screen. Indy ride gets a Jeep, zombie skeletons and an animatronic Harrison Ford. Disney knows what's up.
The beauty of the Indiana Jones character is, of course, that in a world of endless superhero flicks, he's not one. No special powers, no huge muscles, no fast car or tricky gizmos or Trumpian wealth. He got beat up. He wasn't brash of fearless. He got winded. He was afraid of those snakes. But he kept on trying. About like us, in other words.
Let's face it, none of us is ever going to pilot spaceships through fantasy galaxies, with perfectly-feathered hair and an endless supply of witty quips for the opposing sex. Not gonna happen. Sorry to burst your bubble.
But we actually could set aside our nerdy day jobs and go visit some of the far-flung locales of the Indiana Jones tales - the world is full of bustling, exotic marketplaces, ancient ruins and remote landscapes begging to be explored. Preferably without encountering supernatural forces, dangerous cults, squirming snakes or Nazi villains, thank you much.
One probably doesn't have to be a Raider of the Lost Ark to dream of visiting the Peruvian jungle, Amazon rain forest, an Everest base camp in Nepal, the Great Pyramids of Egypt or bustling Shanghai - if you have a nest egg put away, you could book all that within a half hour.
Or, if your salary doesn't cover that kind of thing, you could volunteer for an archaelogical dig next summer without ever having to leave northwest Iowa.
It's not the plot so much that made Indiana Jones one of the most iconic characters in movie history, but the vicarious escapes to places most of us have only read about. Sweaty, vintage places full mysterious people and rusting '30s transport trucks. A two-hour vacation on the cheap.
Of course, it is important to learn something from every experience, and even a make-believe character like Indiana Jones has something to teach us.
Bravery? Intelligence? The importance of history? Worldliness?
Nah, the heck with that noise.
The real lesson: go somewhere really warm, and then wear lots of leather. Words to live by.