Han Solo is a character in the Star Wars franchise. In the original film trilogy, Han and his co-pilot, Chewbacca, became involved in the Rebel Alliance's struggle against the Galactic Empire. During the course of the Star Wars story, he becomes a chief figure in the Alliance and succeeding galactic governments. Star Wars creator George Lucas described the character as "a loner who realizes the importance of being part of a group and helping for the common good". Harrison Ford portrayed the character in the original Star Wars trilogy as well as The Force Awakens, in which he was killed off. Alden Ehrenreich will portray a young Han Solo in an upcoming, as yet untitled spinoff film.
Han Solo is introduced in Star Wars (1977), when he and his co-pilot Chewbacca accept a charter request to transport Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO, and R2-D2 from Tatooine to Alderaan on their ship, the Millennium Falcon. Han owes crime lord Jabba the Hutt a great deal of money and has a price on his head; when the bounty hunter Greedo tries to deliver him to Jabba, dead or alive. After a failed attempt at getting Han to give him the money he owes Jabba as a bribe for letting him go, Greedo takes a shot at Han but Han leans to avoid the shot and shoots Greedo, and then he prepares to leave Tatooine. Han and his passengers are attacked by Imperial stormtroopers, but escape by accelerating to light speed. When they arrive at Alderaan, however, they discover that the planet has been destroyed. The Falcon is then captured and held within the Death Star, a moon-sized battle station constructed by the Empire. Han and company hide from detection inside the Falcon's smuggling bays, and infiltrate the station disguised as stormtroopers. They discover that Princess Leia Organa is a prisoner on board, and Luke convinces Han to help rescue her by promising him a huge reward. They rescue Leia and escape, though Obi-Wan is killed by Sith Lord Darth Vader.
After delivering Luke, Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2 to the Rebel Alliance, Han and Chewbacca receive a payment for their services and prepare to leave. Luke asks Han to stay and help the Rebels attack the Death Star, but he refuses, not wanting to get involved. Han has a change of heart and returns to save Luke's life during the film's climactic battle scene, ultimately enabling Luke to destroy the Death Star. For his heroics, Han is presented with a medal of honor alongside Luke.
The Empire Strikes BackEdit
Han returns with the Rebel Alliance to Echo Base on the frozen planet of Hoth. While out on patrol with Luke, they witness a meteor strike the surface. Han returns to base while Luke decides to investigate. Han informs Leia and the General of Echo Base that he must leave in order to clear his debt with Jabba. Before he can depart, it is discovered that Luke has not returned from his reconnaissance. Han rides out alone into the frozen Hoth wastelands, soon finding Luke badly injured and near death from exposure. Using his friend's lightsaber, Han cuts open his tauntaun, providing Luke warmth while he builds a shelter until they can be rescued the next morning.
Later, Han and Chewbacca are sent out to investigate another meteor strike. They discover that the 'meteor' is actually an Imperial Probe Droid. The two succeed in destroying the probe, but not before the Empire is alerted to the location of Echo Base.
When the Empire attacks Echo Base, Han, Chewie, Leia, and C-3PO narrowly escape on board the Millennium Falcon. Han evades a squad of Imperial TIE fighters by flying through an asteroid field, and unwittingly flies into the mouth of a giant worm. Han and Leia fall in love during the long journey. They manage to hide from the Imperial fleet long enough to escape, but not entirely unnoticed. Bounty hunter Boba Fett secretly follows the Falcon during this getaway.
Han and company eventually end up at the Bespin system's Cloud City seeking repairs and shelter from his old friend Lando Calrissian, the city's administrator. However, Fett had arrived first and alerted the Empire. Under threat of death, Lando betrays Han to the Empire. Vader wishes to capture Luke by freezing him in carbonite, and subjects Solo to the freezing process first to test its lethality. Solo survives, his captors are satisfied, and Fett leaves for Tatooine with a frozen Han in tow to collect the bounty from Jabba.
Return of the JediEdit
Han, still imprisoned in carbonite, is now Jabba's favorite decoration at his palace on Tatooine. Luke attempts a rescue operation aided by Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2D2, but they are caught. Jabba sentences Han and Luke to die in the Sarlaac Pit. Luke, Leia, and Han overpower their captors and Leia kills Jabba enabling their escape.
Retreating back to the Rebel Base, they discover that the Empire is building another Death Star which orbits the forest moon of Endor. Following his return, Han is made a general in the Rebel Alliance along with Leia. Reuniting with Luke after his return from Dagobah, Han leads the Rebels down to Endor to take down the force field surrounding the battle station, which is still under construction. With help from the native Ewoks, Han and his team destroy the Death Star's shield generator, allowing Lando and his strike force to destroy the Death Star. Han then reunites with Leia and Luke on Endor to celebrate the defeat of the Empire.
The Force AwakensEdit
In The Force Awakens, set approximately 30 years after Return of the Jedi, Han Solo has returned to his old life as a smuggler. Before the events of the film, he and Chewbacca had lost the Millennium Falcon to thieves, but they reclaim the ship after it takes off from the planet Jakku, piloted by the scavenger Rey and the renegade stormtrooper Finn. As mercenaries close in on them, Han takes the Falcon into light speed, and they get away. When Han learns that Rey is looking for Luke, who disappeared years before, he takes them to Maz Kanata, who can deliver the droid BB-8 to the Resistance. They are forced to flee when First Order troops descend upon them. Han is impressed with Rey's piloting skills, and offers her a job on the Falcon. She declines his offer, but comes to think of him as a mentor and father figure. When Rey is kidnapped by the First Order, Han sees her being carried off by First Order commander Kylo Ren, whom Han seems to recognize.
Han and Finn meet with the Resistance, which is led by Leia, whom Han has not seen in many years. It is then revealed that Ren is their son, Ben Solo, who trained as a Jedi under Luke. However, he was corrupted by the First Order's Supreme Leader Snoke, and turned to the dark side. As Kylo Ren, he betrayed the Republic and destroyed the Jedi – much like his grandfather, Darth Vader. Heartbroken by Ben's betrayal, Han and Leia separated, while Luke went into exile. Leia asks him to find Ben and bring him home, convinced that there is still good in him.
Han and Chewbacca go with Finn to the First Order's battle station, Starkiller Base, to destroy the base and rescue Rey. There, he sees Ren walk onto the bridge above the reactor chasm. Han follows Ren onto the bridge, and calls out to him by his real name. Han pleads with him to abandon the dark side and come back with him. Ren tells Han that he knows what he should do, but that he doesn't have the strength to do it, and asks Han to help him. Han agrees. After a moment, an unrepentant Ren ignites his lightsaber, fatally wounding his father. Han looks into his son's eyes and touches his face before falling off the bridge and into the reactor, to his death.
A film featuring Han Solo before the events of the 1977 film is currently in production. Actor Alden Ehrenreich is portraying Han Solo in the film, which is directed by Ron Howard and written by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan. The film is produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film also stars Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, and Woody Harrelson.
Forces of DestinyEdit
Star Wars: Han Solo is a five-issue mini-series focused on Han entering a race called the Dragon Void Rule.
The Star Wars Holiday SpecialEdit
In the Star Wars Holiday Special, Han helps Chewbacca join his family on the Wookiee homeworld Kashyyyk. He faces Imperial forces on Kashyyyk, and later joins Luke, Leia, R2-D2, C-3PO, Chewbacca, and other Wookiees for their holiday, Life Day.
Novels and ComicsEdit
In April 2014, most of the licensed Star Wars novels and comics produced since the originating 1977 film Star Wars were rebranded by Lucasfilm as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the franchise.
Brian Daley wrote a series of novels (The Han Solo Adventures), first published in 1979, exploring Han Solo and Chewbecca's smuggling adventures, and Ann C. Crispin's The Han Solo Trilogy (1997–1998) further develops the character's backstory. Crispin's books depict Solo as a beggar and pickpocket throughout much of his youth. He becomes a pilot and, in the process of undermining a religious fraud, falls in love with Bria Tharen, who disappears before Solo joins the Imperial Navy. Solo loses his commission and is cashiered when he refuses an order to skin Chewbacca for commandeering a ship carrying Wookiee children destined for slavery; Chewbacca, in turn, swears a "life-debt" to Solo. The two become smugglers, and help repel an Imperial blockade of a Hutt moon. Solo soon thereafter wins the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a card tournament. Tharen, now a Rebel agent, reappears and asks for Solo, Chewbacca and Calrissian's help in attacking a slave colony. After succeeding, Tharen's troopers steal the smuggler's valuables to aid the Rebel Alliance. To compensate their losses, Solo and Chewbacca accept a smuggling job from Jabba the Hutt; but Imperial ships force the smugglers to jettison their cargo, invoking the debt Solo and Chewbacca owe the Hutt at the beginning of Star Wars.
Solo plays a central role in a couple of Star Wars stories set after Return of the Jedi. In The Courtship of Princess Leia (1995), he resigns his commission to pursue Leia, whom he eventually marries. Solo and Leia have three children: twins Jaina and Jacen and son Anakin. Han Solo was the general in command of the New Republic task force assigned to track down Imperial Warlord Zsinj and his forces, in the 1999 novel Solo Command. Chewbacca dies saving Anakin's life in Vector Prime (1999), sending Solo into a deep depression. In Star by Star (2001), Anakin dies as well, compounding Solo's despair. At the end of the series, however, Solo accepts the deaths of his son and his best friend, and reconciles with his family.
In the Legacy of the Force series, Jacen Solo becomes the Sith Lord Darth Caedus and plunges the galaxy into a bloody civil war. Solo disowns Jacen, but is still devastated by each new outrage his son commits. He and Leia adopt Allana (Jacen's daughter) after Jacen's death in the novel Invincible.
Creation and conceptionEdit
In the earliest version of the initial draft for Star Wars, Solo was a Ureallian with green skin, no nose and enormous gills, also being a member of the Jedi Bendu and being acquainted with General Skywalker. The following draft saw Solo as a pirate with a beard and flamboyancy, Lucas settling on making him a human to better develop the relationship between the three central characters (Luke, Leia and Han) and Chewbacca instead being used for the part of the alien sidekick. By the time of the third draft, Solo had developed into the "tough James Dean style starpilot" that would appear in the finished film. Harrison Ford was not immediately cast for the role of Han Solo, as George Lucas had already used him in the film American Graffiti and wanted somebody new for the role. However he hired Ford to rehearse lines with other actors and he was so impressed by the actor's performance that he eventually gave him the role. Other actors that were considered for the role include: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Jack Nicholson, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Robert Englund, Nick Nolte, and Burt Reynolds.
During the early development of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Solo was originally considered to make an appearance helping Yoda to locate General Grievous at Kashyyyk. Some concept art of a 10 year old Solo was made, but Lucas decided to omit Solo's appearance from the film before any actor was cast, or considered for the role.
Ford, believing his character should die, was reluctant to sign onto the sequels of Star Wars. Solo's death in The Force Awakens came about when Abrams felt the character wasn't evolving or contributing to the story's development, believing Kylo Ren's killing of him would give the latter a chance to develop into a worthy successor for Darth Vader.
Influence and critical reactionEdit
Han Solo is a reckless smuggler with a sarcastic wit; he is "a very practical guy" and considers himself "a materialist"; but the adventures in the first Star Wars movie evoke his compassion, a trait "he didn't know he possessed".
The American Film Institute ranked Solo as the 14th greatest film hero. He was also deemed the 4th greatest movie character of all-time by Empire magazine. Entertainment Weekly ranked the character 7th on their list of The All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture. On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Solo at number 15. IGN listed Han Solo as the second greatest Star Wars character of all time (behind Darth Vader), as well as listing him as one of the top 10 characters who most needed a spin-off, saying he was "Arguably the coolest character in the Star Wars universe".
Prince of Persia producer Ben Mattes explained that their "inspiration was anything Harrison Ford has ever done: Indiana Jones, Han Solo". The antihero of the Japanese manga and anime Space Adventure Cobra has been compared by reviewers to Solo. In preparing to play James T. Kirk, Chris Pine drew inspiration from Ford's depictions of Han Solo and Indiana Jones, highlighting their humor and "accidental hero" traits.
Solo has been merchandised in multiple media, including action figures, video games, and other collectibles. A Han Solo action figure with "human proportions" was released in 1977 to follow with the initial release of the original Star Wars films, while a figure created for the films' mid-1990s re-release was criticized as "unrealistically muscled."
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