After watching Solo: A Star Wars Story last week nearly my entire view surrounding Han Solo and Chewbacca’s stories has changed, as this standalone film has filled in gaps I didn’t even know I wanted to be answered and provided me tantalizing ideas for the future of Star Wars as well. So, with no further delay, let me relay to you all of the ways Solo has changed the way I look at these movies. Enjoy!
How Han Got His Name
Oh my goodness, undoubtedly one of the coolest moments in Solo for me was learning how Han got his iconic name, Han Solo. I always figured that the name was probably made up because the idea of someone having the name Solo didn’t exactly quantify as a legitimate last name to me. I thought that maybe Han called himself that after realizing that he didn’t have any friends, except for Chewbacca, but to learn that an Imperial recruiter provided him the title, Han Solo, is simply one of the coolest things that has ever happened in Star Wars. It was definitely much cooler than when Emperor Palpatine named Anakin Darth Vader.
Han’s Lucky Dice
Who knew a simple pair of golden dice would become so important to Star Wars in the last couple of years but it truly has and now, seeing these dice, I feel a pang of sadness because of what they represent. In Han’s younger days the dice meant good luck and for the most part that strange sense of luck he always managed to have during his adventures could be contributed to those magical dice.
And then the dice extends beyond his life and into the complex story of The Last Jedi where we see them, given from Luke Skywalker to Leia, as a sign of that continuing hope and then later disappearing away into nothingness in Kylo Ren’s hands. For Leia the dice’s symbol of luck won out and the last of the Resistance, by luck, managed to get away. And then for Kylo Ren, on the other hand, the dice symbolize that he just might be the unluckiest guy in the galaxy. I love the way Star Wars is slowly connecting the dots and enhancing these films by utilizing simple things like a pair of dice.
Chewbacca and Han’s First Meeting
I always wondered how Han and Chewbacca first met but to find out is absolutely a dream come true for me, and honestly one of the most bizarre and shocking first encounters two eventual best buddies that I’ve ever seen. I mean for one, I found out a horrifying truth; wookies, if hungry enough, eat people. So…um, that was a scary fact. Secondly, I learned that Han can literally speak Wookie and that’s awesome. And third, it was so cool seeing that this “beast” down in this mud pit was actually Chewbacca. That was definitely of the best surprises of the film for me.
Learning the Truth About the Kessel Run
For years I have heard the tales of Han Solo participating in the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. It was what made him famous in the smuggler world. But, thanks to Solo, the truth is he actually didn’t run the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs. In all honesty he performed the marvelous feat in a range closer to what Rey said, “Fourteen parsecs” and that Han has been lying about that maneuver throughout his entire life. Granted, he prevented himself and his friends from getting eaten by a ginormous Space Octopus, getting sucked up by a gravity well, and getting crushed inside a closing cavern of sorts, so shouldn’t he be allowed to aggrandize his achievement a little bit? It’s still a funny fact to know that he really didn’t run the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs though.
The Millennium Falcon
The Millennium Falcon looked SO different in Solo under the ownership of Lando Calrissian. I mean, it was white and blue and it had an intact nose. So the question I kept asking myself was how did Han make this ship so raggedy? Um, the Kessel Run. Taking that maneuver literally destroyed the entire hull and front of the ship, converting it into the hunk of junk we know today. How awesome is that? I didn’t know exactly how they were going to explain the Millennium Falcon’s degradation but the answer was very satisfying indeed. Now I know why people are always calling it a piece of junk. The Millennium Falcon is the equivalent of a 90s’ model car missing all of the paint and covered in scratches and small dents. Ha! Yeah, it’s a piece of junk. 🙂
Han the Rebel
One thing Han doesn’t stand for is seeing people oppressed by bullies, for that’s what he had to deal with for the entirety of his young life. In Corellia he was forced to work with a gang and when he found the chance to make a better life for himself and his then girlfriend, Qi’Ra, he didn’t hesitate to make that happen. He fought against the gang and managed to escape but Qi’Ra was unfortunately left behind to remain a criminal slave.
Later on when he learned that Enfys Nest was really a rebel trying to punish Crimson Dawn for the crimes they had committed in the galaxy he immediately sided with her against both Dryden Vos and Tobias Beckett. Why, because he doesn’t stand for bullying and those with evil intentions? He’s the good guy, remember? At the end of the day, he will always be a hero before the scoundrel that he tries to frame himself to be.
And that’s why in his later years he was willing to return and save his friends in the fight against the Empire. He tried to pretend that he was just this smuggler who loved the Millennium Falcon, money, and nothing else, but he was still a rebel at heart. His heroic actions helped the destruction of the first Death Star and that’s pretty cool. If Qi’Ra was still alive and heard tales of what happened I’m sure she was proud of him.
The Millennium Falcon’s Computer
Solo introduced us to female droid, L3-37 and while she was a blast to get to know she was soon killed out of the film. Or was she? Turns out Lando hooked her up to the Millennium Falcon’s inner matrix and voila, L3-37’s computer became one with the ship. That was such an awesome reference to one of the most memorable scenes in The Empire Strikes Back when C-3PO is trying to talk to the Falcon’s computer and comments that the Falcon has a peculiar dialect. Now I know he was really talking about L3. That’s so cool! Little tidbits like that is the reason why Solo was such a fun movie to watch.
Han’s Companionship With His Friends
At the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story Han was in a lonely place. He had just killed his good friend, Tobias Beckett and his girlfriend, Qi’Ra, dumped him. Only Chewbacca was around to stay by his side. To see him in that fragile position and then jump forward about a decade and a half later to the end of Return of the Jedi where he’s surrounded by friends left and right is kind of amazing. He could’ve easily elected never to get close to anyone again but the kind natures of Luke and Leia helped him see that maybe there was some good in the galaxy and that these were the few people he knew he wouldn’t have to worry about backstabbing him, literally. That’s cool.
Now the topic of Han Solo’s death is even sadder thanks to Solo because throughout his years he had learned to survive in a criminal’s world thanks to Beckett’s ominous instruction, “Assume everyone is going to betray you and you’ll never be disappointed.” And when he finally let his guard down after decades of survival it was his own son who would kill him. That’s a hard pill to swallow. This scene already makes me sad but now, after Solo, it’s positively heartbreaking to watch now.
And Chewbacca’s reaction to his death is even worse too as you think about how long the two companions have known each other. That roar of sorrow is making me emotional just thinking about it. *sniffle* Sorry, Han.
And finally, Kylo Ren
I’ve been asking myself for years why it was so important for Kylo Ren to kill his father, especially learning that he supposedly didn’t hate him. Snoke kind of provided that answer by telling Kylo, “You have too much of your father’s heart in you, young Solo” but it still wasn’t entirely concrete what he meant. Now it is, as we see Han’s heroic virtues again and again in Solo that prove how much of a hero he really is. Kylo Ren is practically bursting at the seams with goodness. I mean, his father is Han Solo and his mother is Princess Leia, both of which are extreme fighters against evil and injustice. For Kylo to try suppress that natural good in him, the Light, *shaking my head* now I know why he’s so emotional all of the time.
That’s why he’s drawn to Rey like a Force magnet. She’s that other, nicer, half of him that he desperately needs for emotional stability more than anything. I mean, did you notice how calm he was during his scenes with Rey? Those moments with her are the only times he’s not two seconds from breaking something. (Lol. I wonder why?) 😉
The question is, will his good Solo heart win out in Episode IX or will he dissolve into evil and truly become the dark lord that he’s been striving to be since The Force Awakens? Only time will tell. (I’m really hoping he goes good and redeems himself because that would be sad to think that Han’s only child was evil…and possibly died being the very thing he fought against his entire life.)
Solo has left an even bigger impact on the story of Star Wars than Rogue One did and that’s why I love these standalone Star Wars films. I can’t imagine what nuggets an Obi-Wan film could provide to the Star Wars universe as well.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day. May the force be with you.