- "Never tell me the odds!"
- ―Han Solo
Han Solo was a human male smuggler who became a leader in the Alliance to Restore the Republic and an instrumental figure in the defeat of the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War. He hailed from Corellia and became a smuggler in the employ of Jabba the Hutt, even completing the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs with his prized ship, the Millennium Falcon. He was the son-in-law of fallen Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Senator Padmé Amidala, husband of Leia Organa, brother-in-law of Luke Skywalker, father of Ben Solo, rivals and close friends with fellow smuggler Lando Calrissian, and best friends with the Wookiee Chewbacca, his trusted co-pilot who swore a life debt to the Corellian smuggler. Solo ran afoul of Jabba after ditching a shipment of spice to avoid trouble with the Empire, owing the Hutt a great deal of money as a result. His fortune seemed to have changed when he agreed to charter Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO to Alderaan, but he became caught up in the rebellion against the Empire and, after helping Princess Leia Organa escape from the Death Star, briefly fought in the Battle of Yavin, which allowed Skywalker to destroy the superweapon. Solo fought with the Rebellion for a number of years afterward, taking part in numerous operations and battles against the Empire.
After the Battle of Hoth, Solo sought safe refuge with Organa—with whom he had fallen in love—Chewbacca, and Threepio on Cloud City, which was operated by his old friend Lando Calrissian. There, they were captured by the Sith Lord Darth Vader as part of a trap to bait Skywalker to the city. Solo was frozen in carbonite and taken to Jabba's Palace on Tatooine by the bounty hunter Boba Fett, where he remained encased in carbonite for months until he was rescued by his friends. After returning to the Alliance Fleet, Solo was promoted to the rank of general and was given command of the Pathfinders, a special forces squad, for the Battle of Endor. Solo led the Pathfinders to Endor, where he, Organa, Chewbacca, and the special forces team, with the help of the native Ewoks, destroyed the shield generator protecting the second Death Star that was being constructed in orbit. Their actions allowed the Alliance Fleet to destroy the superweapon.
The Battle of Endor, which saw the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader, allowed the Rebellion to form the New Republic. In the early days after Endor, Solo continued to lead the Pathfinders against the Empire. He married Organa, and the two had a son, Ben Solo. The boy struggled with the dark side of the Force—like his mother, who was the daughter of Darth Vader and twin sister of Luke Skywalker, Ben was Force-sensitive—so Organa sent him to be trained by Skywalker. He was seduced to the dark side by Snoke, Supreme Leader of the First Order, and destroyed Skywalker's attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order. Having lost their son, Solo left and returned to smuggling, and even lost the Millennium Falcon to numerous thieves. He continued to smuggle until he was brought back into the fight by a scavenger named Rey and a defected First Order stormtrooper named Finn, who carried with them a droid, BB-8, that had part of a map to Skywalker's location. Solo, who retrieved the Falcon from Rey and Finn, returned to Organa, who led the Resistance against the First Order, and fought in the battle to destroy the First Order superweapon known as Starkiller Base. During the battle, Solo saw his son, who had taken the name Kylo Ren, and tried to convince him to return home. Instead, Kylo stabbed his father with his lightsaber. Mortally wounded, Solo fell to his death in the bowels of the Starkiller weapon.
- "I saved him, at least that's what he says, the big fuzzy fool, but really, he saved me. I was on a bad path, and Chewie, he put me straight. Saved my shanks more than once too."
- ―Han Solo on how Chewbacca saved him
Han Solo was born on the planet Corellia during the waning years of the Galactic Republic. He was orphaned at a young age, and turned to a life of crime as a thief in order to survive the perils of the galaxy. Solo, at some point, acquired a starship and became an exceptional pilot. Solo began working outside of the Galactic Empire's laws, beginning a career in illegal smuggling. Solo eventually met the Wookiee Chewbacca, whom he saved from imprisonment. Chewbacca, grateful for Solo's intervention, proclaimed a life debt to the smuggler. Chewbacca thereby became Solo's first mate aboard his ship and the smuggling duo became lifelong friends. Solo and Chewbacca, at some point, met the self-proclaimed galactic entrepreneur and gambler Lando Calrissian, against whom Solo played a game of "Corellian Spike" Sabacc using a pair of gold dice. During which, Solo gambled for and won Calrissian's YT-1300 light freighter, the Millennium Falcon. The Falcon instantly became Solo's most prized possession and he tied the pair of golden dice he used in the momentous game together and hung them in the Falcon's cockpit. With their new-found ship and confidence, Solo and Chewbacca began engaging in much more dangerous and risky smuggling operations. Around the same time, Chewbacca likewise hung a pair of chance cube dice above the freighter's piloting console.
During his early years as a smuggler, Solo devised a plot to get revenge against a crime lord who operated a gambling den on the planet Stenness, and had continuously double-crossed spice smugglers. In order for the escapade to look as legitimate as possible, Solo and his fellow scoundrels arranged a fraudulent marriage ceremony where Solo and the woman Sana Starros were illegitimately married. The robbery occurred, too, and Solo was given his share. However, Solo also took Starros's share and fled, leaving Starros in a dire situation. As a result, Starros came to believe that the only thing Solo was good for was lying, likening him to a "scoundrel."
Solo and Chewbacca also crash-landed on an unnamed planet in the Monsua Nebula that was entirely covered in electrical super-storms and cyclones. But beneath the storms, a beautiful oasis laid. Solo and his copilot located a cave that they turned into a secret hiding place, storing Corellian wine and other things within. He and Chewbacca used the den several times over the years.
Eventually, the pair came into the employment of the Outer Rim crime lord Jabba the Hutt, who was based on the desert planet Tatooine and was the leader of the powerful Hutt Clan. Solo and Chewbacca smuggled for Jabba for many years and Solo became Jabba's top smuggler. The smuggling duo also spent much time in Chalmun's Cantina looking for work. However, they were forced to dump a shipment of valuable spice, an addictive drug, when the Falcon was boarded by an Imperial crew who would have surely arrested Solo and Chewbacca if they had been caught with the illicit drug. Solo and Chewbacca returned to Jabba, who placed a large bounty of 50,000 credits on the pair; it was only intended to be removed if Solo paid restitution for the Hutt's loss. Solo, some time later, in order to repay the Hutt, smuggled for the Pyke Syndicate, who controlled a near-monopoly over the spice trade, from the planet Kessel where the syndicate's controlled the spice mines of Kessel. Solo and Chewbacca were hired to transport spice from Kessel to the syndicate's customers; known as the foolhardy Kessel Runs. Using the Falcon, Solo broke a long-held record for the Kessel Run, he completed the challenge in less than twelve parsecs.
Galactic Civil War
A fateful business venture
- "Seventeen-thousand! Those guys must really be desperate—this could really save my neck. Get back to the ship and get it ready."
- ―Han Solo, to Chewbacca, after meeting with Kenobi and Skywalker
Some time after losing Jabba's cargo, Solo and Chewbacca traveled to Chalmun's Cantina to look for work to pay off Jabba. Chewbacca soon met Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, also known as Ben Kenobi, who was seeking charter to the Alderaan system on a mission of vital importance for the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Kenobi defended young Skywalker from the criminals Ponda Baba and Cornelius Evazan with his lightsaber; revealing himself as a Jedi before making their way to Solo's booth. They arrived and began bartering terms of the deal. Solo assured Kenobi that the Millennium Falcon was the fastest ship around, because it had made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. Kenobi informed Solo that the cargo was only himself, Skywalker and two droids, and that they wanted to avoid Imperials entirely. Therefore, Solo set the price at 10,000 credits—higher than he normally would have. However, Kenobi raised Solo's bid to 17,000 credits: 2,000 in advance and 15,000 when they reached Alderaan. Solo was perplexed that Kenobi had raised his bid and quickly accepted the deal. The smuggler then told his temporary employer to meet him in Docking Bay 94 for departure as soon as he was ready, before warning Kenobi that some Imperial sandtroopers had entered the cantina and were looking for Evazan and Baba's attacker. Kenobi and Skywalker hastily fled, leaving Solo to express his elation to Chewbacca at having garnered such a high-paying job to pay off Jabba. Chewbacca left as well right after.
As Solo got up to leave, he was confronted by one of Jabba's bounty hunters: the Rodian, Greedo. Greedo demanded to be paid Jabba's debt, or he would take Solo's dead body back to Jabba as payment. Solo, then, in self defense, covertly pulled his DL-44 blaster pistol and shot Greedo from under the table a fraction of a second after Greedo fired his own weapon—though, Solo hit his target and Greedo did not. Solo ignored the Murder tax Jabba enforced on Tatooine, opting instead to simply toss Wuher, the cantina's bartender, some credit chips, before apologizing for leaving a mess and then heading to Docking Bay 94.
Solo arrived in the docking and found Jabba himself, with several of his guards—including Jabba's top bounty hunter Boba Fett—looking for him near the Falcon. Jabba inquired as to whether Solo was going to pay him, and why he had "fried poor Greedo." Jabba was disappointed in having to put the bounty on Solo; the crime lord's top smuggler. Solo insisted he had had no choice but to dump the cargo, and informed the Hutt that he had secured a charter that would be able to compensate the Hutt's loss in full as soon as he completed it. Jabba was pleased and added that if Solo paid twenty percent interest all could be forgotten, however, Solo talked him down to fifteen percent, and ironically stated that the Hutt was a "wonderful Human being," before entering the Falcon.
A short time later, Kenobi, Skywalker and their two droids, the protocol droid C-3PO, and the astromech droid R2-D2, boarded the Falcon after Skywalker remarked that the Falcon appeared to be a "piece of junk." Solo corrected him: The Millennium Falcon looked out-of-shape, but had been given "special modifications" that made it one of the fastest ships in the galaxy. Just then, a squad of stormtroopers appeared in the docking bay and opened fire on Solo. Solo fired back while retreating on board and shouted for Chewbacca to take off. The Falcon blasted away from the Mos Eisley spaceport and clear of Tatooine. Solo inserted coordinates to the Alderaan system into the Falcon's navigation computer while teaching farmboy Skywalker the importance of entering the correct coordinates—If it was not done correctly, the ship could run into any number of dangers associated with space travel. The Falcon outran two Imperial Star Destroyers and jumped into hyperspace.
While en route to Alderaan, Solo boasted of outrunning the "Imperial slugs," but was annoyed when no one would humor him. Chewbacca and R2-D2, often shortened to Artoo, were playing a game of Dejarik when Artoo outplayed the Wookiee, so Solo warned the droids not to upset him because Wookiee rage was not something C-3PO, often shortened to Threepio, a droid programmed in protocol would want to experience. Skywalker, meanwhile, trained with a remote with his lightsaber, trying to deflect the sting bolts with the civilized weapon. Solo was skeptical of the Force—the energy field that connected all living things in the galaxy, and the Jedi, like Kenobi, were able to use to perform seemingly supernatural feats—because in all his travels he had never seen proof that pointed to its existence; to Solo, it was all "simple tricks and nonsense." Kenobi took Solo's skepticism as a challenge and put a helmet over Luke's face so he couldn't see. Skywalker tried to deflect the bolts again, and did, while unable to see. Solo was mildly impressed, but acquitted Skywalker's ability to luck.
Immediately after, the Falcon emerged from hyperspace in the Alderaan system. The Falcon came out at Alderaan's galactic coordinates, but into a meteor shower, with Alderaan nowhere in sight. Kenobi, using the Force, realized the asteroid field was Alderaan: The entire planet had been destroyed by the Empire. Solo couldn't believe the Empire had had enough firepower to do so, even with their entire fleet, but then an Imperial short-range TIE fighter appeared, seemingly confirming Kenobi's suspicions. Skywalker and Solo both conflated that if the fighter identified them as the freighter that had blasted away from Tatooine, they would be damned. Therefore, Solo got in range to destroy it. Kenobi, however, argued against it before Solo realized that the fighter did have a base; what appeared to be a small moon that was seen in the distance. Kenobi quickly surmised that the moon was not a moon, but an Imperial space station, the Death Star battle station equipped with a superlaser that was capable of destroying entire planets. Solo was shocked at the Death Star's 120 kilometer spherical diameter and prepared to turn the Falcon around and retreat. One of the station's tractor beams, however, began to pull the Falcon in. Solo prepared to fight his way out once they were taken aboard and shut the freighter down. Kenobi was able to talk Solo into listening to him, though: hide instead of fight. Therefore, they ejected the Falcon's five Model CEC Class-1 escape pods and hid themselves in the Falcon's smuggling compartments located under the floor.
Rescuing the Princess of Alderaan
- "Wonderful girl! Either I'm going to kill her, or I'm beginning to like her!"
- ―Solo to Skywalker, after Organa took the lead in their escape
The freighter was pulled into Docking Bay 327 where it was boarded and quickly searched by stormtroopers on the orders of Darth Vader, the Emperor's chief lieutenant and a Dark Lord of the Sith. After the troopers left, Solo and the others emerged from the compartments and Kenobi devised a plan to disable the tractor beam from inside the station. As they worked out the plan's details, an Imperial scanning crew came aboard to more thoroughly search the ship. Solo shot them and then impersonated the crew, yelling out to a pair of stormtroopers outside for assistance. They came, Solo shot them, and he and Skywalker dressed themselves in their armor.
Skywalker, now under the guise trooper TK-421, fooled an officer, Pol Treidum, into opening the door to the hangar's control room. Chewbacca and Solo cut down the officer and his comrades, while Artoo plugged into a computer terminal to locate the tractor beam controls. Artoo found them and Kenobi departed to disable it after commanding the others to stay in the control room. Solo was fine with staying; he'd gotten much more than the he's signed on for in the cantina. Artoo, however, had learned that Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan and a leading member of the Rebel Alliance, was aboard the station, and was scheduled to be executed in Detention Block AA-23 very soon. Skywalker insisted that they go rescue her, and reasoned that if Kenobi had known she was present, he would have gone after her, too. Solo at first refused, but decided it was worth the risk when Skywalker and Chewbacca assured him there would be a huge reward from the Rebel Alliance if she was rescued. Skywalker quickly worked out a subterfuge to bluff their way into the prison using Chewbacca as a prisoner scheduled for a prisoner transfer.
Soon thereafter, they set out to the fifth level of the Death Star with their "prisoner" in stuncuffs and left the droids behind. They arrived at the detention level and told the officer in charge, Shann Childsen, of the supposed transfer. He went to check the legitimacy of the fake stormtroopers' claim, while other troopers went to detain the Wookiee. Chewbacca, per the plan, attacked. Solo kept up the charade while firing on the guards and security cameras. Solo located the princess's cell in the prison computer and sent Skywalker to get her while he tried to convince a technician that nothing had gone wrong via a comm system, before giving up and shooting the panel when the tech saw through the ruse and sent stormtroopers to investigate.
The troopers blockaded the only exit to the detention block and attacked. Solo and Chewbacca returned fire while they retreated to Skywalker's position. Skywalker had gotten the princess, who critiqued their plan to rescue her without thinking through an escape route. Solo quipped that she was welcome to return to her cell and be executed rather than rescued if she desired, while they took cover in the corridor and traded fire with the Imperials. Organa lost patience with the three men, took a blaster and shot open a chute and dove in after telling the others to follow. Solo remarked to Skywalker that he wasn't sure if he was very frustrated with Organa, or if he was beginning to like her, and shoved Chewbacca into the chute. Skywalker and Solo followed right after.
They found themselves in a garbage compactor with the only exit locked. Solo sarcastically told Organa great work in getting them nowhere and tried to shoot the open the exit. The laser bounced wildly around the compactor, nearly hitting the rebels. Skywalker informed Solo that he had already tried it, that it was magnetically sealed. Organa commanded Solo to put his blaster away. Solo was unhappy at being ordered around, but did so. Just then, a low growl sounded; the four simultaneously realized they weren't alone. A moment later, a tentacle belonging to a dianoga grabbed Skywalker and pulled him under water. Solo and Organa frantically searched for him, and seconds later he reemerged. Solo grabbed Skywalker and tried to shoot the creature, but Skywalker was pulled under again. Solo had almost given up looking when the dianoga released him and vanished. Solo helped him up, before the walls of the compactor began to close in. Chewbacca the princess and Solo tried to brace them while Skywalker contacted the droids in order for Artoo to hack into the station's network and shut down the compactor. After a bit of a delay, Artoo succeeded. The three Humans and the Wookiee rejoiced, for their lives had been saved.
They left the compactor and Skywalker and Solo took off the trooper armor. As they did so, Chewbacca heard strange noises coming from the compactor and ran away. Solo fired a laser blast into the compactor to prove that the Wookiee was acting with cowardice. Organa scolded him for making so much noise, and told him that he would have to take orders from her if they were going to survive the ordeal. Solo was appalled at Organa's demeanor, and informed "her worshipfullness" that he only took orders from himself. Leaving Organa to quip that it was amazing that the smuggler was still alive. Solo looked at Skywalker and muttered that no reward was worth putting up with the princess's attitude.
As the group made their way back towards the docking bay, they ran into a group of stormtroopers. Solo yelled for Skywalker and Organa to go to the Falcon while he and his first mate charged the troopers. The troopers turned and ran from the screaming smuggler. Solo, however, ran into the troopers' reinforcements, and then he was being chased. He ran back into the hangar and through a blast door as it closed; stopping the troopers who had pursued him and Chewbacca. Solo caught up with Skywalker and Organa who had also run into some trouble, and they prepared to board the Falcon, but several stormtroopers stood guard outside. The troopers, however, rushed to Darth Vader who was locked in lightsaber combat with Kenobi. The group took advantage of the distraction Kenboi had created to rush aboard the freighter—except for Skywalker, who stopped. Kenobi saw that Skywalker and the others would be safe, so he let himself be cut-down by the Dark Lord. Skywalker yelled in grief, alerting the troopers to their presence. The troopers opened fire, but Solo ran and started up his ship, and once everyone was on board, blasted off and away from the battle station. There troubles were not over, however: four Imperial TIE fighters were in pursuit.
Chewbacca piloted the Falcon in order for Skywalker and Solo to man its turrets to fight off the attackers. A dogfight ensued, where Solo shot down one fighter and congratulated Skywalker when he shot one down, as well—and advised him to not "get cocky." Solo soon shot down the final Imperial fighter and sighed in relief as they entered hyperspace to travel to Yavin 4—the location of the Rebels' hidden base. While en route to the Yavin system, Organa grimly informed Solo that the Imperials had let them escape in order to track them to the hidden base, which explained the relative ease of their escape. Solo, didn't believe it had been easy and demanded to know what information Artoo was carrying that made him so special. Organa told him: the technical readouts to the Death Star. Solo was shocked, and added that once he was rewarded, he was going to leave; he claimed he wasn't interested in the Rebels' revolution or the princess as a companion. Organa assured Solo that if all he loved was money, that's all he would receive, and stomped away. Skywalker took her place and asked the smuggler what he thought of the princess. Solo admitted she had spirit, and inquired to whether Skywalker could see Organa and Solo together. Skywalker quickly said "no," thereby admitting he had his own feeling for the princess—much to Solo's amusement.
A change of conscience
- "I knew you'd come back—I just knew it!"
"Well, I couldn't let you get all the credit and take all the reward!"
"Hey, I knew there was more to you than money!"
- ―Skywalker, Solo and Organa celebrate the destruction of the Death Star
The Falcon soon reached Yavin 4 where Solo and the others were welcomed; Alliance Alliance High Command had feared that Organa had died with her world. The plans within Artoo were analyzed and a weakness was discovered: a two-meter wide exhaust port that led to the station's main reactor. Solo and Chewbacca attended a briefing for the Rebel pilots, including Skywalker, who were going to attack the station when it inevitably arrived. General Jan Dodonna explained that a one-man starfighter could get close enough and fire proton torpedoes into the shaft that would cause a chain reaction that would destroy the station. Solo was skeptical, thinking it suicide to even attempt. Therefore, after he was given his reward of credits, he packed up to leave, but was confronted by Skywalker who insisted he stay and fight with the Rebellion. Solo, thinking selfishly of his debt with Jabba, refused, and asked Skywalker to come with him and Chewbacca. Skywalker was dismayed with Solo's selfishness and angrily walked away. Solo called after him an old Jedi saying: "May the Force be with you." Chewbacca was disappointed in Solo—he wanted to stay and fight.
Solo and Chewbacca then left Yavin 4 aboard the Millennium Falcon. Soon, however, Chewbacca's nagging and Solo's conscience eventually got the better of the smuggler and he turned around and headed towards the Death Star where the battle was raging—although he did so not for the Rebellion's cause, but to save his friend, Skywalker. He arrived in his ship to find Skywalker in his T-65B X-wing starfighter being pursued by three TIE fighters, lead by Darth Vader, in the station's meridian trench. Solo fired on the three Imperial fighters, destroying one, and causing another to panic and collide with Vader, who was sent spinning away from the battle station. Solo yelled in glee and told Skywalker to fire his torpedoes, since he was now clear to do so. Skywalker did, and it was a direct hit: The Death Star blew apart and killed everyone on board. Vader, however, managed to escape after regaining control of his fighter. Of the thirty Alliance ships that had participated in the battle, only three returned to the base with Solo in the Falcon. Solo rushed to Skywalker as he exited his fighter and congratulated him, while the princess embraced Solo in his bravery and proving there was more to him than money.
A rushed award ceremony was held later for the heroes of the battle; which included Solo. The three awardees, Solo, Skywalker and Chewbacca, walked the aisle past hundreds of Alliance personnel. They reached the stage, where Organa placed a medal around Solo's neck as he winked at her. Skywalker was given his medal and they bowed to the princess and turned as the crowd clapped for them. Organa delivered her speech, next. She asked them all to not forget the lives lost on Alderaan and during the battle, including her adopted parents, Viceroy Bail Organa and Queen Breha Organa. Dodonna followed up by informing the base's population their next course of action: evacuate Yavin 4. The ceremony was adjourned. Organa playfully told Solo that he and his first mate had better get work.
Mission to Cyrkon
- "I'm not part of this! I'm not a part of your rebellion, I'm not a freedom fighter, and I don't work for you, Your Highness!"
"If you worked for me, I'd have fired you already."
"If I worked for you, lady, I'd have quit."
- ―Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa
With the Falcon scheduled to leave shortly after the Battle of Yavin, it was already an hour late as it lay parked in the Great Temple following the rebel's victory. Leia Organa, helping oversee some of the last stages of the evacuation approached Han in an effort to get him to aid the Rebellion once more by rescuing Lieutenant Caluan Ematt of the elite rebel recon unit the Shrikes. Initially refusing, Han was eventually persuaded to come to the rebel's aid following pressure from his companion, Chewbacca. With an even larger bounty of 224,190 credits placed on his head, Han decided against his better judgment to aid the Princess, if only for feeling a pang of guilt for her and their doomed resistance movement. With the Falcon the fastest ship and only ship that could reach Ematt in time, Han and Chewie set course for the distant Outer Rim world of Cyrkon where Ematt had been last heard from. Narrowly escaping an the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Vehement by changing their ship's IFF transponder, the two landed in the city's capital, Motok, where they ran into a gang of bounty hunters set out to capture the reward Jabba had put on their heads. Feigning surrender and stalling for time, Han offered to give over the money they had to pay off their debts to Jabba for their lives. Nonetheless, the arrival of ISB Commander Alecia Beck and a quartet of stormtroopers interrupted the firefight, in which Han pretended to be the victim of a gang of rowdy rebels. With the bounty hunters now engaged fighting the stormtroopers, Han and Chewie ran off to meet with their old friend Delia Leighton of the starship Miss Fortune, a moving bar that could pack up and leave whenever local authorities realized their operations and evasion of property taxes. While initially refusing to believe that Han was working with the Rebellion, Delia ultimately agreed to help Han by providing him with the location of Ematt in a low-rent hotel on the outskirts of town. Heading there in a recently purchased high-end speeder, which Han intended to bill the Alliance, the gang of bounty hunters they had run into previously also followed them there after interrogating Delia and threatening to kill her longtime friend. Unbeknownst to Han, Chewbacca and Ematt, the bounty hunters realizing their situation for fighting the Empire earlier agreed to help the Imperials by hunting down Han Solo and the rebel he was supposed to meet, with Alecia Beck having previously ambushed Ematt's team members of Taanab. Not intending to have Ematt commit suicide as his team members did to protect the sensitive information in their heads, Beck ordered over forty stormtroopers to take up positions in and around the hangar where the Falcon was parked as the bounty hunters chased Han back towards his ship.
Arriving in the hanger to be surrounded by stormtroopers, Han and his compatriots believed they were done for. Nonetheless, in an effort to escape, Han pretended to instigate Chewie by referring to him as his slave, in which Chewie would angrily retort. Starting a fight, the rebels would quickly assault the nearby Imperials attempting to cuff them as Delia and her ship, Miss Fortune opened fire on the hangar, with Delia seeking to make amends with Han for her forced betrayal. Firing at the two magnetic generators protecting the hangar from the toxic fumes of the planet outside, Han managed to escape with Chewie and Ematt along with Delia in her ship as they blasted off into the planets atmosphere. Needing time for the navigation computer to plot their jump to lightspeed, Han and Chewie manned the cockpit while Ematt manned both turbolasers from the ships cockpit. Fending off several TIE fighters, the Miss Fortune suddenly took a hit to their navicomputer. After a moment's reflection, Han decided to help her and her ship instead of running away as he would have normally done, distracting the Star Destroyer as it utilized its tractor beam in an attempt to capture the Falcon. Fixing their navicomputer, the Miss Fortune was able to jump to light speed however not before the Falcon was caught in the Vehement's lock. Han, horrified by the Empire's willingness to destroy its own fragile TIE fighters in the wake of their tractor beam to capture them, he fell into a freefall towards the planet in an effort to escape the beam. Due to the planet's gravity interfering with the tractor beam, Commander Beck ordered the Star Destroyer to move closer to attain its target, however he was ultimately forced to pull out after realizing that utilizing the tractor beam so close to the capital city of Motok would utterly destroy it, turning thousands of citizens against the Empire and resulting in mass media coverage of the atrocity. Backing off, the Falcon pulled up from its collision course with the city, and with its navicomputer plotted, jumped into the safety of hyperspace.
Secret mission and the Dragon Void Run
Solo and Chewbacca left to earn credits to pay off Jabba. They took several smuggling jobs, but Solo was getting nervous and turning down jobs. He was approached by Katrull with an easy job but turned it down, stating the sector was under Imperial observation. After Katrull left, Solo noticed a female he had seen previously on another planet. Getting suspicious, he decided to leave only to be stopped by her partner at gun-point. They escorted him back to the Falcon, where Chewbacca greeted them. The two agents revealed themselve to be part of the Rebel Alliance. They explained that Princess Leia had sent them to borrow the Millinuim Falcon for a special mission. Solo refused to allow his ship to used without him and returned to the Rebel fleet to confront the princess.
When he arrived, he angrily asked Organa about her decision to use his ship without his permission or participation. She took him aside and led him to a meeting with Airen Cracken. Organa explained they had undercover agents they had to recover and decided to use the Dragon Void Run as cover to rescue them. She revealed that the Rebel leadership was worried about leaks and wanted to use a ship that wasn't aligned with the Rebel Alliance. Solo agreed to the mission, and accompanied Organa back to the docking bay. There, they feigned an argument so it wouldn't draw suspicion when the Falcon and her crew left the fleet.
Solo and Chewbacca arrived in the Gomar sector, checked in with the race officials and attended a party with the other racers. When the other participants realized he was a smuggler and not a professional racer, they first attempted to have him thrown out and then proceeded to ridicule him. Loo Re Anno intervened, and explained Solo had heart and the loyalty of his crew and this made him worthy. The racers lined then lined up and made the jump to hyperspace to travel to the first checkpoint in the race. When they arrived, Solo found his ship under attack along with the other racers.
Solo attempted to outmaneuver the attacking mines, but was cut off by Delan Vook. Vook used the Falcon as a shield and fired on the attacking mines, hitting Solo's ship. Solo was angered by this and ran into Vook's ship, temporarily disabling it. As more of the mines attacked his ship, Solo noticed that they were ignoring the other racers who had been knocked out. He correctly surmised that the mines were programmed to attack ships that were powered up, so he turned off his engines and coasted across the finish line unscathed. Loo Re Anno attached a cable to the Falcon and used it to tow her ship safely across the finish line as well. She thanked Solo for the assistance. After landing on the planet, Solo confronted Vook about firing on his ship. Loo Re Anno told Vook that it was against the rules to fire on or tamper with another racer's ship and that he could be disqualified if Solo wanted to file a complaint. Solo declined, but warned Vook to stay out of his way. As Solo walked away, he was stopped by a Dug smuggler who warned him that he was in danger. He was then stopped by several stormtroopers, who place him under arrest. Solo was rounded up with the other racers of the Dragon Void Run as observers of the race protested. Vook complained about the Imperial interference and was attacked by a stormtrooper. Solo came to his defense and was knocked to the ground. Before any more fighting could take place, an Imperial officer stopped it so that there wouldn't be any bad publicity.
Tomine told Solo he and the other racers were criminals. When the Imperial officer took offense at Loo Re Anno's witnesses, Solo stepped in to prevent the Imperials from harming them. The race officials managed to convince Tomine to let the race continue, and Solo ran back to his ship to start the next stage. Once on board, he found out that Chewbacca was injured while escorting the Rebel spy Bot back to the Falcon. They began the next stage of the race, and Bot explained his theory that one of the spies that Solo was tasked to pick up during the race was a murderer who was killing the other informants. Solo assured him that everything would be ok. The ship arrived at the next stage of the race, which was a grueling twelve hour run through a shifting debris field. Solo considered purposely disqualifying himself, which would still allow him to visit all the planets in the race without the risk of the race. He changed his mind and decided to complete the stage despite the danger. At the very end, the Falcon clipped some debris which caused it to slow down and possibly be disqualified but was saved when Vook hooked a tow cable onto the ship and pulled across the finish line. After landing, Solo left Chewbacca with the Falcon to go retrieve the second Rebel spy, but was followed by camera droids. One of Loo Re Anno's witnesses, who had attached itself to Solo, destroyed the camera droids so Solo could meet with the spy without being observed. Solo and the Rebel spy returned to the Falcon, only to discover the spy had a history with Chewbacca and wanted to settle an old debt.
Once on the Falcon, Dorae drew her blaster and explained that Chewbacca had killed her "baby", a newly hatched rathtar which was trying to kill Solo. She had planned on selling the creature and its death had caused her serious financial problems. Solo stepped in front of her blaster in an attempt to defuse the situation. Loo Re Anno and the Twi'lek racers Sotna and Nowk, who were alerted to the danger by one of Lee Re Anno's witnesses, boarded the Falcon to assist Solo. Solo told the racers he was handling the situation and didn't need their help. Nowk confronted Solo and told him that the race shouldn't be used as cover for personal business. Lee Re Anno assured the Twi'lek that Solo wouldn't sully the race's reputation like that and then asked to speak to him privately. She described the history of the Dragon Void run and how her grandmother had founded the race. She told Solo she saw something greater than just a simple pilot in him, but Solo replied that he was just a good pilot and being a special person just caused trouble. The racers left his ship and Solo returned to the lounge where all his passengers were. Dorae questioned why Solo was working for the Rebel Alliance and told him she had joined after he financial problems caused her to lose her bar. As the race was about to resume, Dorae told him that they were waiting for the last of the Rebel operatives, and once they were aboard he should abandon the race and return to the fleet. Solo decided to delay taking off to wait for the others. A speeder approached the Falcon, chased by stormtroopers and Solo told Chewbacca to start the engines in order to make a quick getaway. As the last of the Rebel spies boarded the freighter, Solo quickly left the planet chased by TIE fighters. Solo wondered why they weren't trying to destroy the ship, and Dorae explained they were trying to capture them. Solo jumped to hyperspace and escaped. When they were safe, Solo joined the rest of the passengers. U'Il explained that they were ambushed by the Empire because one of the Rebel spies in the group must be a traitor. She and Solo went into the cockpit and and discussed their plan of action. U'Il wanted to return to the Rebel base but Solo wanted to continue to the next leg of the race and try to determine who was giving information to the Empire. When they came out of hyperspace, he and the other racers were confronted by an Imperial fleet. U'Il suggested they flee, but Lee Re Anno conviced Solo and the other racers to continue the race.
Solo took evasive action and asked the other racers if they had any weapons on their ships. When they replied that they were unarmed, Chewbacca fired on a TIE fighter with the Falcon's quad laser cannon. During the fight, Dorae entered the cockpit and informed Solo that Aran had been murdered. Before he could react, Lee Re Anno summoned an interdimensional creature to distract the Imperials so the race could proceed. As the Falcon entered the Dragon Void, Solo went to confront his passengers. Dorae criticized his decision to enter the Void, knowing that they could end up stranded and captured by the Empire. Solo deduced that Bot had killed Aran, and was attacked by the Duros with a hidden poison injector. He headbutted Bot, who was subdued by Chewbacca but not before Bot injected himself with the poison. Solo and Chewbacca returned to the cockpit to finish the race. He contacted Loo Re Anno and asked her about her plans for after the race. She explained to him that her life as a lone pilot was coming to an end, and she would either win the race or perish. The race continued on, and the starships approached the gate that marked the end of the race. As they got closer, Solo managed to pilot the Falcon past Delan Vook's starship and the Starshot team. He drew even with Loo Re Anno's starhip and managed to pass her when her starship was hit by fire from the pursuing Imperials. When he got near the gate, he realized he was dooming the legendary pilot to death, and veered off at the last minute which allowed Loo Re Anno to enter the gate first. His passengers were convinced they were going to be captured and killed by the Empire. U'Il suggested that Solo take her blaster and kill them all before the Empire could take them. The gate opened, and Loo Re Anno and the rest of her people emerged. She thanked Solo for allowing her to return to her people. She then reopened the gate, so the racers could return to the start of the race safely. Once clear of the Imperials, Solo returned to the Rebel base and delivered his passengers to Organa. She chided him on his rash behavior during the race. Solo reflected on the lesson he had learned from Loo Re Anno and decided to stay with the Rebels a while longer.
Becoming one of the Empire's most wanted
- "You put your face in front of the Empire. You didn't have to do that."
"I thought we agreed it was the only way to pull off this crazy stunt of yours."
"But now the whole galaxy will know...that Han Solo is one of us."
"One of us? Now just hold on there, your excellency. I'm still just a smuggler with a price on his head. I'm not—"
"I do have one question for you though. Why? Why would you do that? What is it you really want, Han Solo?"
"Um...Maybe now's not the best time to..."
- ―Princess Leia confronts Solo about his true motives with the Rebellion
With the Empire's Death Star destroyed, Alliance High Command chose to press their advantage at the Empire's disarray by launching campaigns across the galaxy, targeting key Imperial worlds and facilities. And when the Alliance learned of the Empire's decision to call on the Hutt Clan to supply the Imperial war machine with resources, Solo decided to co-lead a mission with Princess Leia: intercept the envoy from Jabba at Weapons Factory Alpha on Cymoon 1, in the Corellian Industrial Cluster. Solo decided to stick with the Alliance in order to destroy the Empire's largest weapons factory and use his connections to the Hutt Clan to bluff their way into the factory, pretending to be the Hutt's envoy after Rebels ship-jacked the true envoy and stole their ship; which Solo, Organa, Skywalker and Artoo traveled to Cymoon 1 in. Chewbacca and Threepio, likewise, piloted the Falcon to Cymoon 1, landing undetected in the extensive fields of refuse that surrounded the factory.
Solo landed the transport at Weapons Factory Alpha without incident and the group emerged from the craft. Organa and Skywalker were disguised in Jabba's bodyguard armor, acting as Solo's bodyguards, so Solo introduced himself to the Imperial delegation: the Overseer of the facility, Aggadeen—whom Solo quickly gave the derogatory nickname of "Aggie"—a group of stormtroopers and a LOM-series protocol droid. After the protocol droid confirmed Solo's connections to the Hutts, "Aggie" lead the false envoy onto the factory floor after Solo and the others handed over their weapons to the stormtroopers. Solo played along, cocky and overconfident, claiming to Aggadeen that he was the being that had taught Jabba his shrewd business skills. "Aggie" was unimpressed and chided Solo for his ignorance, and revealed that there were, in truth, not going to be any negotiations: The Empire would state their demands and Solo would accept them on behalf of the Hutt Clan without argument.
Upon arriving at the conference room where Solo was to meet the Empire's negotiator, Solo and Artoo began the attack; Artoo, Skywalker, and Organa took the stormtroopers down in hand-to-hand combat, while Solo held the Overseer at gun-point and demanded to know the direction to the facility's main power core. Aggadeen was horrified, but relented and sent them in the correct direction. While racing towards the core reactor, Organa contacted Threepio to ensure the droid would activate the Falcon's autopilot in order to pick them up once they finished their task. Threepio assured them that he would, and that he would take care of Solo's ship.
Solo, Organa, and Artoo then went to work rigging the core to explode. Skywalker, however, instead of standing guard as Solo had asked, fell into the Force and located several dozen slaves, which he freed. Solo grew worried at Skywalker's disappearance, but they finished slicing into the reactor nonetheless, programming it to self-destruct in ten minutes time. Organa took time to thank Solo for defying his selfish nature to aid her and the Rebellion, she, however, questioned just why Solo would act so, wishing to know his true motives. Solo's motives were to help his new friend of Skywalker, but he was saved from admitting that he was also interested in Organa romantically when Skywalker returned to the reactor room with the slaves. Solo figured "the more the merrier" and called Threepio to tell him to start the Falcon's autopilot and pick them up. Chewbacca interrupted, bringing news of the arrival of the Empire's negotiator: Darth Vader. Solo ordered the Wookiee to retreat from the Dark Lord, but Organa countered Solo, telling Chewbacca to open fire in order to rid the galaxy of Vader.
Chewbacca consented, but was unable to defeat Vader and was forced to flee, falling out of contact with Solo's group. Solo called Threepio, inquiring as to where he and the Falcon were, regretting that the planned chain of events had gone awry. The protocol droid explained that he had not yet arrived because the freighter was being dismantled by native scavengers. Solo told him to solve the problem and took off with Organa, Skywalker, Artoo, and the slaves in search of a way out of the factory. Solo located a hangar full of massive All Terrain Armored Transport walkers and proceeded to hijack one such behemoth. Unbeknownst to the group, Skywalker had left the group in order to find and face Darth Vader, the man he believed had killed his Jedi father.
Solo, Organa, Artoo, and several slaves boarded the walker, so Solo began their escape, barreling through the walls of the facility. Solo located Skywalker and Vader locked in lightsaber combat, so he brought the leg of the AT-AT into the confrontation, which forced the two combatants apart. The smuggler told Skywalker to follow him with the slaves, as he was going to clear a path out of the factory before it exploded. Organa saw Vader and ordered Solo to target him, while the slaves targeted the Imperial ground troops. As a consequence of the walker being just-made, the laser cannons were not yet operational, which kept Artoo and a pair of Jawas busy while they worked on enabling them while Solo and Organa argued.
While the rebels continued in their escape, Solo brought the walker towards Vader, trying to crush him with the AT-AT's feet. However, Vader used the dark side of the Force to stop the walker. The dark power the Sith Lord wielded began to tear the behemoth apart. Solo was in disbelief at Vader's power—Solo was still not convinced that the power Skywalker and Vader wielded was real—and at Artoo's assurance that they were operational, opened fire on Vader with the walker's laser cannons, minorly injuring the Dark Lord and allowing Solo to pilot the walker outside of the facility into the refuse fields. In the moment of calm, Solo tried to contact both Chewbacca and Threepio, but both failed to answer, leaving Solo to be very grateful when Skywalker assured him that he was heading towards the rendezvous.
While continuing on their journey towards the Falcon, Chewbacca roared over the comlink, relieving Solo that his friend was alive. Chewbacca then rescued Threepio from the tentacles of the scavengers and began to repair the damage they had done in order to pick up Solo and the others. However, Organa and Solo soon realized that the factory's reactor must have been defused because it had been long past ten minutes and it hadn't exploded. Just after, Darth Vader set himself upon stopping the stolen walker, which he did so by cutting down the walker's legs. Solo and Organa looked at each other in realization as Vader succeeded in his task: the walker crashed to the ground. Solo was injured in the crash and left battered and bloody. Organa and the slaves carried him from the wreckage while Skywalker covered them. The Jedi-to-be then returned to the factory mounted on a 74-Z speeder bike and destroyed the core reactor; decimating the entire facility. Chewbacca, with the Falcon repaired enough to fly, picked up the rebels and they fled into hyperspace to the safety of the Rebel fleet.
Aboard one of the Rebel capital ships, Solo was treated for the injuries he sustained. He and Chewbacca then repaired the Falcon best they could with the parts they were allowed by the Alliance deck crew. Later, Solo advised Skywalker, who was leaving on a journey to return to Tatooine to continue his Jedi journey, to not leave because it was too dangerous. Skywalker left anyway, though, believing it something he needed to do.
Return of the spouse and rescuing Skywalker
- "Enough of this, Sana. Why are you here? What do you want from me?"
"Same old Han. You never wanna admit when you're caught. What's next, the whole 'I thought you were dead' excuse? Or are you really just gonna stand there and act like our marriage on Stenness never happened?"
"We both know what happened on Stenness and it certainly wasn't a—"
"Nar Shaddaa. I just talked to the Rebel fleet. Luke's in trouble."
- ―Solo, Starros, and Organa
A short time later, after being denied access to the parts he needed to finish repairing the Millennium Falcon, Solo went and inquired to Organa what it was going to take for him to get the parts so he could leave the Alliance and settle his debt with Jabba before bounty hunters started showing up to forcibly take him to Jabba. Organa chided him, explaining that the Rebellion couldn't afford to give away expensive items for free—Solo had to work for them. The princess informed the smuggler that she was going on a scouting mission to locate a possible location for a new Rebel base, which Solo could act as her pilot on the mission and receive the parts he needed as payment. Solo agreed; though he was adamant that he would leave the Rebellion upon their return.
Solo and Organa soon set off aboard a stolen Imperial Lambda-class T-4a shuttle, the Invictus, and intended to scout several locals, including the Ganath Cloud and the Moons of Ovise. They began their search in the Moddell sector. Before they could truly begin, however, a pair of Imperial TIE fighters unexpectedly approached the shuttle and demanded identification from the Invictus. Solo found it inexplicable that Imperials were as far out in the Outer Rim as they were, and prepared to put the shuttle through evasive maneuvers. The princess, stopped him, however, and transferred their stolen clearance codes to the TIE fighter pilots. The pilots were about to clear the Invictus, but Solo became impatient and put the shuttle through evasive maneuvers, tipping the Imperials off that the Invictus was not what it claimed to be; so the Imperials opened fire. Organa was furious at Solo, but as it was too late to rectify the situation, let Solo take the shuttle to an unnamed planet in the nearby Monsua Nebula. The TIEs didn't follow Solo through the planet's electrical super-storms, though that saving grace didn't change the princess's mind; she told the smuggler that she hated him.
On the surface of the planet, Solo was satisfied when Organa forgot their troubles, admitting that she found it incredible that beneath the planet's atmosphere of super-storms, a beautiful oasis laid. Solo led her to his secret hiding place and offered her a glass of Corellian wine in an attempt to seduce her. The princess rejected Solo's invitation: she threw the wine into his face, stormed out of the cave, and berated him for getting side-tracked on their mission—especially when they were in danger. Organa argued that if Solo hadn't lost his nerve and alerted the TIEs that they weren't who they claimed to be, they wouldn't have been in the predicament in the first place. Solo countered that nothing in the entire galaxy could make him lose his nerve. However, a ship—the Volt Cobra, Sana Starros' ship—appeared and fired a laser blast down at the pair. Solo recognized the Cobra, lost his nerve, and told Organa to run. Confounded, Solo and Organa watched as Starros emerged from her freighter and introduced herself to the princess, pointing a blaster at her and claiming to be Sana Solo, Han's wife. Solo could only put his hand on his face and mutter "oh no."
Starros had placed probes in the atmosphere of the planet some time before in an attempt to track Solo and it had paid off. Starros had taken it upon herself to make Solo's life miserable until he paid her share from the robbery on Stenness years earlier. Organa was shocked that Solo had never told her he was married, though Solo made it clear that he wasn't. Starros greeted Solo with a kiss, and then struck him across the face, which lead Organa to decide that she wanted no part of their business. Solo called to the princess, pleading to her that Starros was not his wife. And when he did, Starros recognized the name of Princess Leia and decided to claim the bounty on Organa by turning her in to the Empire. Organa ignored them and went to return to the Invictus, but Starros by voice-control, told the Cobra to destroy the shuttle, which it did, cutting of their escape. Solo was appalled at Starros' ruthlessness and was forced to let Starros frisk him; she took his DL-44 blaster pistol.
Starros then contacted the Star Destroyer that had come to the planet after being alerted by the TIE that had originally pursued the Invictus, telling them that she intended to claim the bounty on Organa. Solo whispered to Organa that he could make it right, though he wouldn't take Starros on in a gunfight: she was a better shot than him. The princess, however, took over Solo's plan; she kicked him into Starros and pulled a blaster pistol from her boot. Much to Solo's dismay, Organa held Starros and him at gunpoint, though Starros pointed out the flaw in Organa's plan: TIE fighters were already descending from the sky.
Several TIEs landed and their pilots emerged, ordering the trio to stand down. Organa opened fire on them. Solo pleaded with Starros to give him back his blaster, but she refused, only consenting when Solo lost his temper and admitted that he had joined the Rebel Alliance and was on the Empire's most wanted list. Solo and Starros raced aboard the Volt Cobra, and Organa did, too, after realizing that Starros had given up on selling her to the Empire. Solo tried to persuade Starros to let him pilot her ship, but both she and Organa commanded him to "shut up" as they fled into space. Solo and Organa manned the Cobra's turbolasers, firing on the pursuing TIEs before Starros finally jumped to hyperspace.
While in hyperspace, Starros mused Solo, amused that he had become a Rebel. Solo berated Starros for continuing to claim to be his wife, reminding her that their marriage was illegitimate and part of a robbery they had both been a part of. Organa then interrupted, bringing news from the Rebel fleet that Skywalker was in trouble on the Hutt world of Nar Shaddaa, the "smuggler's moon." Solo did not understand what his friend was doing there, but he would soon find out: Organa promised to pay Starros if she took them to Nar Shaddaa—and Starros accepted. En route to Nar Shaddaa, Solo begged Organa to trust him rather than Starros, but Organa mostly ignored him and slammed a door in his face. Flustered, Solo decided to admit the truth—he explained the robbery on Stenness, where he had participated in a marriage ceremony with Starros that was faked. He went to apologize to her, but behind the door, Organa was gone. Solo slumped to the floor, wishing Chewbacca was with him.
Shortly thereafter, the Cobra arrived on Nar Shaddaa at the coordinates of Chewbacca and Threepio, who had also answered Skywalker's distress call and come to his rescue. Chewbacca, however, had fallen afoul with the Corellian bounty hunter Dengar, who had subdued the Wookiee in an attempt to lure Solo there so he could claim Jabba's bounty on Solo. Enraged, Solo shot the bounty hunter in the back and demanded he take his "damn hands off" his friend. Solo ordered Dengar to step away from Chewbacca and he would be allowed to live, but Dengar refused, instead he activated a thermal detonator that he threatened to detonate. Chewbacca, who was not hurt badly, took advantage of Dengar when he was distracted and threw the bounty hunter from the roof of the skyscraper where the grenade and Dengar exploded. With that settled, Solo made sure Chewbacca was alright. The group did not know where Skywalker was, but a flight of TIE fighters streaking through the sky, tipped them off; follow trouble to find Skywalker. Immediately after, Solo and the group—including Starros, who had come to ensure Solo did not try to lose her—arrived at the location of the Imperial attention: the Palace of Grakkus the Hutt, where Skywalker had been kidnapped by Grakkus the Hutt, an avid collector of all things Jedi. Grakkus had organized a gladiator fight between Skywalker and Kongo the Disembowler, a massive beast from the molten world of Mustafar. As Solo led the group into the palace, the crowd that had come to watch the fight fled the arena because Kongo was on the loose. Solo and the others tried to fire on the monster, but an EMP blast triggered by Grakkus had disabled all electronics—including blasters. Confounded on how to proceed, the group was saved by Artoo, who located the group and threw Solo, Chewbacca, and Organa each lightsabers that belonged to Grakkus. Solo scoffed at using the weapon of Force-sensitives, but with his DL-44 unusable, he charged into the melee with his first mate and the princess, cutting down stormtroopers and TIE pilots.
Solo soon located Skywalker and went to gather him so they could leave the smuggler's moon. Skywalker quipped that Solo looked good wielding the Jedi weapon, though Solo only wished he had his blaster at his side. Skywalker tried to persuade Solo to let him go back and claim more of Grakkus's Jedi artifacts, but Chewbacca hoisted the Jedi-in-training up and carried him back to the Falcon while Solo made sure Organa and Starros also made it out. Starros made her peace with Organa and Solo, so she set off on her own in the Cobra. Skywalker, using "The Journals of Ben Kenobi" that he had claimed on Tatooine, set out to the planet Vrogas Vas, where an ancient Jedi temple was said to remain. Solo, Chewbacca, and Organa, returned to the Rebel fleet; Solo having decided to stay with the Rebellion just a bit longer.
War on Vrogas Vas
- "Drop the kid or I drop you!"
"Let me guess. Han Solo, the infamous smuggler!"
"Yeah...! You've...heard of me?!"
"Of course! As of about five minutes ago! I'm starting to understand why you've got so many bounties on your head! You're not very good at this kind of thing, are you? If you were, you would've shot first and given warnings later!"
- ―Solo and Dr. Aphra first meet
Some time later, the Rebel fleet was notified that Darth Vader had been shot down on Vrogas Vas by Alliance forces. Organa informed Solo that she intended to go after Vader to kill him, though Solo thought it foolish; Vader was too powerful. Solo realized, however, that Vrogas Vas was where Skywalker had gone, so he decided to put priority on making sure Skywalker was alright—not wishing to face Vader as the princess wanted. Soon thereafter, Solo, Chewbacca, Threepio, and Organa traveled to Vrogas Vas aboard the Falcon with a compliment of Rebel starfighters.
The YT-1300 freighter soon arrived at the Rebel refueling base on Vrogas Vas, and he and the princess were briefed in the mission by an Alliance captain: Skywalker had brought Vader down down by crashing his T-65 X-wing into Vader's TIE Advanced, the bravest thing the captain had ever seen. After receiving word that Skywalker's safety status was unknown, just that his fighter had crashed, Solo took it upon himself to rescue the "lucky, crazy kid." Solo expected Organa to do the same, but she put her focus on taking Vader down once and for all. Solo was shocked that the princess would do that, but he left her to lead an assault on Vader with the base's company. Solo nonetheless left with Chewbacca in the Falcon and headed to the quadrant where Skywalker crashed, saddened at Organa's order of priories.
Upon arriving at the coordinate's where Skywalker crashed, Solo and Chewbacca saw explosions in the distance, so they quietly landed the Falcon near the source of the commotion. Solo hiked atop a ridge with a sniper rifle, while Chewbacca headed around the ridge to intercept the mercenaries. Solo soon saw Skywalker, though he was unconscious and being carried by the assassin droid 0-0-0. 0-0-0 was accompanied by his counterpart, the BT-1 assassin droid BT-1, and their master, Doctor Aphra, who had been hired by Vader to kidnap Skywalker.
Solo called out to Aphra and her droids, making it clear that he wanted to just save his friend. Aphra, however, had researched Skywalker's associates and recognized Solo, so she thought she could anticipate his next moves. Aphra retorted to him that he would have shot first if he was any good at rescuing his friends. Solo recognized Aphra as the notorious gun thief, and listened to her threats, waiting for Chewbacca to get in position. Once the Wookiee was in position, he ripped off 0-0-0's—known commonly as Triple-Zero—arms before the droid could harm Skywalker. Aphra charged and took cover at the bottom of the ridge below Solo and they fired on one another while Chewbacca took on the assassin droids. Skywalker was awakened by Artoo in the ensuing chaos and forced to flee when BT-1—known commonly as Beetee—charged after them. With neither Solo nor Aphra able to gain the upper hand, they resorted to shooting each their own nests of wasp-worms above each other's heads; which dropped the stinging worms onto each other. Blinded and covered in worms, Solo tried to rip them off of himself, but ended up colliding head-on with Aphra. Skywalker, with Chewbacca and Artoo came and revived the smuggler and thanked him for coming to his rescue again. Triple-Zero and Beetee, however, confronted the Rebels, intending to kill them, which Artoo denied them when he sprayed a liquid into Beetee's rocket launchers and chainguns, which caused the confused droid to launch his weaponry, blowing up the ridge around them. Solo and the group fled the chaos back towards the Falcon, and Solo called Threepio to tell him to inform the princess that they had rescued Skywalker, no thanks to her.
Once at the Falcon, Chewbacca explained that Triple-Zero had poisoned him with Mandalorian Xenetox. Artoo prepared to give him a medical shot that would reduce the effects of the Mandalorian Xenetox. Just then, a live message from Organa came over the Falcon's comm system, in which Organa ordered a squadron of Y-wing bombers to converge on her position and drop their payload on her because she had been captured by Vader, and in her death, Vader would also be killed. Solo quickly got his ship in the air and stubbornly told the princess over the comm that he was not going to let her sacrifice herself.
However, before they could make any headway, an Auzituck anti-slaver gunship collided head-on with the Falcon, knocking both starships into the ground below. Solo and Skywalker recovered themselves, and were met with the imposing figure of the Wookiee Black Krrsantan, a bounty hunter working for Jabba, second only to Boba Fett.. Solo pleaded with Krrsantan that it wasn't the time to collect Jabba's bounty on him. Unknown to Solo, however, Krrsantan was working alongside Doctor Aphra and had come to claim Skywalker to take to Aphra. Krrsantan blew a hole in the Falcon's cockpit using a detonator and pulled Skywalker out. Solo was at first glad he hadn't come on Jabba's behalf, but then he realized that him taking Skywalker was no better. A duel between Wookiees then broke out when Chewbacca came to Skywalker's defense. Solo told the Skywalker to run and save Organa while Solo and Chewbacca took care of Krrsantan to insure they had a ship to escape Vrogas Vas in.
Neither Wookiee managed to gain the upper hand for some time, so Solo drew his DL-44 pistol to help out his friend, but Krrsantan thwarted his attempt when he threw Chewbacca straight into the smuggler; knocking his blaster into the bounty hunter's grasp. Artoo emerged from the Falcon and informed Solo that he hadn't gotten a chance to give Chewbacca the shot to reverse the poison, so he sent a syringe flying into Chewbacca. Rejuvenated, Chewbacca quickly gained the upper hand against Krrsantan. Solo contacted Skywalker via comlink and asked whether he had located Organa yet, to which Skywalker replied with a warning, just as he was knocked unconscious by Imperial stormtroopers and captured. Before Solo could warn Artoo of Skywalker's capture, Krrsantan, who had managed to overpower Chewbacca using a dishonorable tactic, grabbed Solo around the neck and began choking him. Threepio, of all beings, confronted Krrsantan, urging him to release Solo and cease hostilities. Krrsantan did, and punched the golden droid. However, Threepio had lost both his arms to Triple-Zero, and when Krrsantan struck him, loose wiring protruding from the droid electrocuted and knocked the Wookiee out.
Shortly thereafter, Solo and Artoo revived Threepio and informed him that he had, against all odds, "saved the day." Chewbacca also came to and pointed to an Imperial Lambda-class T-4a shuttle that was flying towards space. Solo had a bad feeling that Skywalker was aboard, and was overcome with guilt at realizing that he had let his friend get captured. Remarkably, the shuttle's engines blew and it crashed back to the ground. Solo and the others rushed towards the crash site and brought the Rebel pilot back to the Falcon while Solo mused that Skywalker must have had a guardian angel, but Skywalker assured him as per usual, that the Force was with him—though Solo, as per usual, didn't believe it. Upon returning to his ship, Solo noticed that Krrsantan was nowhere to be seen, and that the hole that the bounty hunter had blown into the Falcon's cockpit had curiously been patched up. In answer to Solo's wondering, Aphra appeared and informed the rebels that they were standing in a field of micro-mines, and she had her finger on the trigger to detonate the mines. With little choice, Solo dropped his blaster and listened to Aphra contact Vader via comlink that she had Skywalker, Solo, and the others at her mercy. The rebels were shocked that Aphra had actually thrown in with the Sith Lord and was working for him. Before Vader could arrive, however, Organa finally made it back, having escaped Vader herself due to the timely arrival of one of Vader's rivals, the Mon Calamari General Karbin, and struck Aphra across the jaw, thereby also saving the day. Solo was very pleased to have Organa back with them, and they carried Aphra's unconscious body aboard the Falcon and they together escaped Vader and Vrogas Vas.
Teaching Skywalker the way of the smuggler
- "How else are we gonna replace the money we just lost?"
"Heh, don't worry, kid. I know just the thing. It's a big galaxy. And believe me, there's always something somewhere in need of smuggling."
- ―Skywalker and Solo
Upon to returning to the Rebel Fleet with their new prisoner, Doctor Aphra, Solo and his friends went their separate ways; Organa, Artoo, and Threepio went to detain Aphra at an Alliance-controlled space station, Sunspot Prison, with the assistance of Sana Starros, whom Organa hired to transport them to the prison. On the other hand, Solo and Skywalker were dispatched to buy supplies for the rebellion in the meantime.
However, once the rebel duo arrived on a red planet, Solo decided to try and double the Rebellion's credits by cheating his way through a game of sabacc against a green-skinned Dowutin—and in doing so, he hoped to make enough credits to begin to pay restitiution to Jabba. Part way through the game, due to the large amounts of credits Solo was betting, the Dowutin began to suspect Solo of cheating. The smuggler lied, telling the alien that he was not, and reassured Skywalker's misgivings in Solo possibly losing the Alliance's money. A very short time later, the Dowutin and his cronies discovered that Solo was cheating. Solo fled with Skywalker just behind—not wanting to discover if the Dowutin really was going to cut off their fingers and tongues for cheating. The rebel duo boarded the Falcon—which they had taken on their journey—and blasted away from the planet. Skywalker, angry with Solo's recklessness with credits that weren't theirs, voiced that they could get kicked out of the Rebellion for losing several thousand Rebel-owned credits. At Solo's retort that he needed to get the price off his head as soon as possible, Skywalker revealed that he, too, had a price of 60,000 credits on his head. Solo was distraught—Solo's bounty was a mere 50,000 credits. Solo intended to make back the rebel's credits and more the best way he knew how with Skywalker at his side: smuggling contraband.
With his new first mate, Solo traveled to Nar Shaddaa aboard the Falcon. However, due to Solo being banned for cheating at sabacc at the establishment where he intended to obtain something to smuggler—and Solo wanted to work on repairing his ship's ailing hyperdrive, let alone teach Skywalker the skills of a galactic smuggler—he sent the Jedi-in-training in his stead. Shortly thereafter, Skywalker returned to Solo and the Falcon and informed Solo that he had acquired a job from a blue-skinned Twi'lek—though for only have the credits Solo had wished, at 5,000. Solo had expected an easy shipment, but he got more than he bargained for when the cargo was revealed to be an entire herd of large, pungent nerfs. So many, in fact, that they filled up Solo's prized ship all the way into the cockpit, knocking the two rebels around as they piloted the freighter towards their destination: the planet Ibaar.
En route to Ibaar, the nerfs shed and made "messes" around Solo's ship, angering Solo, who informed Skywalker that for only managing half the credits they needed, and for the unruly cargo of nerfs, that Skywalker was "dead" to Solo. Soon, a trio of Imperial TIE fighters appeared and ordered the Falcon's crew to halt and allow the Imperials to board the ship because they believed the Corellian YT-1300 light freighter to be transporting illegal livestock that was on its way to an Imperial world that the Empire believed to be sympathetic to the Rebel Alliance. Irked, Solo refused, but with their hyperdrive out of commission, Solo worked his way through the situation—all the while urging Skywalker to control the un-space-worthy nerfs.
Rebel duty in the snow of Hoth
Over three years after the Death Star's destruction at Skywalker's hand at the Battle of Yavin, the Alliance established a new base in the Anoat sector on the ice planet Hoth, far from the Empire's reach. The base became known as Echo Base, as it was carved into the side of a mountain. Within months of the new base being established, Solo, Organa, Skywalker, and the others were deployed by High Command to Hoth aboard the Millennium Falcon. Solo and Skywalker scouted out the land around the base on regular recon missions as a part of their duties, using reptilian tauntauns as mounts to better traverse the freezing landscape, wind, and snow.
On one such day, Solo worked on repairs on the Falcon in Echo Base's main hangar when a young rebel soldier who looked like he'd been through a beating walked under Solo's ship lugging a canister of bacta. Curious, Solo asked the rebel what had happened to him. The trooper, First Sergeant Hazram Namir of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry cynically replied that he had gotten into a fist fight with an overzealous and patriotic member of the Alliance Special Forces. Solo just smiled and went back to his work. Later that evening, Namir—though Solo never got the man's name, and Solo never gave his—boarded the Falcon with a bin of mechanical parts with orders to give them to Solo on behalf of the Alliance deck crew. Solo began installing the parts, and asked Namir who he had gotten into a fight with, to which Namir told him he had fought a man named Kryndal. Namir assisted Solo in repairing the Falcon for over thirty minutes, and when they finished—or Solo maybe just gave up—Solo produced a bottle of Corellian whiskey and the two shared several drinks while Namir explained how he had ended up on cargo duty, and Solo how the YT-1300 freighter had been damaged. Solo identified with Namir, so he admitted that he was something like a mercenary, and hadn't joined the Rebellion because he believed in their cause. Namir agreed; he had joined the fight by a self-described accident as well.
Time went on and Solo and Namir continued their personal discussions of beliefs and morals. Solo expressed his worriment with the future state of galactic government—if the Alliance eventually conquered the Empire as they so hoped, men like Solo and Namir, who didn't believe in the Rebellion's cause, would be shunted once smugglers and mercenaries weren't required for the Alliance to operate. Namir wholeheartedly agreed, and secretly hoped the Galactic Civil War would go on forever. Solo took one last sip of the whiskey, handed the bottle to Namir, and continued on with the repairs. Namir, too, went back on his business.
Afterwards, the Rebels relocated to Echo Base on Hoth. Solo, meanwhile, ran into a bounty hunter on Ord Mantell, convincing him to leave and fulfill his debt to Jabba, so he began repairing the Falcon on Hoth. Believing himself to be leaving, he had a heated conversation with Leia, claiming that she felt romantic feelings towards him. After this debate, Solo learned Luke had gone missing on patrol. Riding out on a tauntaun in the midst of snowstorm, Han found Luke had been attacked by a wampa. After the tauntaun collapsed and died from the cold, Han used Luke's lightsaber to cut the animal open and placed him inside to prevent him from freezing to death. After bringing Luke back to recover from his injuries, Han and Chewbacca went out to investigate a signal and encountered an Imperial probe droid. Realizing the Empire had discovered their location, the Rebels decided to evacuate. During the ensuing battle, Han rescued Leia from the collapsed command center, leading her towards her transport. Unfortunately, a tunnel collapse cut of their way there, so Han, Chewie, Leia, and C-3PO escaped on the still unrepaired Falcon.
On the run from the Empire
- "What are you doing? You're not actually going into an asteroid field?"
"They'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?"
- ―Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo
In space, the Falcon was pursued by several Star Destroyers and TIE fighters. While Solo was working on repairs, the ship drifted into an asteroid field. Claiming that the Imperials would be "crazy" to follow them, Solo flew into the asteroid field, which would cause extensive damage to the pursuing Imperial Fleet. After the immediately pursuing TIE fighters were destroyed by asteroids, Solo landed the Falcon in a cave on a large asteroid, where he continued to work on repairs. While repairing the Falcon, Han and Leia fell in love, sharing a kiss before being interrupted by C-3PO.
Inside the cave, Leia saw something outside of the ship, so she, Han, and Chewbacca went outside to investigate. Discovering that mynocks were the cause, Chewbacca accidentally fired a shot into the cave, which caused a tremor. Solo realized something wasn't right, he fired his blaster into the ground, causing another tremor. The three returned into the Falcon, flying out of the cave, which they discovered was actually the inside of an exogorth slug. Fleeing back towards the Imperials, Solo flew straight towards the bridge of the Star Destroyer Avenger, then hiding on the back of the bridge. The ruse worked, with the Imperials unable to find the ship. Preparing to spread about the galaxy to search for the Falcon, the Imperial fleet dumped their trash, and Solo detached the Falcon, which floated off with the rest of the trash. Solo then decided to go to Cloud City, a tibanna gas mine on Bespin run by his old friend Lando Calrissian. Unknown to the rebels, however, the bounty hunter Boba Fett had also hid his ship, the Slave I, among the Empire's trash, and followed them to Cloud City.
Imprisonment in Carbonite
- "I love you."
- ―Leia Organa and Han Solo
On Cloud City, Han met his old friend Lando Calrissian, who despite showing initial hostility, embraced his old friend. Calrissian provided the rebels with lodging and promised to repair the Falcon. While Han said he didn't trust Lando, due to his knowledge of Calrissian being a scoundrel, he appeared to be at ease in Cloud City, while Leia felt suspicious due to C-3PO going missing and then reappearing in pieces. Calrissian then invited Solo, Organa and Chewbacca for refreshments, and told them about a deal that would keep the Empire out of Cloud City. To Solo's surprise, he lead them into a room with Darth Vader. Solo immediately drew his blaster and fired several shots at the Sith Lord, but Vader blocked the shots and pulled the blaster out of Solo's hands with the Force.
Solo was then tortured by the Empire, but he claimed they didn't even ask him any questions. When placed in a cell, Calrissian arrived and told the prisoners that Solo would be handed over to Fett, who would take him to Jabba, and that they were a trap set by Vader for Han and Leia's friend Luke Skywalker. Angrily, Solo attacked his "friend," but was restrained.
Vader planned to take Skywalker to his master, Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine, by encasing him in carbonite. Unsure if a human could survive the process, he was to test it on Solo. Tearfully, Leia confessed her love to Han, to which he simply replied that he knew. Leia, Chewbacca, Calrissian, Fett, and Vader looked on as Han was lowered into the carbon freezing chamber and frozen. He survived the freezing process and fell into hibernation. He was then handed over to Boba Fett and loaded onto Slave I.  Despite a rescue attempt by Leia, Lando, and Chewie, Fett escaped Cloud City and brought Han to Jabba the Hutt, who kept his encased body as a trophy.
Rescue from Jabba
- "Victims of the almighty Sarlacc: His Excellency hopes that you will die honorably. But should any of you wish to beg for mercy, the great Jabba the Hutt will now listen to your pleas."
"Threepio, you tell that slimy piece of worm-ridden filth he'll get no such pleasure from us. Right?"
- ―C-3PO, translating for Jabba the Hutt, and Han Solo
Several months later, Solo was released from the carbonite by Leia, disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh. Due to hibernation sickness, Solo had temporarily become blind, but recognized Jabba's laugh when he revealed himself to be watching the rescue. Solo was then placed in a prison cell with his partner Chewbacca, while Leia was taken as a personal slave by Jabba. After Leia was captured, Luke Skywalker arrived, and faced off against Jabba's prized Rancor, killing it. In rage, Jabba sentenced Skywalker, Solo and the Wookiee to be fed to the sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon.
At the Pit, Jabba offered the prisoners one last chance to plea for mercy, to which Solo replied that Jabba would receive no such pleasure from them. Skywalker then offered Jabba one last chance to free them, which he denied. R2-D2 then released Luke's lightsaber, who caught it and began a battle. In the ensuing struggle, Han was still mostly blind, lending him unable to contribute much. However, after being told by Chewbacca that Boba Fett had joined the battle, Han unintentionally swung an axe into Fett's jetpack, sending him flying into Jabba's sail barge and then rolling into the Sarlacc. After a blaster shot knocked Lando, disguised as a palace guard, off of the skiff they were on, Han lowered the axe down for Lando to grab, but Calrissian's foot was caught by one of the sarlacc's tentacles. Claiming his vision had "gotten a lot better," Han shot the tentacle and pulled Lando back up into the skiff. Luke then rescued Leia, Artoo and Threepio from the sail barge and destroyed it, and the rebels escaped.
At the Battle of Endor
After being rescued, Han joined the Alliance and was given the rank of General. As part of the attack on the Second Death Star, with Skywalker, Organa, and Chewbacca, Han commandeered the Tydirium, a captured Imperial Shuttle, and took a Rebel strike team to the forest moon of Endor to disable the shields protecting the superweapon. Shortly after landing on the forest moon, the strike team encountered a group of scout troopers. Solo attempted to sneak up on them, but failed to do so, alerting them and allowing two to escape. Luke and Leia hopped on a speeder to pursue them, leaving Solo and the rest of the strike team behind.
Luke eventually made his way back to the rest of the Rebels, without information on Leia. Luke, Han, Chewie, Artoo, and Threepio set off to find Leia, while Han sent the rest of the strike team to move towards the shield generator. While looking, they group was captured by Ewoks. The furry tribesmen believed C-3PO to be a god, and attempted to cook the others at a banquet in his honor. However, Luke used the force to levitate the "god" in a demonstration of his "magic," frightening the Ewoks into releasing the others. At the village, the Rebels found Leia, and C-3PO managed to befriend the Ewoks. Luke then left the other rebels to confront his father, Darth Vader.
The next day, Solo's group met up with the main Rebel strike team at the shield generator, but Ewok scouts informed them of a less-guarded rear entrance. After three of the four guards were distracted by the Ewok Paploo, the Rebels neutralized the last guard and entered the shield bunker. But the operation proved to be a trap, and Solo and the Rebels were captured. However, the Empire had not expected the Ewoks to attack, which allowed the Rebels to escape. For most of the battle, Han stayed at the door, trying to open it. After R2-D2 was damaged attempting to open it, Han unsuccessfully tried to hotwire the door open. He then impersonated the pilot of an AT-ST that had been captured by Chewbacca and two Ewoks, getting the Imperials to open the doors. Han was then able to place detonators inside the shield generator, destroying it and leaving the Death Star vulnerable to attack. Han and Leia witnessed the Death Star's destruction, and she revealed to him that Luke was her brother. Solo participated with the other Rebels and Ewoks in the victory celebration held that night.
Shattering the Empire
- "Seems no one told them they lost. The Ewoks did us a good turn, and General Madine feels—and I agree—that it would be rude to leave a company of bucketheads in their backyard. So we're going to finish this, once and for all."
- ―Han Solo on the Imperial remnant on Endor
The morning after the Battle of Endor, General Solo led the Pathfinders on an assault on an Imperial outpost on the far side of Endor. Knowing that the Imperial outpost was preparing for a counter-attack, the rebel commanders dispatched Han Solo on a mission to destroy the base. Han outlined a plan for the Pathfinders and their Ewok allies to strike the outpost with limited air cover. During the assault, the rebel pilot Lieutenant Shara Bey served as the transport's pilot. The Pathfinders quickly wiped out the garrison and Solo uncovered a lot of data in the outpost's computers, which led him to conclude that the war was not over. During their time on Endor, Han and Leia were married, their ceremony was attended by only people they trusted. As a wedding gift to his wife, Solo reconfigured some of the crew quarters on the Falcon to include a galley.
Later, Solo, C-3PO, and the Pathfinders participated in a raid on an Imperial Security Bureau black-site at the Wretch of Tayron. During the assault, the Pathfinders managed to down an AT-ST walker which caused a breach in the facility's hall. This allowed Solo and his men to enter the base and secure the computers before the base commander could initiate a purge of the computers. With the aid of C-3PO, the Pathfinders were able to hack into the Imperial data files and discovered that the Empire had begun to execute Operation: Cinder, a posthumous order issued by the Emperor to devastate several worlds including Naboo as retribution for his demise. The Pathfinders' actions enabled the Rebel Alliance to deploy forces to halt Operation: Cinder, saving many lives and worlds.
Honoring a life debt
Several months after the Battle of Endor, Han arrived at Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana to rendezvous with an imperial defector named Ralsius Paldora, who had stolen intelligence crucial to the liberation of Kashyyk. Unfortunately, the Empire had quickly discovered his treachery and followed him. Recovering the data cubes and fighting their way back to the Falcon, Han and Ralsius were saved by the arrival of Inferno Squad, buying them time to escape the planet.
- "C'mon, Chewie. Set new coordinates. It's time to get you home."
- ―Han Solo to Chewbacca, on the way to liberate Kashyyyk
Some time later, Han and Chewbacca received additional intelligence from the smuggler Imra that the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk would have a decreased Imperial presence. Against the advice of his wife Leia, the two friends gathered up several fellow smugglers and people who owed them favors for a hastily-planned campaign to liberate the planet. However, this information turned out to be disinformation from the Empire to lure Han and his companions into a trap.
While Chewie attempted to board a gunship captained by the Wookiee pirate Kirratha, they were attacked by two Star Destroyers and several TIE fighters. The Imperials disabled Kirratha's engines, leaving Chewie and Kirratha stranded in space. Han managed to escape but Chewbacca was captured and locked in an Imperial prison called Ashmead's Lock. While traveling through the edge of Wild Space, Han contacted his wife Princess Leia to discuss the recent developments. However, he came under attack from Imperial forces and lost communication with Leia.
Princess Leia was unable to get help from the New Republic since they were preoccupied with fighting against the Galactic Empire. Since Han had resigned his commission as general in the New Republic military, he was low on their list of priorities. Desperate, Leia turned to the New Republic starfighter pilot Norra Wexley for help. Norra and Captain Wedge Antilles traveled to Solo's last known coordinates in Wild Space but found themselves under attack by Imperial forces. After being rescued by the New Republic Starfleet, Norra resigned her commission in the Starfleet to find Solo out of respect for Princess Leia.
Finding new allies
Norra, her son Temmin Wexley, his battle droid Mister Bones, the Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari, the former Imperial loyalty officer Sinjir Rath Velus, and the New Republic soldier Jom Barell traveled to the planet Irudiru after learning that Solo had last been sighted at Warrin Station. There, they found Solo while scouting the compound of the Siniteen prison designer Golas Aram. At a nearby cantina, Solo informed his allies that he had discovered that Chewbacca was being held at Ashmead's Lock and that Aram was responsible for designing the prison. During their initial encounter, Solo was accosted by Mister Bones, who mistook him for a threat.
Working together, Solo and Norra's team managed to breach the compound and capture Aram. Under duress, Aram told the rebels how to enter Ashmead's Lock. However, he omitted to give them the password that would allow them unhindered passage inside the prison. Traveling to the Kashyyyk system in the Millennium Falcon and Emari's ship Halo, Solo and Norra's team managed to gain clearance to land at Ashmead's Lock by claiming to be a repair team. Upon entering the prison, Han and the rebels were accosted by the prison's computer security system SOL-GDA, which dispatched security droids to integrate them.
Temmin discovered that the prison was being powered by the prisoners who were being housed inside stasis cells. Using this information, Han and Norra managed to disable the power generator. As a result, Han and Norra's team were able to free Chewbacca and a hundred other prisoners including Norra's husband and Temmin's father Brentin Lore Wexley. While Norra, Temmin, and Mister Bones took the liberated prisoners back to Chandrila on the Falcon, Han stayed behind with Chewbacca, Jas, Sinjir, and Jom to complete their mission to liberate the Wookies. Unknown to Han and his allies, the Imperial Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax had inserted inorganic bio-chip implants inside the prisoners as part of a plot to assassinate the New Republic leadership.
Han and his team learned that Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck had fitted all of the Wookiees on Kashyyyk with inhibitor chips. Tolruck controlled these inhibitor chips with a control module which he kept on his person. For the next month, Han and his team spent their time searching for Tolruck's island fortress and gathering Wookiee exiles and smugglers for a mass uprising. On one mission, Jom Barell was captured by Tolruck's forces and imprisoned at his island fortress. While Sinjir entered the island fortress to free Jom and disabled Tolruck's control module, Han and his team disabled the deflector shield generator at Camp Sardo. Despite being attacked by Imperial forces, Jas managed to take out the shield generator.
After Sinjir disabled Tolruck's control module, a mass planetwide Wookiee uprising broke out. The Wookiees and their rebel allies quickly overwhelmed the outnumbered Imperial garrison. When the orbiting Imperial Star Destroyers began bombarding Kashyyyk, Han, Chewbacca, and their fellow rebels managed to evacuate the civilians underground. They then took a ship loaded with webweaver spiders aboard the Star Destroyer Dominion and fought their way through the ship's corridors. However, they were captured by stormtroopers who brought them before Vice Admiral Domm Korgale.
Before the Admiral could eliminate Han and his team, New Republic reinforcements arrived in the Kashyyyk system in the form of his wife Leia and the Millennium Falcon, Antilles' Phantom Squadron, and Admiral Ackbar's flagship Home One. Han and Chewbacca managed to break free of their captors and seize control of the Dominion. Han and his team then turned the ship's guns on the Star Destroyer Vitiator. As a result, the remaining Star Destroyer Neutralizer surrendered to Admiral Ackbar. 
Following the battle, Han and Leia experienced an emotional reunion aboard the Dominion. Returning to Kashyyyk, Han, Chewbacca, and Leia learnt about the Liberation Day attacks on Chandrila. With the Wookiees undertaking mop up operations against the remaining Imperial holdouts on Kashyyyk, Han insisted that Chewbacca stay behind and reunite with his family. However, he told Chewbacca that he would return if he ever needed help. Han then left Kashyyyk aboard the Falcon with his wife Leia and their unborn child Ben Solo.
Balancing family and duty
Over the next several months leading to the Battle of Jakku, Han Solo and Princess Leia prepared for the coming of their child. With Leia approaching labor, Solo hired a protocol droid named T-2LC (or "Elsie") as a nanny. One day, Solo bought his wife a sack of jogan fruits. Leia was annoyed with Solo for overdoing it and reminded him that Dr Harter Kalonia had said to incorporate jogan into her diet and not to replace everything with it. While chatting with his wife about the liberation of Kashyyyk and galactic politics, Han and his wife Leia was contacted on hologram by the New Republic operative Norra Wexley. Norra informed that she was traveling to the Inner Rim world of Jakku to hunt down Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, the purported instigator behind the Liberation Day attacks on Chandrila.
Norra Wexley's team subsequently discovered that most of the Galactic Empire had retreat to Jakku. While Norra, the bounty hunter Jas Emari, and the battle droid Mister Bones infiltrated Jakku, Temmin and Sinjir returned to Chandrila with news about the Imperial presence. They visited Leia's domicile and managed to warn Princess Leia and Han Solo about the Empire. Temmin tried to convince Solo to lend him his famous freighter, the Millennium Falcon. However, Solo thought that the mission was too risky and was unwilling to risk losing his ship.
Before the argument could escalate, Chancellor Mon Mothma entered the domicile and asked Temmin and Sinjir about the Imperial presence on Jakku. Following the meeting, Temmin and Sinjir managed to convince Han and Leia to lend them the Millennium Falcon. However, the two were stopped from leaving Chandrila by Senate Guards who had been dispatched by Senator Tolwar Wartol, a rival of Chancellor Mothma. Wartol had secretly installed a listening device inside T-2LC. In an attempt to discredit Chancellor Mothma, Wartol leaked news about the Imperial presence to HoloNet News. Solo and Leia learnt about the leak while watching the morning news.
Unmasking a conspiracy
Han and Leia were later confronted by an angry Sinjir, who believed that they had double-crossed him and Temmin. Han and Leia managed to set the record straight. They then realized that Senator Wartol's leak and the Senate guards stopping Sinjir and Temmin were linked. When Sinjir voiced his suspicion that there was a spy bug in Leia's domicile, Han did not believe it but Leia shared Sinjir's suspicion. Sinjir brought his former lover Conder Kyl, who as a slicer, to Leia's domicile. Conder found that the listening device was inside T-2LC. Following the discovery, Han told Elsie to hold still and warned that it was going to sting a little.
After removing the listening device and handing it to Chancellor Mothma, Han led a team consisting of Sinjir, Temmin, Conder, and Jom Barell to the New Republic's new capital of Nakadia. Their mission was to investigate the five senators who had opposed Chancellor Mothma's resolution to send military forces to Jakku: Ashmin Ek, Rethalow, Dor Wieedo, Grelka Sorka, and Nim Tar. While Sinjir and the others trailed four of the senators at a restaurant called Izzik's in Nakadia's capital Quarrow, Han went to spy on Senator Dor Wieedo. The Rodian senator was aboard his ship at the northernmost spaceport outside Quarrow.
After several hours had passed, Solo witnessed two Nikto and a Klatooinian approach Wieedo's ship. Unknown to Solo, these aliens were members of the Red Key Raiders, a crime syndicate that was plotting with Black Sun to prolong the war. Solo managed to warn his comrades. However, the criminals discovered his presence and locked him in a rubbish bin. Meanwhile, Conder was kidnapped by other Red Key gangsters. Sinjir and Temmin managed to find Solo and returned to the Falcon. Despite their setbacks, Jom managed to kidnap Senator Rethalow, who confessed to his dealings with Red Key and Black Sun.
Before they could spirit Rethalow away into hiding, Han and his team members decided to rescue Conder, Nim Tar's child, and Sorka's pet jerba. Conder managed to use his transceiver tooth to transmit his coordinates to Sinjir. Han and his team flew the Millennium Falcon through a red warehouse roof, which turned out to be the Red Key's base. After subduing the gangsters, they managed to rescue Conder and Nim Tar's child. Posing as an adviser to the Chancellor, Sinjir transmitted a missive offering the five senators pardons and other political favors if they changed their votes during the re-vote scheduled to be held at the Quarrow Senate house. As a result, Mothma's resolution passed and the New Republic was able to dispatch military forces to Jakku.
- "Yeah. You, me, Luke. Chewie. The Falcon. Those two walking talking garbage cans. It feels weird we're not part of it."
"We've got our own adventure."
- ―Han and Leia
Following the events on Nakadia, Han returned home and reunited with his wife. When Leia praised him for "making things right", Solo told her that the Battle of Jakku was happening. He predicted that it would be a big battle. In private, Han confided that it felled weird that he, Leia, Luke, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 were not part of the final battle. Leia reassured him that they had their own adventure. Han responded that it was the end of an era while Leia replied that it was the start of a new one.
The Battle of Jakku turned out to be a decisive victory for the New Republic. Facing imminent defeat, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda on Coruscant sent peace overtures to Chancellor Mothma. Han and his wife attended the peace talks where Chancellor Mothma and Grand Vizier Amedda signed the Imperial Instruments of Surrender and the Galactic Concordance. The signing occurred during the third hour of Leia's labor but she only told her husband after the ceremony was complete. Solo rushed her to the birthing chamber in the heart of Hanna City.
Leia gave birth to a son named Ben Solo. Following a gathering of family and friends, Han stared into his son's eyes and pondered how he had become a father. While Leia was showering in the next room, Solo told his son that while the whole galaxy was against them they would still make it through okay. Though Solo confided that he might not make a good father, he promised to keep them pointed in the right direction. Solo also gave Ben his first lesson: sometimes doing the right thing doesn't mean following a straight line. Solo told his baby son not to tell his mother.
When Ben cried, Han tried to comfort with a small tooka doll but this filed to pacify the baby. Leia heard a son crying. When Han said that it was not his fault, Leia reassured him that babies cried. Han sensed that Leia had a connection through the Force that he could never have with Ben. Han suggested using the Force but Leia advised him to pick up their son and snuggle him. Han reluctantly snuggled his son and Ben stopped crying. When Han sighed that he could never have the same Force connection, Leia told him that fathers had a special connection with their offspring.
Starting a family
- "I'll be back. We're not done, you and I. We'll see each other again. I'm gonna be a father and no way my kid won't have you in his life."
- ―Han Solo parting ways with Chewbacca
Finding himself husband of an important politician, Han passed the time by becoming a successful racing pilot. In the years after the end of the Galactic Civil War, Solo became the owner of a shipping company and developed a reputation for being a vigilant and responsible owner. Outside of his work, Han often raced for charity and sponsored several piloting matches. Due to his work, Solo found himself traveling through different systems, working on ships.
Their son, Ben, proved to be Force-sensitive and was sent to be trained by his uncle Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force. Meanwhile, his wife Leia served as a prominent Senator in the Galactic Senate on Hosnian Prime, the capital of the New Republic. Han and his family lived separate lives but kept in touch with his wife via hologram.
- "You really think you'd enjoy the life of a racer? Bouncing around from one system to the next, working on ships, never knowing where you're headed next?"
"Doesn't sound that different from being a member of the Rebel Alliance."
- ―Han and Leia talking about their separate lives
Twenty four years after the Battle of Endor, Han Solo traveled to the planet Theron to manage a prestigious racing championship called the Five Sabers. While staying in temporary quarters, he corresponded with Leia, who told her husband about the fractured state of the Galactic Senate. When Leia told Han about her desire to resign from the Senate, Han expressed puzzlement since his wife had devoted much of her adult life to politics. Sensing Leia's frustration, Solo invited his wife to take a break and travel around the galaxy with him for three months. Despite their different personalities, Leia agreed that she needed a break from her senatorial career.
However, Leia was forced to suspend her vacation plans after her faction, the Populists, convinced her to stand for the position of First Senator. The rival Centrist faction, which supported a stronger central government, had successfully passed a motion calling for the creation of First Senator in order to end the deadlock plaguing the Republic. Despite their initial opposition, the Populists, who preferred a more decentralized government, had decided to change tactics in order to prevent a Centrist from holding that office. Due to her prestige as a prominent former rebel leader, Leia had reluctantly agreed to allow an exploratory committee to explore her suitability for First Senator.
While Han was repairing the rear engines of a starship, he was contacted by his wife. Solo was mildly disappointed with his wife's change of plans but agreed that a Populist should serve as First Senator. Solo also informed his wife that he was supervising the lunar relays of the Five Sabers. Due to the complicated nature of the repairs, Han remarked that he wished that Greer Sonnel, a former racer and Junior Sabers champion who was serving as Leia's pilot, was still on his team. When Leia apologized for delaying their planned holiday, Han reassured her that she was doing the right thing by putting duty to the New Republic first. Leia promised to take a break with her husband "someday."
In addition to the First Senatorship, Leia was involved in a sensitive Senate investigation into the Nikto crime lord Rinnrivin Di's cartel, a new criminal outfit that was choking the economy of the Gaulus sector. Leia was assisted in this investigation by an unlikely ally, the idealistic Centrist senator Ransolm Casterfo. Over the course of their investigation, the two discovered that Rinnrivin was linked to a paramilitary faction called the Amaxine warriors. In an attempt to sow discord, Arliz Hadrassian, a former TIE fighter pilot who had become the Amaxines' leader, bombed the New Republic senatorial complex's conference building. Leia survived the bombing and transmitted a voice-message telling her husband that she was safe and that he did not need to come to Hosnian Prime. While on Theron, Solo received news about the Senate bombing and saw footage of the damage. Later, Solo contacted Leia to send his wife a goodwill message and to keep in touch.
While Leia was visiting Ryloth as part of her investigation, Han Solo sent a holomessage expressing hope that his wife's side project was going well. He informed her that the Five Sabers was heading to the fourth stage of the Sabers. Due to the sublight relay round, Han told her that he would be out of comm range for a while. He also told her to take care of herself and complimented her.
Rescue on Sibensko
- "Sorry, I'm late, sweetheart."
"Honey, you're right on time."
- ―Han reuniting with his wife on Sibensko
Han and Leia would cross paths again due to unforeseen circumstances. Later, the Centrist Senator Lady Carise Sindian, a secret agent of an Imperial remnant known as the First Order, discovered information about Leia's true parentage as the daughter of Darth Vader on Birren. Alarmed at the friendship between Ransolm Casterfo and Leia, Lady Carise shared this information with him; knowing Ransolm's hatred for Vader. Feeling betrayed, Casterfo upstaged the Senate hearing into Leia's nomination for First Senator by revealing Leia's parentage to the assembled senators. This revelation destroyed Leia's credibility and forced her to withdraw her nomination.
Still determined to continue her investigation into Rinnrivin's cartel and the Amaxines, Leia and her team took leave to travel to Sibensko, where the two groups were hiding. There, Leia discovered that the Amaxines were funding Rinnrivin's cartel and were also marshaling troops, weapons, and starships for an attack on the New Republic. During her mission, Leia was pursued by the Amaxine warriors and fled up a landing platform, where she was corned by two Amaxine starfighters. Han arrived on a racer and rescued his wife. Together, couple shot down the enemy fighters. One of the fighters, a B-wing collided with the underwater base's ammunition depot; triggering a massive explosion that destroyed the underwater city and the Amaxine army.
Following the Sibensko mission, Han and his wife returned to Leia's apartment in Hosnian Prime. When Leia expressed despair that many of her former colleagues and comrades were shunning her for simply being Vader's daughter, Solo reassured her that this storm would pass and that people would remember her for who she was. Han counselled his wife to remember those friends who stuck by her and to ignore the rest of the galaxy. When Han criticized Casterfo, Leia sprung to her former friend's defense by pointing out that he was a decent man who hated Vader. Han then advised his wife to forget Casterfo and to use the political scandal as an opportunity to retire from politics for good.
However, Leia still had one piece of unfinished business left: the findings of her investigation into Rinnrivin Di's cartel and the Amaxines. Leia wanted to address the Senate but she needed to gain a quorum from a majority of senators. While Han thought that no more threats to the Republic existed with the demise of Rinnrivin and the Amaxines, Leia suspected that there were other like-minded groups seeking to overthrow the Republic. Han counseled his wife to rest for the night and the couple expressed their love for each other.
The following morning, the sports channels reported that Han Solo had left the Theron system after the end of the last Sabers round. There was also speculation on whether he would return for the final championship race. Later that evening, Han bought his wife Bilbringi cheesy meat pies for dinner. While eating, the couple received news that Leia had received a quorum to address the Senate due to Casterfo's favorable vote. Han then told his wife that things would improve and that he would stay with her for as long as she needed him. Leia reassured her husband that she would be able to handle the hearing on her own and told him that he could return to the Sabers championship. Shortly later, Solo returned to the Five Sabers race.
At some point after the public revelations about Leia and Ben's relationship to Darth Vader, Han's son, Ben Solo, was seduced by Supreme Leader Snoke and eventually succumbed to the dark side, killing the Jedi Luke was training. Taking the blame for Ben's fall, Luke exiled himself. Unable to cope with the loss of their son, Han and Leia separated.
Han and Chewbacca went back to being smugglers again which Han claimed was "the only thing he was ever good at". Meanwhile, Leia became the leader of the Resistance, a paramilitary organization aimed at fighting the First Order, which had begun to pose a threat to the New Republic. Han then got himself into a lot of debt with various creditors including the notorious Guavian Death Gang and Kanjiklub, and lost the Falcon as well. At some point, Han and Chewbacca managed to obtain a Baleen-class heavy freighter named the Eravana that they used for their smuggling operations and had even assembled a crew to assist them. Han spent the majority of his free time trying to track down the Falcon.
Sometime later, Solo and Chewbacca went to the Serenpidity, a yacht that was owned by Leighton. Solo then engaged a trio of bounty hunters—Strater, Hove, and Rigger—sent to capture him on the Serendipity cantina, and told them about their mission to Cyrkon before they realized who he was. Once they were aware of Solo's identity, Chewbacca sneaked behind them and took hold of Rigger, only to send him flying to the Serendipity's door and knock Strater out with a punch, while Solo disarmed Bobbie. Then, the Corellian told them to warn their possible employers (Gannis Ducain, the Irving Boys, the Guavians, etc.) that they were not afraid of them, before saying goodbye to Leighton and leaving the bar together.
Retaking the Falcon
- "The Jedi were real?"
"I used to wonder about that myself. Thought it was bunch of mumbo jumbo. A magical power holding together good and evil, the Dark side and the light. Crazy thing is, it’s true. The Force, the Jedi. All of it—it’s all true."
- ―Rey and Han Solo
Thirty years after the Battle of Endor, while transporting a cargo of three rathtars aboard the Baleen-class heavy freighter, Eravana, Han and Chewie found the Falcon floating in space near the desert planet of Jakku, pulling his prized vessel in with a tractor beam. Upon boarding their old vessel, the two went about inspecting their ship and found two stowaways, Jakku scavenger Rey and former First Order stormtrooper Finn, who he assumed were the thieves that had stolen the Falcon. When Rey and Finn explained that they were going to take a droid named BB-8 to the Resistance as he had a map that would the location of Solo's old friend Luke Skywalker, Han and Chewie agreed to help them.
Skirmish aboard the Eravana
- "What are you going to do?"
"Same thing I always do, talk my way out of it."
- ―Rey and Han Solo
Unfortunately, Han's freighter had been boarded by the Guavian Death Gang and Kanjiklub, whom Solo was indebted to. Not wanting Rey and Finn to be involved, Han placed both of them in the lower corridors of the freighter while he and Chewie went to meet with the criminals, with BB-8 accompanying them. The smuggler tried but failed to convince both gangs that he would fix things eventually, with one of the gang leaders threatening to take away the Millennium Falcon as payback. Han having just retrieved his vessel, responded that they would have to take it over his dead body. One of the criminals then recognized the BB-8 unit from a First Order bounty placed on it along with Rey and Finn, and demanded that Han hand over the droid and any stowaways he might have on board. Right before a firefight broke out, Rey accidentally released the Rathtars, providing a diversion for an escape in the Falcon.
Journey to Takodana
- "Maz is a bit of an acquired taste, so let me do the talking. And whatever you do, don't stare..."
- ―Han Solo to Finn and Rey
Han explained that Luke tried to rebuild the Jedi Order, but an apprentice of his turned to the dark side and became Kylo Ren, destroying all that Luke had built, including the other Padawans that Luke had trained. Feeling responsible and blaming himself for the failure, Luke went into exile.
Solo took Rey and Finn to the planet Takodana to meet his old friend Maz Kanata at her castle. He also gave Rey an NN-14 blaster pistol. There he learned that Kanata had found and kept the old lightsaber that once belonged to Luke, and because he was a close friend of Luke's, he asked where Kanata got the weapon, but Kanata dismissed him, saying it was a story for another time. While there, the First Order was alerted to BB-8's presence and attacked. During the ensuing battle, he killed several stormtroopers both with his DL-44 blaster and Chewbacca's bowcaster, Solo, Finn, and Chewbacca were initially captured, but escaped when the Resistance, also alerted to BB-8's presence, counterattacked. Despite the First Order being driven off, Han witnessed his son Kylo Ren carrying away Rey. Among his rescuers on Takodana was Han's estranged wife, General Leia Organa. She took Han, Chewbacca, Finn, and BB-8 to the Resistance base on D'Qar.
Reunited at the Resistance Base
- "If Luke couldn't reach him, how could I?"
"Luke is a Jedi, you’re his father."
- ―Han and Leia
It is revealed that Han and Leia are aware that their son is Kylo Ren, and that their son's fall to the Dark Side caused them to separate, with Han returning to his smuggling business, and Leia spearheading the activities of the New Republic and the Resistance. As Starkiller Base prepared to wipe out the world of D'Qar, the site of the Resistance's headquarters, the Resistance planned an attack of their own. Finn had given them the Base's blueprints, which revealed that the base drained the energy of the sun in order to charge its superweapon, and that it required a thermal oscillator, which sustained the energy on the planet, that, if destroyed, would de-stabilize the planet's core and implode the Base. However, they would need to do it before the Base fully charged its weapon. Having experience in taking down superweapons' shield generators, Solo and Chewbacca volunteered to disable the shield. Before he left, Leia told Han to find their son, and convince him to reject the dark side and return to the light.
Assault on Starkiller Base
- "People are counting on us! The galaxy is counting on us!"
- ―Han Solo to Finn
Han, Finn, and Chewie took the Millennium Falcon to Starkiller Base, exiting hyperspace inside the planet's shield just above the surface and landing just at the side of a high cliff. When Finn revealed his stationing had previously been in 'sanitation' and that the real reason he came along was to rescue Rey from the First Order, Han and Chewbacca agreed to help him with a bit of annoyance. While inside the Base, they captured Captain Phasma and forced her to lower the shields, after which Han claimed that they would not leave the base without Rey.
"Han Solo. I've been waiting for this day for a long time. [...] Will you help me?"
- ―Han Solo and Kylo Ren
After finding Rey, the group headed to Starkiller Base's thermal oscillator to assist the Resistance pilots above in its destruction. While planting explosives with Chewbacca, Han spotted Ben and confronted him on a long walkway positioned above a massive pit, where he attempted to convince his son to leave the First Order and come back with him. Ben handed his lightsaber to Solo, saying he was being "torn apart" and had one last thing to do. After a brief moment of emotional struggle, Ben activated the weapon and it passed through his own father's torso. As Rey, Finn, and Chewbacca watched in horror, Han stroked his son's face for the last time just before falling to his death in the pit below. Leia sensed her husband's death through the Force and wept for his loss. Han's death was later mourned by Leia, Chewbacca, and Rey when they returned to the Resistance Base from Starkiller Base after its destruction.
Personality and traits
- "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."
- ―Han Solo to Luke Skywalker
Han Solo was a cynical, disagreeable individual whose primary concern was gaining enough money to preserve his own life. He and Luke immediately disliked each other: Solo found Luke irritating and overly eager, and his open disdain for Kenobi's beliefs and actions did little to change Luke's initial view of Solo as an extortionist. However, after Han demonstrated his bravery on the Death Star and proved his loyalty, they became genuine friends, and soon after, Han would become loyal to the Rebellion. Aside from his seemingly self-centered ways, Han was actually very loyal to his friends, and a good man.
Following the Battle of Endor, Han endeavored to honor Chewie's "life debt" to him by liberating the enslaved Wookiee homeworld from Imperial occupation. Despite several setbacks, Han persisted with his mission. Together, Han and Chewie led a combined force of Wookiees, rebels, and mercenaries to spark a successful Wookiee uprising against the Empire. During the campaign, Han displayed resourcefulness and proved a cunning and effective commander. After the liberation of Kashyyyk, Han freed Chewbacca of his life debt so that he could reunite with his family.
Han Solo initially found the task of fatherhood challenging. While he envied Leia's Force connection to their son Ben Solo, Han found that he had a special bond as a father. Due to their different interests and personalities, Solo and his wife lived separate lives. While she served as a New Republic senator, Solo managed a shipping company and organized starship races. Still, Solo kept in regular contact with his wife Leia. On one occasion, he rescued Leia from a pro-Imperial militia known as the Amaxine warriors.
Solo and Leia took their son's descent to the dark side badly. Their marriage collapsed and the two separated. With his shipping business floundering, Han resumed smuggling and incurred large debts with the criminal gangs Kanjiklub and the Guavian Death Gang. Solo regained his purpose when the scavenger Rey and the former stormtrooper Finn sought his help in smuggling the droid BB-8, who was carrying a Map to Skywalker, to the Resistance. After reconciling with his wife General Leia, Solo decided to try and bring his son back. Despite an emotional reunion between father and son, Kylo Ren killed his father Han. Han's death devastated Leia, Chewbacca, and Rey, who had come to view him as a father figure.
Behind the scenes
Origins and development
- "You old stardog. Took a war to get you out here…"
- ―Han Solo's opening line in the rough draft of The Star Wars
Han Solo was created by George Lucas during the development of Lucas' 1977 film Star Wars and is present in Lucas' 132-page The Star Wars: Rough Draft, completed in May 1974. In the draft, Solo is a Ureallian, and is described as a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and large gills. He is a member of the Jedi Bendu and an old friend of General Skywalker. As Lucas refined his story, Solo evolved into a burly, bearded, flamboyantly-dressed pirate. Although Lucas had originally intended for Solo to be a nefarious alien character, he settled on the idea of a human so that he could develop more of a relationship between the film's three primary characters. Chewbacca thus filled the role of the alien sidekick. By August 1975, when Lucas had written his third draft, Solo was described as: "A tough James Dean style starpilot about twenty-five years old. A cowboy in a starship -- simple, sentimental and cocksure of himself." This incarnation of Solo's character went on to appear in the finished film.
While developing Solo's character, Lucas defined him in relation to the film's hero, Luke Skywalker. Selflessness was an important theme throughout the film, and Skywalker was a selfless young idealist. Lucas thought of Solo as the sidekick with contrary morals to the hero, and wrote him as a selfish character. Harrison Ford, who portrayed Solo in all three films of Star Wars's original trilogy, has described Solo as the smartass to Skywalker's callow youth, with each character having had a clear section of turf to explore.
Michael Arndt developed Kylo Ren as a convincing means to have Han and Leia separate after Return of the Jedi. However, it was not decided to kill off the character until J.J. Abrams felt, "'What is Han doing in this movie?' If we’re not going to have something important and irreversible happen to him, then he kind of feels like luggage. He feels like this great, sexy piece of luggage you have in your movie. But he's not really evolving. He's not really pushing the story forward". Abrams decided killing off Han meant the character's son had a chance of becoming a worthy successor to Darth Vader.
- "I thought that the luck of the character was that he represented something close to the audience's sensibilities because of his distance and resistance to the mythology."
- ―Harrison Ford
When casting the role of Solo, Lucas sought actors who had individual screen presence as well as chemistry with Skywalker. He wanted Solo to be older than Skywalker and to possess a cynical edge. Lucas desired new and unknown actors to play Star Wars's major roles, and originally forbade Harrison Ford from auditioning, having worked with him on the 1973 film American Graffiti. Ford was working as a carpenter on the set of the auditions, and was brought in by Lucas to feed lines to the actors who were auditioning, including Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, and Perry King. While feeding lines, Ford impressed Lucas by giving the character a mix of mercenary swagger and world weariness, and convinced the director to let him play the part.
Ford went on to portray Solo in both of Star Wars's sequels, 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi, as well as 1978's The Star Wars Holiday Special. He was hesitant to sign the contracts for the sequels, however, feeling that Solo's character should be killed off. When Lucas was discussing the script of Return of the Jedi with director Richard Marquand and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, the three were unsure if Ford would return for the film. Solo's character had been frozen in carbonite during the climax of The Empire Strikes Back, and Ford was a rising star in Hollywood following his starring role as Indiana Jones in 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Ford himself thought that Solo should die in Jedi, sacrificing himself to save Skywalker and Princess Leia. He reasoned that Solo had no family, future, or responsibilities to the story, and that his death would give the story some resonance. Kasdan also believed that a major character death early in Jedi would keep audiences worried, believing that none of the characters were safe. Lucas vetoed the idea, however, and Solo ultimately survived.
The script of The Empire Strikes Back originally called for Solo to respond to Princess Leia's declaration of "I love you" with "I love you too". Ford disliked the line, feeling that the established character of Solo wasn't being taken advantage of. After many takes, director Irvin Kershner wasn't satisfied either. He told Ford not to think about it, and to say whatever he thought that Solo would say. When Ford improvised the line "I know", Kirshner felt that it was perfect for the character, and it was included in the film's final cut.
Harrison Ford has referred to Solo as an inherently relatable character to audiences, owing to his separation from the overarching mythological themes of the saga. However, he saw Solo as a chess piece that could be moved around and even killed, as the character wasn't as important to Star Wars as its Force-using characters. Ford has called Solo a thin character, and one that wasn't interesting enough to be developed throughout several sequels, unlike Indiana Jones. As such, Ford thought that if Solo died in Return of the Jedi, it would introduce a needed complication for the character and give the story resonance.
Rejected & Unused Concepts
- "I found part of a transmitter droid near the east bay... I think it's still sending and receiving signals."
- ―Han Solo's line from the rough draft of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Several unused concepts and shots of Solo exist within Star Wars film lore. The scene that sees Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the viewer first meet Solo and Chewbacca in the original film was at one point set to feature Solo sitting with and kissing a woman named Jenny. A young Han Solo was slated to appear on Kashyyyk in 2005's Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, living among the planet's Wookiees as well as assisting Yoda. No actor was cast and the character was cut from the final draft. However, the concept was somewhat recycled with Jaybo Hood in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Mystery of a Thousand Moons". George Lucas placed off-limits to possibility to use Han Solo in The Clone Wars when writer Henry Gilroy was writing the show bible, a restriction that was mantained until the show's cancellation.
Return to the films and death
Before reprising the role for Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, Ford indicated that he was unlikely to portray Solo again. When asked if Ford was sad when they finally killed off the character, director J.J. Abrams replied, "Nah, he was fine." Describing filming the scene, he said "It was really chilling. Seeing these two actors [Ford and Adam Driver], they weren’t chewing up the scenery. They were just doing this thing in a way that, frankly, was disturbing. To see Harrison reach out and touch Adam. I know this sounds stupid, but literally watching it, I forgot — I forgot that he wasn’t his son. He did it so beautifully."
Despite the character's death, Ford commented, "“I'm finished with Star Wars if Star Wars is finished with me. [...] I can't imagine it [being asked back]. But it is science fiction."
Impact on popular culture
- See also: Han shot first
In 2005, Solo placed #14 on the list of greatest film heroes composed by the American Film Institute. The criteria involved in the lists's selection included cultural impact, legacy and inspiration to contemporary artists and audiences, and heroism defined as prevailing in extreme circumstances coupled with a sense of morality, courage and purpose. Empire magazine deemed Solo the fourth greatest movie character of all time, citing him as full of charm and laconic cool that was brought by Harrison Ford. The magazine Entertainment Weekly ranked him at #7 on their list of the all-time coolest heroes in pop culture, and the website Fandomania.com placed him at #15 on their 2009 list of the 100 greatest fictional characters.
The developers of the 2008 video game Prince of Persia cited both Solo and Indiana Jones as having inspired their nameless protagonist. Actor Chris Pine also named both characters as sources he drew upon when preparing to play James T. Kirk in the 2009 film Star Trek, mentioning their humor and "accidental hero" traits.
Solo's likeness has been used in a variety of media, including the American television shows Mind of Mencia and Robot Chicken. In the cartoon Family Guy's Star Wars-themed episodes Blue Harvest and Something, Something, Something, Dark Side, the character Peter Griffin plays the role of Solo. Mel Brooks's 1987 Star Wars spoof Spaceballs features a protagonist named Lonestar, who parodies both Solo and Skywalker.
When George Lucas made a slight edit to one of Solo's scenes for the 1997 Special Edition of the original Star Wars film, the change and its consequent fan response developed into somewhat of a pop culture meme. The original version of the film depicted Solo shooting the bounty hunter Greedo before Greedo could fire a shot of his own, but the Special Edition added in a laser blast from Greedo that preceded Solo's shot but harmlessly hit the wall. Many fans disapproved of the change, and an online petition that called for Lucas to re-release the original cut of the scene was signed by thousands. T-shirts were produced reading "Han Shot First", and Lucas was even spotted wearing one on the set of the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Arguments over the subject appear in the films Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II, and a scene from the 2005 movie Serenity was inspired by the debate. When the original versions of the Star Wars trilogy were released on DVD in 2006, a promotional article on StarWars.com stated that fans could "yes, see Han Solo shoot first."
- Disney Infinity 3.0
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- William Shakespeare's Star Wars
- William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back
- William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
- LEGO Star Wars Movie Short: Snowball Sight
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Exit from Endor"
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Mission to Mos Eisley" (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Episodes I-III
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Flight of the Falcon" (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Gambit on Geonosis" (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: The Resistance Rises – "The Trouble with Rathtars"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Resistance Rises – "Hunting for Han" (Appears in hologram)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Resistance Rises – "Rey Strikes Back" (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Notes and references
- Han Solo on Wikipedia