From the MoviesIf, at the height of his smuggling days, you told Han Solo that he would be a hero of the Rebellion, fall in love with an Alderaanian princess, and become a general in the Alliance, he would have had no shortage of smart remarks for you. But if anything is consistent in Solo's life, it is unpredictability.
Han and his Wookiee first mate and co-pilot Chewbacca had a variety of adventures throughout their long careers as smugglers. By hanging out on the fringe of galactic society, Solo not only made useful allies, but powerful enemies. Han eventually met up with a young gambler named Lando Calrissian. After a period of adventuring, Han won Lando's freighter, the Millennium Falcon in a heated sabacc game.
Han and Chewie made countless modifications to the dilapidated Corellian freighter, souping up the Falcon to become an incredibly fast and well-armed smuggling vessel. During a stretch of bad fortune, Solo was forced to jettison a cargo of contraband spice belonging to the gangster Jabba the Hutt. The gangster put a price on his head so large that bounty hunters across the galaxy would come searching for the Corellian and his Wookiee first mate. Desperate for cash, Solo took a charter to the Alderaan system. He was to transport Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Artoo-Detoo and See-Threepio from Tatooine to Alderaan for the price of 17,000 credits.
When arriving at Alderaan, they discovered the planet destroyed, and were taken captive by the Imperial Death Star. Han agreed to rescue the captive Princess Leia Organa if he was to be rewarded, and rewarded well. After escaping from the Death Star, Han took the Rebels to their base on Yavin 4. Han decided not to participate in the Alliance's desperate attack against the Death Star, preferring to take his reward and leave. It was in mid-transit that Solo had a change of heart, and joined the battle just in time to cripple Darth Vader's ship, and allow Luke enough time to destroy the station. For his efforts, Han was awarded a medal of honor.
The number of enemies in Solo's past haunted him during his years with the Rebellion. Solo's debt to Jabba eventually accumulated to the point that the gangster placed a death mark on Solo's head, and sent a number of bounty hunters after him. Several bounty hunters almost succeeded in collecting during run-ins on Ord Mantell.
Han received an acting rank of captain in the Alliance, and accompanied the Rebels on numerous missions and adventures. His Millennium Falcon was stationed on Hoth's Echo Base during the Imperial attack there. When Princess Leia Organa was cut off from her transport vessel, she used the Falcon to escape from the besieged base. Despite a number of malfunctions, the Falcon was able to avoid the Imperial Fleet for a time. During quiet moments, when Solo set the Falcon down for repairs, he and Leia grew closer.
When the Falcon escaped Hoth, Darth Vader made it a priority to have it captured. Vader posted a reward, and dispatched a number of bounty hunters. One of them, Boba Fett, eventually captured Solo at Bespin's Cloud City. There, Solo was taken prisoner by Darth Vader, and underwent carbon freezing for transportation back to Jabba the Hutt. Han was encased in carbonite, where he remained in perfect hibernation. Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, and Luke planned a mission to rescue him from Jabba's fortress on Tatooine.
When his friends arrived at Jabba's palace, Han was freed from his carbonite coffin. He suffered from a mild case of hibernation sickness. A battle ensued wherein Han's friends ultimately destroyed the Hutt crime lord. With Jabba dead, Solo's debt was effectively erased. Solo also managed to knock Boba Fett into the gaping maw of the Sarlacc creature, ending that long-standing threat.
Rejoining the Alliance Fleet, Solo received the commission of General. He was put in charge of a strike team sent to the moon of Endor. Their mission was to destroy the shield generator that protected the second Death Star high in orbit. With the help of the native Ewoks, the Rebel strike force defeated the Imperial forces, and destroyed the generator, paving the way for the victory at the Battle of Endor.
Han is overly confident and arrogant. He possesses a wry, sarcastic wit, and a reckless manner. This often gets him into predicaments that only his foolhardy courage can get him out of. Han is well traveled, and claims to have been from one side of the galaxy to the other. For a time, Solo didn't believe in the Force, attributing it to simple luck. Han is pragmatic, some would say mercenary, and his personality often conflicts with Leia's idealism. Despite such conflicts (or perhaps because of them) the two eventually fell in love.
From the Expanded UniverseThere is much rumor, speculation, and all-out falsehoods in records of Solo's past. He is the subject of several exploitative holofilms, false documentaries, and at least two bogus autobiographies. According to one account, Han Solo was abandoned by his parents who were rogue travelers and was raised by Wookiees from age seven to twelve.
In truth, Han spent most of his childhood in the service of Garris Shrike, the leader of a trading clan that used abandoned street urchins as beggars and petty thieves. Solo grew up on Shrike's ship, the Trader's Luck, often returning to Corellia for stopovers. Solo was mostly raised by a kindly female Wookiee named Dewlanna, who taught Han compassion as well as the Wookiee language.
Solo longed to learn more about his parents, but Shrike kept all information from him. The only tie to his family Han found was an unscrupulous cousin named Thrackan Sal-Solo, a cruel bully that Solo wanted little to do with.
Young Solo earned his keep for Shrike doing a variety of unsavory jobs. He once joined a pirate group operated by cutthroats Lemo and Sanda. He made a name for himself racing dangerous repulsorlift swoops professionally and on the independent circuit. In these days, Solo made a blood enemy out of a young Corellian swoop jockey named Dengar.
At 19, Solo ran away from Shrike's group of brigands and began working for the Hutts. At the Hutt spice-processing center on the paradise world of Ylesia, Solo fell in love with an enslaved worker named Bria Tharen. Solo rescued Tharen, and destroyed much of the Ylesian operation. The fact that Solo was using an alias at the time -- Vyyk Drago -- spared him the ire of the enraged Hutts.
Solo eventually joined the Imperial Academy, to better himself and his piloting skills. Solo's mentor during his Academy days was Badure, or "Trooper" as he was known. During a training drill, Han performed a daring landing maneuver with an aged U-33 transport that earned him the nickname "Slick." Sometime during his military career Han Solo earned the right to wear the Corellian Bloodstripe.
Despite promising skills, Solo was drummed out of the service when he defied orders and rescued a Wookiee slave, Chewbacca. Solo freed Chewbacca from his captors, and from that day on Chewbacca served as Han's protector and friend.
His military career in shambles, Solo returned to the fringe, joining a smuggling gang run by Roa. It was here that Solo had his first Kessel Run. He traveled with such notorious fringers as Shug Ninx, Mako Spince, Salla Zend, Katya M'Buele, Silver Fyre, Rik Duel and Lando Calrissian.
After winning the Millennium Falcon from Calrissian, Solo and Chewie worked in the Corporate Sector for some time, for crime-bosses like Big Bunji and Ploovo Two-For-One. It was on these assignments that Han often tangled with the Corporate Sector Authority. Han was responsible for destroying the secret Authority prison installation, Star's End, as well as helping expose a slave trade ring that extended to some very prominent Authority execs. Han then joined Badure on an ill-fated search for the lost treasure of Xim the Despot. During this search, Han sustained a knife injury that resulted in the signature scar on his chin.
After a falling out with many of his fellow smugglers, Solo was left stuck on Tatooine with a hefty debt and hunters on his tail. It was then that he took on the charter to Alderaan that resulted in him being inextricably tangled with the Rebellion.
After the Death Star crisis, Han and Chewbacca left the Rebel base at Yavin to pay off his debt to Jabba the Hutt. En route to Tatooine, the Millennium Falcon was waylaid by a pirate force commanded by Crimson Jack. The pirate robbed Solo of his reward money, leaving the two spacers destitute. The pair returned to the Rebel fold, having few options left. During the Alliance's evacuation of the Yavin Base, Solo and Chewbacca helped the Alliance obtain a power gem from the space pirate Raskar. This power gem was instrumental in getting past the Imperial blockade of Yavin.
Solo had some trouble adjusting to life after the Battle of Endor. He nonetheless aided the fledgling Alliance of Free Planets by visiting worlds, petitioning them for membership in the Galactic Congress, an important meeting that would determine the future of galactic government. As the New Republic emerged, Solo continued to be an important contact in the smuggler community, even though many had thought he had gone "respectable" and was no longer one of them.
Solo finally found time to openly express his love for Princess Leia. When Prince Isolder of Hapes appeared on Coruscant, proposing marriage to Leia to better both their governments, Solo sprang into action in typically reckless style. He eloped -- some would say absconded -- with Leia to the planet Dathomir, a world he won in an amazing game of sabacc. Proving his love for her, Han and Leia were wed shortly thereafter, and the couple started a family that would grow to include three children, all powerful in the Force: the twins Jaina and Jacen and the younger Ana
For a man born without one, family has become a growing concern for Solo. Many times his children have been threatened by enemies seeking to threatenhim or Leia, or those looking to kidnap the Force-strong youngsters. Time and again, Solo and his allies have managed to defeat these threats, but each time, the pain of losing a loved one became all too real. When his children grew capable of defending themselves, Solo for a time thought his family was safe. He couldn't have been more wrong.
During the initial Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy, many lives were lost to the depredations of these sinister aliens. Using bizarre organic gravity well projectors called dovin basals, the Yuuzhan Vong dragged the moon orbiting Sernpidal down to its surface. While Han and Chewbacca helped evacuate the populace, Solo was forced to leave his oldest friend behind. Chewbacca died when the moon collided with the planet, and Solo held his son, Ana
With the shock of losing Chewbacca hanging over his head, Solo spiraled into depression and alcoholism. He returned to his fringer ways, leaving his family life behind. With the help of a new friend and ally, the Ryn named Droma, Solo eventually discovered that he could not run away from his loss, or from his loved ones. Solo and Leia reconciled, and he began making amends with his family, but with the galaxy tearing itself apart due to this new alien menace, the repairs were tenuous, and constantly challenged.
The next blow to the Solo family would be the loss of the youngest son, Ana
In the aftermath of Ana
Han returned to Coruscant with his family during the final battle against the Yuuzhan Vong, working with the Jedi Knights and an Alliance infiltration team to eliminate Supreme Overlord Shimrra. When Thrackan Sal-Solo made another bid for complete independence some 10 years after the end of the conflict, Han found himself vilified in the Corellian media as a lackey of the Galactic Alliance. He and Leia became the targets of an assassination attempt funded by Sal-Solo, which pushed Han into an uneasy alliance with his old nemesis Boba Fett.
Although they were ultimately successful in killing Sal-Solo, Han learned that his son Jacen had used a deadly Force technique to kill Ailyn Vel, Boba Fett?s daughter. Han confronted Jacen about Vel's death, stating in no uncertain terms that he wanted nothing to do with the person Jacen had become. Han and Leia then returned to Corellia, believing that the Corellians were right in their beliefs, if not in their actions. The two got mixed up in a plot to assassinate the Hapan Queen Mother, along with the actual assassin, Aurra Sing.
They were badly outgunned, and with the Millennium Falcon already damaged from fleeing Hapes the first time, there was little they could do but avoid the fighting. This brought them into contact with their daughter Jaina, as well Ben Skywalker. Realizing that the Solos were considered Corellian insurgents, Ben tried to arrest them as terrorists.
Soldiers from Coruscant's Galactic Alliance Guard later tried to arrest Han and Leia when they tried to attend the funeral of Mara Jade Skywalker. Han realized that the time had come to do something about his son. Jacen tracked his parents to Kashyyyk and ordered orbital turbolaser strikes at several cities, in an effort to force the Wookiees to turn them over. Han clashed with the Jedi over who should be responsible for bringing Jacen -- now Darth Caedus -- to justice.
When the group returned to the temporary Jedi outpost on the Forest Moon of Endor, Han and Leia were dismayed to learn that Jacen had kidnapped Allana, the daughter of the Hapan Queen Mother. Han gladly turned the Millennium Falcon over to Jagged, who was leading the mission to rescue Allana, while he and Leia worked with Iella Antilles as the actual infiltration team. Their mission was successful, and Allana was returned to her mother on Hapes.
After learning that Darth Caedus was on the Nickel One asteroid, they launched a new mission. Han and Leia piloted their attack ship, hoping to draw off the forces gathered there while Jaina was deployed to the asteroid. Fleeing to the Jedi base on Shedu Maad, they were pursued by Caedus and prepared for the final battle against the former Jacen Solo.
The Solos were part of a small strike team that was to infiltrate the Anakin Solo -- Caedus's flagship -- and rescue Jaina. When they found Jaina clutching her brother's dead body, Han did what he could to console his daughter, and later worked out his anger over the death of his son by helping the Jedi neutralize any enemy forces who refused to surrender, including the surviving Imperial Moffs who attempted to support Darth Caeudus. Han angrily demanded that the Moffs used their considerable resources to help rebuild the galaxy, in exchange for their lives.
In another sort of rebuilding, Han and Leia decided to secretly raise their granddaughter, Allana, who had been entrusted to them by Tenel Ka to raise away from the dangers of Hapes.
Behind the ScenesHan Solo first appeared in the rough and first drafts of Star Wars as a hulking green alien with no nose and large gills. He was a Jedi warrior and friend of General Skywalker. As the story developed, Solo became a burly, bearded Corellian pirate who dressed flamboyantly. By the third draft, Solo became the reckless starpilot we all recognize.
Casting Solo was difficult because director George Lucas made a conscious decision to stay away from any actors he had previously used in his films. Still, he needed someone at least to read the part for screen tests of other characters. While a parade of fresh faces read for Luke and Leia, Harrison Ford, who had played Bob Falfa in Lucas' American Graffiti, continued to read for Han, becoming comfortable with the role. Having looked at all the other Solo candidates -- which included Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, and Christopher Walken -- it became obvious to Lucas that Ford was the perfect Solo.
In the National Public Radio Dramatizations of the Star Wars trilogy, Han was played by actor Perry King.
Solo's early life as a smuggler was first explored by Brian Daley in his trilogy of novels: Han Solo at Star's End, Han Solo's Revenge, and Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, published by Del Rey Books in 1979-1980. Young Han's life was revisited in the late 90s in a trilogy of novels by A.C. Crispin: The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit, and Rebel Dawn, published by Bantam Books.
Keywords: Databank - Episode IV, Databank - Episode V, Databank - Episode VI, Databank - Expanded Universe
Filed under: Vault, Character
X-wing Soapbox Derby Car
Check out this extreme Star Wars craft complete with a working R2-D2!
Star Wars Craft Workshop at Maker Faire
Kids and parents make Bith and Yoda puppets at Maker Faire!
Meet Star Wars Vlogger Jennifer Landa
Star Wars fan Jennifer Landa vlogs about her collectibles, interviews young geek girls and more!
Ugly Drum Smoker R2-BQ
This is the BBQ you're looking for....
A Mew Hope: Princess Leia Kitty!
Crafty Star Wars fan Jennifer Kumpf turns a cat into a princess.
Star Wars Fail Whale
If Twitter was run by Darth Vader...
Use the Hex Wrench, Luke!
Imagine how powerful Artoo would be with two suns!
Boba Loves Bunnies?
Who knew the bounty hunter had a soft spot for rabbits?
R2-D2 Invades RoboGames
Teddy bear robots and kids alike love hanging out with R2-D2.
Overthinking It: Does the Death Star Make Economic Sense?
From Seattle's Big Blog
John Williams Scoring Stage Unveiled
From Film Music Society
Ryan Reynolds Confidently Compares Green Lantern to Star Wars
Retooled Star Tours to Draw a Crowd
From the Orlando Sentinel
Esther's Grace, Star Wars club team up for Easter basket giveaway at Padova University Hospital
From USA Army Africa
Project Happiness Tries to Answer Big Question
From the Daily Trojan
Local Boy Gets Star Wars Wish
Producer Gary Kurtz: "People Wanted to Live Onscreen"
From the Guardian Film Blog
Old Star Wars Commercials Sold Everything Under the Sun
Iran's Wookiee Army
From the Daily Mail
The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Wookiee Hunt
Your complete guide to episode #3.22
The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Padawan Lost
Your complete guide to episode #3.21
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars Invasion Begins!
Coming March 22
Star Wars New Line Look for 2012
Darth Maul Returns
The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Clone Cadets
Your complete guide to episode #3.01
What's New This Week: Clone Wars Magazine #4
Star Wars in 3D Gets an Official Release Date
Coming February 10, 2012
Caption Contest: What's Up?
Your best submissions
The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Citadel Rescue
Your complete guide to episode #3.20
LEGO Star Wars III: Lando Calrissian Revealed!
Hello, what have we here?