Some call him the space cowboy. Some people call him the gangster of love. Some people call him a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy looking nerf herder. Han Solo beyond a shadow of a doubt is the coolest guy in all of the Star Wars galaxy. Perhaps in all of science fiction. It's all in the cavalier, devil-may-care attitude Harrison Ford played the character with. He's got the coolest sidekick and best ship in all of Star Wars too. Who wouldn't want a giant fuzz ball with the capabilities of Chewbacca? And while everyone within Star Wars all refer to the Falcon as a hunk of junk, fans all know she's the greatest ship in the universe.
Even if you are a die-hard fan who consumes as much Star Wars media as possible, there's plenty of stuff about the smooth-talking smuggler that we don't know about or just totally ignore. Between the original Expanded Universe (now called Legends), the movies, and the new EU, there all kinds of Solo stories and adventures about the Corellian kid. Some of it is canon, some of it not, some things are just interesting backstage info. Here are 20 Things About Han Solo That Fans Keep Ignoring.
20 Green-Skinned Lizard
When George Lucas started writing, creating, and crafting the Star Wars saga, he used ancient, beloved heroic tropes, and old-school science fiction serials of his youth, like Flash Gordon. Han Solo had a much different origin story than an orphan on Corellia.
In Lucas’ original drafts, Han Solo was a giant green-skinned alien whose race was known for hunting down and killing Wookies, so when he's seen with walking carpet buddy it would have been a little jarring. Fans got to see this version of Han in Dark Horse Comics’ mini-series adapting Lucas’ original script.
19 Not Harrison Ford
When casting Star Wars in 1977, George Lucas didn't want to cast any known actors, and he also didn't want to cast anyone he had worked with previously. That meant no Harrison Ford, as he had already worked with Lucas before in American Graffiti. So how did Bob Falfa leave 1969’s Modesto to head a land long ago in a galaxy far away?
As the story goes, Lucas had a different way of casting his three leads. Instead of one-on-one screen tests, Lucas would pair three actors up together to see how they interacted. Then he would mix and match them up to see who had the most chemistry. He had five Lukes and five Leias but only four Hans. Ford was asked to help out with reading lines. The rest is history as the Hollywood carpenter was about to become a Hollywood megastar.
18 Improvised “I Know”
Other than “may the Force be with you,” and “I am your father,” “I know” is the most popular line in the entire Star Wars saga. With Han creeping on Leia for a movie and a half, and now on the verge of capture and being frozen for the foreseeable future, Leia cannot resist revealing her true feelings for Han and declaring her love. In true space pirate form, Han replies with a heartfelt “I know.”
Many fans have always misinterpreted the nature of Ford improvising this line. It actually didn't happen spontaneously on set, it was part of a brainstorming session between director Irvin Kirshner and Harrison Ford.
17 Forever Frozen
Han Solo frozen in Carbonite is a scene that was harrowing to watch in the Empire Strikes Back. Besides his death (and the deaths of a few other characters), it is the most dramatic scene in the saga. To not know if we were ever going to see him again versus his finite end might have been worse to see. And a heck of a cliffhanger to go out on.
Harrison Ford also left George Lucas, the cast, the crew, and most importantly the fans on edge when he also left on a cliffhanger. He didn't sign up for a third film and had strong reservations about doing Return Of The Jedi, as many fans know, Ford lobbied hard for Solo to die. If he had gotten his way, perhaps the carbon freezing process would have killed him and he would have stayed permanent wall art in Jabba’s palace.
16 Based On Francis Ford Coppola
When young directors like George Lucas were coming up in the sixties and seventies, they admired mavericks like Stanley Kubrick and Francis Ford Coppola. Directors would go against the grain of studio heads and challenge audiences with approaches to their films that, while commonplace now, they were innovating then.
Lucas was able to work with Coppola and even made THX-1138 under The Godfather director’s American Zoetrope studio. The two became friends and rumor has it that Lucas was inspired by Coppola’s wit, charisma, and sarcasm in the creation of Han Solo.
15 The First Mrs. Solo
Between Qi’ra and Leia, the ladies seem to think Han’s a Corellian cutie pie. But in between the girl who broke his heart and the girl whose heart he stole, there was another intergalactic beauty who was sweet on the charms of Han Solo.
From the Smuggler’s Moon of Nar Shaddaa, meet Sana Starros, the first Mrs. Han Solo. Don't worry, the marriage wasn't out of love, just convenience. The two space pirates were trying to pull off a job together. According to Starros, Han made off with all of the take and didn't give her a dime.
14 Han Shot First
While plenty of fans know full damn well, who shot first when first meeting Han Solo in the Mos Eisley Cantina, there's an entire generation and generations to come that have and will grow up thinking Han Solo took a shot at bounty hunter Greedo in self-defense. But they all need to know the truth!
George Lucas went back for one of the rereleases of Star Wars and decided it was too cold and callous of everyone's favorite smuggler that he would take a shot at Greedo, taking him out in cold blood. What George may or may not have realized, the original version gives away exactly who Han Solo is as a character, the character he created mind you.
13 Can He Not Speak Wookie?
For forty years, everyone in the galaxy seemingly understood Wookie, or at least Chewbacca. It was just a fact, no explanation needed - he'd grunt or growl and whoever he was grunting or growling at would nod or answer the big ol’ walking carpet. But for some strange reason, the writers of Solo: A Star Wars Story felt compelled to give the whole ordeal.
There was a brief scene in which young Han speaks Shyriiwook. While he admits that he isn't speaking it well, this scene has become a sour pill that sticks in the craw of plenty of fans in this part of Solo (sadly hindering their enjoyment of the film, but that's their problem). Word of advice to people writing prequels - don't set precedents that have never been set before.
12 Brilliant Mathematician?
“Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations, we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?” Han Solo explains the intricacies of jumping to light speed to Luke Skywalker, all the while running around the Falcon and piloting through and around Imperial entanglements.
Just one problem though - we never see Han (or Chewie) for that matter make the complicated computations to make the jump to light speed. For a guy living life so cavalierly, that's pretty impressive luck. Or ridiculous math skills.
11 Ehrenreich’s Acting Coach
Some of the behind-the-scenes drama with the making of Solo: A Star Wars Story has already become the stuff of legend. The original directors were trying to do way too much outside of the box and Kathleen Kennedy fired them to bring in Ron Howard. This actor was replaced, extensive reshoots were needed, and star Alden Ehrenreich needed an acting coach.
That last one certainly scared more than a few fans, who now all of the sudden thought the lead star couldn't act. Meanwhile, the kid has already been in several different productions and worked with some big names. All he was doing (similar to Donald Glover) was being coached on how to act like Han Solo, not act in general.
10 Han Is One With The Force
While Captain Solo might believe the Force is just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, he was convinced pretty quickly that the Force was a thing. Maybe that's because he secretly knew that had a little bit of that mumbo jumbo working for him too. While it has never been confirmed, there are plenty of moments showcasing that while Han has some luck, no one could be that lucky.
The guy flies with the reflexes of a Jedi Knight. He's able to locate Luke dying in the snow with scanners that aren't working. He's the only one that knows they are inside a giant space slug, and is able to save Lando while firing blind and hanging upside down. Not to mention, his smooth-talking skills and convincing Jabba, and wooing several space babes. He's certainly not a Jedi, but the Force is definitely with Han.
9 Han Solo Sr.
While young Han Solo explains that his father worked on some of the freight ships on Corellia, had a certain scene made it into The Empire Strikes Back, we might have met or heard about Han’s step-father a whole lot sooner.
One of the early shooting scripts for Empire featured Han running off to meet his father, who had some intel to help the Rebellion, which may or may not have played in with some fan fiction that the random rebel pictured is actually old man Han Solo.
8 Helping Out His Son
He once explained to his baby son that while he is not a nice guy and is a screw-up, he would do all he can to keep his family safe. So, when Ben turned to the Dark Side and became Kylo Ren, you could only imagine the pangs of guilt Han felt at watching his boy turn bad.
But that doesn't mean that the smuggler would stop trying to save his boy. A prevailing fan theory is that when Han met his end in The Force Awakens, he was doing so in service to helping his son Ben out, which is why Kylo Ren explains there's something he needs to do, and needed his father’s help.
7 Smugglers Run
For reportedly being the galaxy's greatest smuggler, we never saw any of Han’s smuggling exploits during the original trilogy. Was the guy just always on the run from a job gone bad and figured joining up with the Rebellion would save him or maybe he never did any big heist jobs and just had a big mouth.
But we finally got to see some of Han and Chewbacca’s smuggling exploits in both The Force Awakens and in Solo; hauling Rathtars and coaxium. Hopefully, box office receipts for Solo haven't completely hindered plans for more Solo films and more smuggling missions.
6 Wookie Life Debt
When Han Solo saved Chewbacca from a life of Imperial slavery, it enacted an honor code for Wookies called the life debt. While they became besties pretty quick, the Wookie Life Debt is the reason Chewie always by Han’s side. According to the novel, Life Debt, even though Han saved Chewie, the smuggler is fully aware of who really saved who.
“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.” While Chewie will never leave Han because of his oath, Han would never leave Chewie either.
5 Han’s Blaster Exists
George Lucas went to great lengths to create so many unique and original ideas for Star Wars. Lightsabers, ships, alien races; the guy left no stone unturned when crafting his world. But for some weapons, a pistol is just a pistol, even in a galaxy far, far, away.
Han’s trusty weapon of choice is a model DL-44 heavy pistol. The handgun has gotten Han and several others out of tight jams. The pistol’s creation is actually rooted in reality. The was developed from the look of a German C96 “broomhandle.”
4 He Really Herded Nerfs
The beauty of Star Wars or any IP for that matter is in its fan-created content. With Star Wars, some of that content is as simple as picking up on a line that written and crafting something out of it (Rogue One, anyone?). While it's doubtful we'll see a movie on the topic, Han Solo is actually a real-life Nerf Herder.
In Star Wars Comics #17, which takes place in between episodes IV and V, Han takes what should be a quick smuggling gig herding Nerfs, which are in actually giant galactic buffalo.
3 Han Almost Showed Up In The Prequels
Even though it's part of the Expanded Universe and now thanks to Solo, officially canon the story of when Han met Chewie had long been held in the hearts of so many Star Wars fans that to mess with it would be considered sacrilege, but then George Lucas doesn't mind carving up the universe he created, does he?
When it was first announced that Revenge Of The Sith was going to feature Wookies and their homeworld of Kashyyk; some fans cringed at the thought that George would take apart the long-standing thought of Imperial officer Han freeing Chewbacca and have Han be some sort of jungle kid running around. Thankfully, any perceived plan to shoehorn Han into Episode III didn't happen.
2 Luke Paid Homage To His Brother-In-Law
It has been a long time since fans have been so divided over a Star Wars movie. You either love it or hate it, with very little wiggle room for in-between. The haters even feel like Luke barely grieves for his fallen friend and brother-in-law.
But they're wrong. Hopefully, one day a director’s cut will reveal the deleted scene where Luke does take the news and grieves for his friend. But Luke also pays homage when “fighting” Kylo Ren at the end of the film. His line, “see you around, kid,” is a reference to when Ren’s daddy, Luke’s bestie Han would refer to himself as a kid.
1 Han’s Dice
Somehow, Han Solo’s dice that were barely visible hanging up in the Millennium Falcon in a few scenes in the original Star Wars has been turned into this iconic symbol for the character and a minor story point in two films now.
While it's pretty cool to add some backstory to every facet of the Star Wars universe, the dice were certainly just put there to pay homage to super-fast cars and their ornaments. The kind of cars Lucas grew up adoring and created the Falcon with as inspiration. But that's part of the beauty of Star Wars fans - now it truly has a place in the canon!
Sources: Biography, ScreenRant, TheGamer, PopularMechanics