WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Solo: A Star Wars Story
The launch of Solo: A Star Wars Story may be set years in the past compared to the main Skywalker saga, but it's bringing a new batch of Easter eggs and original trilogy connections all the same.
Where The Last Jedi moved the universe forward with shocking twists, and Rogue One began the larger anthology by revealing the truth of a story fans thought they knew, Solo sits in the middle. With the Star Wars prequels it takes place beside and the original trilogy that it's building towards, the filmmakers made the most of their opportunity to forge new, fantastic connections.
Even though the development of Solo didn't go as smoothly as any movie producer or fan would have hoped, the finished product has arrived to expand the Star Wars universe and mythology in incredible ways.
We've collected the best Solo Easter eggs, secret homages to extended universe "legends," references for hardcore fans, and tiny details that every fan can appreciate, and are breaking them all down here.
So with one final SPOILER warning, let's get started.
Here are the 30 Things You Completely Missed In Solo: A Star Wars Story.
30 Chewbacca Permanently Breaks The Dejarik Board
By now every fan of Star Wars knows to look for a nod to Holochess when the Millennium Falcon is involved.
Thankfully, Solo expands on the classic throwback more than any fan would have expected. For those in need of a quick refresher, we're referring to the game officially known as Dejarik, played with eight pieces on a medium-sized, circular checkerboard.
It was briefly introduced in the original Star Wars (1977) as a means of showing how angry a Wookiee can get over something trivial.
Dejarik made a return in The Force Awakens, with the effects team animating the very next move, allowing the vanquished piece to get its revenge. However, Solo takes that even further, showing how Chewie first learned the game -- and broke this exact version.
When Beckett earns Chewie's ire while teaching him the game, the Wookiee tries to swipe the pieces from the board. They don't move, but the board sparks and glitches in response. Watch closely, and you'll see two pieces blink out of the board as a result.
The two pieces are ones that original animator Phil Tippett made for the first movie, and George Lucas scrapped since the board wasn't big enough.
Tippett later showed off the two figures -- Bulbous and Scrimp -- as part of a 2017 Kickstarter, and now Solo has revealed why they were really written out of the original movie.
29 Han's "Custom" Blaster Pistol Finally Explained
There were some who claimed from the beginning that an origin story for Han Solo was unnecessary, since few fans ever bothered to wonder where his story really began.
The same goes for his signature weapon, since fans live to love Han Solo's blaster pistol, not wonder where or when it came into his possession. Audiences can decide whether that initial dismissal was right or wrong, but Solo does show who the original owner of Han's firearm really was.
Officially, it's known as the BlasTech Industries DL-44 heavy blaster pistol. In Solo, the gun is tossed to Han by Beckett so he may be armed in their coming mission.
Beckett isn't hurting for powerful firearms, so he can afford to give it up. However, make no mistake: the weapon is one of the most coveted in the Star Wars galaxy -- even before Beckett and Han make their customizations.
The movie shows why the Empire actually outlawed the DL-44, since its massive power was quickly favored by criminals, smugglers, and any other outlaws in the Outer Rim.
Knowing that it belonged to Beckett first finally helps explain one of the weapon's stranger features.
Fans can debate the believability of removing barrel sights and replacing it with a scope -- even in pistol form -- but its placement on the right side of the gun seemed a mistake.
Knowing that Beckett favors his left hand, the scope's location makes sense, since it would be Beckett's left eye used for targeting.
28 The Movie Moment George Lucas Helped Create
Given their history, both Han and Qi'ra are more than used to keeping up appearances. However, the pretense is allowed to drop when they have a more private meeting onboard the Millennium Falcon-- in Lando's soon-to-be-famous cape closet, of all places.
While he's been removed from the movie series for years now, Lucas did have one bit of advice to offer about a change the scene needed.
In the original version of the scene in the script, Qi'ra dons one of Lando's capes, which Han removes and returns to its hanger before giving her his full attention.
According to Ron Howard (courtesy of Variety) Lucas felt that the script was a little too "polished" for a hero like Han.
"He said, ‘You know, Han wouldn’t bother to hang it up... And then he sort of did it. George became Han Solo for a second. The body language was there and the attitude. Not only was it a nice accent on the scene, but it was also a reminder that George created this character and really understood him. He was so reluctant [to offer his opinion], and yet the choice was so right that it was fun to use it," he stated.
27 Lando Dreams of His Future Cloud City
It's impossible to ever separate the character of Lando Calrissian from the inherent cool of actor Billy Dee Williams, and Solo doesn't even try.
Donald Glover may technically be playing a younger version of Lando, but the movie makes it clear that his taste for the finer things, class, and supremely polished finery was there from the start.
It's no surprise then that the team's arrival to Kessel in all its gritty, grimy glory causes Lando to state that "mining colonies are the worst." It's a joke, for those who know what is in his future.
However, there's much more going on here than a simple laugh, since the audience knows that Lando will wind up running a mining colony in Empire Strikes Back.
To know Lando's real path from gambler to Baron Administrator of Cloud City, fans will need to keep their eyes peeled on the chrome models in Lando's personal collection on board the Millennium Falcon.
A gleaming model of the Falcon can be seen, but below it sits a miniaturized version of Cloud City, its silhouette unmistakable in the upper atmosphere of Bespin.
It would seem that Lando's distaste for mining colonies is why he envisions a truly beautiful, elegant, and lucrative mining station like Cloud City. He gets it, too... if only for a little while, before the Empire forces him out of the mining station he won in a card game before transforming into his masterpiece.
26 Lando's Coffee Maker is an Alien Easter Egg
While it's often Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) that get credit for popularizing the less glamorous, less sleek, "used future" look to spaceships and equipment, much of it belongs to George Lucas and the original Star Wars.
However, inspiration is a flat circle, so it's only right that the visual style favored by Lando Calrissian would conjure memories of the Nostromo's cleaner, white, plastic sections. And yes, there are more coffee maker props to search for because of it.
For those who might not know, it was Alien that started this running joke by outfitting the spaceship's kitchen with appliances that seemed "futuristic" at the time.
The most famous being the Krups Coffina Coffee Grinder affixed to the wall (later made famous as Back to the Future's "Mr. Fusion"). However, joining it was a Braun Aromaster KF 20 coffee maker, which is easy to spot thanks to its twin, chrome legs suspending the water reservoir and filter over the carafe.
Those chrome legs are facing out on the version seen in Lando's kitchen, and the set decorators appear to have done Alien one better. Fans can spot the larger model -- the Braun Aromaster KF47 -- on the opposite side of his counter.
25 The Millennium Falcon's Nose Finally Explained
If the filmmakers thought that audiences would be too excited to see an "origin story" for the Millennium Falcon to notice the continuity errors it would introduce, they were sorely mistaken.
This was not just because the pearly white, immaculate interior and exterior of Lando's ship leads fans to ask if Han just dunked the entire ship in mud to turn it into his "piece of junk." No, the Falcon's history throughout the Star Wars saga extends well beyond its own movies -- and with Solo, it seemed the filmmakers had truly messed up their own timeline.
The culprit? That signature notch in the Millennium Falcon's front end... or rather, the lack of it in this movie.
The problem isn't that the Falcon changed its appearance in the years between Solo and A New Hope. The problem isn't even that the ship contained in the nose-notch apparently disappeared in the same time. The problem is -- or was -- that the Falcon appeared in Revenge of the Sith in that same white-and-blue color scheme... with that nose-mounted ship already missing.
Thankfully, all of the confusion is cleared up in the movie itself, as Han points out the auxiliary ship that Lando has added to the design.
In the process, making the Falcon look exactly like the concept art first drawn by Ralph McQuarrie. Now it seems canon that the notch is standard, used for moving cargo containers, and returned to that design with the loss of Lando's upgrade.
24 Han Mentions The Rebels' VCX-100 'Ghost'
If the image of a smaller, auxiliary being launched from a light freighter sounds familiar, it definitely should to fans of Star Wars: Rebels.
That's a perk made available to the heroes of the show aboard their own signature ship, dubbed Ghost. In a universe where the Corellian Engineering Corporation is one of the best in their industry, it's no surprise that two of the most well-known ships in Star Wars history should both be manufactured by them.
In Solo, Han actually calls out the Ghosts model by name.
The line will certainly be missed by anyone who doesn't known to listen for it -- or anyone who doesn't know offhand that Ghost is officially designated as a CEC VCX-100 light freighter.
That's the very model that Han claims he owns before playing sabacc to gain the Falcon from Lando.
Rebels fans have gotten more love sent their way than most tie-in stories after Ghost showed up at the Battle of Scarif and Hera Syndulla was name-dropped in Rogue One to boot.
Hopefully, this extension of respect to the team's vehicle of choice is a sign of more to come (and don't worry, there are more Rebels nods in Solo).
23 Aurra Sing Was Destroyed by Beckett
While the larger fan base may grimace whenever Episode I - The Phantom Menace is brought up in conversation, the true fans know that there was more added to the Star Wars universe in the background of the first prequel than in the main plot.
Believe it or not, Solo actually makes several direct connections between that prequel movie and the ones that came later.
That's something that the movie has in common with the animated Clone Wars series, and one of the best references to both comes in a throwaway bit of dialogue between Beckett and Lando.
The reputation of Han's first gang leader precedes him, when he's greeted by Lando, he mentions the rumor that he was the man who took down Aurra Sing. Beckett corrects him with his tongue in his cheek, pleading mock innocence since it was "the fall" that claimed Aurra Sing's life.
Laughter aside, fans should remember Aurra Sing as the unforgettable spectator of the Boonta Ever pod race on Tatooine in The Phantom Menace.
The seconds-long cameo was enough to earn her a starring role as one of the antagonist bounty hunters in season 2 of Clone Wars, playing something of a mother figure to the young Boba Fett.
Until Beckett claimed her life, which he can't really be blamed for.
22 Weazel From Phantom Menace is a Cloud-Rider
This is another connection to Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace, and one almost too good to believe. Over the course of his first incredible adventure, Han goes from street-rat to Imperial soldier, all the way through to a battle-hardened pilot and thief.
However, he isn't ready for the scene-stealing Cloud-Riders led by masked gangster Enfys Nest.
The masked, feathered, robed, acrobatic criminals punctuated Solo's marketing from the start, but for the movie's best Easter egg -- or one of them, at least -- audiences will need to look beyond Enfys Nest to one of their underling -- particularly at one masked Cloud-Rider standing just a few feet tall.
The role marks actor Warwick Davis's place in Solo: A Star Wars Story after becoming a Star Wars regular following his Ewok debut.
However, Warwick Davis also played a brief role in The Phantom Menace, betting on the pod race with Anakin Skywalker's owner, Watto. As "Weazel," Davis's character won big when Anakin came through as the winner, much to the chagrin of Watto.
According to the official guide to Solo, the masked member of the Cloud-Riders is also named Weazel... and "previously worked with the Hutt gang out of Mos Espa on Tatooine."
This is the same city Anakin that called home in Episode I, confirming this is almost certainly intended to be the same character roughly two decades later.
21 The (Red) Mandalorian Rally Master Armor
Finally, we arrive at the collection of artifacts and Easter eggs contained throughout Dryden Vos's personal yacht. Even if audiences can't settle their eyes on any one idol or valuable in the room, it's hard to ignore the wealth of references and connections to the expanded Star Wars universe -- and believe us, the results do not disappoint.
However, let's start with the item most likely to get people's attention: the large, red, Mandalorian armor on full display.
Some fans assumed that its presence was a hint towards Dryden's Mandalorian heritage, but the armor's placement in the wealthy alien's trophy room shows that this is not the case.
In fact, this armor is a callback to the Knight of the Old Republic fiction previously assumed to be non-canon after Disney purchased Lucasfilm.
Fans will remember it as one variation of Mandalorian Neo-Crusader armor, adopted by the warrior race by the Great Sith War (thousands of years before the Star Wars movies).
The standard troops wore blue armor into battle, Field Marshals wore gold, and frontline veterans wore silver. However, the crimson was reserved for Rally Masters, meant to stand out in battle and untie the infantry surrounding them.
This history is confirmed in Solo: The Official Guide, referring to the suit as "Rally Master Armor."
20 The Indiana Jones Idol Easter Eggs
George Lucas may have had a hand in creating this universe -- and even making an improvement to a Solo scene -- but it's his other creations that are paid homage in Dryden Vos's expansive collection.
Honestly, it's hard to imagine that the wealth of display cases and ancient relics in Dryden's yacht wouldn't feature nods to the Indiana Jones movie series. After all, the wealthy Crimson Dawn warlord gives new meaning to the idea that priceless idols "belong in a museum."
Yes, the main idols from all three Indiana Jones movies are apparently scattered throughout his trophy room.
This includes the fertility idol stolen from a temple by Indy in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which may be hard to fully discern given its squat shape (it's behind Han near the start of the meeting).
Easier to spot are the Sankara Stones from Temple of Doom (thanks to the concentric circles engraved into their surface). The Holy Grail itself is also featured, but may be the hardest to spot due to its small size.
None of the three are placed directly in the camera shot or foregrounded, but presence of the items in the room comes from Lucasfilm itself, with director Ron Howard also confirming that the Indy vibes are strong inside of Dryden's inner sanctum.
Repeat viewings are going to be required for these ones.
19 Crystal Skull of Xim the Despot
As much as some Indiana Jones fans would like to forget that The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull actually happened, enough time has passed for even fans of George Lucas to poke fun at the alien-centric storyline.
That apparently extends to Ron Howard and the makers of Solo, who have placed one reference far more prominently in Dryden's trophy room.
On one hand, it adds an entirely new "Legend" into Star Wars canon... on the other, it seems like an incredibly elaborate troll of Crystal Skull.
This is because the object in question is quite literally a crystal skull, which is easy to spot on a raised platform among other large trinkets near one of the exterior windows.
Far more human in nature than the elongated versions seen in Indiana Jones 4, the item is distinguished in the Solo: The Official Guide as the "Mytag crystal masthead of Xim the Despot."
Mytag crystals were introduced as a powerful energy source in Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, a novel by Brian Daley that was released in 1980.
Xim the Despot was a human conqueror famous for his lost treasure, which was acquired in his conquest against the Hutts thousands of years before the movies -- and lost in his flagship, according to legend.
18 Dryden Vos has a giant Sith Holocron
If you've only seen the main Star Wars movies, then you might think that the role played by Jedi holocrons is a small one. However, the tiny, polygonal form of memory and information storage turned out to be far more important in the extended fiction.
With the animated TV series Star Wars: Rebels, the significance of the holocrons was doubled when it was revealed that the Sith also adopted the means of transmitting knowledge.
Still, it may be difficult to spot the Sith Holocron in Dryden's collection. This is not because it's too small to be spotted -- most holocrons are smaller than a Rubiks cube - but because it's too big.
The massive, golden-black holocron is far larger than any seen in the extended universe or canon so far, so the significance of its size is a mystery we have yet to solve.
However, considering who the leader of the Crimson Dawn is actually working for, which is revealed in the final scenes, it's not surprising Dryden should take an interest in the Sith.
Whether he knows their larger plan at work at this point in the timeline is unclear, but hey, even if he was aware, Qi'ra makes sure that he's not around to spread the information once she takes charge.
17 Enfys Nest helmet poem
The mystery of Enfys Nest isn't quite what fans will expect going into Solo. For obvious reasons, the character's image was an unforgettable one once glimpsed in marketing.
With the massive helm, chromed visor, feather, fabrics, and wing-like shields deployed from the arms, Enfys Nest was a sight to behold before anyone even knew what role the character would play: Villain? Ally? Mystery connected to other movies?
In the end, that's not really relevant. However, the details in the costume will likely be dissected in the coming months to discern just how many secrets the designers have buried inside of it.
According to Solo: The Official Guide, those arm-mounted, fan-like shields are forged from beskar -- Mandalorian Iron strong enough to deflect even a lightsaber -- but one of the best details is literally spelled out for the audience... provided they know how to read it.
Enfys Nest has a saying painted across the top of their helmet, which is difficult to read since it can't actually be seen in its entirety from the front.
However, thanks to photos, we can translate the Aurabesh characters as: "until we reach the last edge, the last opening, the last star, and can go no higher."
This is an interesting poem that most fans will miss, but it speaks volumes about her character.
16 Enfys Nest is Played by Erin Kellyman
The identity of Enfys Nest is almost intrinsically a mystery, based only on the character's design. Is it as simple as the audience wondering, when confronted with a masked character, as to the face beneath it?
Either way, the long legacy of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, and more masked Star Wars heroes, villains, and outlaws continues into Solo.
While Enfys Nest may have the most jaw-dropping and stunning costume out of that entire group, the moment when the mask is lifted is guaranteed to be... well, not what audiences expect. Or Han, for that matter.
It isn't disappointment, though, since it's never clear just what audiences should expect. Still, the incredibly lethal gang leader removing their ornate helm to reveal the face of a girl -- a young girl -- is going to be a shock in this blockbuster era.
However, with viewers guaranteed to see Enfys finally remove her mask and utter a simple "who?" we figure we would help.
The actress is Erin Kellyman, who some may know from the British series Raised By Wolves, The Coopers vs the Rest, and in the role of Éponine in the upcoming BBC series of Les Misérables.
It's also a possibility, judging by Solo, that we will see her in a future role as one of the first true Rebels in the galaxy far, far away. Even if we never find out who her mother was, or when she wore the helmet.
15 Rogue One's 'Tam Posla' Cameo
One of the best connections between Solo and the other Star Wars "anthology" movie to date is one almost every viewer will miss -- and is centered on one of the coolest Star Wars heroes you have never, ever heard of.
Fans won't be blamed for missing the character known as Tam Posla, former lawman turned bounty hunter in his brief Rogue One cameo, but his fantastic design caught the attention of any who saw him in the movie's accompanying visual dictionary.
Pretty soon, he had his very own backstory being spelled out in the world of Star Wars comics.
There, he established himself as a lethal, loyal, and above all just bounty hunter in the pages of the Doctor Aphra comic.
Apparently, he came to Jedha City on the trail of Dr. Cornelius... well, the "pig-nosed" jerk who passes by Jyn Erso before heading to Tatooine to get his friend's arm sliced off.
His true story may not be in the movies, but his surprise appearance in Solo suggests that the filmmakers may have a larger plan for him after all.
What wayward criminal or fugitive killer has brought him to the sabaac room in Solo is anyone's guess, but fans can start by spotting him over Han's shoulder, impossible to miss in his one of a kind armor.
14 Mention of Scarif... Before It's Destroyed
The chemical compound Coaxium plays a key role in the plot of Solo, prized as a super-valuable fuel that makes hyperspace travel possible.
The history of the substance in the larger Star Wars lore is something we'll get to soon (to the delight of Star Wars: Rebels fans), but for now, the nod to the larger Star Wars timeline comes from the criminals of Beckett's crew.
Because, as difficult as it may be to land a massive score of Coaxium, where to take it, refine it, and fence it is a more complicated proposition.
Before the team ends up making their next plan, they entertain the idea that it could be refined on the planet Scarif. This is an idea that is shot down almost immediately by Beckett, since it would be impossible to slip by Imperial entanglements.
By this point, Scarif has apparently become one of the most fortified Imperial locations in the galaxy.
This is a fact Rogue One fans already know, since its planetary shield and military forces were put on full display in Rogue One's final battle. This is a nice nod to the fans, but also emphasizes just how courageous the Rebels following Jyn Erso really were.
Even Beckett knows that to infiltrate that planet means risking lives.
13 Beckett Wears Lando's Disguise From Return of the Jedi
Small reference to new planets or the original trilogy are thrilling and all, but it's the Easter eggs that stretch all credibility -- especially the ones that exist purely for fans -- that are most often called out.
In Solo, no detail better exemplifies that fact than the disguise donned by Beckett as he and his team act as Qi'ra's security detail on Kessel.
Since his face and name are known everywhere, he dons a suit of armor and face-concealing mask that can't help but stand out. This outfit doesn't stand out to the suspicious Imperials or criminals in Solo, but to the audience watching.
Once you've seen the armor and helmet, it's impossible to forget as the same one worn by Lando Calrissian in the opening scenes of Return of the Jedi.
This is the plan that sees Lando posing as a security guard in Jabba's Palace, and eventually Luke being taken prisoner may have some holes.
However, what makes up for those potential gaps in logic is the fact that Lando apparently thought so highly of Beckett's disguise that he decided to keep it around for over a decade just in case he needed to go undercover as hired security -- and they say Han is the best at improvising.
12 Bossk from Empire
Han Solo may be famous as one of the galaxy's greatest outlaws and smugglers to the world now, but in the days chronicled in Solo: A Star Wars Story, he was still an amateur with more charm than sense (though some would argue that ratio never actually changed).
So even if the people watching his origin movie know that no real harm will befall Han, his new team of outlaws under Beckett have more than a few doubts.
Val voices these concerns more than anyone, claiming that if they needed extra help, they should have reached out to another bounty hunter they know and trust -- like "Bossk."
The name may not ring a bell with every viewer, but we would wager that the character's face would -- and hands, and scaly skin, and fellow bounty hunters when introduced in The Empire Strikes Back.
The lizard-like Trandoshan is one of the bounty hunters hired to track the Millennium Falcon, but just like the other bounty hunters in the group, he has enjoyed an illustrious career in novels, comics, and animated series since then.
He also has a famous hate on for both Han Solo and Chewbacca, so it's nice to see that alluded to for -- hopefully -- a potential sequel appearance.
11 This Time, Han Shoots First
The benefit of an origin story is not just getting to see how a hero like Han Solo was formed from a homeless street kid, but getting to see how he learned not to repeat his past mistakes.
In the movie's final act, Han shows just how far he has come (or so he thinks) by deciding to make a run for it with Qi'ra, taking the Coaxium haul for Enfys Nest, and reuniting with Chewie in the process.
There's just one problem standing in the way: Beckett, who is one of the best shots in the galaxy and is willing to put Han down if he has to.
However, for all the controversy over his introduction in Star Wars (1977) and the infamous showdown with Greedo, in this instance Han definitely shoots first.
It's one of a handful of subtler callbacks or echoes of Han's existing story, pivotal moments, and defining traits. However, this doesn't mean fans won't continue to debate whether or not George Lucas was right in changing Han's shoot-first approach.
After seeing Solo -- and how his willingness to take out Beckett actually made him the fool in Qi'ra's larger scheme -- it's hard to believe that Han would ever hesitate in taking out another bounty hunter.
10 The "I Know" Returns
It's the moment that no Star Wars fan will ever forget. After spending the better part of two movies wrestling with the uneasy romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia, harsh words, heated exchanges, and jealousy, the truth finally comes out.
As Han is captured by Darth Vader and the Imperials on Cloud City and all hope is lost, Leia is compelled to open her heart. As Han makes eye contact moments before he's frozen in carbonite, Leia blurts out an "I love you!" To which Han simply replies, "I know."
It is one of the most memorable improvised lines in movie history, summing up both characters for their decades-long romance to come.
This makes it exactly the kind of moment to pay tribute to in Solo, even if many in the crowd will miss the wink. This time around, though, the rocky relationship being established is between Han and Lando, eventually one of friendship, but first tumultuous enough for Han to worry about seeking refuge in Cloud City.
So when the pair have taken the time to get to know eachother in Solo, Lando also decides that it's important for Han to know how he truly feels.
He states it plainly while observing the trashed Falcon that "I hate you," and without missing a beat, Han delivers the "I know."
9 How Han Begins Working For Jabba the Hutt
Once the adventure of Solo is nearly over, and Han and Beckett are discussing what possible work may lie in their future (now that Han has proven himself more than a little capable) a detail is dropped that even the biggest fans might miss.
According to Beckett, there is rumor among the criminal community that "a big-shot gangster is putting together a crew" for unknown work.
All we know is that the opening is on the planet Tatooine... which may be enough for the detail-oriented fans in the audience to know what's really being set up for Han's future.
When the character is introduced in the very first Star Wars, he soon falls into hot water due to trouble with his employer, Jabba the Hutt. That trouble eventually lands him in carbonite, then battling it out over top of a sarlacc pit next to Jabba's sail barge.
However, before all of that went wrong, Han first answered the call to be part of Jabba's "crew." Thanks to Solo, we can credit Beckett for giving that tip to Solo and Chewbacca -- setting him on a direct path to come crashing into a kid named Luke and an old man in a wretched little cantina.
8 Darth Maul, But Not The One You Remember
Even with Han Solo's future set in stone, the movie manages to deliver one heck of a twist in its closing scenes.
The success of the surprise twist is going to vary widely with fans, depending on how much they know about the character's story since The Phantom Menace.
However, as far as the "big bad" villain reveals go, finding out that Qi'ra is working for Darth Maul, the former apprentice of Emperor Palpatine, is as jaw-dropping as it gets.
The Crimson Dawn is actually Maul's brainchild, with his death in Episode I nowhere near as permanent as most audiences will have assumed.
His resurrection and subsequent scheming was explored in-depth throughout Clone Wars and Rebels, but the movie version actually amalgamate the two distinct versions.
In Solo, it's still actor Ray Park returning to his iconic facepaint and horns from the first Star Wars prequel. However, where Maul's voice was recorded by actor Peter Serafinowicz for his big screen debut, it's Sam Witwer doing the same task in Solo.
Witwer is the performer who embodied Darth Maul from his death to his new life in the Clone Wars series and beyond, meaning that those animated chapters really are required watching for fans looking for answers.
7 The Kessel Run, Maelstrom, and The Maw are Now Canon
Ever since Han Solo bragged about his achievements at the helm of the Millennium Falcon in the first Star Wars, fans have wondered just what constitutes "The Kessel Run" -- and how its record could be set in distance, and not time.
The extended universe came up with plenty of answers, establishing the fact that the planet Kessel was located within a massive maelstrom of cosmic hazards, the largest of them being "The Maw" -- a cluster of black holes so impossible to fathom, many assumed it was constructed by ancient beings.
As a result, pilots flying to and from Kessel were forced to pick not the shortest path out of the nightmare nebula, but the safest.
By jumping closer to the hazards, and taking risks no other pilot would -- and no other ship could -- Han and the Falcon almost halved the distance it took to escape. It takes quite a bit of imagination to make what seems like a flubbed line not just canon, but cool. Thankfully, Solo has made that all canon once again.
The massive tentacled beasts known as "summa-verminoth" are new, but according to Solo: The Official Guide, the canonical Kessel now sits at the heart of the Akkadese Maelstrom, next to the greatest threat of them all: The Maw. It's a demonic gravity well now, but still as threatening.
6 Gladiator GONK Droid
Sometimes a movie studio can spend billions of dollars to launch a brand new, long-awaited movie franchise and hope that heroes and villains will resonate with audiences enough to truly capture their imagination.
They even invent a famous robotic duo for comic relief -- one is a posh, proper, worrisome protocol droid, while the other is a rambunctious little R2 unit who takes great pleasure in mocking his partner's skepticism.
Sometimes they also invent the Gonk Droid by complete accident. Officially known as a GNK-Series Power Droid, the practical characters designed to look something like a trashcan with legs have enjoyed more fan fiction, adoration, and obsession than most fictional creatures, let alone robots, could ever hope for.
In Solo, fans get far more than the now-mandatory cameo.
This time around, the "Gonk" Droid has been elevated to a full-blown gladiator droid for the entertainment of the patrons of Vandor's Lodge.
The "Gonk Gladiator" is known by its personal designation as WG-22, although the meaning of those initials has yet to be revealed.
For now, we can only look upon the spinning saw blades affixed to the humble gonk falling flat on its face, the masses gathered to enjoy the droid destruction, and marvel in the filmmakers sense of cosmic "fun."
5 Clint Howard's Cameo as Droid Ringmaster
The shift in from Lord and Miller to Ron Howard directing the movie may have been an unexpected one, but it was undeniably good news for Clint Howard, Ron's brother.
Having already enjoyed cameos in most of Ron Howard's movies, the confirmation that Solo would mean the same was followed up by an actual bit of photo evidence.
Ron Howard teased Clint's Solo cameo while finishing the movie, but it wasn't until the movie hit theaters that fans knew what they were in for. Now that the movie has released, it seems like Clint was chosen to bring life to the ringmaster of the Lodge's droid destruction derby.
The part is a small one, making the most of Clint Howard's sense of humor to even make the practice of "gladiator droids" seem plausible (not sophisticated violent robots).
However, it's an important role nonetheless. The topic of droid independence is raised here for the first time in a Star Wars movie, but the scene may also be of note to movie historians with an eye on geek-centric brands.
With his appearance in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Corbomite Maneuver" and now this Solo cameo, Clint Howard joins the elite company of actors who have appeared in both Trek and Wars universes.
4 Qi'ra is a Master in Teras Kasi
Acting as the second-in-command to the supposed head of Crimson Dawn isn't a task for the light of heart, squeamish, or vulnerable. Despite the finery and high company kept by Qi'ra, she reveals that her time on the same streets as Han have had their impact all the same.
Not only is Qi'ra ruthless on a level Han that fails to realize, but she is also dangerous in a fight. As she boasts, she is well-versed in the martial art known as Teräs Käsi. This is a fittingly alien name for a martial art in another galaxy... but a familiar one to seasoned Star Wars gamers.
It may be the deepest cut of them all, since the fighting technique was popularized with the 1997 PlayStation game Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi.
At the time, the fighting style was a mystery known only to one woman and her followers who were out to destroy the leaders of the Rebel Alliance.
Supplemental material for The Last Jedi revealed that this martial art was also on display in Snoke's red-armored guards, but Solo marks the first time it is mentioned by name.
If there are any audience members out there who still remember the fighting game, then the rest of the theater will probably know about it when Qi'ra utters the name.
3 Coaxium & The Rebels Connection
The hyperdrive fuel Coaxium is the main MacGuffin of the movie, prized as a super-valuable commodity worth almost every challenge the cast endures.
However, the actual lore behind the substance is tied far more directly in Star Wars: Rebels than most viewers will realize. As explained in Solo: The Official Guide, the only reason why people eventually figured out the powers of Coaxium are due to the same mysterious creatures that made the Rebels' finale possible.
They're affectionately referred to as hyperspace-jumping whales, but officially known as the Purgill. The large, engimatic beasts that "swim" in groups across the universe, launching themselves past lightspeed through purely organic means.
Apparently, the whalers of the Star Wars universe discovered Coaxium in the organs and tissue of the Purgill, which was soon deduced to be the cause of their reality-bending travel.
The beasts consume Clouzon-36 gas (which played a large factor in one Rebels episode, as the whales scavenged the gas from an Imperial refueling station). This substance combined with organic refinement became the secret recipe.
Eventually the process was recreated outside of the Purgill, making galactic travel possible -- and giving us the plot of Solo and the rest of the movies that follow in the timeline.
2 Anthony Daniels Cameo as Sagwa The Wookiee?
When fans got their first glimpse of Chewbacca embracing another Wookiee in the Solo trailer, hopes soared. Could the new Star Wars movie universe be incorporating Chewbacca's wife into continuity (from the less-said-about-it-the-better Christmas Special)?
The truth is going to be disappointing for fans hoping to see Malla so early in Chewie's story. However, the actual identity of the Wookiee in question does fold expanded universe elements back into continuity -- and gives C-3PO's actor a cameo at the same time.
Audiences may have a hard time tracking the dialogue of the Wookiees (for obvious reasons), but the new details come courtesy of Solo: The Official Guide.
The Wookiee is Sagwa, who is not just a fellow captive alongside Chewie, but also a native of Rwookrrorr -- the capitol city of Kashyyk. It's still a minor role, but with what little we know about Anthony Daniels's cameo in the movie, it's one of the only suitable options.
Solo makes the first time that C-3PO and R2-D2 are a no-show, with events set too far away from their own path through the saga.
Yet Daniels was still given the opportunity to share the screen with his furry friend as a fellow Wookiee, making Sagwa an even more special addition to the canon.
1 The Thermal Detonator Callback
Han Solo's story may start about as far from Princess Leia's palace life on Alderaan as possible, but the parallels between the two are there for the audience to enjoy (provided they remember Return of the Jedi well enough to catch them).
We're referring to the showdown between Han and Lady Proxima, the matriarch of the White Worms who resides with her offspring in a briny pool beneath the surface of Corellia.
It is a showdown that involves Han threatening her with a thermal detonator -- an explosive that is actually just a stone in his hand, but a threat all the same.
It's a nice call forward to Episode VI, when Leia and Luke hatch their plan to rescue Han from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt.
At first, it's not clear that it's really Leia beneath the suit and mask of "Boushh" who comes before Jabba to bargain. Again, this is a feat accomplished by holding an armed thermal detonator in an outstretched hand. However, in Leia's case, it's for real.
The reference may work less effectively than those who actually connect the same character across two time periods, but who knows? Maybe Han shared this ploy with Leia, giving her the idea in the first place?
Those are all of the Solo: A Star Wars Story Easter eggs, subtle secrets, cameos, and extended universe references that we could spot. Did you notice any others? Let us know in the comment section!