Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
One of the main reasons for making Solo: A Star Wars Story is so that audiences can see how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) ends up on Tatooine and owing money to Jabba the Hutt at the start of A New Hope. While there are differentiating opinions on the quality of the latest Star Wars anthology film, there's no denying that director Ron Howard and screenwriters Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan have succeeded in setting up Han Solo's story arc in the original Star Wars trilogy.
Part of doing that meant showing how Han Solo meets Chewbacca, how he wins the Millennium Falcon, and how he winds up being less than optimistic about, well, everything in the original movies. But one of the most important aspects that can easily be overlooked by casual moviegoers in Solo: A Star Wars Story is exactly how Han Solo eventually meets the notorious gangster, Jabba the Hutt.
How Han Solo Meets Jabba The Hutt
When audiences first met Han Solo in A New Hope, they were introduced to a wise-cracking smuggler who owed a great deal of money to a mob boss named Jabba the Hutt. But the history and origin of that relationship were never explored on-screen... until now. Well, sort of. Although Solo: A Star Wars Story doesn't include Jabba the Hutt, contrary to previous rumors, the film does take the time to set up the reason Han Solo and Chewbacca both end up on Tatooine and under the employment of the crime lord.
Before meeting with Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) to hand over the coaxium, Han Solo and his team have the starship fuel refined on Savareen. That's where they are confronted by Enfys Nest and the Cloud-Riders, who want them to give the coaxium over to the Rebellion (more on this later). When Han Solo tells Tobias Beckett his plan to trick Dryden Vos, get their money, and give the fuel to the Rebels, Beckett decides to leave, and that's when he tells Han about a job on Tatooine with a big shot gangster (Jabba the Hutt). Then, at the end of the film, Han and Chewbacca head to Tatooine because Beckett told Han about this "very big gangster putting together a job."
How Solo: A Star Wars Story Uses The Rebellion
The Rebellion is not-so-subtly included in Solo: A Star Wars Story. While it may feel like an irrelevant and detracting addition to the story, Lucasfilm believed the Alliance's presence was necessary to familiarize Han Solo with the cause and even connect the movie to the prequel trilogy as well as the studio's first Star Wars anthology film: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In Solo: A Star Wars Story, the marauder gang led by Enfys Nest is actually an early-stage group of Rebels, similar to the Ghost's crew in Star Wars Rebels before they officially joined the Rebel Alliance.
Seeing as Solo: A Star Wars Story takes place years before A New Hope and, therefore, years before Rogue One, the movie also acts as a sequel for one of the Cloud-Riders and a prequel for another. In the movie, Warwick Davis plays the marauder Weazel, who first appeared during the Boonta Eve Classic sequence in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Furthermore, another marauder named Two Tubes is also seen as part of the Cloud-Riders. What's interesting is that there are two characters named Two Tubes - Benthic and Edrio - both of whom are eggmates who served under Saw Gerrera. In fact, they both play small but vital roles in Rogue One.
How Solo: A Star Wars Story Connects to A New Hope
Ultimately, the purpose for Solo: A Star Wars Story is to set up Han Solo for A New Hope. That means chronicling Han's journey from Corellia to the Mos Eisley spaceport on Tatooine. But more than that, the prequel film also needed to show why Han Solo is the way he is in George Lucas' original Star Wars movie: a pessimistic, seemingly self-obsessed smuggler. Aside from setting up Jabba the Hutt and the Rebellion, one of the biggest ways that Solo: A Star Wars Story connects to - and sets up Han Solo's arc in - A New Hope is having everyone besides Chewbacca betray him at one point or another, that includes Tobias Beckett and, sadly, Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke), who chooses to advance her position within Crimson Dawn instead. Plus, moviegoers can't disregard the fact that Han Solo also wins the Millennium Falcon from his buddy Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) in a game of Sabacc. Of course, he had to beat Lando a second time since the notorious gambler had cheated the first time around.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019