The latest Star Wars canon novel provides more evidence Han Solo didn't do the famed Kessel Run he bragged about in A New Hope. During the character's introductory scene in the original film, he makes the bold claim in an effort to impress Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker and illustrate how fast the Millennium Falcon is. Ever since then, the Kessel Run has been one of the franchise's greatest mysteries. Many presumed it would be a key component of this summer's Solo: A Star Wars Story, which chronicles the early smuggling adventures of a young Han. On toys, the Falcon is even being labeled as "Kessel Run Millennium Falcon."
Trailers have showcased the ubiquitous "TIE fighters chase the Falcon" set piece, this time taking place in what appears to be a space cloud. Fans have theorized this is the Kessel Run, though that has not been confirmed at this point in time. Previously, we detailed how Han completing the route in less than 12 parsecs could be a blatant lie, but now a case can be made Solo wasn't even the pilot who did it.
Last Shot, a new Star Wars canon book that was just published, takes place in a post-Return of the Jedi world where Han and Lando Calrissian embark on a mission together to right some previous wrongs they made in their younger scoundrel days. Because their task is off-the-books, they're forced to hire a pilot for their ship. The two head to Frander's Bay on Chandrila, where an exhibit hall listing includes a "Han Solo," who funnily enough is a young pilot posing as Han to get more clients. When discussing the Falcon with the fake Han, the real Solo remarks Han is "Captain of the ship that made the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs." Lando's retort is very interesting:
"It was the ship that made the run, not the captain."
The fake Han, whose name is Taka, tells Solo and Lando they're 21-years old. Lando says, "You were barely born when that run happened." Depending on how we want to interpret that line, it's plausible the Kessel Run took place before Solo even begins. The present day of Last Shot is three years after Return of the Jedi, meaning it's set roughly 18 years after the start of Solo (which spans Han's life from 18-24 years old). Taka would be around 3 or 4 when the spinoff picks up, which is young enough for an adult to consider someone "barely born," but not quite an infant. Regardless, since Taka is likely even a little older by the time Han wins the Falcon (Solo isn't starting with that fateful sabacc game), it seems likely the 12 parsecs record was set before Solo became the ship's captain.
It's important to point out this is just a theory of ours based on the text, which is left somewhat vague. However, if true, it would be a refreshing development. One of the fears about Solo when it was first announced was that it would just be a string of original trilogy references, depicting several events alluded to in the previous movies. While Solo will undoubtedly have some connections, some viewers would certainly appreciate a movie that throws some curveballs and primarily tells a story audiences are unfamiliar with. Based on marketing, it looks like that'll be the case, since the Conveyex heist is something all-new to canon. This isn't to say Han won't fly the Kessel Run in the film (Kessel is a confirmed location), he'll just have to settle for being a little slower.
Source: Star Wars - Last Shot
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019