For more than forty years, Han Solo has manned the Millennium Falcon and helped bring balance to the galaxy. With Solo: A Star Wars Story now out in theaters, he finally has his own story on the big screen and as fans watch his adventures unfold, many will be left with lingering questions.
Many viewers will be pleased with Han's many connections to the original Skywalker trilogy. From his first meeting with Chewbacca to how he completed the Kessel Run in under 13 parsecs, many answers have being nicely wrapped in a bow. Still, some frustrating new elements have left the smuggler's journey in limbo.
With a new Star Wars movie out in theaters every year, Disney is pushing the envelope on the galaxy far, far away, leaving the studio under heavy scrutiny to do right by the beloved franchise. After a troubled production, the Disney executives can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing the film wasn't a complete disaster, though middling receptions from both fans and critics alike would suggest it's far from the best SW outing to date.
With so much to dissect, we're delving deep into all of the cast's biggest on-screen moments and asking some of our most burning questions. While there's still time for some of our confusion to be resolved, not all will be answered, but it's our job to bring them to the table.
Join us as we take a look at 16 Things About Solo That Make No Sense.
Astute fans of the Star Wars saga may remember the barely recognizable pair of gold dice that hung in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon in the original 1977 film. The small, but visible piece of set decor makes a brief appearance as Chewie hits them with his head, then they crop up again in The Last Jedi when Luke discovers them on board the ship.
The rumors surrounding the significance of the dice have long floated around the internet. According to Pablo Hidalgo, a Creative Executive for the franchise, the dice were used in a game of Corellian Spike in which Han supposedly won the Falcon from Lando Calrissian. Set decorator Roger Christian noted in his autobiography that the dice were a finishing touch added as a nod to the George Lucas film American Graffiti to show Han's history as a reckless gambler.
Now with Solo out, we can say with certainty that the dice have more meaning to Han than just a reminder of the day he won his precious ship. The souvenir first makes an appearance on Corellia as Han carries them around with him, later handing them over to Qi'ra for good luck before she is apprehended at the Coronet spaceport. Although it's never revealed where the lucky dice first came from, they appear to have a sentimental value to Han and show up on more than one occasion. Regardless of their exact meaning, they're likely to pop up again if a sequel occurs.
Picking up during Han's early years, Solo shows the outlaw on the streets of Corellia, working under the grasp of the locally feared crime boss Lady Proxima. With her seedy underground hideout and large group of enslaved orphans working under her command, she's a menacing presence in the opening scenes of the film. As Han attempts to wheel and steal his way off of the planet, he finds himself under Proxima's radar. Unfortunately, before he can make a clean getaway, he's forced to come face to face with Proxima and her goonies in her underground lair.
As a smaller scale criminal operator, Proxima is a nice addition to the Star Wars cannon, and more specifically to Han's origin story, but something just doesn't make sense.
Her exposed weakness to sunlight calls into question why Han, or anyone for that matter, would take orders from her if she can be injured so easily.
A snake-like creature with a panache for clunky jewelry, Proxima is an amphibious character who is only ever seen in a giant pool of water inside her den. When Han confronts her, she threatens his life. Thinking on his feet, Han quickly concocts a lie about having a thermal detonator in his hand, which is later revealed to be nothing more than a rock. Throwing it at a nearby window, sunlight beams into the room, burning Proxima's face and forcing her back beneath the water.
Call it dumb luck, intuition or some special abilities gifted from a higher power, but for whatever reason, when Han gets into a cockpit, he's able to navigate a ship beyond the capabilities of a normal human being. His cockiness doesn't come without the talents to back it up and in Solo, he puts his space maneuverability to the test, displaying all kinds of aerial tricks to solidify his place as the best of the best in Star Wars canon.
Still, even with all his expertise, there's a certain level of plausibility that most go into learning the ins and outs of how to fly a spacecraft and for the Millennium Falcon, it may have come too easily for Han on the first try.
Prior to getting his first crack at piloting the Falcon, the only real ships we witness Han fly are a simple hover-car on Corellia as well as a spacecraft on Vandor. Neither of those ships had the lightspeed capabilities of the Millennium Falcon, nor did Han have to fly them through the Kessel Run while escaping a planet-sized, tentacled monstrosity.
After only watching a few minutes of Lando and L3 piloting the Falcon, however, Han was able to accomplish those feats and get back to Savareen in time to save everyone on board. Maybe stress is a positive motivator for him, but more than likely it's just simple writing to avoid having to show Han learning how to fly the ship.
First introduced in the novel Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, the card game Sabacc has had a long history in the Star Wars expanded universe. Although the gameplay depicted in Solo varies from the rules described in the EU, the premise remains the same.
As Han mentions in the original trilogy, he infamously won the Millennium Falcon in a game of Sabacc when he managed to get the best of Lando, only the story doesn't quite play out that way for him at first. On a quest to find a ship in order to steal a large quantity of coaxium from the planet of Kessel, Qi'ra introduces Han to Lando while he's partaking in his favorite card game. Rather than asking Lando for the ship outright, he believes he can beat him at his own game.
Lando has been stashing cards up his sleeve, which he uses to create a winning hand.
As a renowned gambler who's established a reputation for being lucky, Lando has obviously won enough games that most of his opponents would have learned their lesson, but as it's later revealed, people still decide to play Sabacc with him even though he always wins. Maybe he's just that good at convincing everyone he's playing fairly, but that's still not a reasonable excuse to play someone with his good fortune.
Last year, Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger stirred up controversy when he made the comment that Solo would finally reveal the origins of Han's last name, suggesting the scruffy-looking nerf herder could have been going by an alias since the beginning. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy would later attempt to erase the statement when she said that Han's last name is and would always be Solo.
With the release of the film, things aren't exactly any clearer when it comes to determining the beloved hero's real surname.
In the film, Han is shown fleeing his hometown of Corellia after finding himself on the run from the dreaded Lady Proxima. Soon afterwards, he enlists with the Imperial Academy to someday fulfill his dream of becoming the most famed pilot of the galaxy. While applying, the officer behind the desk asks him about his last name, to which Han replies that he "has no people" and is "alone." Taking it upon himself, the officer enlists him with the last name he has since come to be known by.
Although the origin of the name may not be the most creative, it does suggest Han may still have a real family name we have yet to learn about. As he mentions in the movie, he has a complicated relationship with his father, which may be why he's neglected his real name for so long.
As can be expected, there are many Easter eggs and ironic bits of dialogue throughout Solo for Star Wars fans to grasp onto, but not every little reference carries as much inconsistency as one of the lines murmured by Lando.
As a prolific businessman and an expert negotiator, Lando knows his way around a deal and can most likely finesse his way around most bad situations, but he's also the kind of guy who tries to avoid a sticky setting as best he can. That's why it's particularly interesting to find out that he has a strong distaste for mining colonies.
Shortly after landing on the spice colony of Kessel, Lando can be clearly heard saying, "Mining colonies are the worst."
Oddly enough, he later becomes the Baron Administrator of the mining colony Cloud City, which is where we first meet him in The Empire Strikes Back.
Of course, it's possible that he changes his mind sometime between the events of Solo and Episode V or it may be that he had just never visited the right mining colony. Either way, it seems like a weird statement from someone who cared so deeply about a mining colony that he ratted out his best friend to the Empire just to protect it.
In Solo, we finally get a look at how the lifelong friendship between man and Wookiee came to be.
After escaping a grim future on Corellia without his first love Qi'ra, Han is kicked out of the Empire's flight academy for being insubordinate. Three years after his departure, he's shown on a grisly battlefield where he first encounters his mentor Tobias Beckett along with his ragtag team of criminal renegades, all of whom are posing as members of the Imperial Military. Soon after rubbing Beckett the wrong way, Han finds himself tossed into an enclosed pit housing a beast who serves as punishment for the disobedient. As luck would have it, the beast turns out to be none other than Chewbacca and after a muddied fight, the two manage to come to terms when Han speaks Chewie's native language Shyriiwook.
Given that little is known about Han's years as a Corellian smuggler, it's a mystery how he became so fluent in Shyriiwook, especially given that he likely had very little education in his youth. It's an impressive skill that inevitably saves him from being eaten alive by his best friend, but it begs the question of just how many Wookiees he knew before Chewie.
Cynical, disagreeable, and hard-headed, Han Solo was the definition of a space cowboy, pulling off heists and overcoming insurmountable odds despite being the most unlikely of heroes. As a big personality, it's easy to see why such a large supporting cast would find itself gravitating toward him, but it there was one lesson Solo should have learned, it's to never introduce new characters to a franchise that aren't one hundred percent expendable.
As part of Disney's new foray outside of the world of Star Wars' larger storyline, they introduced the world to the idea of Star Wars standalones that didn't have to involve Jedi or the rise of a new dark order. For Rogue One, everything worked out because the entire cast of characters would go on to die in a self-sacrificial mission, explaining their absences throughout the original trilogy, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for Solo.
No matter the excuse for not mentioning characters like Beckett or Qi'ra, the truth is they all played a prominent role in Han's life.
Because of this, it goes without saying that they should have come up in conversation at some point, making the lack of talk about them in the other films seem highly unlikely.
As a smooth-talking, jocular personality with an ornate fashion sense, Donald Glover's take on Lando Calrissian easily steals the show in Solo, but as one particular scene seems to indicate, the show may not have been the only thing Lando stole.
In the film, Qi'ra first leads Han to Lando while he's playing a very public game of Sabacc as a crowd watches his hot hand. Undeterred by his charisma and winning ways, Han challenges Lando to a game, bragging about a nonexistent ship of his own. Going all in, Han tries but fails to win the Falcon from Lando, though Han's crew later manages to convince Lando to let them use the ship on the Kessel Run, as long as they promise him a cut of the profits.
Everything seems fine on Lando's part, that is, until they get ready to board the ship, requiring the crew to break into an area to get to the Falcon. Once there, they find a boot on the ship, which Lando then pays Beckett to remove. As all signs seem to indicate, Lando never owned the Falcon and in fact may have stolen it. As a rule of thumb, you can't lose something that was never yours.
If Lando never owned the Millennium Falcon, that means Han didn't actually win it from him. So the question remains of who the iconic ship really belonged to in the first place.
In the three years since their separation on Corellia, Han and Qi'ra traveled down separate paths. Looking for a way back to her, Han searched for ways to become the pilot he had always dreamed of, but before he could return to Corellia, he was reunited with Qi'ra at a party hosted by her boss, the Crimson Dawn crime lord Dryden Vos. It's at the party that Han first asks her how she managed to escape her enslavement, a question to which she sadly replies, "I didn't."
After hearing out Han and Beckett's plan to steal coaxium from the mining colony of Kessel, Vos has Qi'ra accompany Han's team to prove her loyalty as his most trusted Lieutenant. In her time with Han, she admits to having done terrible, inexcusable things under Vos' influence. Although she ultimately takes out her boss, she inevitably chooses the dark side by the film's end.
In the time she's with Han, it's never explained how she became such a prominent member of the Crimson Dawn in just three years time.
Although it's true she could easily do enough harm to have a change of heart in such a short period, she'd have to do a lot of damage to impress so quickly and rise in the ranks so fast. Luckily, Emilia Clark is signed on for more Star Wars movies, so maybe some future installments will answer some of our questions.
As a hot-headed, cocksure pilot, Han has never been shy about his accomplishments. In Episode IV, he infamously boasted to Obi-Wan about the abilities of the Millennium Falcon, claiming that he made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs, enduring treacherous routes to get the job done. In Solo, the often discussed Kessel Run is finally brought to the big screen, but while Han's feat is no laughing matter, it's the omissions from the story that are the real scene-stealers.
Although Han brags about how fast the Falcon can travel, it's his abilities to escape deathly intimidating circumstances that should put him in the conversation for best pilot in the galaxy. Using the brain of L3-37, which Lando puts into the Millennium Falcon, Han is able to navigate a series of gravity wells while avoiding space-born monsters along the way.
Then the crew runs into an extremely large, rathtar-like beast with many hazardous tentacles extruding from its body. With the help of an escape pod, Han is able to lure the beast into one of the gravity wells before using coaxium to give the ship enough of a boost to escape.
As stories go, Han's survival through the Kessel Run in around 12 parsecs is an awesome feat, but the parts of the story he chooses to omit, including the near-death escape from a giant space monster, are head-scratchers, especially for someone who loves to talk about himself so much.
Soon after boosting the coaxium from the Pyke Syndicate on Kessel, Han successfully navigates the highly combustible hyper-fuel to a refinery on the nearby planet of Savareen, narrowly arriving on time before the mineral explodes. After stabilizing the cargo, the crew have an unexpected stand-off with Efyns Nest and her group of marauders. After Nest and her group reveal themselves to be early members of the Rebel Alliance, they manage to appeal to Han's good nature and come to terms with him to keep the coaxium away from Dryden Vos.
After concocting a plan, Han takes a seemingly fake case containing the coaxium back to Vos. However, when Vos tells Han that he knew the coaxium was fake, thanks to intel provided by Beckett, Han reveals his true plan to the crime lord. Expecting that he would be double-crossed, Han brought the real coaxium to Vos' location, which in turn provided enough of a distraction for Nest and her Cloud-Riders to take out Vos' men.
In the end, both Vos and Beckett meet grim endings, but just because things worked out for Han doesn't mean his plan wasn't severely flawed.
No matter how much courage one possesses, taking a highly combustible mineral to a crime lord prone to violent outbursts is never a good idea.
Luckily, things worked out for the better, but Han and his crew could have just as easily ended up piles of ashes if one wrong move would've occurred.
While fans of the original Star Wars films are sure to enjoy many familiar faces in Solo, some new characters are sure to spark conversations over the next few weeks. While many of the newest names are nice additions to the SW canon, few will be more controversial than Enfys Nest, the young, freckled-face leader of the Cloud-Riders who unmasks herself on the planet of Savareen and proclaims herself a part of the impending rebellion against the Galactic Empire.
First introduced on the icy planet of Vandor while trying to spoil Han and Beckett's coaxium train heist, then later reappearing to appeal to the senses of the smuggling duo, Nest informs Han about the true purpose of Vos' crime syndicate Crimson Dawn.
As a powerful colonizing entity, the crime syndicate has been consuming the natural resources of many native planets across the galaxy, leaving the inhabitants helpless and defenseless to fight back. As she describes it, the coaxium is "the blood that brings life to something new," which could very well mean the founding of the Rebellion.
With the coaxium in their possession, Han aided Enfys and the Cloud-Riders in the start of the Rebel Alliance, which in turn helped to ignite the first big steps in the destruction of the Empire. As for the plans for the large amount of coaxium obtained by the group, it remains a mystery what big ideas Enfys has in store for the highly reactive mineral.
Down on his luck after being kicked out of the Imperial flight academy, Han runs into a fellow crew of criminal free agents under the leadership of Tobias Beckett. Short-handed on their mission to highjack an elevated train full of coraxium, Han and Chewie befriend Beckett and quickly find themselves indebted to Crimson Dawn crime boss Dryden Vos.
Serving as a mentor to Han, Beckett warns his new naive colleague to "trust no one," which later becomes words to live by when Beckett predictably turns his back on Han, ratting him out to Vos and revealing Han's plans to hide the coaxium from the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate. Luckily, Beckett's life lessons pay off and Han is able to foresee Beckett's actions before they happen, leaving him time to prevent Vos from stealing the lethal hyper-fuel.
At an earlier moment in the film, before Beckett deceives Han, he shares a touching moment where he tells him of a big whig crime boss on Tattooine who's assembling a team, foreshadowing Han's future partnership with Jabba the Hutt. After taking Beckett out,Han sets his sights for the desert planet in hopes that Beckett's words were truthful.
Given his reputation, there's little reason to believe Beckett's recommendation to go to Tattooine could be trusted.
Ultimately his recommendation does go bode well for Han, leaving us to believe Han should have never listened to him in the first place.
By now fans who have already watched Solo have most likely had a conversation about the movie's biggest revelation: the return of Darth Maul. While those unfamiliar with his status after The Phantom Menace will wonder how he's still alive after being cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi, those familiar with The Clone Wars and Rebels will remember that Maul was rescued by his mother Talzin, with whom he helped to create the criminal alliance known as the Shadow Collective.
In the closing moments of Solo, the former Sith apprentice to Darth Sidious is called upon by Qi'ra after she takes the life of her former leader Dryden Vos. Appearing in holographic form, Qi'ra pledges her loyalty to Maul, leaving many to question if she was playing Han all along.
Ultimately, Maul's introduction into Star Wars' standalone movies could mean a whole new chapter in his story, chronicling his life between the end of Clone Wars and his death in Rebels. Exactly how Qi'ra plays into those years has yet to be seen, but with her newfound status as a highly regarded Crimson Dawn member, it could mean her character may pop up in multiple places outside of just Han's story.
As reviews and audience reactions for Solo continue to pour in, it's important not to get bogged down by all the differences in opinion. The truth is the film was always going to be a mixed bag. Firstly, no matter who was cast to fill the shoes of Harrison Ford, no one was ever going to live up to the iconic charisma of the original Han. It's not Alden Ehrenreich's fault and he deservedly should be applauded for saying yes to the opportunity.
Still, beneath all the hearsay and controversy surrounding the movie, there's plenty of room to enjoy Solo if you're open to the change. The real question is, "Is the movie really necessary?"
Presumably, the reason for a standalone Star Wars movie should be to add a new layer of depth, and perhaps some fresh perspective to a franchise by showing a story that hasn't yet been told. However, the audience already knows Han's story, or at least as much of it as he wants us to know. Going back in time to take a look at such a renowned character's past will always open up that character's story to criticism, especially when fans could just as easily construct a better version in their own imaginations. Ultimately, Solo is far from a necessary addition to Star Wars canon, though it is still provides plenty of escapism for those willing to hop on board - and money for Disney, if the film is a box office success.
What else didn't make sense about Solo? Let us know in the comments!