Han Solo is one of the most iconic characters in movie history – not just in the Star Wars universe – and he has countless lines and moments that are instantly recognizable. Lucasfilm attempted to bring the origin story of a young Han Solo to the screen last year with Alden Ehrenreich in the role, but it bombed at the box office, which was a franchise first. There were many reasons for Solo: A Star Wars Story’s failure, but the fact that it was Harrison Ford’s role and couldn’t be played by anyone else is one of the main ones. So, here are Han Solo’s 10 Greatest Moments, Ranked.
10 Shooting the Death Star intercom
Han and Chewie get more than they bargained for when they agree to take Luke and Obi-Wan to the Death Star. They end up getting drawn into the space station by a tractor beam, then have to disguise themselves as Stormtroopers in order to sneak aboard. While they’re on there, Han tries to talk to an Imperial officer over the intercom, but he’s figured out. So, he thinks on his feet and shoots the intercom. Harrison Ford reportedly improvised Han’s immortal quip from this scene: “Boring conversation anyway.” This is one of those great cases of an ad-libbed line making a movie even better.
9 Returning to the Millennium Falcon
Star Wars fans got all giddy when the first trailer for The Force Awakens was released and it ended with Han and Chewie, side by side once again, standing in the doorway of the Millennium Falcon. Han said, “Chewie...we’re home.” It was an awesome way to reintroduce the characters, but the film itself gives the moment more context. Han and Chewie lost the Falcon long ago, according to the movie, and wouldn’t relocate it until Rey and Finn needed a quick way off Jakku and the ship that wasn’t a piece of junk got blown up. In this moment, it’s like they’re catching up with an old friend.
8 Reuniting with Leia
Mark Hamill has lamented the fact that Luke Skywalker and Han Solo never got to have a final moment together, since Han was killed during the climactic battle sequence in The Force Awakens and Luke didn’t appear until that film’s closing seconds. But at least J.J. Abrams gave Han and Leia one last moment together.
They get a sweet reunion, too, in the aftermath of the skirmish at Maz Kanata’s castle. They haven’t seen each other in years, their son has turned evil and is taking over the galaxy, and they tell us exactly how they feel about all that in a single look.
7 Telling C-3PO his opinion on odds
“Never tell me the odds!” Well into the second act of The Empire Strikes Back, Vader’s fleet is hot on the Millennium Falcon’s trail, so Han decides to gun his ship through an asteroid field. C-3PO explains to him that the odds of surviving a trip through an asteroid field are 3,720 to one, but Han doesn’t care too much for odds. The odds were stacked against him when he tried to make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, and when he shot at Darth Vader, and when he infiltrated the Death Star – it didn’t stop him from giving them all his best shot.
6 Saying, “I know”
Hollywood romance rules dictate that when one character tells another character they love them – especially if it’s right at the end of the movie – the other character has to say, “I love you, too,” to complete their romantic arc. However, at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, when Han is about to be frozen in carbonite and hung on Jabba the Hutt’s wall and Princess Leia tells him, “I love you,” he says something much more Han Solo than that old Hollywood cliché: “I know.” In Return of the Jedi, they do finally get together, but this was a fun bump in the road.
5 Showing his son compassion
Han took a leaf out of his buddy Luke Skywalker’s handbook of heroism when he confronted his corrupted son Ben Solo in The Force Awakens. When Luke similarly confronted his corrupted father Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, he threw down his lightsaber as a sign of solidarity and compassion, showing his father that he could still see the good in him. Han did the same for Ben – or Kylo Ren, as he prefers to be known – and it ended up getting him tragically killed. Han didn’t aim his blaster at his son or try to fight him. He just wanted to give him a hug and take him home.
4 Saving Luke’s life on Hoth
The Han Solo we met in A New Hope wouldn’t risk his life to save anyone (except maybe Chewie), but he’s grown as a person by the end of that movie, and even more by the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back. When Luke doesn’t return to base from the snowy wilderness of Hoth, Han gets worried, grabs a tauntaun, and heads out to save his friend’s life. He’s told he won’t make it back alive, but he simply replies, “Then I’ll see you in Hell!” Han ends up cutting open a tauntaun to keep Luke warm in the freezing conditions, showing off his heroic side.
3 Firing at Darth Vader
When Han, Leia, Chewie, and C-3PO arrive at Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back, Lando Calrissian initially betrays them by turning them in to Darth Vader. They think they’re going to have dinner with Lando, but when the door slides open, they see Vader standing there, waiting to capture them.
Without missing a beat, Han whips out his blaster and starts shooting at Vader. The infamous Sith Lord deflects some of the blasts, but Han still manages to injure him. Han is seriously outgunned and out of his depth in a fight with Darth Vader, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he can to protect the people he cares about.
2 Shooting first
Fans were outraged when one of the many changes that George Lucas made to the original trilogy in his CGI-riddled special editions was a computer-generated plasma bolt slipping out of Greedo’s blaster and into the wall next to Han right before Han shoots Greedo. This led to a passionate “Han shot first” campaign from those fans. Lucas rationalized the choice by saying that he didn’t want to make Han a cold-blooded killer. But he wouldn’t be cold-blooded if he could simply tell that Greedo was going to shoot him and managed to get in there first. Then, he’s just a cowboy who won a duel.
1 Coming back to help the Rebels blow up the Death Star
All throughout A New Hope, Han claims not to care about the Rebel Alliance’s cause – or other people in general (besides Chewie) – and just wants to get paid. But he has a change of heart after he’s been paid and comes back to help Luke and the Rebels blow up the Death Star. Luke has TIE fighters on his tail and he’s worried that he might not make it to the target to fire a torpedo down the air shaft to blow up the Empire’s superweapon. And then Han arrives in the Falcon to take down the TIE fighters and help him in the battle.