What happens when you take two of the biggest scoundrels in the entire galaxy and put them together in frantic mad cap adventure after adventure? You get the makings of Star Wars' legendary friends -- or frenemies, really -- Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, that's what.
With the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, devoted Star Wars fans everywhere were finally treated to the new canon version of their first meeting, as well as an adventure for the ages and plenty of their signature snarky charm and humor.
However, long before Solo was entertaining audiences everywhere, fans had fallen for the witty rapport and loaded history shared by the galaxy's best smuggler and the smuggler turned Baron Administrator turned Rebel Alliance general.
Before Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm rendered an entire trove of novels and comics no longer canon, the adventures that these two got up to were seemingly endless, with each one more out of this world than the last.
No matter what terms they're on, whether they want to punch each other in the face or welcome each other with a warm hug, Han and Lando have proven time and again that friendship, no matter the circumstances, is worth fighting for in the end.
Here are the 15 Things Only True Star Wars Fans Know About Han And Lando's Friendship.
15 In the EU, Han and Lando first met when Lando needed piloting lessons
First impressions really can be everything, especially in Han and Lando's world where you never know whether you can trust someone -- even after you've known them for a very long time.
In the original Expanded Universe, whose works are now considered part of the Star Wars Legends, Han and Lando's friendship is born from the most unlikely of circumstances.
Lando, having just recently acquired the Millennium Falcon, finds himself at a loss as to what to do, considering that he does not know how to pilot any sort of ship, especially not an old Corellian freighter such as the Falcon.
According to the 2005 resource book Star Wars: The New Essential Chronology by Daniel Wallace, Lando had his fair share of doubts about keeping the Falcon: "It would be an expensive and time-consuming process to learn how to fly, but having his own mode of transportation would come in handy whenever he needed to make a quick getaway. Besides, the ship could always be sold for ready cash if funds ran low."
Before he could even weigh the pros and cons of keeping the Falcon, however, Lando needed to address the fact that he couldn't speak to its usefulness, as he himself did not know how to fly: "But first he needed to learn the art of piloting, so Lando Calrissian hired a tutor -- Han Solo, a smuggler, a fair sabacc player, and one of the best star jockeys in all of Hutt space."
14 Their first official meeting involved Lando saving Han from Boba Fett
In the world of smugglers, it's virtually impossible to not cross someone who really shouldn't be messed with, or to find yourself with a bounty placed upon your head. For Han Solo, that happened far too many times to count.
However, according to the Star Wars Legends, an early encounter with Star Wars' most infamous bounty hunter could have gone a very different way if Lando hadn't intervened.
When Han and Lando were supposed to meet up to discuss arrangements for Lando's flight tutoring the first time, Lando just so happened to find Han currently held at gunpoint by none other than Boba Fett himself.
According to Star Wars: The New Essential Chronology's recollection of the incident, Lando "caught up with Han at just the right time. The bounty hunter Boba Fett had Han at gunpoint, but Lando intercepted the pair and turned the tables on Fett. He injected the bounty hunter with an obedience drug and ordered him to fly off to the Rim of the galaxy. A grateful Han offered to teach Lando how to pilot, at no charge."
Of course, there's the small matter of Lando later betraying Han to Vader and Fett, but that's neither here nor there.
13 Han and Lando both won the Millennium Falcon in games of sabacc
It's a story that has been told time and again throughout varying forms of Star Wars canon. Whether in the no longer canon Star Wars Legends, or in the newly determined canon of post-Disney Star Wars, the story as we know it is that Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game of sabacc -- the true gambler's game of the Star Wars universe.
Answers have varied wildly over time as to whether Solo rigged the game in his favor somehow, but that was really beside the point. It was the myth, the legend, and the hilarious idea of the most iconic ship in all the galaxy being traded away as a bet in a card game that made the story worth the telling again and again.
As it turns out, however, Han Solo wasn't the only person to win everyone's favorite freighter in a game of sabacc. Lando Calrissian himself won the Millennium Falcon in the first place during the Cloud City Sabacc Tournament in circa 5 BBY.
The Falcon's previous owner had been a competitive gambler by the name of Cix Trouvee who, upon finding he could not cover the debts he owed after losing in the Tournament, was forced to offer up his ship instead.
12 They once starred in their own Ocean's Eleven style book
The glory days of the original Star Wars Expanded Universe included some real treasures, particularly the works written by prolific author Timothy Zahn.
While Zahn has produced a dozen novels within the Star Wars canon over the years, he is perhaps best known for what has come to be known as the Thrawn Trilogy, a series of three books released between 1991-1993.
In these books, as well as the subsequent 1997-1998 The Hand of Thrawn series and the current ongoing Thrawn series, Zahn created one of Star Wars' most iconic villains to date, the Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn. His character was so strong, and so well-received, that Thrawn has now been brought back into the Star Wars canon via Star Wars Rebels and the new novel series.
As iconic as Zahn's creation of Thrawn may be, however, it's one of his standalone adventure novels that really provides fans with a fun inside look at the friendship between Han and Lando.
In 2013, shortly before the Expanded Universe would no longer be considered canon after Disney's acquisition of the franchise, Zahn released Star Wars: Scoundrels, a heist novel set after A New Hope.
Centering around Han, Lando, and Chewie, the adventure finds the trio building a larger team for their heist, much in the vein of traditional heist movies.
Zahn himself even admitted, “This is the Star Wars version of Ocean’s 11. In fact, my original title was Solo’s 11, but they decided that might be a little too close to the trademark.”
11 Han once pulled an awful trick on Lando involving his love life
Even the best of adult friends can't help but act like children every now and then. Unfortunately for Lando, Han just happens to be one of the biggest examples of a man who refuses to grow up.
Ostensibly under the guise of playing wingman to the endlessly charming and ladies' man Lando, Han once introduced the charming rogue to the Tonnika sisters, identical twins with intricately braided black hair who appear briefly as background characters in the Mos Eisley Cantina.
The sisters, Brea and Senni, were renowned con artists, so it should be pretty clear the direction in which this story is heading.
So Han decided to introduce Lando to these lovely ladies -- except when he did so, he introduced them as a single woman named Bresenni. This meant that Lando thought he was wooing and falling for one woman named Bresenni, although he found himself struggling to understand why her demeanor would change so suddenly.
In the end, the con was revealed by the sisters and Han himself, leaving an irate and embarrassed Lando in its wake.
Sometimes, pranks between the supposed best of friends really can go too far, even in the world of a galaxy far, far away.
10 Their initial EU falling out was over a woman, indirectly
It's a pretty tired cliché that two men have a falling out over a woman who comes between them somehow. Usually, it's in the form of two longtime friends finding themselves to be sudden romantic rivals as they pursue the same woman, with only one a clear winner in the end, and the other left embittered by it all.
However, far be it for Star Wars to fall for all of the conventional story tropes out there, seeing as it does take place in a galaxy far, far away.
In the no longer canon Star Wars Legends, Han and Lando did indeed have a large falling out that was, indirectly at least, caused by a woman.
Han's relationship with a member of the Rebellion, Bria Tharen, led to Han and Lando agreeing to take part in a raid on a slavery operation organized by the Hutts. Solo and Calrissian, along with a team of smugglers, were promised that they would be rewarded handsomely for their participation.
In the end of it all, the smugglers and Tharen were successful in their defeat of the Hutt slave operation. However, despite Bria Tharen's earlier assurance that payment would be included as a thanks for their work, she went back on her word, claiming all that they had recovered in the name of the Rebellion.
9 They have a real problem with punching each other
Given that they're two especially macho characters, created in the peak era for macho male movies in the 1970s and 1980s, it's not exactly a surprise that Han and Lando don't exactly ever sit down and talk about their feelings.
They have quite the fraught history, whether you're considering the current Expanded Universe or the previous one, which would make any particularly emotional conversation quite difficult and lengthy.
However, just because they're not so good at the whole emotions thing, that doesn't mean that the two should be incapable of communicating altogether. Surely, the two could find some sort of common ground to address one another on, given their shared experiences.
Yet, time and again, no matter the preceding circumstances or whether the incident occurred on screen or in a novel or comic, Han and Lando both seem to be big proponents of fighting first and thinking later.
Their special preference appears to be punching other square in the face upon greeting one another, rather than addressing each other in any way.
Over the years, they do seem to get better at communicating, at least in the former version of the Expanded Universe. Only time will tell how further works in the new canon handle their communication skills -- or lack thereof.
8 Han considered Lando one of the galaxy's worst liars
A smuggler's life doesn't exactly provide a lot of opportunities to be totally forthcoming all the time. Smugglers thrive on making deals, breaking deals, delivering the goods, and getting their cut of each and every deal they make.
As the glorified equivalent of pirates in space, they get away with whatever they can, and reap the benefits of each and every risk they take.
Some smugglers are clearly more forthcoming than others -- Han and Lando, at times, can both be blunt and overly honest to a fault, especially in inopportune moments.
However, if you asked Han, naturally, he holds himself in much higher esteem than he does Lando when it comes to honesty, given Lando's track record of betrayal and self-interest.
According to a 1990s companion book for one of the Super Nintendo Star Wars video games, Han reportedly considered Lando to be one of the biggest liars in the entire galaxy.
That's not to say that Han is either without fault here, or the most trustworthy source of character assessment, but the loaded comment suggests a whole lot about the ever fluctuating nature of their relationship -- and what makes it so compelling in each and every form.
7 It wasn't just Chewie: Lando felt as though he had his own life debt to Han, too
It's been a staple of Star Wars canon that Chewbacca felt as though he owed a life debt to Han Solo for quite some time. While Solo finally shed some light on the reasoning behind that, fans may not know that it wasn't just Chewbacca who felt indebted to Han for his entire life.
For many reasons, Lando felt as though he had his own endless debt to repay, in large part due to betrayal after betrayal -- inadvertent or otherwise -- that the EU once assigned to Lando's character again and again.
Within the canon universe, Lando's current betrayal mostly consists of betraying Han and Leia to Vader and Boba Fett, which he soon makes up for by leading a rebellion against Vader's plan and assisting in saving Han from the carbonite freeze.
However, within the novels now known to be part of the Star Wars Legends, Lando found himself the unlikely cause of countless heartbreaking events.
Among other things, Lando played key roles in the abduction of Leia Organa-Solo, the abduction of Jacen and Jaina Solo, and the death of Anakin Solo. He also failed to offer any sort of emotional support to the Organa-Solos following Chewbacca's demise.
6 Billy Dee Williams has joked that Han and Lando shared a lot more than just clothes
It's a brief moment in the original trilogy that has left fans scratching their heads for 38 years now. At the end of Empire Strikes Back, why does it seem as though Lando, now aboard the Falcon, is wearing an outfit that bears a striking resemblance to Han's outfit of choice?
There's obvious fun to be had with a question like this, especially for certain groups of fans on the internet who like to get more creative than others. However, as it turns out, it's not just the fans who are in on the fun in this case.
In his 2013 panel at Rhode Island Comic Con, Billy Dee Williams was asked this very same question, and soon found himself engaging in a bit of a back and forth with the panel moderator.
The moderator first presented what seemed like the logical, G-rated answer to the question: "Lando owned the Falcon first, and Han opened the closet and went, 'Wow, I'd look good in these!'"
However, it was Billy Dee who opted for a bit of a coyer, more PG-rated answer: "Well... it's not known, but... Han and I were an item."
This then prompted the moderator to joke, "When Princess Leia walked in on them, they stood up and put the wrong clothes on."
Neither of these answers are clearly meant to be taken as the correct reasons within the Star Wars universe, but knowing that the cast themselves are so embracing of the fun that comes with the territory just makes things all the better for fans.
5 Han and Lando have long been one of fans' favorite couples
It's more or less generally accepted by now that certain parts of the internet, when presented with two characters they like very much, will pair just about anyone in a theoretical romantic relationship -- or ship, as they're better known to most.
Regardless of whether these characters have ever had anything vaguely resembling a romantic interaction in the actual canon narrative of the work, the internet will do what it can with what it has, and then create even more, populating the likes of Archive Of Our Own, FanFiction.net, and Tumblr with fan fiction after fan fiction.
However, before these internet centers of fan culture existed, ship culture still raged on. As the internet was coming into existence, and even before then, fan fiction was written and shared among fans in various ways: through fan magazines, through email, through listservs, and even in printed form between friends.
One of the oldest and most unconventional couples to have experienced the rise and fall and rise again of fan fiction culture, transcending the 'zine era and thriving all the way through the world of fan fiction websites, is none other than the fan imagined relationship between Han and Lando themselves, due in large part to their mysterious backstory and sparking banter.
With the latest confirmation that Lando is, indeed, intended to be a pansexual character, there's no telling just how much more popular this ship will become.
4 A young Ben Solo considered Lando his uncle
Try as he might to charm her upon meeting her, it was clear that Lando was no match for Leia Organa, who would go on to marry Han Solo and prove herself more than capable of handling both Han and Lando's wild ways all on her own - and all while running a Resistance, serving in the Senate, and raising the child who would grow up to be the tormented Kylo Ren.
Over the years, Lando remained close with both Han and Leia, working together professionally and personally so frequently that he soon became considered a member of their extended family.
In the recently released Last Shot by Daniel José Older, the level of closeness between the couple and their old friend is only further strengthened by having Lando interact with a toddler Ben Solo.
On multiple occasions, young Ben addresses Lando as "Unca Wanwo," showing both warmth and youthful cuteness in his speech. He even bolts out of a bath to run up and hug his uncle.
Similarly, Lando shows nothing but affection for the little boy, calling him "little buddy," "young Mr. Ben," and, most adorable of all, "little starfighter."
Each moment is perfectly balanced with warmth, heart, and a tinge of bittersweet nostalgia, as it is a reminder of all that these characters once had.
3 Lando's original gift ideas for the newly married Han and Leia were uniquely hilarious
Lando would go on to become very close to a young Ben Solo as he grew older, as evidenced by the adorable scenes and nicknames he shares with the emotional toddler in Last Shot.
However, even before Ben had even been born, it turns out that Lando had already taken a real liking to the little kid, so much so that he considered gifting Han and Leia with some truly unique natal presents.
In Aftermath: Empire's End, the final book in the Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig, Lando's right hand aide, Lobot, reminds Calrissian that he has yet to decide upon a gift to give the soon to be parents in celebration of their new baby: "He sighs. 'Okay, okay. Buying gifts for a kid. Can we get him a cute little cape and a mustache so he looks like old Uncle Lando?'"
The visual conjured up by this suggestion is, without a doubt, one of the most adorable things to come out of a Star Wars novel in quite some time, much like their eventual interactions in Last Shot.
Later in Empire's End, however, Lando once again considers what would be a good present for Ben, briefly considering gifting Ben a blaster for the future, appended with the note: "Hey, kid, it's me, Uncle Lando, you ever need help and don't wanna call your father, come find me, we'll sort it out."
2 Lando clearly pronounces Han's name wrong on purpose
Names in Star Wars aren't exactly the easiest to pronounce. Sure, there are simpler ones -- Luke, Finn, Rose -- but for every monosyllabic, earthly name, you've got plenty of totally unfamiliar names to match -- Qui-Gon, Ahsoka, Breha.
In the case of the original trilogy, few characters find their name more mispronounced than poor Han Solo. Tempting as it may be, his first name is not, in fact, pronounced like the "han-" that begins hand, ends than, or sits in the middle of chance.
Rather, his name is more akin in sound to the a-sound found in words and names such as Juan, dawn, or Obi-Wan.
A little mispronounciation can go a long way in terms of defining a character, however. In each of his appearances in the original trilogy, whenever he's using Han's name either in address or in reference to him, Lando consistently, without fail pronounces it incorrectly.
Solo plays around a little with this phenomenon, featuring Lando saying Han's name wrong when they first meet. This prompts Han to correct his pronunciation then and there -- "It's Han, but that's okay" -- only for Lando to clearly be unfazed, given his preference for mispronunciation even after all those years.
1 George Lucas created Lando to be, in many ways, Han's perfect match
Characters in movies, literature, and television often play best off one another when there are clear stakes at hand -- either they clash entirely in personality, or they find that they have more in common than they are willing to admit.
In the case of Han and Lando, they were apparently deliberately designed to belong to the latter category.
A 2006 article in Star Wars Insider revealed that Lando was created with the express purpose of being a perfect foil to Han's character. While Han was revealed quite early on to have a real emotional soft side, Lando appeared to be primarily ruled by self-interest for much longer.
Lando, therefore, was designed by George Lucas to represent what Han could have become if he hadn't come back to aid the Rebellion.
Of course, Lando goes on to become an integral part of the main group of characters and the Rebellion as a whole, serving as quasi extended family to the Organa Solos and becoming a hero for the Rebellion for his actions in Return of the Jedi.
It just goes to show you how strong an influence characters can have on one another once they're allowed the chance to develop organically.
What do you enjoy most about Han and Lando's legendary, though contentious friendship? Let us know in the comments!