The prequel movie may have shown how Han Solo got his last name, but Star Wars fans who felt disappointed by the throwaway origins are in luck, because the secret meaning of the "Solo" name has now been revealed.
When the Solo movie finally arrived in theaters, it would be an understatement to say the results weren't what Disney had hoped. After a troubled production, making a film many Star Wars fans opposed on principle, and releasing it just months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the odds were stacked against the smuggler. Yet the decision to show how Han Solo got his last name was a perfect symbol of what many fans disliked. For some, it went as far as dishonoring the legacy of the character. For Disney, the response was strong enough to change their plans for Star Wars spinoffs.
Hopefully now that the alternate, and apparently REAL meaning of Han's made-up last name has been explained, fans might be able to forgive. Or at least appreciate how the "Solo" name actually fit his character perfectly.
- This Page: The "Real" Meaning of Han Solo's Name
- Next Page: Does Han Solo's Name Change Save The Movie?
How Han Gets Named "Solo" in The Movie
In case some have only heard about the "joke" of Han Solo's name being introduced in Solo, or those who saw the film may have forgotten it/blocked it out of their minds, the moment is a surprisingly short one. As Han and his young partner/girlfriend Qi'ra are trying to escape from the Corellian slums, Qi'ra is snatched up, leaving Han to escape on his own. Catching sight of an Imperial Navy recruitment center, he rushes over to sign up before the security forces searching for him drag him back to a certain death.
The Navy seems his best path back to Qi'ra, but when asked for his name, Han can only give his first. The recruiter asks for Han's last name - the family, or people to whom he belongs - but he can only respond that "I have no people." After a moment's thought, the recruiter proclaims the young man is "Solo" as he punches in the improvised surname.
The Real Meaning of The "Solo" Last Name
The movie leaps forward three years' time in the film from there, when Han has been recruited into and washed out of the Imperial Navy already. Luckily, that story is finally being told in Robbie Thompson and Leonard Kirk's Han Solo: Imperial Cadet comic series. Following Han from his first days of training to be an Imperial soldier, the comic shows Han is just as smart-mouthed in adolescence as he is in adulthood. Naturally, his disrespect to Imperial authority leads his whole squad to be punished - which the squad passes on to Han. And in the process, reveals why the Empire REALLY named him "Solo."
According to the main bully of the unit, the Empire gave Han that surname not as a placeholder, but as a brand. It would mark him as an outsider, a lowly commoner, and somebody that had nobody behind them - so that every other Imperial recruit and officer from then on would know it, the second they heard of him. If he was lucky enough to survive training, the Empire would have stamped their disapproval on him, permanently. So no, it wasn't just a throwaway joke... but will it convince fans that the movie's story is better than they gave it credit?