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Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Han Solo

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Roffey

Script written by Nick Roffey

Even the most well-known smuggler in the galaxy has a few unknown secrets. From his relationship with Chewbacca, to his Kessel Run claims, to gold dice, there's more to this scruffy-looking nerf herder than meets the eye. WatchMojo counts down the top things you didn't know about Han Solo.

Special thanks to our user Jedimperial96 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Things+you+Didn't+Know+About+Han+Solo

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Transcript
Script written by Nick Roffey

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Han Solo


Our favourite space smuggler still has a few good secrets despite his popularity. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Han Solo.

For this list, we're looking at little known facts about Han from sources currently regarded as part of official canon and that predate the movie “Solo”. So stories from the Expanded Universe or “Legends” about Han’s children Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin, don’t count . . . and that time Indiana Jones discovered Han Solo’s skeletal remains is definitely out.

#10: He Rescued Chewie, Who Now Owes Him a “Life-Debt”

What would Han be without Chewie? Their (somewhat one-sided) banter masks a deep bond between man and fuzzball. But the original trilogy doesn’t explain how Han and the Wookiee met. In other media, we glimpse Chewie escaping Trandoshan slavers during the Clone Wars, and helping Yoda on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk in “Revenge of the Sith”... but with no sign of Han. According to the novel “Aftermath”, the inseparable duo forged their friendship sometime afterward. With the Wookiees enslaved, Han rescued Chewie, who then owed him a “life debt” - a plotline that roughly follows the version in the old Expanded Universe. For the exact details . . . we’ll just have to wait and see.

#9: He's at Least Partially Based on Francis Ford Coppola

Han Solo has become one of the most iconic reluctant heroes in cinematic history; a pragmatic, cynical rogue and gambler with a heart of gold. But his cocksure wit and charm were actually inspired by a real person. Lucas apparently drew on the suave, smooth-talking swagger of his friend and fellow filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in putting the character together. Lucas and Coppola had worked together on numerous films, with Coppola producing Lucas’ movie “American Graffiti”, and Lucas having originally been attached to “Apocalypse Now” before Coppola took the reins himself. In fact, Harrison Ford’s character Colonel G. Lucas is actually named after the Star Wars visionary.

#8: He Hails From Corellia

Audiences first encountered Han Solo in the Mos Eisley Cantina on the backwater desert world Tatooine. But the space pilot actually grew up on Corellia, a planet located in the galaxy’s more prestigious Inner Core - the region where Coruscant and the ill-fated planets Alderaan and Hosnian Prime also lie. Or lay... in the latter cases. According to the StarWars.com Encyclopedia, Corellia is where the Millennium Falcon was constructed, and also the homeworld of X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles and of BoShek, a mildly Force-sensitive smuggler who introduces Kenobi to Chewbacca in Mos Eisley.

#7: Christopher Walken and Kurt Russell Screen Tested For the Role

Han Solo seems tailor made for Harrison Ford, whose nonchalance and sarcasm brought the smuggler to life. But the role very nearly went to other people. Both Christopher Walken and Kurt Russell screen tested for the role. Other candidates Lucas considered included Bill Murray and Sylvester Stallone, among others. Harrison Ford had already worked with Lucas in “American Graffiti”, but was actually working as a carpenter installing a door when he ran into Lucas again. He was initially hired just to read lines to help audition the other actors, but Lucas soon realized he’d found his Han.

#6: His Gold Dice Have a Story Behind Them

We first glimpse Han’s gold dice hanging in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon in “A New Hope”. In “The Last Jedi”, they take on special significance when Luke hands them to a grieving Leia. Turns out they’re more than just lucky charms. They’ve been with Han a long time, including a turning point in Han’s career: the moment he won the Falcon from Lando in a variant of the card game sabacc known as “Corellian Spike”, as explained in The Force Awakens’ “Visual Dictionary”. Years later, a young Ben Solo would carry them as he followed dad around the ship.

#5: His Most Famous Line Was Ad-Libbed

Han Solo has a lot of memorable lines in the original trilogy. But his most famous are without doubt his last words in “The Empire Strikes Back”, as he faces an uncertain fate in Cloud City’s carbon-freezing chamber. Freezing Han in carbonite was actually Lucas’ solution to Harrison Ford’s ambivalence about returning for another movie. Which, fortunately for fans everywhere, he did - twice. In the scene, Ford was supposed to grin and respond “just remember that, ‘cause I’ll be back.” But Ford had other ideas, and his suggestion made the scene all the more poignant. Suddenly, the smooth-talking smuggler had dropped his mask, just when we might never see him again.

#4: His Description of the Kessel Run is a Little Sketchy

We all know the Millennium Falcon completed the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs . . . but what does that actually mean? A parsec is a measurement of distance, rather than time, so Han's feat was to navigate the hyperspace route using a more direct route? In non-canon sources, this entails flying dangerously close to a cluster of black holes. But there’s actually some reason to doubt the veracity of Han’s boast. It’s described as “obvious misinformation” in the revised fourth draft of the script for “A New Hope”, and an outright “lie” in the novelisation “A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy". Hopefully “Solo” can clear this up!

#3: His Blaster Has History

Ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster. Unless of course said blaster is being held by a stormtrooper. Or pretty much anyone other than our heroes, to be honest. Despite the fact that blasters seldom seem to actually hit anything, they do look extremely cool, and that goes double for Han’s. His heavy blaster pistol, a modified BlasTech DL-44, was built from a German pistol, the Mauser C96, and the barrel from an MG 81 machine gun. Han isn’t the only movie character to have pulled the trigger; the original prop was also used in the 1967 Frank Sinatra film “The Naked Runner,” before getting altered for Star Wars.

#2: Han Has Been Married Before

Sure, he might be a scoundrel, a swindler, and yeah, even a little scruffy. But he does have a certain charm, and Princess Leia isn’t Han’s first romance. In Marvel comics set between “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back”, a woman called Sana Starros appears claiming to be Han's wife. It turns out the wedding was staged, part of a complicated revenge scheme against a nefarious crime lord. Is it legally binding? Well… we're not sure what marriage laws were like a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, so . . . . who knows? Maybe Han was busy between episode IV and V signing divorce papers.

#1: Han Was Almost A Green Alien with Gills

Lucas’ first draft of “A New Hope” was radically different from the final movie. Following the adventures of Jedi apprentice “Annikin Starkiller”, it features an older, weather-worn Luke, and describes Chewbacca as a bushbaby with baboon fangs. At one point, Beru offers Luke a pitcher of “bum bum extract” - which we can’t imagine why Lucas cut from the script. In an early draft, Han is actually an alien: a “green skinned monster with no nose and large gills”. In the second draft, he’s a young “Corellian pirate”, and only by the third does he take his final shape - as the highflying, disreputable “cowboy in a starship” we know and love.



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