The 6 Most Important Things We Learn About Han's Past in Solo: A Star Wars Story
Spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story ahead, you guys!
After what's felt like an eternity of waiting, Solo: A Star Wars Story is finally upon us. The Star Wars standalone is an unexpectedly delightful action-adventure, one that introduces us to a ton of new characters as well as shading in the pasts of familiar faces we've known for years. While we do get updates on Chewbacca and Lando's lives, the title of the film should clue you in on the fact that Han Solo is the character who gets the most backstory. It's not a whole lot, but here's what we now know.
The film begins with a fresh-faced, younger version of Han (Alden Ehrenreich) desperate to escape the dismal Corellia, a grim industrial planet with Imperial troopers around every corner. Both he and childhood pal Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) are sick of living in the slums ruled over by a vengeful Lady Proxima and decide to steal some coaxium (a dangerous, expensive substance that fuels starships) that they can barter to get off the planet. Although it certainly seems like Han is an orphan at this point, he later reveals that his father used to work in a factory building ships on Corellia until he was laid off. His father's job is actually what inspired Han to be a pilot in the first place.
How He Gets His Last Name
Sadly, Han and Qi'ra's escape attempt doesn't go as planned. While they're able to successfully barter the coaxium, Lady Proxima's henchmen capture Qi'ra before she can make it through the checkpoint. With the goons hot on his tail, Han's only option is to sign up to serve in the Empire's army so that he can be whisked away on one of their ships. The recruitment process is brief and mostly meaningless, save for one key moment. When the officer asks Han what his last name is, the future smuggler says he doesn't have one; the officer, seeing as Han is alone, decides to mark him down as "Han Solo." Ding, ding, ding!
His Life in the Imperial Army
The movie hops forward a few years after Han is recruited into the army, dropping us directly into the trenches of a chaotic battlefield; Han is still a grunt, having been kicked out of the flight academy for being insubordinate. His hopes of being the greatest pilot the galaxy has ever seen are far from extinguished, though.
The First Time He Meets Chewbacca
In what might be the best sequence in Solo, we finally find out how Han and Chewie first meet. When the young soldier is caught by his commanding officer while trying to defect — with conmen Val (Thandie Newton) and Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) — Han is tossed to his death in a giant, enclosed pit filled with human bones that supposedly houses a "beast" of some kind. After Han is dropped in the pit, a very muddy, angry Chewie starts to attack him. The pair tussle for a bit until Han reveals that he can speak Wookiee (how he can do this is never explained). He tells Chewbacca, who is chained up in the pit himself, that he can get them both out of there and the Empire's clutches for good. Together, they fool the guards watching them, escape, and are able to meet up with Tobias and Val before their ship takes off.
His Trusty Blaster
Woody Harrelson's character, Beckett, gifts Han with a very familiar-looking gun before they set out to complete a dangerous coaxium heist. Han still has the weapon by the end of the film, so it's safe to assume it's the same one he carries in future installments.
The First Time He Meets Lando
Han and Chewie might be the most well-known owners of the Millennium Falcon, but they aren't its first owners. Shortly after teaming up with Qi'ra to do a job for violent gangster Dryden Vos, Han learns that they'll only be able to pull it off if they have the help of one Lando Calrissian. They find him scamming aliens in games of sabacc, leading to an epic showdown of the game between him and Han. Lando's capes and sharp quips are the perfect foil to Han's overconfident swagger.