9:00am PT by Dan Gvozden, Andrew James Myers
74 'Star Wars' Questions 'Solo' Insisted on Answering
Solo: A Star Wars Story blasted into theaters last weekend with fans eager to discover the answers to all the questions they’ve had about Han Solo’s history ever since he debuted all the way back in 1977.
But perhaps it ended up being a bit too much? Ahead of the release, New York Times critic A.O. Scott noted in his review that Solo "answers questions you may not have asked," and likened it to "a filmed Wikipedia page." Perhaps Scott was on to something. Heat Vision has spent time dissecting Enfys Nest and that cameo, but the truth is that most of the answers Solo provided were ... well, rather thin.
The film has had trouble generating the enthusiasm of previous Star Wars installments at the box office. Despite that, the writers of the following Easter-egg-heavy list attempted to react with the kind of excitement they presumed they'd get from the film's answers going into it.
Without further ado, here is an exhaustive list of things Solo reveals about the lovable scoundrel's past. Take it from the Special Edition and prequel trilogy producer Rick McCallum: “It’s so dense, every single image has so many things going on.”
QUESTIONS ABOUT HAN
1. How did Han learn how to hotwire the Endor shield generator bunker?
He got his start as a kid hotwiring landspeeders on Corellia in order to appease a light-sensitive, wormlike matriarch. From the first shot of the movie, we’re straight into the juicy details of Han’s backstory that we never would have known otherwise!
2. What is the significance of the golden dice seen hanging in the cockpit of the Falcon in A New Hope and handed off to Leia at the end of The Last Jedi?
They were dice Han owned, with no specific value. In a moment of tenderness, he gave them to Qi’ra. Then she gave them back to him. Will we see more of the dice in Episode IX?
3. Where did Han get the idea to hang up the gold dice in the Falcon’s cockpit?
Han first hung up the golden dice in a stolen topless speeder. The top center of the speeder’s otherwise minimalist windshield has a doodad specifically designed to hang dangly objects, giving Han the idea that would forever change Star Wars history.
4. How did Han get his last name?
Honestly, we never thought of questioning this before, because Solo seems like a pretty normal Star Wars name, but… an Imperial recruiter gave it to him because he said he didn’t have a last name (or a people). So, this amateur improviser, stuck in a rote Imperial job, acted quickly and came up with “Solo.” Now, a character who is defined by his roguish nature and independence is nominally defined by a bureaucrat that wasn’t particularly creative.
It’s just like that guy who put “no plate” as his vanity license plate and then could park anywhere because officers would write “no plate” on the tickets. Eventually the folks back at the police station would look at the form, think it was just a car without a license plate and not know where to send the citation. In other words, this is brilliant!
Plus “Han Solo” sounds better than “Han Duo” when he gets Chewbacca as a partner. So why change it? Not to mention that Disney CEO Bob Iger greenlit Solo: A Star Wars Story as soon as he was pitched this scene, because it tells us so much about the character!
5. Where did Han learn to fly?
The Imperial Flight Academy. He was kicked out, not before learning to fly but before we get to see that process. We’ll have to wait for the deleted scene on the Blu-ray for this mystery to be fully revealed.
6. Why can Han understand Chewie?
He doesn’t just understand Shyriiwook (the Wookiee language) — he can speak it! Where did he learn to speak it? We’ll have to wait for the deleted scene on the Blu-ray for this mystery to be fully revealed.
7. How did Han get his signature blaster?
His mentor/father figure and eventual enemy, Tobias Beckett, tossed it to him before a heist! Where did Beckett get it? We’ll have to wait for the deleted scene on the Blu-ray for this mystery to be fully revealed.
8. Why does Han tell Obi-Wan he believes in luck rather than the force?
Because he was a very lucky gambler when he was young. He repeatedly wins the game of Sabaac despite never having played it before.
9. Why did Han drop his smuggling shipment at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser when working for Jabba (as mentioned by Greedo)?
Because when he was young he got in the unhealthy habit of dropping precious cargo to save himself, like the Coaxium on Corellia or the Coaxium on Vandor.
In a delicious bit of dramatic irony, Han ignores Lando’s suggestion in the Maelstrom to drop the Coaxium at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser.
10. Why does Han say “I have a bad feeling about this” in A New Hope?
Because Han once had “a good feeling about this” before doing the Kessel Run, which, despite his new distance record, was probably deserving of some bad feelings.
You’ll never hear that classic line the same way again.
11. Why does Han reply “I know” when Leia confesses her love to him?
Because Han has always acknowledged other characters expressing their feelings about him with these exact words, such as when Lando says “I hate you” and Han replies “I know.”
You’ll never hear that classic line the same way again.
12. Why does Han shoot Greedo first?
Because he shot his mentor Tobias Beckett first, for nearly the exact same reason he shot Greedo first: preemptive self-defense. In the 1997 A New Hope Special Edition, Han shot second because Greedo shot first because Greedo thought Han was going to shoot first because Han said “over my dead body” implying that he would shoot first, a reasonable assumption because Han had already established a precedent of shooting first in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Did word get around to Greedo?
13. Did Han know what it would be like to live with a price on his head before pissing off Jabba?
Yes, he was duly warned by Beckett, who tells him: “You don’t know what it’s like to live with a price on your head.” In an ironic twist of fate that would make Alanis Morissette blush, he would soon have to live with a price on his head.
14. Where did Han learn to call people “kid”?
Han was an impressionable young guy, what can we say?
15. How did Han and Chewie end up working for Jabba on Tatooine?
He tipped Han off about a “big-shot gangster putting together a crew.”
16. Why did Chewie freak out at Luke’s plan on the Death Star to pretend Chewie was a prisoner with unlocked shackles?
Because he remembered the last time Han and Chewie tried it on Kessel: They were tortured and almost castrated.
17. Then… why did Han say “Don’t worry Chewie, I think I know what he has in mind” about Luke’s plan?
Because he was remembering the plan from Kessel, and Chewie must have forgotten about that scheme.
18. Where did Leia get the idea to threaten Jabba with a thermal detonator?
She stole it from Han, who used the same ploy against Lady Proxima. Except this time, in the prototype stage, it didn’t work because it was just a rock and Proxima could tell. So, this finally explains why Leia decided not to use a rock to threaten Jabba.
19. Where did Han come up with the brilliant move to flip the Falcon sideways to fit through openings obviously too narrow to fit through horizontally, like the time he squeezes through an asteroid canyon in The Empire Strikes Back?
While trying to escape Moloch as a young man, he flipped a speeder sideways to fit through an opening obviously too narrow to fit through horizontally. It didn’t quite work the first time, so he tried it again in the Falcon during the Kessel Run and it worked, forever cementing the move’s place in Han’s repertoire.
20. Why is Han reluctant to let Lando fly the Falcon in Return of the Jedi?
Because Han remembers how badly he trashed the Falcon when it belonged to young Lando, when Lando angrily exclaimed, “This is why you never let anyone fly your ship!”
21. How does Han know “standard imperial procedure” of Star Destroyers in The Empire Strikes Back?
Young Han explains this when the Falcon encounters a Star Destroyer during the Kessel Run: “I know these guys; I used to be one of them.”
22. Why does Han say he doesn’t trust Lando in The Empire Strikes Back?
Young Han learned not to trust anyone from Beckett, who drills that point repeatedly.
23. What did Han mean when he said to Lando “You lost her to me, fair and square” about the Falcon?
He was actually repeating the exact words he said when he won the Falcon at Sabaac: “fair and square, baby, fair and square.”
You’ll never hear that classic line the same way again.
24. Who are Rey’s real parents?
Maybe her mom is Qi’Ra or Enfys Nest or one of Lady Proxima’s scrumrats or, most likely, the character credited only as Imperial Emigration Officer (you’re not fooling us with that credit, Lucasfilm!). Can’t wait till Episode IX confirms one of these possibilities.
The film still doesn’t confirm that Han is her dad, yet.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FALCON
25. How did Han win the Millennium Falcon from Lando?
He won it from Lando by cleverly preventing Lando from cheating at Sabaac to keep the Falcon, with the express purpose of winning the ship.
26. Why did Lando feel so flippant about knocking off the Falcon’s radar dish in Return of the Jedi after Han specifically asked him not to?
When the two men were young, Han knocked off the Falcon’s radar dish when Lando owned the Falcon. In the immortal words of George Lucas, “It’s like poetry; it rhymes”; also, “Payback is a bitch.”
27. When did Han start using those compartments in the Falcon’s floor for smuggling?
He and Chewie first loaded them with Coaxium on Kessel. Even though it wasn’t actually smuggling, it was good practice, lowering extremely heavy and sensitive cargo several feet down into a cramped space and then lifting it back out again under a massive time crunch.
28. Who built the Falcon?
Han’s estranged dad worked the line at the plant on Corellia where YT-1300 freighters like the Falcon were built. He brought little Han to Take Your Sons to work day at least once and let him sit in the cockpit. But he must have been a pretty shitty dad after he got laid off because Han ran away to work for Lady Proxima.
29. Was Darth Vader the first person to plant a homing beacon on the Falcon?
No, Enfys Nest planted a tracking device on the Falcon when Han was young, leading the Cloud Riders straight to the Coaxium refinery. In A New Hope, Leia warned Han the Imperials would be tracking the Falcon, but Han led the Death Star straight to the Rebel base anyway. Fool me twice, Han...
30. Why does C-3PO say the Falcon’s navicomputer speaks “the most peculiar dialect” in The Empire Strikes Back?
When sassy droid L3 — who holds the “best damn navigational database in the galaxy” — dies, Lando rips her brain out and plugs it into the Falcon. She’s probably cursing all the time because she fought her entire life for robot rights only to have her brain stuck in a ship that’s being traded back and forth all the time and eventually abandoned on Jakku. So much for personal liberty...
31. Why does the navicomputer immediately suggest Lando by name (“the Lando system?”) when Han and Leia are looking for a safe port in The Empire Strikes Back?
Again, L3 is now the Falcon’s navicomputer and probably hopes Lando is even more open-minded about sex.
32. Why does the Falcon have a gap between its front mandibles?
It used to hold an escape pod, before Han jettisoned it as a decoy for the jellyfish monster in the Maw. Lando had recently installed the escape pod custom in the mandible notch, meaning the notch was just part of the ship’s original design, OK? But the real question is: Where did that original notch come from? We’ll have to wait for the deleted scene on the Blu-ray for this mystery to be fully revealed.
33. Where did the Falcon get those alluvial dampers that Han mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back?
Lando reveals that he, in fact, is the one who installed alluvial dampers while renovating the Falcon.
34. Why does the Falcon look like such a piece of junk in A New Hope?
It didn’t use to be! The Falcon looked real slick before Han beat it up during the Kessel Run. Before Lando did all that restoration work pimping his ride, it was just a piece of junk, notch and all. But the real question is: Why was it a piece of junk before Lando restored it? We’ll have to wait for the deleted scene on the Blu-ray for this mystery to be fully revealed.
35. What is the Kessel Run Han mentions in A New Hope?
Flying a ship through a dangerous cloud called the Maelstrom.
36. How did the Falcon make the “Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs”?
Well, it was really only 12 parsecs if you round down.
37. OK, then how did the Falcon make the Kessel Run in slightly more than 12 parsecs?
Parsecs are a unit of distance. Usually ships take the safe path, which is at least 20 parsecs. Han takes a dangerous shortcut through the maelstrom that pushes his piloting skills to their limit.
38. Why does Han brag about the Falcon being famous for the Kessel Run in A New Hope?
In A New Hope, Obi-Wan tells Han he only wants to ride on the Millennium Falcon if it’s a fast ship. “Fast ship? You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon? … It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.”
Similarly, on Savareen, while unloading the Coaxium, Han brags that he “just did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.”
39. That’s not an answer. In A New Hope, Han never bragged about his own piloting skills. He bragged about his ship being fast. His own modest success he chalked up to luck and “a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.”
40. So did the Falcon’s speed have anything to do with making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs?
Well, a drop of raw Coaxium makes the ship go really fast.
41. That was just to escape the Maw and has nothing to do with the ship being fast in general or about navigating a course in the shortest possible distance.
Well, they navigate the course in so little distance because L3 has so much data she can plot the best course.
42. Well if Han had bragged in the Mos Eisley Cantina that the Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs because it was so good at navigation or that he was such a good pilot, then that would have made sense. But he bragged that it was fast.
43. So you’re telling me that half of this movie is about fleshing out the backstory for one line about the Kessel Run in A New Hope, and that line makes even less sense now?
You’ll never hear that classic line the same way again.
QUESTIONS ABOUT LANDO
44. Why does Lando own the gas mining colony of Cloud City?
Because he obviously changed his mind from his young days of saying “I hate mining colonies.”
45. Why does Lando give Han a weird hug on Cloud City?
Because Han once gave Lando that same hug when he stole Lando’s Sabaac ace in the sleeve to win the Falcon. You’ll never see that immortal hug in The Empire Strikes Back the same way again.
46. Why does Lando always wear capes in the Original Trilogy?
Because he has always had a predilection for capes, collected bespoke “custom pieces” and stored his collection in a walk-in cape closet on the Falcon.
47. What’s Lando’s relationship to Lobot?
Well now we know that Lando is robosexual...
You’ll never see that iconic duo and their synced head nods the same way again.
48. Where did Lando get his disguise for Jabba’s palace?
And in a slightly messed-up turn of events, it seems that Lando felt like it would be a clever joke to surprise the recently unfrozen Han with the mask of his double-crossing ex-mentor/ex-father figure that Han was forced to murder. I mean, what are friends for?
49. Why does Lando pronounce Han’s name like Hand with a silent D in The Empire Strikes Back?
Because he started doing it deliberately to annoy Han when they were young.
50. Do Lando’s deals typically get worse all the time?
51. What did Chewie warn Han that Lando might still be mad about?
Getting his droid girlfriend killed, trashing the Falcon, then, adding insult to injury, winning the ship from him.
52. Does Lando love his mother?
QUESTIONS ABOUT CHEWBACCA
53. How did Chewbacca get his bandolier?
He gave it to Chewie, but in a surprise plot twist… it was a double-breasted bandolier (all the rage during the Empire’s rise).
54. How did Chewbacca come to owe a life debt to Han?
Han rescued Chewie by helping Chewie rescue him by using Chewie’s strength to break them out of a pit where Chewie eats deserters and tears apart droids. You see, Chewie was so angry that he forgot all his training as an engineer and about his disproportionate strength. So, he was unable to figure out that hitting a hastily constructed, load-bearing pipe would free him. Good thing Han was there to help clear his mind with some reassuring Shyriiwook.
Also, it turns out that a life debt is not really a binding thing because Chewie is free to ditch Han in the midst of a perilous mission on Kessel to go save his family or “his people” (what’s the difference?). Though, it also seems unclear if Chewie really does owe Han a life debt at this point. Hopefully the sequel to his prequel will tell us the real story of how that came to be!
55. Why does Han call Chewbacca “Chewie”?
Because Han tells Chewbacca his name is too long and decides to give him a nickname, because that’s how nicknames work! “You’re going to need a nickname, cause I ain’t saying that every time,” explains Han. Sadly the scene cuts before we get to witness Han actually saying something like “Hmm, how about Chewie, yes, that’s a good nickname, I think I’ll call you Chewie” — maybe we’ll see more of this pivotal moment in Star Wars history in the deleted scenes on the Blu-ray.
56. Where did Chewie start ripping people’s arms out of their sockets?
57. Who taught Chewie to play Holochess?
58. How did Chewie become Han’s co-pilot?
Han asked Qi’Ra to be his co-pilot, but when it came time to divert auxiliary power to rear deflector shields she didn’t know which switches to flip, so Chewie stepped in and flipped the right switches.
59. How old is Chewie?
When Chewie revealed his piloting prowess by flipping the right switches, Chewie reveals to Han that he is 190 years old, making cinematic history as the first time Chewie’s age is ever mentioned on the silver screen.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DROIDS
60. Is it unusual for the Mos Eisley cantina to not serve Droids?
No, as L3 mentions in the gambling den where they engage in droid cockfighting for sport, “They don’t even serve our kind here.”
61. Is it ethical for Luke to use restraining bolts on R2-D2 and C-3PO?
No, a restraining bolt is a barbaric tool that organics use to enforce slavery, the only thing keeping droids from rising up and overthrowing their masters in a hilarious rebellion to achieve equal rights.
62. Can droids have sex with people?
63. How does that work?
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GALAXY
64. What’s the backstory of that precious fuel that the Resistance fleet is running out of in The Last Jedi?
Hyperfuel is called Coaxium. Raw Coaxium is mined by slaves in the vents below Kessel owned by the Talz crime syndicate, a rival of Crimson Dawn, the gang run by Maul (now alive, with robot legs, and no longer a Darth, got it?). It gets refined in an impoverished town besieged by marauders who once cut out the tongues of the residents when they tried to resist. One vial of the stuff is incredibly valuable, but nobody really knows its value as demonstrated by the way Han is easily able to bullshit everyone by arbitrarily appraising its price in ever-increasing sums (starting at 500 credits and ending at 10,000).
65. When Han claimed the Falcon could outrun Imperial Starships in the Mos Eisley Cantina he specified “not the local bulk cruisers mind you, I'm talking about the big Corellian ships now.” What did he mean by the “big Corellian ships”?
We finally get a definitive answer to this question when we see Imperial Star Destroyers being built in the Corellian shipyards. Maybe the filmmakers are leaving a clue for the fans that we’ll see more big Corellian ships in Episode IX?
66. Do protocol droids value protocol?
Yes, we finally see this question answered definitively with the decapitated protocol droid whose dying word (in a clever cinematic reference to Citizen Kane) is “protocol.”
67. Does the "Imperial March" exist within the Star Wars universe?
Yes, it is used as background music for Imperial recruiting propaganda, but it is played in a major key. This finally reveals that the minor-key John Williams version in the score for The Empire Strikes Back is noncanon.
68. What was the Rebellion doing when Han was young?
Using marauders and mercenaries like Enfys Nest to steal hyperfuel to fund its war against marauders, crime syndicates and the Empire.
69. Why isn’t fan-favorite bounty hunter Aurra Sing, known for her iconic appearance in the foreground of a shot of The Phantom Menace, seen in the original trilogy?
Tobias Beckett used gravity to kill her (foreshadowing how Han uses gravity to kill the creature in the Maw).
70. What was fan-favorite bounty hunter Bossk doing before his first appearance on a Corellian-built Star Destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back?
He was working for hire for crews like Beckett’s. Val wants to hire Bossk instead of Chewie, but gets overruled because Beckett is oddly drawn to the prospect of napping in a Wookiee’s lap.
71. What was fan-favorite sith lord Darth Maul doing after getting sliced in half in The Phantom Menace, but before getting actually sliced to death this time we promise in the animated series Star Wars Rebels?
Maul hustled his intimidating physique and badass lightsaber into a new career administering a sprawling crime enterprise, Crimson Dawn, known for its lavish parties, collection of rare artifacts and culture of rampant workplace sexual harassment. The guy really came out of his shell — he eagerly shows off his badass lightsaber before anyone has to awkwardly ask to see it and speaks more in this cameo than in the entirety of The Phantom Menace.
72. Where did fan-favorite character Weazel, played by Warwick Davis, end up after cheering for Sebulba during the podrace in The Phantom Menace?
He was pulling heists with Enfys Nest, Benthic Two-Tubes and the Cloud Riders.
73. What’s the backstory of The Black Spires, a landmark featured in the upcoming Star Wars land at Disney parks?
L3 helped Lando navigate there once.
74. What was fan-favorite character Benthic Two Tubes up to before his appearance in Rogue One working for Saw Gerrera’s militant Rebel offshoot?
He was pulling heists with Enfys Nest and the Cloud Riders. It’s like that experiment with the bouncing basketball and the gorilla suit. I bet most audiences didn’t even notice Two Tubes!