”Why you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder!” “Who’s scruffy looking?” Well, who is Han Solo really, and what kind of role does he play in the huge franchise that is Star Wars? Keep reading and I’ll let you know. There will be spoilers if you have not seen the original trilogy or The Force Awakens!
In the beginning he seems like while he’s not really a bad person, he does think more about himself than anyone else and as long as he has something to gain he will help people out, not really caring whether they’re on the good side or the bad side. Another reason why he agrees to take Luke and Obi-Wan to Alderaan is because he needs the money to pay off a debt to the alien Jabba the Hutt. However, while he might not seem like a good guy in the beginning, when it comes down to it he shows that he does care about other people and he will do the right thing in a pinch, even putting his own life at risk to save his friends.
At the end of the first movie, Star Wars episode IV, A New Hope, Han is one of the people who helps destroy The Death Star and he does so unselfishly simply because it’s the right thing to do, thus he is part of making sure the rebellion can live to see another day. For his heroism in that movie he receives together with Luke a medal of heroism by princess Leia. During the second movie in the original trilogy (The Empire Strikes Back) his relationship with Leia grows and it’s clear that the two have feelings for each other. At the end of the movie he has been captured and is frozen in carbonite, and only moments before he and Leia exchanges some words that have now become some of the most famous quotes of the movies.
Leia: “I love you.”
Han: “I know.”
When the movie ends the fate of Han is left uncertain and this is because the actor portraying him wasn’t sure if he wanted to be a part of the next movie. However, Harrison decided to once again star in the movie as Han Solo and most of the beginning of the third film (The Return of the Jedi) follows Leia, Luke, Chewbacca and other friends trying to save him. After safely getting him out of carbonite and saving him from Jabba the Hutt, it is mainly Leia and Han who lead the troops on the moon Endor to once and for all stop the empire, while Luke is on his own mission to save his father from himself and the evil person he has become. When the original trilogy comes to an end, all seems to be well for everyone involved, and everyone can be seen celebrating, with Han and Leia embracing after declaring their love for one another.
After the third movie in the original trilogy came three prequel movies (episodes I-III) where Han was not included. He was, however, part of the new trilogy which saw the light of day nearly 30 years after the original movies. The Force Awakens started solemnly, in spite of the previous movie having a happy ending. Han and Leia have a grown son, named Ben, but they are no longer together and he has gone back to smuggling and not always playing by the rules while Leia has become a general for the rebellion. However, just as in the previous films he does end up showing that he is a good guy, who genuinely cares about his loved ones, and he does come through to make the right thing, which unfortunately comes with a very high price.
By the end of The Force Awakens there are more questions than answers, mostly concerning their son Ben, who has turned to the dark side and now goes by the name Kylo Ren. The next movie in this new trilogy will be called The Last Jedi, however Harrison Ford will not return as Han Solo.
Aside from this trilogy which directly follows the original trilogy there is also a trilogy of films called the anthology trilogy. It first started with a film called Rogue One, but there is also an upcoming movie focusing solely on a young Han Solo and out of thousands of actors it was finally Alden Ehrenreich that landed the highly coveted role. What the movie will be about, aside from a young Han Solo, is not yet revealed to the public and it does not have an official title at the time being either. However it is set to see the light of day around the 25th of May 2018!
While Han Solo at times is selfish, and a scoundrel (rightly called so by Leia), who cares mostly about fame and money, deep down he has a good heart and he does the right thing. He starts out not believing in the force to supporting it wholeheartedly and he not only falls in love with Leia but also comes to respect Luke greatly, in spite of jokingly referring to him as “kid” or “junior”. Han also does not lack a sense of humor and he seems to be quite fluent in the “language” of sarcasm. He is also, for the most part, pretty good at talking himself out of difficult situations.
Where it goes from here only the future can tell, but to sum his character up in one sentence, he is a good guy with a huge heart but he hides it pretty well.