April 6-7, 2024
Written by Tom G. Wolf and Sarah Minazzo
With only a few short weeks to go until the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, speculation is running hot about just how the film will play out. After all, we already know about Han’s main adventures with Luke, Leia and Chewie – how many surprises can there be, right?
But as long-time Star Wars fans will know, Han Solo has a rich history outside of the main films. Throughout the eighties, nineties and noughties, literal tons of supplementary Star Wars material was released under the Expanded Universe banner. Occupying a nebulous place between canon and fan fiction, the Expanded Universe spanned pretty much every form of media under the sun – novels, comics, sourcebooks, pen-and-paper RPGs, video games, radio plays, magazines, action figures and much more.
Though not necessarily “official” (and even less so since 2014, when Disney reassigned existing spin-off material to Star Wars Legends) many elements of the Expanded Universe found their way into more official channels, either via the prequels, sequels or in official publications. So without further ado, here are a few things from the Expanded Universe that we might see in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Essentially space poker, sabacc has quite a large presence in many of the Star Wars spin-off novels, particularly present in the second entry of A.C. Crispin’s Han Solo Trilogy. We already know Han is a gambler – that’s how he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando, after all! As such, it’s a safe…bet…that we’ll see Solo playing sabacc at some point during the film especially since the dice appeared in The Last Jedi.
We now know that Han and Leia didn’t quite have the happily ever after scenario many of us might have wished for. But for you romantics out there, the 1994 novel The Courtship of Princess Leia paints a happier picture of their relationship and eventual marriage.
Is any of this likely to show up in the film, though? Well, it’s fairly unlikely Han and Leia will actually meet in the film – but don’t be surprised if there’s some kind of winking reference to their future together – there was such a reference again in A.C. Crispin’s Han Solo Trilogy with Han actually landing on Alderaan and watching a recorded message from the Alderaanian royal family as he lands.
Bounty Hunters – Greedo & Boba Fett
Poor old Greedo. Though his time onscreen was short, he’s nonetheless gone down as an iconic character thanks to the “Who shot first?” debate (it was Han).
The anthology book Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina depicts Han and Greedo as having a much more extensive history than the film suggests, with their run-ins extending as far back as Greedo’s teen years. While this runs contrary to the more recent Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series, it would almost be remiss not to have him turn up in some capacity.
Then there’s also the infamous Boba Fett who appeared in the Han Solo Trilogy and is hugely popular with the fanbase. There’s enough history suggested let alone written in the Old EU.
Introduced in the 1997 novel The Paradise Snare, the first book of the Han Solo trilogy, Garris Shrike was Han Solo’s original mentor. A Fagin-like figure who kept a gang of children to carry out his bidding, he was a grade-A jerk who killed one of Solo’s Wookie chums and earned himself Han’s ire in the process.
However, it’s not looking very likely that he’ll make the transition to the big screen – with Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett seemingly stepping into the role of mentor, Garris Shrike may well have found himself erased from Star Wars canon altogether.
Wookie Slavery & The Imperial Academy
Agreed upon in both comics and novels in the Old Expanded Universe, Han and Chewie meet during Han’s time in the Imperial Academy. We’ve already seen in trailers, Han being interviewed for the Imperial Academy so this looks like a given however will it be Han saving Chewie the wookie slave?
Likelihood: Very High
And last but not least…
Back in A New Hope, Han boasts of how fast the Millennium Falcon is, stating that it “made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs”. Which sounds pretty cool until you realise that a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. Now, common sense would dictate that George Lucas was just using a futuristic-sounding word to sound cool in a sci-fi movie – or that it was simply an error. But this little throwaway line has become a point of hot debate amongst science-minded Star Wars fans, spawning convoluted theories about the way hyperspace works, through to the suggestion that Han was simply using high-falutin’ language to sucker a couple of Tattooine rubes. Perhaps Solo: A Star Wars Story will finally settle the debate once and for all.
Likelihood: Extremely High
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in Australian cinemas on May 24.