When Han Solo fell into the void at the end of 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we were wailing just as loud as Chewbacca. The end of the iconic smuggler crushed our inner eight-year-old and left an infuriating question mark over the franchise’s coolest character.
There was clearly a deeper backstory there that was never fully explored and now, as origin movie 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' hits ODEON cinemas on 24th May, here are five loose ends that desperately need tying up…
1. How did Han and Chewbacca meet?
According to spin-off Star Wars literature, the galaxy’s most unlikely bromance began when Han rescued the enslaved Chewbacca from execution at the hands of the Empire, prompting the Wookiee to swear a life-debt.
But will Solo: A Star Wars Story expand on this semi-official plotline, or put forward a whole new explanation for how he and a sarcastic smuggler ended up as Millennium Falcon bunkmates? However the film handles it, that first meeting scene is bound to be a zinger.
2. Why does Han become a smuggler?
By the time we meet Han in 1977’s A New Hope, he’s already an experienced – if not exactly reliable – mule for Jabba the Hutt. Now, Solo: A Star Wars Story needs to explain how he fell into that dubious line of work.
Based on the trailer, it seems likely that headstrong Han tries his hand at smuggling after being “kicked out of the flight academy for having a mind of my own”, and gets his break from Woody Harrelson’s crime boss, Tobias Beckett who's putting together a crew.
Even so, how does Han turn from a hired hand into the Rathtar-haulin’ legend we know and love?
3. Does Han have a family?
The Star Wars expanded universe vaguely suggests that Han comes from royal stock, but that his parents died when he was just seven. Between his biting cynicism – and his quote in the trailer that “I’ve been running scams on the streets since I was 10” – it seems fair to say that Han wasn’t brought up in the most loving and stable of homes.
But in a movie franchise that makes such a big deal of family trees, we need to know much more about his bloodline, his siblings, and how they shaped him.
4. Who is Qi’Ra?
Emilia Clarke’s character is clearly a major player in Han’s formative years (“I might be the only one who knows what you really are,” she purrs, in one flirtatious trailer scene). But who exactly is she?
Fan theories suggest that Qi’Ra could be an Imperial double-agent or even Han’s pre-Leia lover (with Clarke acknowledging that “there is obviously the romantic side of things”). Does that mean Kylo Ren could have a half-sibling running around out there? We need answers!
5. What’s the backstory with Han and Lando?
One of the most compelling elements of The Empire Strikes Back was the uneasy friendship between the smuggler and Cloud City’s double-crossing kingpin.
In that 1980 movie, Lando is clearly still sore at losing the Millennium Falcon to Han, and given that the former is seen piloting the iconic ship in the Solo trailer, we’re hoping that means we’ll see their early rivalry, the Sabacc card game where the Falcon changes hands – not to mention the famous Kessel Run that Han has never stopped boasting about.