Han Solo is a character in the original trilogy and sequel trilogy of the Star Wars universe. He is portrayed by Harrison Ford. He and his co-pilot, Chewbacca, become involved in the Rebel Alliance which opposes the Galactic Empire. During the course of the Star Wars story, he becomes a chief figure in the Alliance and succeeding galactic governments. Star Wars creator George Lucas described the character as "a loner who realizes the importance of being part of a group and helping for the common good".
On Tatooine, Solo accepts a charter to transport Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, C-3PO and R2-D2 to Alderaan in his Millennium Falcon spaceship for a payment which will help him clear debt. But when the crew and passengers arrive at the planet's coordinates, they discover that Alderaan has been destroyed by the Death Star. The Falcon is then captured and held within the battle station, however Han Solo, Chewbacca and his passengers evade capture by hiding in the ship smuggling compartments. While trying to find a way to escape Luke Skywalker discovers that Princess Leia Organa is being held captive aboard the station. Enticed by the likelihood of a large reward, Solo and Chewbacca help Skywalker rescue the princess and escape from the Death Star.
After delivering Skywalker, Leia and the droids to the Rebel Alliance, Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot receive payment for their services. Unfortunately the Millenium Falcon has been tracked to the Rebel Alliance moon base by the Death Star. The rebels plan to attack the space station and exploit a weakness in the space station's defences. Solo initially does not want to get involved in the planned attack because,'What good's a reward if you ain't around to use it?'. Solo leaves with his reward and the rebels attack the Death Star. However, Solo has a change of heart and returns to save Luke's life during the film's climactic battle scene, ultimately enabling Luke to destroy the Death Star. For his heroics, Solo is presented with a medal of honour.
In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Han Solo continues to assist the Rebels against the Empire.
Han once again risks his life to save Luke Skywalker by braving a snowstorm on the ice planet Hoth to rescue his wounded friend. When the Empire attacks the Rebel base, Solo transports Chewbacca, Leia Organa and C-3PO to Cloud City where his old friend Lando Calrissian (Cloud City's administrator) operates to hide from Imperial agents. When bounty hunter Boba Fett tracks the Falcon to Cloud City, Darth Vader forces Calrissian to help capture Solo who is then sealed in carbonite for delivery to Jabba the Hutt. Lando is able to free Vader's other captives but their rescue attempt of Solo fails and Fett is able to escape with Solo's frozen body.
During Return of the Jedi (1983), Han Solo is still frozen until Leia Organa and Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, and Lando infiltrate Jabba the Hutt's palace and free him but they're caught by Jabba before they can escape. When Jabba orders them to be executed, Solo helps Luke, Leia, and Lando in defeating Jabba and his henchmen before escaping and defeating Boba Fett.
Reunited with the Rebels, Solo is commissioned as a General. Along with Leia and Chewbacca, he goes to the forest moon of Endor and leads a team deactivating the force fields protecting the Empire's second Death Star, in which they are aided by the Ewoks while Luke fights the Emperor on the Death Star. When the Death Star is destroyed, Solo sees Leia's concern for Luke and offers to step aside for the young Jedi to court her. However, Leia reveals to Han's surprise that Luke is her brother, and thus will obviously have no objection to his friend's relationship with her. At the end of the film, Solo joins the Rebels in celebrating the destruction of the second Death Star and the Empire. At the end, he and Leia declare their love for each other while reuniting with Luke and Lando as well.
Harrison Ford will be in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first installment of the sequel trilogy which will be released on December 18, 2015.
On February 6, 2013, Entertainment Weekly reported that The Walt Disney Company, the new owner of Lucasfilm since 2012, is developing a stand-alone film featuring Han Solo which would take place between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) and Star Wars (1977). On July 7, 2015, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were hired as the film's directors, and it will see a May 25, 2018 release.
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Brian Daley wrote a series of novels, the first published in 1979, exploring Han Solo and Chewbecca's smuggling adventures, and Ann C. Crispin's The Han Solo Trilogy (1997–1998) further develops the character's backstory. Crispin's books depict Solo as a beggar and pickpocket throughout much of his youth. He becomes a pilot and, in the process of undermining a religious fraud, falls in love with Bria Tharen, who disappears before Solo joins the Imperial Navy. Solo loses his commission and is cashiered when he refuses an order to skin Chewbacca for commandeering a ship carrying Wookiee children destined for slavery; Chewbacca, in turn, swears a "life-debt" to Solo. The two become smugglers, and help repel an Imperial blockade of a Hutt moon. Solo soon thereafter wins the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a card tournament. Tharen, now a Rebel agent, reappears and asks for Solo, Chewbacca and Calrissian's help in attacking a slave colony. After succeeding, Tharen's troopers steal the smuggler's valuables to aid the Rebel Alliance. To compensate their losses, Solo and Chewbacca accept a smuggling job from Jabba the Hutt; but Imperial ships force the smugglers to jettison their cargo, invoking the debt Solo and Chewbacca owe the Hutt at the beginning of Star Wars.
Solo plays a central role in several Star Wars stories set after Return of the Jedi. In The Courtship of Princess Leia (1995), he resigns his commission to pursue Leia, whom he eventually marries. Solo and Leia have three children: twins Jaina and Jacen and son Anakin. Chewbacca dies saving Anakin's life in Vector Prime (1999), sending Solo into a deep depression. In Star by Star (2001), Anakin dies as well, compounding Solo's despair. At the end of the series, however, Solo accepts the deaths of his son and his best friend, and reconciles with his family.
In the Legacy of the Force series, Jacen Solo becomes the Sith Lord Darth Caedus and plunges the galaxy into a bloody civil war. Solo disowns Jacen, but is still devastated by each new outrage his son commits. He and Leia adopt Allana (Jacen's daughter) after Jacen's death in the novel Invincible.
Influence and critical reaction
Han Solo is a reckless smuggler with a sarcastic wit; he is "a very practical guy" and considers himself "a materialist"; but the adventures in the first Star Wars movie evoke his compassion, a trait "he didn't know he possessed".
The American Film Institute ranked Solo as the 14th greatest film hero. He was also deemed the 4th greatest movie character of all-time by Empire magazine. Entertainment Weekly ranked the character 7th on their list of The All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture. On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Solo at number 15. IGN listed Han Solo as the second greatest Star Wars character of all time (behind Darth Vader), as well as listing him as one of the top 10 characters who most needed a spin-off, saying he was "Arguably the coolest character in the Star Wars universe".
Prince of Persia producer Ben Mattes explained that their "inspiration was anything Harrison Ford has ever done: Indiana Jones, Han Solo". The Japanese manga and anime anti-hero Space Adventure Cobra has been compared by reviewers to Solo. In preparing to play James T. Kirk, Chris Pine drew inspiration from Ford's depictions of Han Solo and Indiana Jones, highlighting their humor and "accidental hero" traits.
Solo has been merchandised in multiple media, including action figures, video games, and other collectibles. A Han Solo action figure with "human proportions" was released in 1977 to coincide with the release of the original Star Wars, while a figure created for the films' mid-1990s re-release was criticized as "unrealistically muscled."
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