A Star Wars Story: All the best moments from the real Han Solo
After The Last Jedi was somehow more divisive than your average Lars von Trier (The House That Jack Built) movie, Star Wars is once again experiencing a slight downwards spiral in public opinion. Hopes of rekindling the fans’ favor with Solo: A Star Wars Story – the second spinoff in the franchise following 2016’s Rogue One – have been met with similarly mixed reviews.
Though many have praised the new actor (Alden Ehrenreich) stepping into Harrison Ford’s shoes as the scruffy looking nerf herder, critics are touting the latest entry in a galaxy far, far away as “the worst Star Wars movie since Attack of the Clones.” According to Rotten Tomatoes, at least.
With production problems aplenty, including the last minute hiring of old school director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) to patch up the holes left in the Millenium Falcon by Lego Movie directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, the latest battle for the stars seemed destined to fail. While we’re still excited for Donald Glover’s take on Lando Calrissian, female droid representation, and seeing whether Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) can be just as compelling without CGI dragons for backup, it’s safe to say we’ve got a pretty bad feeling about this one.
Han Solo – a roguish scoundrel with lechery attitudes to women straight out of a comic book serial from the thirties – is a character who’s only as good as the movie he’s in. Luckily, he’s already been in three or four pretty good ones (dependent on who you ask). Here’s a reminder of his best moments to soften the blow of his unfortunate recasting.
Han shoots first
Of course, this iconic scene has since been ruined by George Lucas’s not-so-special editions, but Han shooting Greedo before he even gets a chance to fire a shot will live forever in the Star Wars canon. It’s also echoed by another classic Han scene in The Empire Strikes Back, in which the doors on Cloud City slide open to reveal Darth Vader and he immediately starts firing away.
“Laugh it up, fuzzball!”
After a harsh but deserved rejection from Leia, who unfortunately makes out with her secret twin brother right in front of him moments later, his furry companion Chewbacca’s chuckle and Han’s retort is too perfect.
Solo spends the opening minutes of Return of the Jedi frozen in carbonite as a trophy in Jabba’s palace, but Leia soon makes a daring rescue attempt (which backfires). After spending so much time encased in solidified carbon, his eyes take a while to readjust. However, his blindness doesn’t stop him from taking out the fiercest bounty hunter in the galaxy (Boba Fett) purely by dumb luck.
“Never tell me the odds!”
Don’t backseat drive the Millenium Falcon, especially with Han Solo at the controls. He’s more than likely to ignore your well-reasoned warnings for a slim chance of success and plunge cockpit first into a field of asteroids anyway.
Whatever THIS is?!
Han Solo slipping past a stormtrooper in the only way he knows how. The finest piece of tactical maneuvering in Star Wars history.
“It’s true – all of it”
This entry also stands as a testament to the miracle that Ford’s last performance as Han Solo in The Force Awakens wasn’t a steaming pile of Wookiee crap. Seeing Han finally accept the legend of the force after his younger self cynically dismissed it is a pretty special moment.
Another special moment is Han finally getting a chance to get his hands on Chewbacca’s crossbow-looking rifle that really packs a punch.
Han & Chewie reunite
He may be blind, but Han knows that giant fuzzball anywhere. After spending months frozen in carbonite, equivalent to audiences waiting three years for the conclusion to the original Star Wars saga, Han & Chewie’s huge bear hug is just as satisfying as it looks.
Tauntaun sleeping bag
Predating The Revenant by three decades, Han’s quick thinking on Hoth saves Luke from an icy death by spending the night amongst the guts of his fallen Tauntaun. Gross, but warm.
“Boring conversation anyway”
After infiltrating the Death Star, Han and Luke impersonate stormtroopers to rescue Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). When Han finds himself in a tricky conversation over the Death Star’s intercom, he gets out of it in the only way he knows how. With a gun.
Inspiring geeky wedding vows all over the world, Han’s ultra-cool (but ultimately dickish) response to Leia’s declaration of love at the end of Empire was actually a last minute addition by Ford himself. Let’s hope Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) also attended some improv classes, otherwise this classic moment will never be topped.
Han saves the day
If leaving it to the last minute is an art form, Han’s by-the-skin-of-his-teeth arrival at the end of A New Hope is a Renaissance masterpiece.