We’re less than two weeks away before the release of the hotly anticipated film Solo: A Star Wars Story. Fans are dying to see how one of the franchises’ most beloved characters will be on the big screen while being portrayed by Alden Ehrenreich, who is taking over the duty of the Captain of the Millennium Falcon from Harrison Ford. The film has had a troubled production, with original directors Lord and Miller being fired weeks before production was to finish, with veteran director Ron Howard taking over and reshooting most of the film. But now that trailers are out and footage has been shown, the attention has shifted and there’s excitement in the community. So to help prepare for this smuggler’s tale, we’ve compiled some media that you can dive into as you await the release of the next Star Wars film.
Star Wars: Han Solo
We’ll likely be seeing the much talked about Kessel Run in Howard’s film but fans can check out a different space run in a canon comic book right now. Simply titled Star Wars: Han Solo, the five-issue run follows the smuggler after the events of A New Hope doing a mission for Princess Leia. He has to compete in the deadly Dragon Void Race for the Rebel Alliance as a front for a secret mission, but seeing as this is a dangerous racing mission and involves pushing the Falcon to her limits, Han has to choose between the job and the winnings, which could square him with old Jabba. It’s a great look at Han the smuggler as he operates within the Rebellion and shows both sides of his personality, his desire to do good battling it out with his desire for fame and riches. With plenty of action and character, it’s one of the best limited-run comics Marvel has put out in the new canon thus far.
The Han Solo Trilogy
Now part of the Expanded Universe, otherwise known as Legends, this story doesn’t actually happen in the current timeline. After Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they decided to wipe the slate clean of all the books and comics, which angered many longtime fans. A casualty of this purge was the backstory of Han Solo, which was explored in the Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin. But just because they never “happened”, doesn’t mean they’re not good reads! The three books, The Paradise Snare, The Hutt’s Gambit and Rebel Dawn tell the story of Han from his teenage years as an orphaned pickpocket to his early days in the Empire, his early criminal career and dealings with Jabba and Boba Fett all the way up to the moment he meets Luke and Ben and the Cantina. For the original definitive backstory, this is the place to go.
The most recent canon novel as of this writing, this tale focuses largely on Han Solo the father after the events of Return of the Jedi. As this story is being told-and a new threat emerges-the narrative switches back to before and after A New Hope and we see what younger Han and Lando were getting up to and how their past affects their current situation. Written by Daniel Jose Older, the novel also includes L3-37, the droid character played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story and ties heavily with a plot that doesn’t involve the Empire or a “taking over the world ploy”. It’s also fun to see Solo’s brief exchanges and thoughts on his newborn baby son, knowing where that goes in The Force Awakens.
Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure
Part of the Journey to the Force Awakens marketing strategy, this junior novel takes place largely between Episodes IV and V and sees Solo working a job for the rebellion to recover an informant. Han and Chewie have the money to pay Jabba back as of now-the reward for rescuing Leia-but decide to hold off on paying the gangster back to do this favour for her and the rebellion. Of course, things don’t go as plan and the Empire and some bounty hunters get involved. It’s a fun story, even if it’s on the shorter side.
This Legends novel will most likely resemble the upcoming film as it centres completely on a heist. Written by Timothy Zahn, who wrote the beloved and renowned Thrawn novels, this caper features Han, Chewie and Lando after A New Hope and sees them teaming up with other outlaws and thieves to pull off a job which will get split evenly among them once it’s done. It’s essentially Ocean’s Eleven but in a galaxy far, far away and shows that cross-genre stories can work in Star Wars.
A canon novel, this one is set prior to the events of The Empire Strikes Back and focuses on the smoothest talker in the galaxy. The plot is pretty simple but very fitting of Lando and a scoundrel’s life. Falling hard into debt, Lando ends up taking a job to wipe is slate clean by stealing a ship for a client. What he doesn’t realize is who the ship belongs to and what’s stowed away on board. Without spoiling it, if you are going to dive in, it belongs to the last person you should ever steal from in original trilogy. With the odds stacked against him and his life on the line, but the promise of a massive payday if they succeed, Lando gets to do what he does best while he also learns some interesting information about the Dark Side.
What is your favourite Han Solo story? Do you read the new canon at all or will you start reading some stories on the side? Let us know what you think and check out this crazy Infinity War theory and our up to date Westworld timeline before our review of Solo comes out! Also, be sure to check out our Patreon Page and think about supporting this site.