Exploring the lesser known history of the captain of the Millennium Falcon…
He’s a scoundrel. He’s a lady’s man. He’s a hero!
He’s Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon and the role model for many. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known aspects of the character’s history.
Here are nine things you probably didn’t know about Han Solo!
1. Green with Gills
Han first popped up in George Lucas’ 1974 rough draft Star Wars script — though at the time he was a big green alien with gills and no nose. He was also a Jedi. But he still hung out in a cantina at least.
2. Snake Solo
Harrison Ford beat out a crop of other familiar faces when auditioning for the role, a list that reportedly included Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, and Snake Plissken himself — Kurt Russell.
3. The Other Hans
Several actors other than Harrison Ford have voiced the character in games, audio books, and more. That includes actor Perry King, who played Han in the popular radio versions of the original Star Wars trilogy… and was also among those who’d auditioned for the role in the first film. Obviously King never played Han onscreen, but he did get to act opposite a robot in the old Riptide TV show… though he was nicer to his droid than Han ever was to C-3PO.
4. Lil’ Han
A 10-year-old Han was originally going to be in Revenge of the Sith. He would’ve been portrayed as living on the Wookiee home planet and being raised by Chewie. Which I guess would’ve made them true life partners. Unfortunately, the idea was eventually dropped and we never got to see lil’ Han in a lil’ vest. Lil’ Ani and lil’ Boba will have to suffice…
5. A Good Blaster at Your Side
Han’s gun is a BlasTech DL-44 blaster. It was based on the real-life German Mauser C96 pistol. And in fact one of the original props had previously been used in the 1968 Frank Sinatra film The Naked Runner! A cool gun for a couple of cool cats.
6. In the Navy
According to the Expanded Universe of Star Wars books, comics, and other media, as a young man Han served briefly in the Empire’s Navy. Yep, he worked for the bad guys. But he got kicked out after saving a Wookiee from a superior officer — a Wookiee named Chewbacca. And the rest is history… or at least it was, before Lucasfilm declared that the Expanded Universe doesn’t count anymore.
7. Who Really Shot First?
Did Han really shoot first? These days, George Lucas claims that Greedo always pulled the trigger before Solo. The filmmaker infamously recut the iconic cantina showdown between the two characters for his Star Wars Special Edition, much to the dismay of fans. But in a 2012 interview, the filmmaker said he was only clearing up viewer misperception about the frying of poor Greedo.
“It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom [in the original version],” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.”
As for Harrison Ford’s take on who shot first, he was recently asked about the scene. His response? “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
In the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back script, Han didn’t wind up frozen in carbonite. But he still split the scene at the end of the movie — to fly off and find his stepfather in order to get him to join the Rebellion. I am your stepfather!
9. Han’s Dead, Baby
In the non-canon 2004 Dark Horse Comics tale “Into the Great Unknown,” Han and Chewie make a crazy hyperspace jump that takes them all the way to… Earth. The Falcon crash-lands in the Pacific Northwest, where Solo is soon killed by Native Americans. So depressing! But then a century later, his Solo skeleton is found by… Indiana Jones and Short Round. Who have been searching for the legendary Sasquatch. Who turns out to be Chewbacca!
So there you have it — nine things you probably didn’t know about Han Solo. Many Bothans died to bring us this information… so if you have a Han Solo secret to divulge, let us know in the comments. And may the Force be with you…