On May 25, the new movie Solo: A Star Wars Story came out, and despite disappointing numbers at the box office, received rather positive reviews. Starring stars like Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke as Qi’Ra, Solo’s love interest, Paul Bettany (Vision from the Avengers), Woody Harrelson (whom you may remember as Haymitch from Hunger Games) and the actor, comedian, song writer, rapper, and director Donald Glover as the suave Captain Lando Calrissian, Solo answers questions about Han Solo’s past. Why did he leave Corellia? How did he meet Chewbacca? How did he win the Millenium Falcon? If the movie has inspired you to don a Han Solo costume this Halloween, or if you’re still hesitating, we’ve got a list of ten reasons why Han Solo is one of the greatest Star Wars characters—and why you should pick him when it comes to your Star Wars costume!
Harrison Ford’s performance as Han is iconic enough than many fans were sceptic about the new Solo movie starring Alden Ehrenreich. Ford contributed a lot to the role, and famously ad-libbed some of Han’s most quoted lines, including his answer to Leia’s “I love you”: “I know”. But did you know that many other actors could have gotten the original part? Some examples include Billy Dee Williams (who ultimately played Lando Calrissian), Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and more. Whether you loved or hated the new Star Wars prequel (the fifth one, if you’re counting), here is a list of 10 reasons why Han Solo is amazing—and why you should dress up with a Han Solo Costume for Halloween!
1-Han Solo Made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs
…Kind of. In the original trilogy, Han Solo describes the Millenium Falcon as “the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs”. This boastful claim confused moviegoers, as a parsec is a measurement of time, not space. It served as a major plot-line for Solo: A Star Wars Story, as the movie sees the characters completing the infamous Kessel Run. If you’re going to be wearing a Han Solo costume this Halloween, and want to quote this memorable line, you might be wondering: how, exactly, did Han Solo complete the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? Well, the Kessel run is a route taken by pilots to smuggle spice, an illegal drug. It usually is about 20 parsecs, but, by taking a dangerous shortcut, Han is able to reduce that distance to about 12 parsecs.
2-Chewbacca. Need I say more?
Need more inspiration for your Star Wars Costume? Turn to Chewbacca: Han’s best friend is a lovable—though somewhat aggressive—Wookie. Before the release of Solo, the cannon was that Han met Chewie while he was working as an Imperial officer. When ordered to kill the Wookie, Han refuses and helps him escape, and Chewbacca swears a life-dept to him. Solo revisits this backstory, but, no matter how they met, Han Solo and Chewie are an iconic set of friends. Get a pal to wear a Chewbacca costume and put on a Han Solo costume for a great duo costume!
And that’s no small feat, for someone who’s not Force-sensitive! In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Han uses Luke’s lighsaber to slice open a tauntaun, which ultimately saves Luke. Nevertheless, lightsabers are not an easy weapon to handle, and, if you’re wearing a Han Solo costume this year, you might want to consider a toy blaster instead. For another Star Wars costume, such as a Rey Costume, a lightsaber will be great!
4- Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Han Solo in the latest movie, is an amazing actor
He’s worked with many world famous directors, such as Woody Allen, Joel and Ethan Coen, Park Chanwook, Warren Beatty, Francis Ford Coppola (one of the inspirations for the character of Han Solo)—and now, Ron Howard! Whether or not you approve of Alden putting on the notorious Han Solo costume in the newest prequel, it’s undeniable that he’s an incredibly skilled actor. He was the first to audition for the role, and visibly made a lasting impression on Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were originally supposed to direct the movie before Ron Howard replaced them.
5-Han Solo was originally supposed to be a green skinned alien…
…and a Jedi! We can’t help but wonder what Harrison Ford would have looked like in that particular Han Solo costume. Original versions of the script depict him as a green alien with no nose, who also happens to be a Jedi. George Lucas later changed the character to a human. Sadly, we may never get to know what a green, Voldemort-looking Jedi version of Han Solo might have been like. However, if you want to get creative with your Star Wars costume and go as a green Han Solo, all you’d really need is some body paint!
6-The character of Han Solo inspired many others
Many actors drew their inspiration from Han Solo for their characters. One of the most obvious is Chris Pratt for his interpretation of Peter Quill/Starlord. Like Han Solo, Peter is a space criminal, and the two share many characteristics. A great idea for a cross-franchise Star Wars costume would be for a pair of friends to dress up with a Han Solo Costume and a Star Lord Costume! Han Solo is also the inspiration for several other characters. Think Malcom Renolds from Firefly, or Owen Grady from Jurassic World. Did you know that Firefly references Star Wars with a replica of Solo frozen in carbonite on the set of the show?
7-Han shot first
Or did he? This is perhaps one of the most controversial things you could say in front of a Star Wars fan. In the original release of A New Hope, Han shoots Greedo first, unprovoked. That much is undeniable, but it’s not that simple. George Lucas later changed this in a 1997 re-release: the scene is altered so that Greedo shoots first, and Han consequently shoots him as an act of self defense. The change upset fans as, according to some, the first version of the scene is truer to Han’s character.
To complicate matters even further, in a 2004 re-release of the film, the scene is different once again. The 2004 version has Han and Greedo shoot at the same time. Which one’s really cannon? George Lucas stated he didn’t want Han to be a “cold-blooded killer”, and that the 2004 version is the one he wanted for the scene. The controversy was referenced in Solo: A Star Wars Story in a scene that, fittingly, divided fans. Everyone has their own opinion, but, for many Star Wars fans, and as far as we’re concerned, Han shot first.
Which explains the end of The Force Awakens—and Ford’s absence from Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, in one scene of the movie, you can see the Fertility Idol from Raiders of the Lost Arch, as a tribute to Harrison Ford and another of his iconic characters, Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford has seen Solo and reportedly called the movie “phenomenal”. The actor is turning 73 this year—and you can pay tribute to him to by wearing a Star Wars costume or Han Solo costume!
9-He won the Millenium Falcon
Fair and square! Or so he says. Solo: A Star Wars Story explains how Han and Chewie came to pilot the Falcon. No matter how he won it, the Millenium Falcon is hands down the most iconic Star Wars ship.
Han Solo gets his own Marvel series in a 2016 comic book in which he does undercover work for the rebellion.
Bonus fun facts:
- The working title of the Solo movie? Red Cup, in reference to red solo cups!
- The Imperial March is apparently the Empire’s actual theme song, as it plays in a recruitment ad for the Imperial forces. Almost like a jingle!
- Before directing Solo, Ron Howard declined to direct Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. He allegedly saw the task as too daunting.
- It’s not the first time Joonas Suotamo, who plays Chewbacca, has put on the famous Star Wars Costume: he was Peter Mayhew’s body double in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.