Even though they defeated Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, things haven’t gone very smoothly for the Rebel Alliance (now the Resistance) in the years since. Thirty years after their victory on Endor, the two sides are still at war in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, looking to seize control of the galaxy. It sounds like a trying ordeal that can take a toll on even the most hardened warriors.
One of those people who’s had a rough three decades is apparently Han Solo. Even with Jabba the Hutt no longer out there putting prices on his head, he still has no shortage of enemies in the universe. And if new rumors prove true, a few of them are even after his beloved ship.
The latest report from Making Star Wars (a go-to source for Force Awakens rumors) provides some details on Han’s backstory heading into the new film. If you recall, a while back it was rumored that Captain Solo would have a new ship, meaning that he and Chewbacca lost control of the Millennium Falcon. According to Making Star Wars‘ sources, that’s exactly what has happened, as the duo has lost their iconic vehicle shortly before the movie begins.
Outside of there allegedly being some people asking to purchase the Falcon from Han (and Solo refusing any sale), there’s little information on the circumstances surrounding the Falcon‘s ownership. The only thing that seems to be certain at this juncture is that Han does lose the ship somehow prior to the events of Episode VII, which explains Han’s now famous line from the second Force Awakens trailer (“Chewie… we’re home.”) in a whole new light.
In addition, Making Star Wars had rumors on Han’s well-being in The Force Awakens, and apparently the old smuggler has seen better days. He spends his time sad, bitter, and hanging out in bars. There’s also a mystery gang only referred to as “Ducain and the Irving Boys” who want Han dead (for reasons unknown). This would explain his presence (seemingly) on the wasteland planet Jakku, as that seems like a good place to lay low while people are on the hunt for you.
Something else that’s worth noting: Making Star Wars‘ report indicates that, as far as the new Star Wars canon is concerned, Han and Chewbacca’s history is as follows:
Chewbacca is captured and put into slavery in the aftermath of Revenge of the Sith and the invasion of Kashyyyk. Han Solo frees the Wookiee and therefore Chewbacca owes Han Solo a life debt.
The Star Wars Rebels pilot, “Spark of Rebellion”, does indeed include Wookies being enslaved by the Galactic Empire, post-Revenge of the Sith, as an important plot point (as MSW‘s article notes), and this idea isn’t far off from Han and Chewbaca’s history in the now defunct Star Wars ‘Expanded Universe’ continuity (where Chewie also owes Han a life debt). This matter probably won’t even be referenced inThe Force Awakens, though it’s something that could (should?) be touched upon in the forthcoming Han Solo Anthology film that LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are currently developing.
All in all, this is hardly the most surprising Star Wars rumor that has come out in the last year. Based on what we’ve heard, it sounds like the original three (Luke, Han, and Leia) are more or less separated and no longer operating as the tight-knit unit that went through so much together. Thirty years is a long time after all, and we have no idea what things may have happened to the group between Return of the Jediand The Force Awakens. It’s very plausible that Han had a falling out with someone(s) and sadly went his own way.
Without seeing how this fits into the context of the film, it’s also easy to see how this rumor can be problematic for some. For starters, some have raised the point that losing the Falcon just days before the film lessens the emotional impact of the “Chewie… we’re home” quote – though, as with all rumors, the finer details may not be accurate, and Han will have been separated from the Falcon for quite some time. Similarly, setting up Han as a curmudgeonly drunk appears to wipe away his character arc from the original trilogy (where he transitioned from cold-hearted smuggler to a dedicated soldier), at first glance.
All the same, there are still many details about The Force Awakens that are still under director J.J. Abrams’ veil of secrecy, and the picture painted by the third trailer arriving this fall should make it clearer which of these rumors are accurate and which ones are not.