Everything about Han Solo makes him the coolest guy in a galaxy far, far away—from his swagger, to his one-liners, his charm, his wookiee best friend, and his record-breaking spaceship. Luke Skywalker may be the hero of the franchise, but Han Solo is the character we all want to be. Plus, it helps that he’s played by the equally cool and charming Harrison Ford. There’s a lot to like about the smuggler-turned-hero, and if you read on you may find some new reasons to be a fan of the late, great Han Solo!
26. How Old Are You?
According to the Lothal Calendar, Han Solo was born on approximately 29 BBY and died on 34 ABY. It’s a little difficult to figure out the calendar or these dates, but a Reddit user calculates that he was 63 years old when he died, and hey, I’m going to go with that guy.
25. The Many Voices of Han
Harrison Ford and Alden Ehrenreich are the only actors to play Han in live action, but Han has appeared in animated form and in multiple video games, leading to him being voiced by various actors. Lex Lang and John Armstrong have both voiced him in Star Wars video games and Keith Ferguson voiced him in The Lego Movie. Han was even voiced by an actress, Katie Leigh, in the animated short LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace, which featured Han as a child.
24. Imitation Game
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so if you’re going to imitate anyone, why not the guy who is the epitome of cool? Both Chris Pine and Chris Pratt have stated that they based their portrayal of their characters Captain Kirk (Star Trek) and Peter Quill (Guardians of the Galaxy), respectively, on Han. Two out of four Chrises isn’t bad!
23. Look Closely
Is it considered a cameo if you’re not physically in the scene? Fans of the TV show Firefly may have noticed that a model of Han frozen in carbonite can be spotted in the background of multiple scenes in multiple episodes of the beloved and short-lived TV show. So, would Han or Ford get the cameo credit?
22. Down Time
Marvel Comics released a five part Han comic book series in 2016 that takes place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, and sees Han and Chewy participate in a starship race that is inspired by the film Cannonball Run.
21. It’s a Hard-Knock Life
Maybe one of the reasons why Han and Rey bonded so quickly in The Force Awakens was because they shared a similar upbringing: they were both orphans. Han was born on the planet Corellia, which is the same planet that his prized ship, the Millennium Falcon, was built on.
20. Unique Look
Han wasn’t always meant to be the smooth, good looking human that he ended up as. In fact, the original conception of the character saw him as a giant, green fish alien Jedi with gills. Seriously. This version of Han was even used in a Dark Horse Comics series titled The Star Wars.
After working with Francis Ford Coppola on Apocalypse Now and witnessing the personality of the acclaimed director, George Lucas decided to incorporate Coppola’s swagger and confidence into the character of Han.
18. And the List Goes on
Han is an influential film character and one of the greatest and coolest characters of all time, so it comes as no surprise that he’s featured near the top of many lists. He’s ranked number 14 on the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 heroes and villains in film and number three on Empire magazine’s list of greatest movie characters of all-time.
17. Dropped the Ball
The Star Wars universe isn’t limited to the films, and there are countless novels and comic books that expand the characters and stories. In one of the comics, Han and Princess Leia end up having three children together, one of whom, Jacen Solo, becomes a Sith Lord. This plot may even be working its way into the films depending on where Star Wars Episode 9 goes.
16. Just Married
Although it was never witnessed, it was assumed that Han and Leia were married at one point in time. This was reinforced in the Star Wars novel Aftermath: Life Debt, where Leia talks about their wedding. On top of that, there are rumors that Return of the Jedi was supposed to end with Han and Leia’s wedding.
15. This Guy Looks Familiar
There is a comic book storyline that sees Han and Chewy land on Earth, where Han is then promptly killed while Chewy gets away, which leads the Wookiee to become the famed Sasquatch. Years later, worlds collide as Han’s corpse is found by Indiana Jones, and this becomes the closest we’ll ever get to seeing a Han Solo/Indiana Jones crossover.
14. Han Did It First…And No I Don’t Mean Shot
Although Finn’s use of a lightsaber in The Force Awakens was way cooler than Han’s use of the weapon in Empire Strikes Back, Han does hold the distinction of being the first non-force sensitive character to wield a lightsaber on screen.
13. Step-Daddy Issues
In an earlier draft of The Empire Strikes Back, Han doesn’t stick around at the end, but instead flies off to find his stepfather to try and convince him to join the rebellion.
12. A (Literal) Small Cameo
We almost got a young Han on screen years before the announcement of Solo: A Star Wars Story, as a 10-year-old Han was set to appear in Revenge of the Sith, where he would’ve been seen as a child living with the Wookiees on Kashyyyk.
11. Vegas Wedding
In one Star Wars comic book series, we learn about a past relationship of Han’s that almost ruined his relationship with Leia. In one issue, Han and Leia are confronted by a woman who claims to be Sana Solo, Han’s wife! Han repeatedly denies the marriage, but Leia isn’t entirely convinced.
10. Parental Guidance
There is a theory among Star Wars fans that Han essentially killed himself in The Force Awakens by grabbing Ren’s lightsaber and stabbing himself in the chest. It’s believed that Ren is secretly trying to gain Snoke’s trust before he betrays the Supreme Leader, which Han knows and goes along with. However, this theory may have lost some of its weight after what happened in The Last Jedi, but hopefully questions will be answered when Star Wars: Episode 9 is released!
9. Other Choices
Before Ford landed the role of Han, various other top actors auditioned, including Christopher Walken, Kurt Russell, and Nick Nolte. There are also a number of actors who were offered the role but turned it down, such as James Caan and Al Pacino.
8. Off to a Bad Start
Following in the footsteps of Rogue One, Han will also be getting his own solo movie, called, well, Solo. Unfortunately, the film has been plagued with issues, starting with the directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were abruptly fired when the movie was already 75% finished. Ron Howard was brought on as their replacement, and apparently reshot nearly the entire movie.
7. Impossible Task
Numerous up and coming actors, as well as ones who have been in the game for a while, auditioned for the coveted role of young Han in the standalone film. A few of those names include Dave Franco, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, and Rami Malek. In the end, the somewhat impossible task of trying to channel a young Ford went to Alden Ehrenreich, but the studio may be having second thoughts.
6. Not a Good Sign
Lucasfilm executives were not fans of Ehrenreich’s performance, or more specifically, his portrayal of a young Ford as a young Han, and ended up bringing in an acting coach to help with his performance.
5. You Can’t Change the Past
One of the coolest introductions to any character in film history is Han in A New Hope, when he shoots Greedo point blank, and yes he shot first! Sure, Lucas may have altered the footage when he re-released the film years later, but a copy of the original shooting script that was discovered a few years back reportedly makes it clear that Han killed Greedo in cold blooded fashion.
4. Playing for Pink Slips
Even fans who are not that familiar with the Star Wars franchise know that Han and the Millennium Falcon go hand in hand, but that wasn’t always the case. Han won the ship from Lando Calrissian in a space card game called Sabacc, and Calrissian in turn won it the same way playing the same game, but at a different time.
3. It’s a Secret
Harrison Ford always had some dark thoughts about Han Solo: he wanted Han to die in the original Star Wars. He felt that Han Solo needed to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Ford ultimately got his wish in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
2. Sleeping With the Enemy
Before joining the Rebellion, Han actually trained with the Empire, starting off as a pilot and working his way to lieutenant. However, he ended up having too much empathy and morality to fit in with the Empire, and left after he chose to save a future best friend’s life. When he was a part of the Empire, he decided to free Chewy from a slave ship, which is actually how the two met. They became best friends, and Chewy dedicated his life to Han and vowed to always have his back. Except for when, you know, Han was killed by his own son, Ben Solo AKA Kylo Ren. Where were you on that one, Chewy?
1. Forbidden Love
Carrie Fisher finally confirmed in 2016 that she and Ford had an illicit affair on set, but many details were still kept quiet, like the fact that the passage about the affair in Fisher’s The Princess Diarist describes how Ford took her away from a cast party when she was very drunk and started making out with her. Not very PR friendly, and many outlets reporting on the affair glossed these events over. At the time, she was also only 19 and Ford was 33, married, and with two children. Ford, for his part, was given advance warning about her reveal, and mostly declined to comment on the affair.