Hints of Han’s EU past in Solo: A Star Wars Story?

Though the path of production for the Han Solo origin movie has not been smooth (what with changing directors, etc.), trailers and initial reports seem to say it is at least entertaining.

I have never been truly excited about Solo: A Star Wars Story simply because the stories I want to hear about young Han have already been told…in the EU.  The Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Legends) has several great novels featuring Han before the OT.

The Han Solo Trilogy

The Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin contains many of the expected plot points: Han meeting Chewbacca, winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a game of cards, losing a shipment of spice he was smuggling for Jabba, and eventually betraying Lando in such a way that Han anticipates a chilly reception later on Cloud City.  I’m sure Solo will contain all these elements as well, but the details may be slightly different.

A recent clip from the movie shows that one detail seems to align with Han’s EU backstory: his time in the Empire.  In The Paradise Snare, Han eventually achieves his youthful goal of entering the Imperial Academy to become a Navy pilot.  It seems that in Solo, Han also begins his career with the Imperial military, though it appears to be the army instead of the navy.  Check out io9’s article for further information.

Another hint comes from the soundtrack titles.  Check out track 16: “Into the Maw.”  This could potentially be a reference to Han’s famous record-setting Kessel Run.  The Han Solo Trilogy was used to retcon Han’s claim that he had made the Kessel Run in “less than twelve parsecs,” a parsec being a unit of distance, not time.  Oops.

But in the EU stories, Han was actually able to shave some distance off the Run by flying close to a cluster of black holes called the Maw, thereby warping time-space. (The Maw was also the site for the initial construction of the Death Star–what better place to hide your giant planet-killing weapon prototype than a cluster of black holes?)  So, the famous gaffe actually is correct, based on that explanation (sort of…don’t think about it too hard).  It seems possible that this is the explanation they are sticking with in Solo, and we’ll see a Kessel Run up against some black holes.

Also, how cool is it that John Williams got to compose a track for the movie?!

One last minor bit of convergence.  Before the Han Solo Trilogy was written, Han and Lando each had a trio of novellas about their adventures prior to the OT (which were incorporated in the later trilogy); I’ve never gotten all the way through them because, honestly, the books are a bit weird.  But in The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Lando’s co-pilot of the Falcon is a droid named Vuffi Raa.  It seems like this role will be filled in Solo by a droid named L3-37.  Although Vuffi Raa was not humanoid, so the two look nothing alike, there could still be some similarity of function or personality.

L3 and Lando

What parts of Han’s EU backstory are you hoping they keep?  What are you hoping they get rid of?  How many different ways can Han betray Lando? (I think the EU has at least three…)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Place in the World

From Connemara, Ireland.

 

The view from the back of Ballynahinch Castle has a way of making you feel like everything is all right in the world.  Everything from the majestic Ballynahinch River to the smallest cluster of violas seems to fit perfectly.

Nature and culture in harmony, you see, Lizzy. Wildness and artifice, and all in the one perfect county. –Mr. Gardiner, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Ok, so Mr. Gardiner was talking about Derbyshire, but I think the same idea applies here 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Place in the World

Fan Art Friday: Solo

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.

I’m not crazy about how this one turned out, but I don’t hate it either.  I had planned to use colors that remind me of Han Solo: Blue, red, grey, brown, and some yellow.  (Kiri actually had a similar color scheme; check out hers here).

However, then I decided for some reason to throw some green in there, and now it looks like kindergarten primary colors, which is not what I was going for.  I also got bored coloring Vader all dark brown, so I started mixing in light brown and now he’s got a weird ombré thing going on.

But luckily, this image is actually in the book twice, so I’ll get another chance at it someday!

I’m cautiously optimistic about the Solo movie based on the trailers.  I probably won’t get to see it in theaters or anything, but I always enjoy a good heist story.  In fact, if you would like a good heist story with Han and Lando, check out the Legends novel Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn.  I’m lucky enough to have a signed copy! 😀

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

From County Clare, Ireland.

I didn’t quite understand what this warning sign meant when I first saw it.  Don’t set fire to the birds, maybe?  That seems unlikely.

No, I’m pretty sure it means to not walk on the grass or disturb the wildlife.  This sign is found at the Cliffs of Moher, so I’m sure that’s for the safety of the visitors as well as the wildlife.  But that interpretation is way less fun.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker

I’m not reading a lot of print books right now, but I’m glad I made time for this cute tale.  The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang is a graphic novel for all ages with charming artwork and a message about being yourself and accepting others for who they are.

The two title characters are good friends Sebastian and Frances.  By day, Sebastian is a prince whose parents are trying to make a royal match for him; by night, he is Lady Crystallia, and Frances is the dressmaker who makes Crystallia’s fashion dreams come to life with her creations.  But Sebastian is continually worried that his secret will get out, and Frances starts to worry that she will never be able to reach her full potential.

Of course, they do manage to find their way through their troubles together, leading to an entertaining happy ending.

Frances and Sebastian

The writing and art go well together, whether it’s a scene of heartfelt and endearing simplicity…

…or a scene bursting with Parisian fashion and glamour.

Although I’m not an expert on LGBT literature, I thought Sebastian’s cross-dressing/genderfluidity was handled well.  Rather than discussing labels or gender pronouns as a contemporary story might do, it comes at it from a more organic perspective, letting Sebastian and the other characters tell their own truths with plain and honest language.  Sebastian explains:

“Some days I look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘That’s me, Prince Sebastian! I wear boy clothes and look like my father.’ Other days it doesn’t feel right at all. Those days I feel like I’m actually a princess.”

I would definitely recommend checking out this charming story.  I have a feeling it will be one of the most popular graphic novels this year.