6 Most Memorable Han Solo Moments

May 25th, 20186 Most Memorable Han Solo Moments

Han Solo is one of the most original characters in the Star Wars universe. While he’s part-pirate and part-gunslinger, there’s really no one like Han. The scruffy-looking Nerf-Herder met his demise at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but fortunately he’ll shine on the big screen once again in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The film is the second Star Wars spinoff (after Rogue One) and the first movie to explore Han’s youth as he rises through the ranks of the criminal underworld. To celebrate Han Solo’s return to the big screen on May 25, let’s take a look at six of Han’s most memorable moments in the Star Wars series.

Chatting With An Empire Officer

[Credit: Lucasfilm]
  • From: A New Hope (1977)

Han’s tendency towards rogue-ish improvisation shines in this scene. In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca end up inside the Death Star as they seek out the imprisoned Leia. Dressed as Stormtroopers, the heroes fight their way into the detention area, setting off an alarm.

An Imperial officer calls in to see what the problem is and Han, stalling for time, actually talks to the guy. Unfortunately  he wasn’t good at pretending to be an agent of the Empire. He is, however, good at cutting off the interaction with a blaster shot. The scene is small but hilarious, and establishes Han as a relatable, imperfect hero who fakes his way though tough situations – until he’s called on the deception.

Rescuing Luke On Hoth

[Credit: Lucasfilm]
  • From: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Han Solo may not be a people person, but he’ll do anything to protect those close to him. If the end of A New Hope doesn’t make that clear, we see his caregiving side shine in The Empire Strikes Back. When Luke Skywalker doesn’t return from exploring the ice planet Hoth, where the Rebel Alliance is operating, Han’s love for Luke shows in his commanding conversation with Rebel soldiers and his headlong dash into a search and rescue operation.

Despite Hoth’s extreme temperatures, Han hops on a tauntaun and explores the windswept tundra to find Luke. When the two are reunited, Han gives up their animal transport in order to keep Luke warm, risking his own life in the process. Han previously seemed interested only in money. Seeing him risk his life for Luke was touching, and showed how far the character had come since his debut in A New Hope.

The Flawless Asteroid Field Flight

[Credit: Lucasfilm]
  • From: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Han Solo isn’t just a charming con man. He’s also one of the best pilots in the galaxy. Early in The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader attacks the Rebel base on Hoth. Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO flee in the Millennium Falcon, chased through space by the Empire.

With no lightspeed available and the Empire closing in, Han flies into an asteroid field to escape. The possibilities of surviving such a trip are 3,720 to one, according to C-3PO. Han is the one, however, and Solo maneuvers expertly (and intuitively) through the asteroid field, losing his pursuers in the process.

Landing The Millennium Falcon At Hyperspeed

[Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm]
  • From: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Han shows off his flight prowess once again in The Force Awakens. Solo and Finn travel to Starkiller base to disable the First Order’s galaxy-destroying weapon and retrieve Rey. A big obstacle is in their way, however, as the base’s shields prevent anything slower than lightspeed from getting in. In a desperate attempt to infiltrate the First Order’s headquarters, Solo makes his landing approach at lightspeed – this is something no one should or would ever do.

Finn is terrified. Nonetheless, Han successfully lands on Starkiller base. It’s not a smooth arrival, but that’s understandable considering the circumstances. Given that The Force Awakens was released three decades after Return of the Jedi, this scene is a great way to remind audiences of just how good Han is as a pilot.

A Kiss Before Carbonite

[Credit: Lucasfilm]
  • From: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Any question about the romantic triangle between Han, Luke, and Leia is put to rest in the moments before Boba Fett and Darth Vader freeze Han in carbonite. Sorry, Luke, but Leia is in love with Han. (Leia is also your sister, but we’ll get to that later.)

As the smuggler is about to undergo a procedure that could well kill him, Leia confesses her love, to which Han responds with two words that perfectly define him: “I know.” Might as well roll the end credits right there because that line slays the audience. It’s classical Hollywood, Casablanca-level dialogue. If anyone didn’t understand who Han was before that line, they sure do afterward.

His Death

[Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm]
  • From: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars doesn’t always give its characters a happy ending. Han Solo is no exception, but his death brings his character an unexpected sort of closure. On Starkiller base, Han faces his son, Kylo Ren. Solo tries to turn Kylo away from the Dark Side, but Ren is loyal to Supreme Leader Snoke. He stabs his father through the chest. Before dying, Solo reaches out to caress Kylo’s face.

The scene shows how far Han has come in the years since A New Hope. He’s no longer a carefree space smuggler with a knack for adventure. Solo had become a loving and troubled father who cared about his son regardless of what he had become. Han’s death scene was touching, and one of the most memorable moments in the Star Wars saga.

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25, 2018.