Plot Details From Han Solo Film Call The Character’s Name Origin Into Question

A few details from the upcoming Han Solo film have been revealed by Disney CEO Bob Iger, and it raises one very specific question about the Solo name….

According to Inverse, the details revealed at Iger’s recent talk gave away a few minor plot points for the upcoming Han Solo standalone film. They are:

  • That the film features Han from the ages of 18 to 24;
  • That it will feature his finding of the Millennium Falcon;
  • The film will show him meeting his friend Chewbacca;
  • He will “get” his name.

The first point is interesting in that we now know that the movie will encompass six years of Solo’s life, and that it will begin roughly around the same time the Empire comes into power. That’s a time period that’s rife with possibility, perfect fodder for a good story. Meeting Chewbacca and finding the Falcon were always a pretty safe bet for the movie, seeing as they are the two most important relationships in Han’s life (outside Leia, of course).

But the name aspect is interesting mainly because of the phrasing. As it stands, it likely means one of two things, so let’s look at the options:

Han Solo isn’t his real name, it’s a name he chooses or receives from others.

Not gonna lie, this is kind of a weak option to my mind. Name reveals are seldom as exciting as you’d prefer them to be, and a character choosing their name is only relevant if the story can attach real meaning to the selection. There are plenty of reasons for a character like Han Solo to need to change his name, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be intriguing enough to make a big to-do about it. They might be able to make it work if they draw on the old Legends (formerly known as the Expanded Universe) canon of Han enrolling in the Imperial Academy and then saving Chewie when he realizes that Wookiees are slaves of the Empire; it makes sense that defecting from a life of Imperial service might require a name change to keep the authorities off your back.

Still, I’m slightly terrified that we’re going to end up with something unbearably cheesy like “You just don’t know how to work with people, Han! Why don’t you just keep going without us—solo! Since that’s how you seem to prefer working!”

Then, of course, there’s always the other obvious possibility: “Crap, I need a new name, and fast! What’s this written on the side of my cup of jungle juice…?”

Han Solo didn’t know his name; he will learn it here.

The only reason I would count this as a possibility is because of how a similar plot point plays out in A.C. Crispin’s Han Solo Trilogy. Crispin’s source material is a pretty good bet because we already seem to have one character from those books appearing in the film—Woody Harrelson has said that he’s playing Garris Shrike, the man who taught Han Solo how to be a con man at the ripe old age of childhood along with a bunch of other orphaned kids. In book one of the trilogy, Han only knows his first name—not his last—having no clear memory of his life before being picked up by Shrike. Shrike’s cook and Han’s surrogate mother is a Wookiee named Dewlannamapia, and one night she gets Shrike drunk because she knows that he has knowledge of Han’s true name. Shrike reveals it to be Solo.

This is also intriguing because once Han learned his name from that incident, he sought out living relatives and came across the Sal-Solo’s, cousins of his who were descended from ancient emperors of Corellia. His cousin Thracken was a real piece of work, a violent bully who also happened to look almost exactly like Han. Exactly like him. You know, because that doesn’t ever come up again.

So let’s just say that there’s a lot of potential bits and pieces that could be dragged up for this movie, if this is how Han Solo “gets” his name.

Of course, there are plenty of options for this—any preferences out there?

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