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Han Solo is one of the main characters of the Star Wars film franchise. Appearing throughout the original trilogy, he was once a swashbuckling smuggler alongside his partner, the Wookiee Chewbacca. After helping Luke Skywalker rescue Princess Leia and destroy the Death Star, Han and Chewbacca joined the Rebel Alliance and helped them to eventually free the galaxy from the tyranny of the Galactic Empire. In his later years, Han would return to his smuggling career after he and Leia lost their son to the corrupting influence of the First Order.

Han Solo is portrayed by Harrison Ford in all of his appearances in the main Star Wars saga, though his younger self was portrayed by Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

History

A New Hope

Prior to joining the Rebellion, Han Solo and Chewbacca spent their days carrying out smuggling runs in the Outer Rim aboard their ship, the Millennium Falcon. In 0 BBY, they were searching for new work on the desert planet Tatooine where they encountered the elderly Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and young moisture farmer Luke Skywalker. Han agreed to offer them and their droids safe passage to Alderaan for a high price; however, when the Millennium Falcon arrived at its destination, Han and his passengers discovered that Alderaan had been destroyed, reduced to cosmic fragments by the Empire's new battle station, the Death Star.

After the Falcon was snared by the Death Star's tractor beam, Han and the others sneaked off the ship, taking cover in a monitor room. While Obi-Wan went to disable the tractor beam generator, R2-D2 discovered that Princess Leia Organa was aboard the station and was scheduled for execution. Luke wanted to rescue her, but Han did not care to risk his life for a stranger. It was only after Luke told Han that Leia was rich and would reward him handsomely that he agreed to help.

Disguised as stormtroopers, Han and Luke made their way to the detention block, escorting Chewbacca as their "prisoner". After killing the guards in the cell block, they released Leia and escaped via a trash compactor. The trio and the droids made it back to the Millennium Falcon and managed to escape thanks to Obi-Wan disabling the tractor beam. However, Obi-Wan could not join them as he was confronted and killed by Darth Vader. Also, the Empire had planted a homing device on the Falcon and allowed it to escape in order to follow them back to the Rebel base.

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After returning Leia to Yavin 4, Han received his payment and was ready to leave. Luke tried to convince Han to stay and help them, but Han wasn't interested in joining a suicidal attack against the Death Star. He wished Luke well before he and Chewbacca departed aboard the Falcon. However, Han felt unable to abandon his new friends and so he turned the Falcon around back to Yavin. He arrived just in time to save Luke from being shot down by Darth Vader and a squad of TIE fighters. Without anyone tailing him, Luke fired his proton torpedoes into the Death Star's thermal exhaust port, resulting in the station's destruction. From that point on, Han and Chewbacca joined the Rebel Alliance.

The Empire Strikes Back

Three years after the Battle of Yavin, Han decided to leave the Rebellion so that he could settle his debt with Jabba the Hutt. His plans were put on hold when the Empire discovered the location of the Rebels' new base on Hoth. As Rebel fighters struggled to hold back the Imperial advance, Han, Chewbacca, Leia and C-3PO fled aboard the Millennium Falcon, but the ship's hyperdrive was malfunctioning and so they were unable to make a quick getaway. With Imperial ships in hot pursuit, Han took the Falcon into the Hoth asteroid field.

Within the asteroid field, Han and the others attempted to make repairs whilst hiding from Imperial search parties. During this time, Han and Leia, who had frequently fought and bickered since they first met, finally revealed their true feelings for one another with a romantic embrace.

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After leaving the asteroid field and evading Imperial pursuit, the Millennium Falcon made its way to Bespin where they met with an old friend of Han's, Lando Calrissian. After arriving at Cloud City, however, Han and the others were handed over to Darth Vader who had arrived ahead of them. Han was tortured and later frozen in carbonite before Vader handed him over to the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Fett then took the frozen Han to Jabba the Hutt's palace on Tatooine.

Return Of The Jedi

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For over a year, Han would remain encased in carbonite and mounted on a wall in Jabba's palace. Luke, Leia and Lando organised a rescue mission, infiltrating the palace and releasing Han from his hibernation. However, the heroes were captured and Jabba decided to have them all fed to the mighty Sarlacc monster out in the Dune Sea. Luckily, Luke and the others were able to defeat Jabba's minions while the Hutt himself was choked to death by Leia. The group then departed from Tatooine to rejoin the Alliance fleet where Han was promoted to General.

When the Rebellion organised their attack against the Empire's second Death Star battle station, Han was tasked with leading an infiltration mission to the forest moon of Endor where the station's shield generator was located. Using a stolen Imperial shuttle, the rebel commando squad landed on Endor, but they soon ran afoul of the moon's primitive inhabitants, the Ewoks. Fortunately, with C-3PO's communicative skills and a little Force trickery from Luke, the heroes were released and they gained the Ewoks as allies. With the Ewoks knowledge of the landscape and their ingenuity with designing crude but effective traps, the Rebels dealt a crushing blow to the Imperial forces defending the shield bunker. The bunker was destroyed and the Death Star's shield went down, allowing the Rebel fleet in orbit to send fighters into the station's superstructure to destroy its main reactor. With the Death Star destroyed and both Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine killed aboard the station, the Empire had suffered a devastating defeat and the Rebels would restore peace to the galaxy.

The Force Awakens

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In the years following the downfall of the Empire, Han and Leia became leading figures in the New Republic. They married and had a son together whom they named Ben, but their relationship suffered when Leia allowed her brother Luke to take Ben and train him in the ways of the Force.

When the First Order arose from the ashes of the Empire, Supreme Leader Snoke corrupted Ben and turned him to the dark side of the Force, renaming him Kylo Ren of the Knights of Ren. Having left his wife and lost his son, Han had nothing and so he decided to return to his old life as a smuggler.

Approximately thirty years since the Battle of Endor, Han and Chewbacca were operating aboard the freighter Eravana, having lost the Millennium Falcon some years prior when it was stolen by a group of mercenaries. The legendary Corellian freighter had since been stolen several times before ending up in the possession of junk dealer Unkar Plutt on Jakku. The Falcon was stolen from Plutt by a scavenger called Rey and her companions Finn - an -ex-stormtrooper - and the astromech droid BB-8. Shortly after the Falcon had taken flight, it was caught in the Eravana's tractor beam and brought aboard. Han and Chewbacca had finally stolen their beloved ship back.

After escaping from two rival gangs who had it out for him, Han tried to decide what to do with his passengers. Rey explained that BB-8 was carrying a map that would lead to Luke Skywalker who had gone into hiding since the First Order arose. Han decided to help them and took them to the planet Takodana where they met the mystic Maz Kanata who had in her possession the lightsaber once wielded by both Anakin Skywalker and later Luke.

Maz's castle was later attacked by the First Order who managed to capture Rey. After the Resistance arrived to fend off the attackers, they fled. Han and Finn met with General Leia Organa and they began preparing for their next operation: the assault on Starkiller Base. Finn having previously worked at Starkiller Base, knew how to get onto the weaponized planet undetected and helped Han and Chewie infiltrate the base and disable its defensive shields, allowing the Resistance fleet to move in and attack.

Death

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Star Wars VII- The Force Awakens (2015) - The Death of Han Solo Scene

Inside Starkiller's main thermal oscillator facility, Han confronted his son Kylo Ren on a long bridge over a massive pit. Han pleaded with his son to abandon the First Order and come home with him. Ben handed his lightsaber to Solo, saying he needed to do one more thing. After a brief moment of emotional struggle, Ben activated the weapon and it passed through Solo's chest. As Rey, Finn, and Chewbacca watched in horror, Han stroked his son's face for the last time before falling to his death into the pit below. Leia sensed her husband's death through the Force and wept for his loss.

While Han was never Force-sensitive, his spirit would still somehow linger and would haunt his son for some time after his death. In The Rise of Skywalker, after his duel with Rey on Endor, Kylo sees the spirit of his father once again. At this point, Ben has become torn between the light and dark aspects of the Force and is no longer sure of himself, but Han reassures Ben that he doesn't have to follow the dark path any more and forgives him. Ben weeps as he finally reaches his decision, discarding his mask and the name of Kylo Ren and throwing his lightsaber into the ocean. Han's spirit then disappears into the ether.

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