Is Solo: A Star Wars Story essential to the Star Wars canon? Probably not. But it's an enjoyable space romp with ace performances and fun easter eggs for fans, and sometimes, that's all you need to have a good time at the movies.
We were first introduced to the world-weary, scruffy-looking nerfherder in 1977's A New Hope in a cantina on Tatooine. Still, the question always loomed: Who is this guy? We knew Han Solo as the cocky pilot of the Millennium Falcon, the scoundrel who shot first, and the wise-talking scammer who completed the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. (Or so he said.) But Solo shows us Han (Alden Ehrenreich) at the start of his fabled journey — younger, somehow even cockier, but refreshingly optimistic.
Still, Solo is clearly setting up something more with these characters. (Whether they get the chance to follow through with their plans following the film's disappointing box-office performance is still anyone's guess.) But it left us hanging with a few essential questions.
What is Han's real last name?
A long time ago — when directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were still attached to this movie — Disney CEO Bob Iger let it slip that Solo would reveal how "Han Solo got his name." The statement drew ire from some fans, who assumed that Han Solo wasn't in fact the legendary smuggler's real name, but others reasonably thought Iger was speaking metaphorically. After all, that's a huge spoiler to drop at a random business and tech event.
As it turns out, Iger was being 100 percent literal back in March 2017; Solo did reveal how Han got his name — his surname. A scene between Han and a recruitment officer for the Imperial Army confirmed that Solo was given to Han by the Empire since he didn't have any other family. He was alone. So he signed up "solo" — get it? It's perhaps one of the scenes that feels the most like Lord and Miller, and it's been majorly divisive among fans. (Surprisingly, it's the scene that co-writer Lawrence Kasdan originally pitched to Disney to greenlight the project.)
But if Solo isn't Han's actual name, then what is? He says he doesn't have any "people" that he belongs to, which hints at the fact that Han grew up alone in the slums of Corellia. We don't know who his parents are because he probably has no idea. Although, it's cool to think that Han Solo made a name for himself in the galaxy without any sort of storied lineage. Maybe Han and Rey are more similar that we think.
Where (or who) is Qi'ra in A New Hope?
Qi'ra is a bit of an anomaly. She grew up with Han on the streets of Corellia, where they ultimately fell in love. But she betrayed him in the final act of Solo, choosing the protection and power of Darth Maul and Crimson Dawn over space shenanigans with Han and Chewie.
It's not that Qi'ra has completely turned to the Dark Side — it's not like we even know which side Maul is on these days — as that longing look she throws at Han as she breaks his heart proves she still cares about him. So what happened to Qi'ra in the decade leading up to A New Hope? There's no mention of the character in the Skywalker saga. Does Han win her back? Does she sacrifice herself to save him? Or does she turn into a different person entirely? Clearly, there's a reason Emilia Clarke said she had signed on for multiple films; Qi'ra's story is just beginning.
What does Maul want with Crimson Dawn and do they have ties to the Shadow Collective?
Maul is back! One of the biggest surprises of the film was the reveal that Maul (formerly known as Darth Maul, a Sith Lord) was the shadowy leader of Crimson Dawn. Dryden Vos was just his posh lackey. If you had kept up with the animated series The Clone Wars, then you already knew that Maul was alive during this time. After his fatal fight with Obi-Wan, he had managed to channel the dark energy around him and drag his upper body to safety. Now he's got cool humanoid legs.
During the Clone Wars, Maul formed a criminal alliance known as the Shadow Collective (including the Hutt Clan and the Pyke Syndicate). The seedy organization worked to enact revenge on Darth Sidious but ultimately disbanded when several key forces abandoned the initiative. So it appears that Crimson Dawn is Maul's newest crime syndicate, but where does their allegiance lie?
And is Maul working for the Empire — or is he a rogue agent?
Enfys Nest tells Han that Crimson Dawn works for the Empire and that the coaxium they stole would have helped the Empire displace even more people from their home planets. But do the Cloud-Riders have all of the information?
Crimson Dawn could be a rogue criminal organization. After all, it would explain why they stole the coaxium from the Empire. If so, then what's their endgame? When we last saw Maul in Rebels (which takes place years after Solo), he was seeking revenge against the Sith and the Jedi, since his fight with Darth Sidious left him physically and psychologically wounded. In Solo, Maul tells Qi'ra to return to Dathomir (Maul's home planet), which seems to confirm that this is Crimson Dawn's base of operations.
Where did Han get his golden dice?
Han's golden dice have now appeared in three Star Wars movies, but it's still unclear what their origins are other than the fact that Han has carried them with him since his time on Corellia — and they seem to be lucky. The dice originally appeared in a A New Hope, hanging in the cockpit, and in The Last Jedi, Leia clutches them for comfort.
Solo establishes their lucky origins when Han hung them in the speeder as he and Qi'ra escaped Corellia. Later, Han gives them to Qi'ra for good luck, and she returns them when they're finally reunited three years later. As for where they came from, that remains unclear. Do they hold any sentimental value for Han, or did he pick them up on the streets?
What is Enfys Nest's legacy in the Star Wars universe?
Solo makes it clear that Enfys Nest and the Cloud-Riders are starting a rebellion in the galaxy — but it's not made explicit if it's the Rebellion. Resistance movements were popping up throughout the galaxy at this point, even though the official Rebel Alliance wasn't formed until a few years later. Still, the coaxium that Han stole and generously gave to Enfys Nest is worth enough to kickstart their rebellion — and it's especially poignant that Han, a guy who wants nothing to do with the Rebellion or the Jedi when we meet him in A New Hope, is ultimately the one who helped fuel the entire resistance operation.
So we have L3 to thank for getting Han through that asteroid field and helping Rey pilot the Falcon?
Call it retconning or not, but the idea that L3's navigational system merged with the Millennium Falcon's operating system is brilliant. Lando tells Han that she's now part of the ship, which would explain how Han managed to get through the asteroid field in The Empire Strikes Back without causing any major damage to the ship. Not to mention, Rey also managed to escape First Order forces in The Force Awakens without much experience in a cockpit. There's also something poetic about the Falcon being a symbol of rebellion — seeing how L3 was such a passionate rabble-rouser.