What did Han Solo do before he became a smuggler? Was he always a criminal? The old Star Wars “Legends” canon claimed he was a pilot for the Empire before he refused to help Wookiees be turned into slaves. And now, it’s possible that the new standalone film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, might honor that continuity.
On Tuesday, images surfaced online of a Han Solo LEGO mini-fig which features Han rocking what looks like an Imperial uniform. Now, this could obviously just mean Han goes undercover (there’s a long history of people in Star Wars stealing uniforms) but it also could suggest that his origin story from old canon might be used in one way or another.
Published in 2000, the Dark Horse Comics mini-series, Chewbacca, revealed that Han Solo used to fly TIE Fighters for the Empire. But, because he went against his orders to take out some renegade Wookiee slaves, he had to go on the run. This story also explained why Chewbacca is so loyal to Han: without Solo’s help, Chewie would have been locked up.
It’s already well-known that Solo will depict how Han and Chewie really met in canon, so it’s possible aspects of this old origin story will be used. And if Han Solo’s background as an Imperial pilot is made canon, it will explain pretty clearly why he knows so much about how the Empire operates anyway. In The Empire Strikes Back Han knows about “standard Imperial procedure,” and in A New Hope, he has intimate knowledge of how much firepower the entire Imperial fleet actually possesses.
Hopefully, some aspect of Han’s old origin story is re-canonized, if only because it would give him extra dimension. If he’s only lived his life as a criminal, his bitterness about big organizations makes less sense. But if he was once a member of the Empire, Han’s cynicism about enlisting in anything becomes a lot more believable.
As of now Solo: A Star Wars Story is still set for wide release on May, 25, 2018. And now, no one has seen a trailer yet.