Why Han Solo Is One of the Nicest Guys in the Star Wars Saga

He's certainly nicer than Luke Skywalker.

by Inverse Video

You don’t need to see the Star Wars films to know that Han Solo is a bad guy. I mean, not a bad guy — he’s on our side — but he’s still a scoundrel and a scruffy-looking nerf herder. But, what if the public’s opinion of this rough-and-tumble smuggler has been wrong for decades?

This all starts with the age-old debate about who shot first in the Mos Eisley cantina: Han or Greedo? Okay, it’s not a debate. It’s a fact. In the original 1977 release of Star Wars, A New Hope, Han Solo shoots first, no question about it.

Then, in the 1997 remaster of the Star Wars trilogy (also called the Special Edition), George Lucas tampered with the editing in this scene so that it looked like Greedo shot first, hoping to frame Han in a more positive light. Well, if you’re reading this article then you probably know that fans everywhere went ballistic:

“Han’s not a good guy!” they screamed. “Han shot first!”

Without a doubt, Han shot first, but not because he’s a bad guy. Han Solo is actually one of the nicest guys in the Star Wars saga. To prove this, let’s look back at his track record.

He comes back to save Luke in the middle of the kid’s attack run on the Death Star, stays with the Rebellion during its relocation to Hoth even though he still has a bounty on his head, and remains grounded on Hoth until he is sure he can save Princess Leia. Han also saves Lando from the sarlaac pit despite the fact that Lando is the reason they’re all in that mess in the first place. And, even though he’s super new to the Rebel Alliance, Han ends up leading a Rebel team on a field mission to Endor. While he’s there, Han evacuates the shield generator hub before he blows it up so a bunch of innocent people don’t die.

And that’s just the original trilogy.

Han and Chewie in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.


In The Force Awakens, Han has been out of the hero game for a long time. But as soon as he finds out the Resistance needs help, what does he do? He friggin’ helps! Even his last act is one of pure good when he tries to save his only son, Kylo Ren, from the clutches of evil. It doesn’t work, but he still tries!

If you’re still not convinced, we took the liberty of tallying up all of Han’s on-screen kills so we could stack them up against Luke’s. The final verdict? Han Solo kills 42 people over the course of the four movies he’s in (Solo: A Star Wars Story not included).

You might also like: “Luke Skywalker’s Astral Projection, Explained by IRL Out-of-Body Experiences”

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Fourty-two is a lot! I’ve never killed even ONE person, let alone 42! Sure, that’s a lot. While it seems wrong to say that some murder is worse than any other kind of murder, when you discover that Luke Skywalker kills over 300,000 people during his tenure in the Star Wars movies, you might start to agree with us that 42 dead people don’t sound so bad after all.

Look, at the end of the day, Han has a bunch of flaws. He’s selfish, he’s greedy, and he’s not super keen on asking permission before he kisses you, but when you get right down to the facts, Han Solo really isn’t such a bad guy after all.

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