Here's How Han's Origin Changed From The Old EU To 'Solo'

There are plenty of ways Han is different in Solo from the smuggler fans thought they knew. His character seems markedly different in the old Expanded Universe as well as in The Force Awakens. The backstory dramatized in Solo: A Star Wars Story confirms many established theories about the young rogue's origin story, while shattering other long-held assumptions.

As played by Alden Ehrenreich, the young Han in Solo isn't quite the one viewers remember from The Han Solo Trilogy, the A.C. Crispin novels that first fleshed out the hero in 1997-98. The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit, and Rebel Dawn chronicle the most important moments in Han's life before he meets Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. Read through them, and you'll get a sense of just how Han has changed from the EU to Solo

Han's 2018 origin story shares some similarities to what it used to be, but the movie also changes many key details.

  • Where And When Was He Born?

    What Happens In The Old EU: Han Solo was born on Corellia, one of the galaxy's Core Worlds. He was born 29 years before the events of A New Hope (or 29 BBY, which means 29 years Before the Battle of Yavin), according to Keeper of the Holocron Leland Chee (the Lucasfilm official who maintains the Star Wars continuity database). 

    What Happens In SoloHan was still born on Corellia. It's not clear when Han was born, although the Solo: A Star Wars Story Official Guide puts the character's year of birth closer to 32 BBY.

  • Who Are His Parents?

    What Happens In The Old EU: The novel The Paradise Snare by A.C. Crispin establishes that Han is orphaned at a young age and falls in with a band of thieves soon after. While aboard their ship, Han grows close to the Wookiee cook, Dewlanna, who finishes raising him and also teaches him Shyriiwook, the language of the Wookiees.

    In the novel The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton, readers learn that Han's parents were named Jonash and Jaina. Han never met them, as they disappeared without a trace.

    What Happens In Solo: Although he's still an orphan, Han mentions his father in Solo. According to the young scoundrel, his father built ships at the Corellian Engineering Corporation shipyards, working on freighters like the Millennium Falcon. After he died, Han was forced to live on the streets.

  • How Did He Get His Name?

    What Happens In The Old EU: Han was born with the surname "Solo" in the old canon. It's revealed in Dave Wolverton's novel The Courtship of Princess Leia that Solo is actually a famous last name on Corellia. Han descends from King Berethron e Solo, the ruler who brought democracy to Corellia, which had previously been a monarchy. So yeah, Han is royalty. 

    What Happens In Solo: Viewers never learn Han's true last name in Solo. "Solo" is the name he's given by an Imperial recruiter on Corellia when Han signs up for the Imperial Academy in order to escape the planet. The name suits Han at the time, since he has no one after Qi'ra is taken from him at the spaceport. 

  • How Did He Become An Outlaw?

    What Happens In The Old EU: After Han is orphaned, he's picked up by the criminal Garris Shrike, who takes him aboard the criminal ship Trader's Luck to become one of his criminal agents. In A.C. Crispin's The Paradise Snare, it's explained that Shrike manipulates Han in order to make the boy run scams and steal for him. 

    What Happens In Solo: After his father dies, Han falls in with the White Worms, a criminal gang led by the grotesque Lady Proxima. He runs scams on the street and eventually meets Qi'ra, his first love.

  • Who Was His First Love Interest?

    What Happens In The Old EU: Han meets his first love, Bria Tharen, in A.C. Crispin's The Paradise Snare. She is a fellow Corellian he encounters on the planet Ylesia while on the run from Garris Shrike's gang, which he'd abandoned in order to pursue his own life.

    Bria grew up wealthy but abandoned all her possessions to become a servant on Ylesia after experiencing the Exultation, which can only be described as an addictive mating call performed by an alien species, the t'landa Til.

    Han eventually helps Bria escape her servitude and the two travel to the planet Coruscant, where Bria's father, Renn, recommends him for the Imperial Academy. Bria, still struggling with her addiction, decides to leave Han so that he can focus on his studies at the academy. 

    What Happens In Solo: Han meets Qi'ra, the first love of his life, while working for the White Worms on Corellia. The two compete to become high-ranking members of Proxima's gang, as dramatized in Rae Carson's novel Most Wanted

    Later, the two begin a romantic relationship. They share the desire to escape Corellia and travel the galaxy, a plan they put in motion by stealing a vial of coaxium – the fuel needed to power a ship's hyperdrive – with the aim of commandeering a ship. Before they can escape together, Qi'ra is nabbed by the pursuing White Worms gang members and Imperial soldiers.

    The two reunite three years later, but a reconciliation is not in the cards. Qi'ra becomes the new head of the Crimson Dawn criminal organization, while Han leaves to pursue a life in smuggling. 

  • What Was His Time With The Empire Like?

    What Happens In The Old EU: Like Luke Skywalker, Han dreams of joining the Imperial Academy in order to become a pilot. Although you wouldn't expect it, Han graduates from the Academy on the planet Carida at the top of his class and becomes a lieutenant in the Imperial Navy. 

    His Imperial career doesn't last very long, though. It's revealed in the novel The Hutt Gambit by A.C. Crispin that Han defects from the Empire in order to help a certain Wookiee escape slavery.

    What Happens In Solo: Han joins the Empire in order to escape Corellia. He plans to become an Imperial pilot so that he can one day return and free Qi'ra from the White Worms. Of course, the plan quickly goes wrong when Han is kicked out of the pilot academy for "having a mind of his own." Instead, Han is dropped onto the frontline of the Imperial infantry.

    While fighting in the Battle of Mimban, Han meets Beckett and his gang as well as Chewbacca and escapes with them to Vandor-1. Han never looks back.