Last Shot, a Han Solo (and Lando) focused novel by Daniel José Older, was released in April, ahead of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Here’s what you need to know about it, before you see the movie.
Though none of the events concerning Han in Last Shot take place preceding Solo, there are some details to be gleaned about the roguish smuggler, and what might happen following the movie.
Warning: There are mild spoilers potentially contained within for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
A betrayal and heartbreak
A substantial section of the Last Shot book takes place in the time between Solo and A New Hope, during Han’s smuggling years.
On Takodana, Han is getting some characteristic tough-love from Maz Kanata, with a familiarity that suggests that this is not their first meeting. Han is betrayed and heartbroken over someone, so much so that he refuses to even mention them by name. Our money for the mystery-woman is on Qi’ra, for what it’s worth.
Han’s despondency puts him squarely in the path of Sana Starros, making her Star Wars novel debut. Sana is already known to fans of the Marvel Star Wars comics as being the “wife” of Han. Though their scheme doesn’t work out, it provided some context for what Han’s headspace is like post-Solo.
Also: Shout out to Chewbacca for bearing the brunt of Han’s complaints about his love-life, relentless as it was. The best best friend.
In the Expanded Universe, before Disney acquired Star Wars and retconned those stories into Legends, Han spent a portion of his younger years in the Imperial Service.
That part of former-canon was reintroduced in Last Shot — though was also heavily suggested in the trailers for Solo. Han mentions his position as a serviceman for the Empire. However, it was not just that tid-bit about Han’s early professional life that was of interest.
Han, during his Imperial service days, was stationed on Mimban. That name will be familiar to fans of the Expanded Universe — Mimban was the planet that served as a location for the first ever Star Wars book, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.
It was a welcome return to the planet that kicked-off the Expanded Universe, which will also be a location — however briefly — in Solo.
Love what you’ve done with the place?
It has not escaped the notice of many Star Wars fans that, while it was in Lando’s care, the Millennium Falcon was kept in pristine condition. Han, since winning it from Lando, allowed it to fall into what appears to be disrepair.
In Last Shot, it is revealed that the more scuffed up appearance of the Falcon was a purposeful choice.
Wanting to feel more comfortable kicking around the Falcon, and less like he was living on “some maniac’s cape museum,” Han renovated the ship.
Lone but not alone
Another thing that we learn about Han, through his insecurities as a first-time father to a young Ben Solo, was that he never had a father (or father figure) when he was growing up on Corellia, his home planet.
Largely left to his own devices to cause mischief and mayhem, he wasn’t always alone. As we discovered in the Solo trailers, Qi’ra — as played by Emilia Clarke — grew up alongside Han planetside. That relationship, by the time the movie starts, should be expected to be quite complicated just based on that fact. Never mind whatever transpires after the two are, eventually, reunited over the course of the movie.