Spoiler alert for Solo: A Star War Story. If you haven't seen the blockbuster, look away!
It's been a rocky road, but Solo: A Star Wars Story has finally arrived in theaters. The second Star Wars standalone film helped to further bridge the gap between the prequels trilogy and A New Hope, filling in backstories for franchise heroes like Han, Lando Clarissian, and Chewbacca. Solo ultimately answered more questions than anyone was expecting it to, starting with how the title character got his name.
Solo opens three years before the main narrative of the movie. On his home planet of Corellia, a young Han and his lover Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) attempted to get smuggled out. When their plan goes awry and Qi'ra is captured, Han enlists in the Imperial Academy in order to avoid capture and eventually return for his girl, but there's just one issue: he doesn't have a last name. When the Imperial recruiter asks him who is people are, Han reveals he has no loved ones. Since he's all by himself, the Officer dubs him "Solo", and thus the legendary smuggler was born.
This moment, and the movie in general, really helps to fill in the gaps in Han Solo's timeline for the Star Wars franchise. While fans expected to see him meet Chewie and Lando for the first time, Solo was peppered with extra easter eggs and moments for the hardcore fandom. Han getting his name ends the movie's prologue, and the movie picks up years after the title character joined the Empire's Air Force.
Han being given his last name seems to be met with a mixed reaction from fans and cinephiles. Some moviegoers really enjoyed that moment of levity, and thought it helped set the tone for the rest of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Meanwhile, naysayers thought it was perhaps too cheesy, and fodder for memes in the future.
Prior to Solo: A Star Wars Story, fans probably assumed that Han Solo was the character's given name. Things like parents and backstories aren't super filled out in the Star Wars franchise, so writers Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan had the freedom to make liberal choices with the canon while crafting Solo's story. Plenty of other inside jokes and references were made for the hardcore fandom, including the emphasis on Han's dice, his signature blaster, and the mention of characters like Bossk. Plus there's that surprise ending cameo, which seems to really set up the idea of a potential sequel. We'll just have to wait and see.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now, and is likely going to be rewatched by fans who maybe missed one of the many references made throughout the blockbuster. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.