Warning: SPOILERS for Solo: A Star Wars Story are ahead!
Although we lost Han Solo during Star Wars: The Force Awakens more than two and a half years ago, Solo: A Star Wars Story turned the clock earlier this summer to show how the lovable smuggler got his start in a galaxy far, far away. Early into the movie, it was revealed that after being separated from Qi'ra, he joined the Imperial Navy. Three years later, Han was serving as an infantryman, and while he explained that he was kicked out of the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination, we never learned the specific reason for his dismissal. Thanks to the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story novelization, we've finally learned what went down, and an excerpt from the book sees Han facing an Imperial tribunal for a major screw-up.
No matter what age, Han Solo has always had issues with authority, so joining the Empire probably wasn't his best decision. In his defense, he was desperate, but it was only a matter of time before he pissed off the wrong people. As the Solo: A Star Wars Story novel excerpt from StarWars.com reveals, Han was on a mission with Onyx Squadron, and despite being commanded to stay in formation by Flight Officer Ubbel, Han broke off to save one of his fellow pilots, Lyttan Dee, from their adversaries. Han was successful, but his maneuver led to him crashing back into a Star Destroyer docking bay. Needless to say this did not go over well with his superior officers, and despite Han trying to explain his actions, he's chewed out for disobeying a direct order with his "maverick heroics" and is demoted to infantryman. Unfortunately for Han, this means that his flying career in the Empire is pretty much kaput.
What's particularly interesting about the tribunal part of the excerpt is that it might have originally been supposed to be shown in Solo: A Star Wars Story. During Han's tribunal, two Imperial guards named Tag and Bink are in the room, the same comical duo that appeared in Dark Horse Comic-published Star Wars comic books from the Legends lore. Co-writer Jonathan Kasdan and first assistant director Toby Hefferman were supposed to cameo as Tag and Bink, respectively, in the movie, but their scene was not included. Unless Tag and Bink were going to show up at another point in Solo, then it's a good bet the tribunal was going to be included in an earlier cut of the movie. Regardless, it's nice to have more context about why Han was forced to become a ground soldier, and thankfully, as we all know, this demotion wouldn't mark the end of his flying days.
Solo: A Star Wars Story has just about wrapped up its time in theaters, but it will be available on Digital HD starting September 14, followed by the Blu-ray and DVD release on September 25. The Solo novelization will be released on September 4. For all the latest concerning the Star Wars film franchise (which picks back up with Episode IX's release on December 20, 2019), stay tuned to CinemaBlend.