Fans of the expanded universe will be pleased.
For decades, the Star Wars expanded universe held a comprehensive history of its characters. One origin story held very dear to the hearts of fans was that of Han Solo, who started as an Imperial cadet but left the Empire after rescuing Chewbacca from slavery. According to Wookie culture, Chewbacca owed Han a life debt. The two became faithful companions and partners in crime until we met them on one faithful Tatooine day.
However, given that the expanded universe became the non-canon Legends line soon after Disney purchased Lucasfilm, many feared the story has changed. Well, thanks to Making Star Wars, we have a better idea on how Han Solo’s new backstory will play out.
Tell us the new backstory.
Like the old expanded universe, Wookies are enslaved after the rise of the Empire. According to Making Star Wars, Han Solo frees Chewbacca and earns himself a life debt. We also know that Han Solo is still Corellian, because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Is Corellia still the same?
We can assume so. Thus far the new continuity has mostly adhered to the setting established by the old expanded universe, so we can assume (for now anyway) that the planet Corellia and the characterization of its inhabitants are largely the same.
Does Han Solo still have an Imperial past?
That’s something we don’t know about. In the expanded universe, Han Solo was training at the Imperial Academy to become a Tie Fighter pilot, but instead left when he freed Chewbacca. Such a practice wasn’t uncommon, as many Rebel pilots actually trained at Imperial academies to learn their skills with the aim of defecting to the Rebellion after graduation. While Han Solo didn’t mean to leave the Empire, his heart of gold was too much to ignore when faced with a suffering Wookie.
Will Han Solo’s past play into The Force Awakens?
We don’t know, though we’d love to hear Han Solo tell Finn or Rey the story about how he met Chewbacca. If Rey is in fact Han Solo’s daughter, then if Han dies at some point in the new trilogy it may be important to establish Chewie’s life debt. If done correctly, the audience will have a very deep reason why Chewbacca will hang around, aside from simple loyalty to the Solo clan.
Is any of this confirmed?
It’s all a rumor at the moment, sadly. However, with the “Journey to the Force Awakens” initiative starting in September, we’ll be blooded with a ton of books and comics that will lay out many pieces of the new canon. It’s very possible that the new backstory for Han Solo will be in one of the texts, along with other material establishing histories of other important characters.