… and how is it different from the expanded universe?
We’ve known for a while now that Han Solo is one of the main characters of The Force Awakens. We’ve seen more promotional material with him, not to mention the fact he’s spoke one of two lines we’ve actually heard from the film. Despite all that, there’s very little we know about his post-Return of the Jedi life other than the fact he returns to the Millennium Falcon in The Force Awakens.
Well, thanks to new information from the comics and novels released on “Force Friday,” we have a much better idea on what Han Solo was up to following the Battle of Endor.
So, what happened to Han Solo?
According to the book Star Wars: Aftermath, Han and Chewbacca are very much in the service of the New Republic. However, as it seems to happen with Han… he got a little side tracked.
You see, he was actually assigned to investigate how the now isolationist Empire kept smuggling supplies through the New Republic’s blockades of their territory. But, well, they change priorities to the Wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk. Apparently, despite all the victories and new territories the New Republic had acquired that hadn’t gotten to liberating the Wookies from the Empire’s grasp. So, they abandon their investigation mission and go off to help free Kashyyyk.
After that, it gets a little murky.
What do you mean?
This all happens about a year or so after Return of the Jedi. We know that Luke keeps fighting with the New Republic (for a while, at least), and Leia becomes one of their highest ranked Generals. But Han? He just kinda… disappears.
But, really, he’s kind of known for that isn’t he?
It’s worth noting, like Leia’s original conceived ending for Return of the Jedi, Han’s fate in the new continuity is actually closer to the original fate for his character rather than the expanded universe.
What was the original fate?
He was supposed to die at the end of Return of the Jedi.
But… he’s clearly not dead here.
No, but we think he went away for a long time. It’s very possible he hasn’t seen Luke and Leia in decades. We imagine Leia especially isn’t happy with him, if he did indeed ditch out on the New Republic. If they do meet up again in The Force Awakens (and, let’s face it, they probably will), we imagine Han will give her plenty of defensive guff about how they probably didn’t need him anymore anyway.
Then he’ll come around, because that’s what Han does. Either way, we’ll have to wait for more information about the post-Return of the Jedi continuity before we speculate further.