The geekosphere has been in meltdown today ever since Entertainment Weekly broke the news that beloved Star Wars character Han Solo could be getting his own stand-alone spin-off prequel film (a stand-off-quel? A pre-spin-alone? A pre-stand-spin-alone-off-quel?). A stand-alone film about Boba Fett is also on the drawing board, but since George Lucas’ prequel trilogy took care of dramatizing that character’s backstory, the infamous bounty hunter’s spin-off flick would reportedly take place somewhere in between Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, or Empire and Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.
Solo’s origin story, however, has yet to be told on the big screen. His film would reportedly be set between Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, allowing for roughly 18 years of his life to explore. If the filmmakers choose to follow the Star Wars canon already set down in a series of novels, comics, and other official material known as the Extended Universe, there is a wealth of rich material on how Han Solo came to be in that fateful Mos Eisley cantina. Here’s what we’d most want to see. (Warning: Potential MAJOR SPOILERS follow.)
1. Spending His Childhood with a Ruthless Space Pirate
By the time he was 10, an orphaned Han Solo found himself under the wing of Garris Shrike, a cutthroat space pirate who taught the young lad the ways of smuggling and blasters.
2. Witnessing the Death of His Adoptive Wookiee Mother
The cook on Shrike’s ship, an elderly female Wookiee named Dewlannamapia (gesundheit!) took on Han as her own son, educating him about the world (and teaching him the Wookiee language). When Han attempted to escape Shrike’s ship for good, Shrike tried to kill him, but Dewlannamapia sacrificed herself instead.
3. Falling in Love with an Agent of the Early Rebel Alliance (Who Isn’t Leia)
Out on his own, Han fell for Bria Theran when he rescued her from a drug cartel masquerading as a religious sect. Far from the squeaky-clean Leia Organa, Bria was so fearful her checkered past would hold him back, she ended their romance so Han could pursue his dream…
4. Joining the Imperial Navy
Since he was a boy, Han had always wanted to become an ace pilot, and the Imperial Navy was his best ticket to a legit life as one. Once in the academy, Han thrived, graduating at the top of his class.
5. Saving Chewbacca’s Life
During his first posting as a lieutenant, Han defied a direct order to punish a Wookiee named Chewbacca, incapacitating his commanding officer instead. Needless to say, Han was dishonorably booted from the Empire, but he earned the friendship and devotion of “Chewie,” who swore a life debt to the ex-reformed smuggler.
6. Beginning to Work for Jabba the Hutt
After getting kicked out of the Navy, his dreams shattered, Han turned back to smuggling when a friend set him and Chewie up inside the Hutt cartel, where Han came to know the crime lord of the Outer Rim headquartered on Tatooine.
7. Meeting Lando Calrissian
When Han fell under the crosshairs of bounty hunter Boba Fett (and not for the first time), he was rescued by fellow smuggler Lando Calrissian. In return, Lando hired Han to teach him how to pilot the new ship he’d just won in a card game, the Millennium Falcon.
8. Winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando
Han, naturally, fell desperately in love with the Falcon, and he schemed on how he could buy or steal it from Lando. He eventually won it, in a sabacc tournament, fair and square.
9. Making the Kessel Run in Less than 12 Parsecs
See, normally, it takes 18 parsecs — which is a unit of distance, not time, in Star Wars speak. Han did it in less than 12. It’s impressive.
10. Stepping Inside the Cantina at Mos Eisley
With the Falcon at his command, his reputation as an ace smuggler growing, and the Hutts on his tail, Han’s life seemed to be heading in a very specific direction. That is, until Chewie mentioned an old man who had approached him wanting to meet in Mos Eisley to discuss passage to Alderaan…