It’s the weekend of Han Solo! Tomorrow (or tonight if you’re seeing the early screenings), “Solo: A Star Wars Story” will hit theaters with Alden Ehrenreich portraying a younger version of the iconic character.
As interesting as that film should be, though, this also seems like a good opportunity to take a look back on some of the best scenes with Solo, as portrayed by Harrison Ford.
10. “Chewie, we’re home.” – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I think this moment was very much a sequence of fan service. Han Solo saying “we’re home” wasn’t just in reference to rediscovering the Millennium Falcon, it also seemed to invite “Star Wars” fans back to the series.
After a trio of prequels and a crash course in the seventh installment with all new characters, it was most welcome to see Han Solo and Chewbacca again. In the grand scheme of things, this scene isn’t very integral to Solo’s character development, but it was oh so special for us as an audience.
9. “I won’t get in the way” – Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi
This sequence was a nice cool down period. The second Death Star was destroyed, the Emperor was finished and the rebels had won. To bring everything back to a more relatable, human level, Leia clears up any confusion about her feelings, informing Han that Luke is her brother, and that she’s in love with Solo. Both Carrie Fisher and Ford sell this moment really well. It’s not as iconic as some of the moments between these two, but it’s what sealed the deal, so it deserves a mention.
8. “Boring conversation anyway” – Star Wars: A New Hope
Ford’s Solo had already appeared to be witty and a shoot first, ask questions later type of character up until this point. However, this scene really drove it home. His casual tone in answering the strict voice over the radio is still comedic to this day and his decision to shoot the machine when the conversation heads south just brings it together even more.
7. Escaping the Sarlaac Pit – Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi
I watched the original “Star Wars” trilogy three weeks apart, as my family rented VHS tapes from the video shop usually just on Saturdays. So, as one might guess, I was a bit upset with the end of “Empire,” with Han being taken into custody and all.
That’s why it was such a great feeling to see him back in action in this sequence to open “Return of the Jedi.” Not only was he back in the fight, but he was also his witty self. Even as he’s about to be forced into the Sarlaac Pit, he still hurls insults at Jabba the Hutt.
6. Hoth rescue – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Han rescuing Luke in the first act of “Empire” was a significant sign of growth for the character. Yes, we had already seen Solo help Luke in the climax of the previous flick, but that was the moment that introduced Solo’s loyalty and dedication to his friends, this scene solidified it. It also showed that quite some time had passed between the original film and this one, as Solo, despite keeping his smart-ass nature, acts much more responsible here, showing the character has come a long way.
5. “I Love You; I Know” II – Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi
This moment was such a good throwback. While the lines said in “Empire” were more like a confession, this scene was confirmation. They both understand each other so well at this point, that when Leia is prepared with a blaster to fight back against the storm troopers, Han just has to acknowledge his feelings. It’s a moment that really shows how much this relationship has evolved.
4. Han shoots Greedo – Star Wars: A New Hope
First thing’s first, Han didn’t just shoot first. He’s the only one who shot. That was really the whole point of this scene, it was to contrast what the audience saw a few moments ago when Han was negotiating the price with the protagonists.
During that sequence, Han Solo seems crafty and dangerous to an extent, but reasonable. It’s when he shoots Greedo, though, in such a quick, calm way that shows he has some experience in the criminal underworld and isn’t someone to mess with. It’s a great introduction to the character, he’s willing to take a job and stick to it, but won’t hesitate to take care of business with a blaster if he needs to.
3. “I Love You; I Know” I – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Easily one of the most iconic moments from the series, this scene was so well acted by Fisher and Ford. What really makes it work, though, is Han’s reaction to being told that Leia loves him. For most of the series up until this point, Solo responded to most things with a quip, but he remained completely straight forward in this moment. Plus, he also answered it in a way that I think only Han could.
This is all made more interesting by the fact that Ford apparently improvised the line as he felt it fit the character better.
2. “Never tell me the odds” – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
“3,720 to one.” Those were the odds that C3PO gave Han to successfully navigate the asteroid field to escape the Empire. Solo didn’t mind, he decided to go in and not look back because he knew he could pull it off.
Solo’s piloting skills here are incredible, outmaneuvering giant Imperial Star Destroyers and dodging asteroids left and right. Not only was it a bad-ass moment, it also gave some background to the character. It showed just how much experience he had with the Falcon and why the ship means so much to him.
1. Helping Luke – Star Wars: A New Hope
Saving Luke from getting shot out of the sky so he could subsequently blow up the Death Star is Solo’s defining moment from the original film and it sticks to this day.
While on the Death Star, Solo stuck to the mission mainly out of necessity and also to get paid. For him to come back in this moment to save a new friend and dedicate his life to the Rebellion showed that underneath all the one-liners and smart-ass attitude was a heart of gold.