Star Wars: Top 10 Greatest Han Solo Moments Of All Time
Han Solo is irrevocably one of the most iconic cinematic characters of all time, with his sardonic space adventures leaving an indelible impact on the long-running Star Wars franchise that has continued to evolve and expand over the past four decades.
Originally embodied by Harrison Ford, roguish smuggler Han Solo is one of the first characters to anchor his own spin-off movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, featuring Alden Ehrenreich as a younger incarnation of everyone’s favorite stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder.
Through the evolution of the Star Wars universe, this self-assured scoundrel has delivered more than a few unforgettable scenes, making our task of cherry-picking the character’s ten greatest moments officially tougher than any bouncer at the Mos Eisley Cantina.
So, join us in a galaxy far, far away as we celebrate Han Solo’s time on the big screen, including all of the fist-pumping action, light-hearted humor, and his part in the ultimate intergalactic bromance. We’ve got a really good feeling about this…
10. Han Vs. Lando (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
Star Wars legends Han Solo and Lando Calrissian have always had a complicated relationship that positions them as ‘frenemies’ more than anything. Interestingly, in the prequel movie, we discover their love-hate affiliation is triggered right after their formative meeting, which in itself is everything we ever wanted it to be (and more).
In need of a ship, Han and his gang travel to meet the ill-famed gambler, who is the kingpin of the betting table. Han quickly introduces himself and joins the game of sabacc that is currently in play, which ultimately leads to Lando risking his prized Millennium Falcon as part of his high stakes wager.
However, Lando has some tricks (and an extra playing card) up his sleeve to guarantee victory over his new competitor. Fast-forward to a short while later and the two reconvene, buying into another perilous game – but this time Han pulls a stunt of his own to secure the iconic starship in the ultimate piece of fan service.
9. The Kessel Run (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
The tale of how Han Solo completed the infamous Kessel Run has been embedded in Star Wars history for the longest time. The pilot of the Millennium Falcon often boasts that his ship is one of the fastest in the galaxy because it once managed to make the run through hyperspace in less than 12 parsecs – even though it is a well-known fact that a parsec measures distance, not time.
Fortunately, the Kessel Run conundrum is finally explained in Solo: A Star Wars Story, as audiences witness the Falcon taking the smuggling route for the first time on the big screen. Han and his crew are under a serious time crunch after stealing the unrefined and highly volatile coaxium, and so he hastily decides to take a hazardous shortcut through the Maelstrom.
On their journey, the crew encounter all manner of unexpected challenges but by injecting a small drop of coaxium into the spacecraft’s fusion reactor, Han manages to skillfully navigate the vessel to safety. Afterwards, the smug pilot brags about making the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, but Chewie appears to grumble in objection, to which Han replies, “Not if you round down, buddy.”
This brief line of dialogue perhaps signifies that the long-told legend derives from a slight embellishment on Han’s part but would we ever expect anything less from our lovable rogue?
8. “Chewie, we’re home” (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens)
Han Solo and Chewbacca are a formidable pair, who have had countless adventures across the galaxy over the years. So, it’s safe to say that cinema-going audiences breathed a huge sigh of relief when the legendary intergalactic duo returned to the silver screen for J.J. Abrams’ triumphant franchise resurrection.
Newcomers Finn and Rey steal the Millennium Falcon from a junkyard on Jakku after Rey’s craft is destroyed in a blast, however, as soon as they depart from the remote desert planet, Han and his co-pilot capture the iconic spacecraft. Han steps aboard the Falcon with his blaster in hand and ready to shoot (and shoot first) in case they come into contact with any unexpected intruders.
Returning to the Falcon for the first time in over thirty years, Han musters up three little words to share with his lifelong furry companion. “Chewie, we’re home,” he declares, in a magical moment of nostalgia that makes a whole generation of Star Wars fans feel like they have never been away. Home truly is where the heart is!
7. Han Meets “The Beast” (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
It is love at first fight when Han Solo is initially introduced to his future BFF, Chewbacca, in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Shortly after he flunks his way into the Imperial Army, Han is labelled a deserter and finds himself thrown into a pit with a caged monster who has an appetite the size of a Death Star after not being fed for three days.
Acting on his primal instincts, “The Beast” (soon identified as our lovable and cuddlesome Chewie) launches into a voracious attack on his unsuspecting victim. A mud-splattered Han speaks Shyriiwook in a desperate plea to try and convince the hungry hairy one to flee to freedom with him.
Chained together, the two manage to pull off the perfect getaway from the dungeon lair and onto Tobias Beckett’s departing ship. Aboard the craft, Han and Chewie shower the sludge off themselves, as they start to develop an unbreakable bond that makes for one of the greatest on-screen bromances to span across the beloved franchise.
6. Creature Comforts (Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back)
Han Solo and Luke Skywalker may not have planned for their camping trip on the subzero planet Hoth, but Han proved to be as resourceful as ever when he eventually located his friend lying face down in the snow, barely conscious and freezing to death in the midst of a blustery blizzard, miles out on the icy terrain.
Han embarked on the search and rescue mission after Luke went missing in action despite being warned of the dangers, showing that he does have a heart beneath his quilted parka coat. However, by the time he finds Luke, he has nearly succumbed to the freezing temperatures. Consequently, Han conceives an unconventional plan to protect him.
Half-improvising and half-relying on his wilderness survival skills, Han uses Luke’s lightsaber to slice open the gut of his dead Tauntaun, creating shelter for his sidekick. Miraculously, Han saves Luke for a second time, as he is kept alive by the residual body heat from the animal’s foul-smelling innards. That’s two Luke owes him!
5. “Never tell me the odds” (Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back)
Han Solo is a risk taker who is reckless and impulsive at times, as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. In one truly memorable moment, he makes the brazen decision to take the malfunctioning Millennium Falcon out into an asteroid field to evade the Empire’s forces, leading to an exhilarating adventure of high-octane thrills and eye-popping spectacle.
C-3PO criticizes the daring move and warns the optimistic pilot that the odds of successfully navigating the volatile outer rim territories are approximately 3,720 to one. Unperturbed, Han fires back a response that proves he is turning a blind eye to the protocol droid’s startling statistics to rely on sheer luck and confidence alone.
Fortunately, Han’s hotshot piloting skills are second to none and this is further reinforced by his expert maneuvers through the wildly erratic expanse to bring the ship and its crew to safety. This entire sequence makes for an incredible piece of action filmmaking that places Han in the driver’s seat, just where we like him.
4. The Sarlacc Surprise (Star Wars: Episode IV – Return of the Jedi)
Unfortunately for Boba Fett, the sarlacc lurking within the Great Pit of Carkoon on Tatooine skipped breakfast on the day that he had an unexpected encounter with the finest bounty hunter in the galaxy. And even though it is a well-known fact that Boba’s armor is lightsaber resistant, it certainly isn’t impervious to the sharp teeth and beaked tongue of Jabba the Hutt’s carnivorous pet.
Following the battle over Coruscant, Luke Skywalker and his Rebel friends orchestrate a mission to rescue Han from Jabba and his motley crew. Amid the action, Han manages to get his sweet revenge on the Mandalorian warrior and procure a major defeat for the team, purely by chance.
With his vision impaired from being frozen in carbonite, Han flails around as he stumbles to his feet. He accidentally strikes Boba’s rocket pack, which subsequently catapults the fan-favorite character directly into the belly of the beast to be “slowly digested over a thousand years,” if it’s to be believed that he didn’t somehow escape the sandy grave.
3. The Sit-Down Standoff (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope)
In one of the most controversial Star Wars scenes of all time, a bounty hunter by the name of Greedo confronts Han Solo over a sum of money that he owes crime lord, Jabba the Hutt. What ensues is one of the most divisive shooting standoffs committed to screen, heavily influenced by the classic spaghetti western showdowns of yesteryear.
Sitting opposite each other inside the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine, Han senses the hostility coming from his green-skinned opponent and preemptively removes his blaster from its holster. As their disagreement intensifies, the swashbuckling space pirate stealthily draws his weapon and shoots Greedo dead before he has the chance to make the kill shot (as intended).
Since this is such a defining moment for our young hero, many fans were surprised when they discovered that director George Lucas edited the sequence of events for the 1997 re-release of the movie. In the revised scene, Greedo shoots first and misses, causing Han to retaliate in self-defense rather than appearing as a cold-blooded murderer.
Following some further backlash, later remasters of the footage were edited to show the characters shooting at each other simultaneously.
Regardless of who was ready to pop a cap first, Han proves that he has a cutthroat combination of being a crack shot killer with a devil-may-care attitude as he casually swaggers out of the bar in the aftermath of the shootout, directing a nonchalant quip towards the bartender, “Sorry about the mess.”
2. Death Star Assault (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope)
We truly believe that everyone needs a friend like Han Solo and by that we mean someone who arrives 20 minutes too late but still manages to be the best wingman you could ever ask for.
Despite abandoning the Rebellion before the final assault on the Death Star, it is Han who inevitably shows up to save the day when all appears lost for the team. With Darth Vader closing in, Luke needs a miracle to blast the moon-sized military battle station into oblivion.
In a defining character moment, Han appears in the Millennium Falcon to provide the extra support needed to complete the mission. Going from zero to hero in one fell swoop, Han shows up, fires a few shots and lets off a jubilant war cry, as he enables Luke to deliver the killing blow and save the universe, at least for the time being. “Yahoo!”
1. “I know.” (Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back)
The on-screen chemistry between Han Solo and Princess Leia gave rise to one of the most enduring romances in movie history, resulting in several iconic scenes throughout the saga. Our shipper hearts were just about ready to explode as we watched The Empire Strikes Back, eagerly anticipating the moment that Han and Leia may finally reveal their true feelings for one another.
However, time was not on their side. After Han is betrayed, he is captured and imprisoned by Darth Vader, who plans to turn our beloved Rebel hero into a carbonite popsicle. And so, at the risk of not seeing him again, Leia seizes the opportunity to profess her love for Han, leading to his infamous reply, which instantly became one for the pop culture history books.
In response to Leia’s resolute declaration, Han characteristically retorts with an arrogant, “I know”, propelling the scene to iconic status. The character’s immortal comeback is made better by the fact that Harrison Ford reportedly improvised the rogue’s response after it was decided that the scripted line (“I love you, too”) didn’t correlate with Han’s unflappable attitude towards pressured situations.
Han Solo’s roguish charm and quick thinking have given Star Wars fans countless quotes and favorite moments to reference throughout the saga- so many more than we could fit into one countdown! Did one of your favorites get left off our list?
Let Your Geek Sideshow and share your favorite Han Solo moments in the comments below!