"Who's scruffy lookin'?"
Luke Skywalker may be the supposed hero of the original Star Wars trilogy, but few would deny who the real star is… Harrison Ford's roguish space scoundrel Han Solo is a rough-edged gem with a heart of gold. The Force Awakens reunited us with Solo after a gap of 33 years, only to do the unthinkable and kill him off. But while we now live in a post-Solo world, we do at least have the slightly dubious prospect of a Han and Chewie movie to look forward to in 2018. Until then, here are our 30 favourite Solo scenes from his four movies.
30. Medallion Man
The Moment: Han is given a medal for his involvement in the Battle of Yavin. As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: Han's shit-eating grin is the work of a man who can't believe he's being honoured when, say, Wedge gets nada. If It Had Been Luke: He's probably wondering why Han and Chewie are getting medals, too.
29. Stealth mode
The Moment: Han's attempt to sneak up on a biker scout goes wrong instantly when he steps onto a twig. As Seen In: Return Of The Jedi Roguish Charm: Why did Luke and Leia let him attempt the attack in the first place? Because when they tried to stop him he flashed 'em a smile and said, "Hey... it's me!" If It Had Been Luke: The scout wouldn't have heard a thing.
28. Not entirely stable
The Moment: Hiding out in what he thinks is an asteroid cave to repair the Falcon, Han has to deal not only with the unstable surface but C-3PO's pedantry. As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back Roguish Charm: Han orders Chewie to "take the professor in the back and plug him into the hyperdrive." If It Had Been Luke: He'd have been more polite.
27. Smuggling is second nature
The Moment: We find out why the Stormtroopers' search of the Falcon didn't reveal any passengers: Han's hidden everybody under the floorboards. As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: His rueful declaration that, "I never thought I'd be smuggling myself in them." If It Had Been Luke: He'd have hidden in the loos.
26. Hibernation Sickness
The Moment: Freed from carbonite by Leia, a blind, disorientated Han quickly adapts to his new surroundings. As Seen In: Return Of The Jedi Roguish Charm: Realising that Jabba has caught Leia in the act, Han immediately tries to haggle their way out of trouble. It's like he's never been away. If It Had Been Luke: Jedi + lightsaber = killing spree.
25. Feeding the Rathtars
The moment: With a pack of hungry Rathtars loose on the Millennium Falcon, Han lets one of his enemies get munched on. Hey, don't judge, it buys him more time to escape... As seen in: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Roguish charm: It's a modern day riff on the Greedo scene from A New Hope. Han puts himself first and callously deals with an enemy in the process. If it had been Luke: He'd have made Rathtar sashimi with his lightsaber.
The Moment: After three films of taking the piss out of Threepio, Han has to eat humble pie when he discovers the Ewoks think that the droid is their god... and that Han is on the menu for a banquet in his honour. As Seen In: Return Of The Jedi Roguish Charm: Han can't resist one last world-weary quip. "Well, why don't you use your divine influence and get us out of this?" If It Had Been Luke: He'd probably think Threepio was a god, too.
23. Love And Money
The Moment: Han discovers the reason they're on the Death Star is to rescue a princess... and he wants none of it until he realises there might be a reward. As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: One that gains resonance in retrospect, when you realise that Han only initially met and fell in love with Leia because of greed. If It Had Been Luke: He'd have done the work pro bono.
22. Temperature's dropping
The Moment: Seconds after expressing his desire to get off Hoth, he has a change of heart when he realises Luke hasn't returned to the base. As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back Roguish Charm: When a Rebel officer castigates him for braving the sub-zero temperatures - "Your Tauntaun'll freeze before you reach the first marker!" - Han yells back, "Then I'll see you in Hell!" as he races out into the snow. If It Had Been Luke: He'd have sent Artoo.
21. Commanding the crew
The Moment: General Madine announces that Han Solo is leading the strike team to the forest moon of Endor, and one by one his friends signal their allegiance by signing up for his crew. As Seen In: Return Of The Jedi Roguish Charm: In a rare gesture of philanthropy, Han lends the Falcon to Lando... albeit on the promise that it comes back without a scratch. If It Had Been Luke: C'mon, the way Palpatine and Vader are fixated on him? Nobody would have raised their hand to join him.
20. My ship, my rules
The Moment: Luke unwisely questions Hans' piloting of the Falcon as they flee Tatooine, only to get a tongue-lashing from the boss: "Watch your mouth, kid, or you're going to find yourself floating home." As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: Hans' petulant "Don't everyone thank me at once" after they've successfully got away. If It Had Been Luke: He'd have gone into hyperspace without precise calculations and bounce too close to a supernova.
19. Fly casual
The Moment: Han displays his unorthodox tactical skills leading the Rebels' stolen shuttle through the Imperial defences. "Keep your distance though, Chewie, but don't look like you're trying to keep your distance." As Seen In: Return Of The Jedi Roguish Charm: When Chewie questions what the heck he's talking about, a laidback Han shrugs and says, "I don't know, fly casual." If It Had Been Luke: Given how jittery Luke is aboard the shuttle anyway, he'd probably have crashed.
18. Han and Leia reunited
The moment: The moment where Han and Leia meet again after an unspecified time apart is a real tear-jerker. Nobody likes to think about these two becoming estranged, so it's reassuring to see that there's still plenty of sparkle and chemistry there, despite the obvious traumas they've shared in the last few years. As seen in: The Force Awakens Roguish charm: It's clear from his expression - Han is still head over heels for this woman. If it had been Luke: Well hopefully he wouldn't have kissed her again...
17. Blind Luck
The Moment: His vision still a blur, Han spins around looking for Boba Fett - only to accidentally switch on the bounty hunter's rocket pack and send him careering into the Sarlacc's belly. As Seen In: Return Of The Jedi Roguish Charm: For once, no one-liner. The charm of this one is that Han is a hero without even knowing it. If It Had Been Luke: It'd have been deliberate.
16. 3,720 To One
The Moment: The Falcon's path blocked by an asteroid belt, the Imperial fleet hot on its heels, Han takes a calculated risk by flying into near-certain death. As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back Roguish Charm: When C3PO calculates their chances of successfully navigating through the asteroids, Han yells, "Never tell me the odds!" If It Had Been Luke: He'd have done it with his eyes closed.
15. "Boring conversation"
The Moment: Han tries - and fails - to put Death Star security off the scent while Luke rescues Leia. "Boring conversation anyway," he shrugs as he blasts the intercom to bits. As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: A rare lapse into politeness - "thank you, how are you?" - that even Han has to wince at. If It Had Been Luke: To be honest, we doubt he'd have been any more convincing.
14. Win, lose or TIE
The Moment: Escaping from the Death Star, Han and Luke take to the Millennium Falcon's gun turrets to blast a squadron of pursuing TIE Fighters. As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: When Luke celebrates a hit, Han retorts, "Great, kid, don't get cocky! If It Had Been Luke: Well, it kind of was... but we'd have had less of the supercool sarcasm.
13. Han offers Rey a job...
The moment: Having proved her skills in a fight, Han offers Rey a place on the crew of the Millennium Falcon. Haven't we all hoped that would happen to us? As seen in: The Force Awakens Roguish charm: One of the saddest things about Han's death in The Force Awakens is that it's robbed us of the chance to see these two have more adventures together. If it had been Luke: Well, we saw that in A New Hope
12. Trojan walker
The Moment: Piloting a commandeered walker, Han puts on his best Imperial trooper voice to trick the bunker staff into opening their doors. As Seen In: Return Of The Jedi Roguish Charm: How fitting that the act that shuts down the deflector shields, lets Lando blow up the Death Star and - in essence - saves the day, is a sneaky piece of smuggler's subterfuge. If It Had Been Luke: It'd have been a straight fight.
11. Wrong turn
The Moment: Han runs into a patrol of Stormtroopers and - with perfect reflexes - manages to loose off a few blaster bolts even as he turns to run back the way he came. As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: Han forgets to warn Chewie; the first the Wookiee knows about it is when Han scurries past him in a panic. If It Had Been Luke: Since he's not as battle-trained as Han, he'd either be captured or killed.
10. "Laugh it up, fuzzball"
The Moment: Han gets an earful from Princess Leia for suggesting she's becoming attracted to him, and even "fuzzball" Chewbacca joins in with the mockery. As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back Roguish Charm: Accused of being a "stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking, nerf-herder" Han takes offence to only one of those insults. "Who's scruffy looking?" If It Had Been Luke: It'd be a bit icky, given that they're brother and sister 'n' all.
9. "10,000 in advance"
The Moment: Our first sighting of Han, and what an entrance! He's aggrieved Luke and Ben have never heard of his ship, arrogant about his abilities, and eager to make a deal. As seen in: A New Hope Roguish Charm: His outrageous demand for ten thousand in advance buys him a promise of two upfront and 15 later...which you suspect was the idea all the time. If It Had Been Luke: He'd have been stuck on Tatooine forever.
8. Father and son...
The moment: Han confronts his wayward son, Ben Solo – aka Kylo Ren – and tries to bring him back to the light. Alas, it leads to the unthinkable moment that broke a million hearts: Han's death... As seen in: The Force Awakens Roguish charm: Watch that scene again, if you can without crying. Han knows exactly what's going to happen to him as soon as he steps out onto the bridge. So why does he go out there? Because Ben is his son and he loves him completely. He has to give him a chance, even if it means paying the ultimate price. Perhaps he even thinks that his own death may eventually pave the way to Ben's redemption... If it had been Luke: There's have been a re-staging of the Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul fight from Phantom.
7. Scoundrel's chivalry
The Moment: Han helps Leia with the Falcon's repairs, and the two get a little bit closer as Han realises, "You like me because I'm a scoundrel." As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back Roguish Charm: Leia's terrible defence ("My hands are dirty") is met with a pitch-perfect comeback: "My hands are dirty, too. What are you afraid of?" If It Had Been Luke: He'd have used the Force to free the lever Leia couldn't budge, and walked off without a word.
6. "That's two you owe me"
The Moment: Han finds a barely conscious Luke freezing to death on Hoth and improvises shelter by using Luke's lightsaber to slice open the belly of a Tauntaun. As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back Roguish Charm: Han can't help but comment on the whiff of Tauntaun intestine. "I thought these things smelled bad on the outside!" If It Had Been Luke: It'd have been exactly what you'd have expected But Han using the lightsaber? That's cool.
5. The Solo Philosophy
The Moment: Han defines a way of life that doesn't involve the Force or Jedi trickery, stamping recognisable reality onto the fantasy. "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: Even though events prove Han wrong, there's subversive cheek in having a hero-to-be declare, "There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny". Harrison Ford's disenchantment with the script's dialogue only underlines the depth of Solo's scepticism. If It Had Been Luke: He'd be feeling the Force.
4. "Chewie, we're home..."
The moment: Our reintroduction to the great man – and his best pal – comes after Rey and Finn steal the Millennium Falcon and flee Jakku. As seen in: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rogueish charm: The twinkle in the eye, the swell of emotion in those words… This scene, first spotted in the second teaser trailer, was the moment that a generation of fans sighed with relief and knew that the new Star Wars would be alright. If it had been Luke: Well, the film would have been over a lot quicker.
3. Han shoots first
The Moment: Accosted by bounty hunter Greedo, Han wriggles out the only way he knows how: with a blaster under the table. As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: For most of us, the defining moment that made us fall for the scoundrel: he plays dirty, but with such insouciance it's admirable. Did George Lucas understand that? Did he buggery. If It Had Been Luke: He'd have tried to shake hands.
The Moment: Luke's nearly in position to blow up the Death Star but - defenceless and with Vader on his tail - he needs a miracle. Enter the Millennium Falcon and Han's jubilant war cry! As Seen In: A New Hope Roguish Charm: The character's defining moment, from rogue to hero, is sealed with the most exhilarating line in all of Star Wars "You're all clear, kid. Now let's blow this thing up and go home!" If It Had Been Luke: He would have arrive before the nick of time.
1. "I know..."
The Moment: Leia finally declares her feelings for Han as he's about to be encased in carbonite, and Han replies as only Han can. As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back Roguish Charm: With the scripted line ("I love you, too") being deemed uncharacteristically corny, Harrison Ford improv'd the perfect rogue's response. "I know." If It Had Been Luke: He'd have probably said "I love you, too." In a brotherly way, of course.