The 30 greatest Han Solo moments ever

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. Star Wars: The Force Awakens reunited us with Solo after a gap of 33 years, only to do the unthinkable and (SPOILER) kill him off. But while we now live in a post-Solo world, we do at least have The Last Jedi and the slightly dubious prospect of a solo Han Solo 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: After all the action, battles and explosions that made up the climax of A New Hope, where numerous Rebel pilots died fighting countless Tie Fighters, Han gets a medal for turning up at the last minute and shooting one ship. All the Rebels are there to cheer him on. Well, the survivors at least, which is pretty good of them considering they probably all lost friends while Han was taking the scenic route to the Battle of Yavin. 

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode 4 - A New Hope 

Why it's great: Han's shit-eating grin is the work of a man who can't believe he's being honoured when, say, Wedge gets nada. 

29. Stealth mode

The Moment: When you actually break Han Solo down, he's a supremely  overconfident chancer who usually messes up and somehow gets saved by other people. Like when he attempts to sneak up on a biker scout and immediately steps onto a twig, letting one get away and leaving Luke and Leia to clean it all up. 

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi 

Why it's great: 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!" 

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. It's a perfect example of how Han is always barely in control of the situation. While for the most part he manages to style it out with that charm, this is one time his temper is evident. 

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back

Why it's great: Han orders Chewie to "take the professor in the back and plug him into the hyperdrive."

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, less than heroically, under the floorboards. It's a practical if unglamorous solution to the problem of not getting caught. 

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode 4 - A New Hope 

Why it's great: Aside from murdering Greedo in cold blood (Han so shot first) this is probably the best look yet we get at his actual life before he became a reluctant hero - flying the galaxy with contraband shoved in the space under the Falcon's floor. His rueful declaration that, "I never thought I'd be smuggling myself in them" indicating he's not too keen on being the cargo.

26. Hibernation Sickness

The moment: Freed from carbonite by Leia, a blind, disorientated Han quickly tries to adapt to his new surroundings. After months of enforced hibernation though, he can barely stand, let alone form an escape plan. 

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi 

Why it's great: Realising where he is and that Jabba has caught Leia in the act of freeing him, Han immediately tries to haggle their way out of trouble, even though he's barely alive, let alone away. It shows his conman nature is as much instinct as it is practice. It's like he's never been away. 

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: Episode 7 - The Force Awakens 

Why it's great: It's a modern day riff on the Greedo scene from A New Hope with Han basically murdering someone in cold blood. For all his charm and charisma he's borderline psychopathic when it comes to other people's lives. Again, there's as much luck as there is intention here as we see Han put himself first, and callously and opportunistically deal with an enemy in the process. 

24. Goldenrod

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: Star Wars: Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi

Why it's great: If we've learned anything about Han it's that he can't stand it when things don't go his way. Add into that just how much Threepio irritates him as a general rule, and watching the power transfer here is delicious - the droid as an ewok god and him as dinner. Not to mention C3PO's usual flustering just making things worse. Even facing immediate and embarrassing death he can't resist one last world-weary quip. "Well, why don't you use your divine influence and get us out of this?"

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: Star Wars: Episode 4 - A New Hope 

Why it's great: In many ways you have to question what got Han that far in the first place? And how much he was paying attention anyway? Going against the Empire, sneaking into its most powerful military base - by this point you're pretty much committed to the cause. The more Stormtroopers you kill it the harder it gets to change your mind. This moment also gains more resonance, in retrospect, when you realise that Han only originally met and fell in love with Leia because of greed - marriage, kids, a life together - all of that because there was a chance of money. 

22. Temperature's dropping

The moment: Han's got his money on Hoth, he's done and really to split -
bye Princess, see you around. However, seconds after expressing his desire to leave, he has a change of heart when he realises Luke hasn't returned to the base. 

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back

Why it's great: Most of Han's character is defined by pretending he doesn't care about anyone but himself. This is the peak of that - clearing out the second he's paid. But that's before he find out people he cares about are at risk. If nothing else this proves he does care about people you aren't him. 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.

21. Commanding the crew

The moment: General Madine announces that Han Solo is leading the strike team to the forest moon of Endor, catching everyone by surprise, and one by one his friends signal their allegiance by signing up for his crew. 

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi

Why it's great: Nothing shows Han's character arc than this over the original three films. From a selfish man who responded to money like a dog does treats, to the selfless leader of an attack on the enemy. On top of that, in a rare gesture of philanthropy, Han lends the Falcon to Lando... albeit on the promise that it comes back without a scratch. 

Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape.