Following a troubled production which saw original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller replaced by Ron ‘safe hands’ Howard five months into the shoot, Solo: A Star Wars Story has turned out far better than we had any right to expect. Box office success seems assured, and given the many (many) loose ends, sequels seem equally likely. Which may explain why we have so many unanswered questions about the ending to discuss!
If you’ve watched the movie, this is the place for you because we’re going to talk about that mind-blowing Solo: A Star Wars Story ending cameo and what it means for the future of a galaxy far, far away (or the past, this is a prequel after all). If you haven’t seen the film yet, please, please turn away now because this feature deals with major spoilers for Solo. Go and watch the movie and then come back! For everyone else who’s ready to delve into some deep analysis about the film, read on for the 10 questions we have after watching Solo: A Star Wars Story ending.
1. Why are Han’s dice so important?
For two films now we’ve been bludgeoned with the importance of Han’s lucky gold dice. You know, the ones that hung in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope, the ones that Luke took to Leia in The Last Jedi (albeit, in holographic form) as a parting gift. They are, of course, present in Solo, where they are passed between Han and Qi’ra, his squeeze on Corellia and the film’s glamorous femme fatale. The assumption has always been that Han used those lucky dice to win the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game of Corellian Spike. But that’s not how it goes down in Solo. Rather, Han beats Lando fair and square at a game of no-frills Sabaac after snatching the ace up Lando’s sleeve. In which case, why are the dice important? And where did they come from?
The dice still have obvious significance for Han – they are a symbol of his first(?) love Qi’ra, a love that seems destined to end in tragedy given the decision Qi’ra makes in the final moments of Solo, and her absence from the original trilogy. But, still, bit weird for Leia’s memory of Han to later be embodied by dice that were once passed back and forth between his ex, no?
2. Why does everyone want coaxium?
Practically everyone in Solo is after rare hyperfuel coaxium. It’s obviously a valuable resource, not only in terms of its practical use (making ships go really, really fast), but its monetary worth, with even a small vial enough to buy your way through an Imperial border check or put a deposit on a ship. But why is everyone and their Wookiee so desperate to get hold of it? Lady Proxima sends Han to get some at the start of the film, Beckett is stealing it for Dryden Vos (and his secret boss), Enfys Nest wants it to give to the nascent Rebellion... We get it’s worth a lot of credits, but beyond a convenient MacGuffin for everyone to chase, the fact it’s quite so coveted doesn’t make a great deal of sense. It’s a big galaxy, there must be plenty of other ways to make a quick buck, after all.
3. Who does the Millennium Falcon actually belong to?
At a certain point in the film we’re lead to believe that the Falcon belongs to Lando, with Han entering a high stakes game of Sabaac to win it off him. But when they go to fetch his ride, it’s clear that Lando himself is stealing it, or at the very least ‘liberating’ it from a space impound. So, who does the iconic YT-1300F light freighter actually belong to? The fact Lando’s capes are on board means it must have been in his possession recently, but what’s it doing chained up? Did the nitrogen-cool chancer forget to pay his parking fees? And won’t the owner of those clamps want it back? The film doesn’t seem to care, which means we probably shouldn’t, the scene more important in illustrating that Lando is flying by the seat of his pants as much as Han. But it could come back to bite Han if the owner of that impound wants their money.
4. How much of Lord and Miller’s movie is left?
Ron Howard reportedly reshot around 70% of Solo after he came on board. And while it’s safe to assume he’s behind the scene involving his own brother, Clint Howard, and anything where Paul Bettany appears (Bettany replaced actor Michael K. Williams due to a scheduling conflict), the rest is open for debate as the joins aren’t immediately apparent. The obvious assumption is that the more irreverent the gag, the more likely Lord and Miller were behind it. L3’s ‘performance issues’ skit and Han awkwardly stepping back after making a fool of himself in front of Enfys seem like quintessential Lord and Miller moments. While the American Grafitti-esque opening, with Han and Qi’ra racing round the streets of Corellia felt like Howard doffing his cap to his former director and friend, George Lucas. Speaking of, Solo also had a fourth director (sort of) in the shape of Uncle George, who visited the set on Howard’s first day and offered him some advice during a scene involving Han and Qi’ra. Though which scene Lucas was on set for is unclear.
5. What did Qi’ra do in the three years away from Han?
Qi’ra makes it clear multiple times in Solo that she’s not the person Han knew on Corellia, and that during the years Han fought in the Imperial army she’s done some real bad stuff. But… how bad? Han shoots first (huzzah!) and straight up murders Beckett at the end (albeit in self defence); is it worse than that? Her fast track ascent through the ranks of Crimson Dawn, all the way to the position of Vos’s right hand woman, would imply she’s committed some unspeakable acts in the past. And her lack of hesitation in assuming Vos’ place after killing him also makes it clear that she’s willing to act that way again. Qi’ra does seem genuinely conflicted about her position at points, and clearly toys with the idea of running away with Han. Maybe she’s in too deep and knows running away with Han would just put both of their lives in mortal danger.
6. Why is Han so good at flying the Falcon?
We all know that arrogant flyboy Han Solo is the best pilot in the galaxy come the original trilogy following years behind the controls of his beloved flying hamburger. And he’s clearly a naturally talented pilot behind the wheel of any vehicle. But given it’s his first time flying the Falcon during the Kessel Run it seems somewhat unlikely even he would make it out of such a dangerous gauntlet alive. If certain people felt the need to label Rey a Mary Sue for exhibiting a similar level of aptitude with little to no training (despite being Force sensitive, which Han is not), then Han should really be accused of the same. He didn’t even finish flight school! I guess arrogance gets you a long way.
7. Where’s Boba Fett?
There are two clear allusions to Jabba, who we don’t see in the film, the main one being Han’s closing remarks about heading to Tatooine to do a job for a “bigshot gangster”. Unless it’s a misdirect (highly unlikely) expect the second Solo film to feature the galaxy’s most repulsive giant slug in a major way. And if Jabba is around it’s safe to assume fan favourite bounty hunter Boba Fett won’t be far behind. What’s perhaps surprising is that writers the Kasdans didn’t pull out all the stops here and work Fett into the first film. An ongoing rivalry across three films would certainly have made for juicy viewing.
8. Er, how is Darth Maul alive?
Darth Maul is back! Despite being cut in half by Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace, everyone’s favourite, criminally underused prequel villain has been a major player in canon Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels in recent years, but the holo-call with Qi'ra marks Maul’s first live action appearance for almost two decades. The Zabrak from Dathomir is once again played by Ray Park, and voiced by Sam Witwer (who provided Maul’s voice for both animated series). A quick bit of timeline clarification for anyone confused: Solo is set some years after The Clone Wars (and Revenge of the Sith), but before Rebels and Rogue One.
Wondering how Maul survived bisection? After his run in with Obi-Wan on Naboo, Maul clung onto life before being dumped on Lotho Minor, feeding on vermin and constructing sweet mechanical spider legs. Eventually teaming up with his brother Savage Opress, and handed a more practical pair of cybernetic legs, Maul went on to form the Shadow Collective – an alliance of criminal syndicates (including the Pyke Syndicate, Black Sun and Hutt Clan, which may or may not be three of the five syndicates mentioned in Solo) and take over Mandalore. This attracted the attention of Darth Sidious, who killed Savage Oppress and took Maul captive, only for the Sith Lord’s former apprentice to escape and flee into the night.
Solo takes place some years after these events, and it seems Maul has scurried back to the Shadow Collective and reclaimed his seat at the head of the five syndicates, in order to re-establish a power base. But what’s to stop Sidious tracking him down again? Any future Solo films also face a prequel-problem with Maul, as anyone who watched Rebels knows where the character is ultimately heading. The Clone Wars connections don’t stop there either. In a throwaway bit of dialogue we learn that Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett was the man who killed Aurra Sing – a bounty hunter who trained a young Boba Fett and has history with Darth Maul. It’s not just the MCU that’s all connected...
9. What will a Solo sequel look like?
Unless there’s an unexpected upset at the box office, it’s safe to assume that this won’t be the last we see of Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo. Which begs the question: What next? The immediate concern are the five syndicates, who report to Maul. We only meet one syndicate in Solo – Crimson Dawn – which mean there are plenty more criminal gangs to infiltrate, exploit, and dismantle. Enfys Nest and her ‘allies’ will no doubt be a major part going forward. But it doesn’t make a great deal of sense that Han would be cosying up with the Rebellion so soon. After all, he’s still smuggling spice for Jabba the Hutt come A New Hope, and taking freelance jobs from farmboys and Jedi to get Jabba off his back. Hardly seems like the actions of a man allied with the Rebellion.
And despite the presence of Maul, any Solo sequel would be wise to steer clear of Force-based operatics and stick to the criminal underworld Solo depicts so well in here. If I had my druthers I’d love to see Solo properly employ the Saga’s underutilised bounty hunters in future films. Bossk gets a brief mention here, and there are plenty of other guns for hire floating around the lawless lands, outside the Empire’s control. It’s time a Star Wars movie finally did justice to some of the coolest characters in a galaxy far, far away. Speaking of...
10. When are we getting that Lando spin-off?
Because I need it immediately.