WookieeLeaks: Han Solo’s New (Old) Backstory and Other Revelations About the New ‘Star Wars’ Canon
ScreenCrush’s WookieeLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything Star Wars! From The Force Awakens, to the upcoming spinoffs and the TV shows, if it pertains to that long ago, far away galaxy, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, dive into Han Solo’s backstory in the new canon, learn what happened between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and check out some new characters in LEGO form.
Filling in the Gaps of the new Canon
When the Lucasfilm story group waved its powerful, all-binding hand and deleted most of the Star Wars expanded universe in the blink of an eye, fans were left wondering what long-held backstories would remain intact. Sure, the post-Return of the Jedi adventures were gone for good, but surely the previous canon backgrounds for certain key characters would remain at least somewhat intact. Right?
Well ... right. For now. For Han Solo, at least. The generally reliable Making Star Wars dug up a whole bunch of Star Wars news over the past week and chief among everything is the new and official backstory for the pilot of the Millennium Falcon and his Wookiee companion. And it sounds pretty much identical to the old official backstory:
Chewbacca is captured and put into slavery in the aftermath of Revenge of the Sith and the invasion of Kashyyyk. Han Solo frees the Wookiee and therefore Chewbacca owes Han Solo a life debt.
Other things may change. Details may get replaced. But for now, the basic elements that defined Han’s background seem to have stayed put. After all, if it isn’t broken, why fix it? This was one area of the expanded universe that didn’t have to be wiped from existence.
The same post also dug up additional information about what Han and Chewbacca have been up to in days and weeks prior to the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you read on, do so with a grain of salt and remember that these should be considered spoilers:
People talk about the Falcon to Han Solo just before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, thugs want the Falcon. Han Solo disagrees and refuses, but it isn’t clear exactly what happens to the ship and if Han has to give it up in the days before The Force Awakens. It appears if Han and Chewie do not have the Falcon in The Force Awakens, they have only just lost the ship shortly before the film begins.
Just before the events of The Force Awakens Han and Chewie are very down and out. Han is older, sadder, bitter, and hangs out in bars all the time. The years haven’t been kind to the smuggler. Although Jabba is out of his life, Solo found new men willing to kill him and his life is as complicated as it ever was.
There have been several reports around the internet describing an action scene where Han, Chewie, John Boyega’s Finn, and Daisy Ridley’s Rey fight off a team of gangsters who have come for the Falcon, so all of this makes sense. Here’s the timeline of a few events, going purely by rumors (possible spoilers ensue!):
Han loses the Falcon prior to the events of The Force Awakens. Finn and Rey steal the Falcon to escape the First Order forces pursuing them. Han and Chewie show up to get their ship back. Everyone bands together to fight off the crooks who took the Falcon in the first place.
This makes sense ... if every rumor making its way across the internet is true and there is no way to confirm that. So please enjoy this as speculation for now. And we’ll have more on this in the next section.
Making Star Wars also claims to have received a detailed debriefing on major events that transpire between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Since this is territory that will soon be covered in upcoming novels and comic books, consider this list spoilers. If you don’t plan to dive into anything beyond the movies, nothing here seems like it will directly hinder your enjoyment of the new movie. Still, proceed with caution:
- Coruscant was in chaos, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda attempted to keep the Empire together by any means necessary.
- The Imperial chain of command was is in disarray; no one knew exactly which superior officer they were supposed to follow or what the consequences for doing so might be.
- Several powerful people tried to declare themselves Emperor; the rank and file didn’t really care much for those declarations any longer.
- Pretenders to the throne used their forces to fight one another and chaos ensued.
- The Anoat sector was cut off completely.
- The Rebel Alliance secured several systems and set up bases there in relative peace with minor resistance.
- The Rebel Alliance proclaimed itself the New Republic by this time.
- The New Republic was established in the Hosnian System.
- One year after The Battle of Endor the galaxy was still embroiled in all-out war, however.
- Emperor Palpatine was praised as a martyr by many and young and untrained Imperial Cadets were sent to the front lines in his name.
- Many battles for Naboo were fought in the year after Palpatine’s death.
- The capital of Naboo, Theed, was well protected and stable.
- Imperial sympathizers tried rallying at Naboo because it was Palpatine’s homeworld. The planet was still relatively wealthy and healthy.
- The Empire repeatedly tried to invade Naboo, but every attempt was thwarted.
- The New Republic celebrated its victory in liberating Naboo by the third battle.
- Sondiv Sella served the New Republic beside Mon Mothma and Leia Organa.
- The New Republic had a provisional galactic senate with elected representatives established.
- Imperial laws were rewritten by the New Republic to be more benevolent and just.
- Democracy was returning.
- Worlds polluted by Imperial strip mining were being rebuilt; there were also slavery reparations.
- One year out, Jakku was seen as a worthless world.
- There was strategic value in Jakku for one power-hungry Moff who wanted to win back the sector.
- General Carlist Rieekan, a leader of the New Republic, sent a team out to capture a Star Destroyer christened Inflictor, over Jakku.
- The Battle of Jakku took place in the stars, in the sky, and on land.
- The Battle of Jakku was the largest battle since the Battle of Endor.
- The New Republic gained an advantage through better tactics, despite the Empire outnumbering them vastly.
- The Captain of The Inflictor decided to follow protocol and scuttle the ship rather than surrender it.
- The ship then crashed to the surface of Jakku.
- One month after the Battle of Jakku there were no longer any large-scale battles by the Empire and they vanished into a nebula.
- Having gathered their forces for a counterattack and established a new chain of command, Imperial vessels within Core and Inner Rim areas stayed within borders defined by a treaty, waiting to erupt at any moment.
If you want to compare that timeline to something official right away, know that the opening chapters of Chuck Wendig’s new novel, Star Wars: Aftermath, are online in preview form. These scenes take place directly after the death of the Emperor and the destruction of the second Death Star. It turns out that all of that celebrating after the Battle of Endor was just a very brief calm before a new and horrible storm. Suddenly, the all-singing ending of Jedi doesn’t seem nearly joyful.
New Star Wars Details Have Arrived in LEGO Form
The only thing more powerful than Lucasfilm, Disney, and J.J. Abrams is someone with early access to toys and a smartphone camera. This is why we are seemingly getting our first look at a new Star Wars character via a LEGO set.
A few photos of the sets for the Millennium Falcon and Poe Dameron’s X-Wing fighter have popped up online and they have everything you’d expect, plus a little more.
As we already know from those early set pics, Poe’s X-Wing is some kind of badass special design with a black paint job, possibly for stealth reasons. The LEGO set comes with a a little plastic Oscar Isaac, a tiny BB-8, an a couple of Rebel engineers to act as cannon fodder.
The Falcon set is a little more surprising. There are the expected minifigs (Han, Chewie, Finn, and Rey), but there is also some guy named Tasu Leech and a random gang member. As you may recall from the section above this one, The Force Awakens is rumored to have a scene where our crew battles a group of criminals for control of the Falcon. So here you go: the toy has all-but-confirmed it.
But who is this Tasu Leech and who is playing him? Some fans have already noticed that the minifig contains a passing resemblance to The Raid star Yayan Ruhian, who reportedly joined the cast back in January. Since there’s no way you cast someone from The Raid and not allow them to fight, we can expect this Leech guy to kick a whole lot of ass at the very least.
We’ve noted our enthusiasm for Marvel’s Star Wars comics in this column before, and the new Vader Down event series sounds like a real must-read:
Darth Vader is forced to face the entire might of the Rebel Alliance alone, after he crash lands on a planet. The Alliance – Including heroes Leia, Han, Luke, and Chewie – decide they cannot pass up the opportunity to rid themselves of their most fearsome foe.
The full attraction roster for Disneyland Shanghai has been revealed and there will be a strong Star Wars presence.