After waiting patiently (I wasn’t patient at all), the day we Star Wars fans were pining for finally arrived. Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters this past Friday May 25. Spoiler alert! It was awesome. You can read about how awesome I found it to be in my review of the film.
The film follows a young Han Solo, arguably the most iconic character to come out of the Star Wars franchise. While there’s the good versus evil story we can all expect, this story isn’t as black and white as Star Wars tends to be. Han lives in a world of conflict, but one that’s underneath the larger conflict of the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire. He’s just a young man trying to rescue the woman he loves but things are of course never that simple.
As the tenth installation in the Star Wars franchise there’s quite a bit of history, iconic characters and legendary moments that have come before Solo. So naturally fans are going to expect there to be plenty of callbacks and easter eggs. Ron Howard and the folks at Disney didn’t disappoint. Allow me to break down some of the more notable ones for you.
No disintegrations around my Mandalorian Armor
Dryden Vos is a crime-boss and leader (well kinda) of the Crimson Dawn, one of the most ruthless criminal organizations in the galaxy. Vos has got wealth, style, power, an incredible anger issue, oh and lots of cool stuff. Most notable among his collection of cool stuff? The mandalorian armor of course. The Mandalorians are a warrior race first made famous by the legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett (The Empire Strikes Back) and later by his father Jango Fett (Attack of the Clones). Han Solo will go on later in his life to have a very close encounter with a wielder of this armor (pssst it’s Boba Fett).
DL-44 Blaster BAYBAY
I’m not a gun guy. It’s just not for me. But when it comes to blasters from a galaxy far, far away, you better believe they’re for me. Han Solo is known for a lot of things and his signature modified DL-44 blaster is one of them. This blaster has taken on stormtroopers, gangsters, Darth Vader and even a sarlacc! Well we finally get to see it’s origins. Passed off to Han by the skilled gunslinger and crew leader Tobias Beckett, little did Han know the enemies this blaster would go on to face.
Crystal Skull (The movie that never should have happened)
There’s more than one easter egg in Dryden Vos’ office. You may have noticed the huge crystal skull on display with his other trinkets and trophies. This is a reference to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. A film co-written by George Lucas with the main character Indiana Jones, played of course by Harrison Ford. This film is a heap of steaming garbage and you should never ever watch it.
There’s also a callback to a Legends Star Wars book here. According according to the Solo visual guide, the crystal skull in Vos’ office is actually the “Mytag crystal masthead of Xim the Despot.” Xim the Despot was a character in the final novel in Brian Daley’s The Han Solo Adventures trilogy of books. Han and Chewbacca journey to a mysterious planet looking for Xim’s lost treasure but that doesn’t go as planned (shock!). So the crystal skull is hanging out more than one nod here.
Skiff guard aka the worst disguise ever
We all remember Lando’s incredible disguise that he used to help save Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca from the clutches of the notorious gangster, Jabba the Hutt. Well now we know where he got the idea from. Tobias Beckett masquerades as Qi’ra’s head of security for her visit with the administrators of the mines of Kessel and he does so rocking the Skiff guard armor. It’s hard to call it disguise, it’s honestly just a big helmet.
Ya’ll got any of them Wookies round here?
You may remember Bossk from The Empire Strikes Back. He was one of the several bounty hunters that Darth Vader hired to hunt down the Millennium Falcon. Later Bossk made a much larger appearance as a member of Boba Fett’s gang during the animated Clone Wars series.
Bossk is a famous Trandoshan bounty hunter known for his love of hunting down Wookies. Regardless of his slimy preferences, it didn’t stop Val from suggesting him as an ideal addition to their criminal crew. Apparently Trandoshians are great at stealing hyper fuel.
Dice Dice Baby
Originally the dice only appeared in a single shot of A New Hope, but thanks to the Sequel Trilogy Han Solo’s dice have become an important part of his character. The dice not only symbolize Han, but they represent the bond of love and legacy between himself, his wife and his brother-in-law.
Solo follows Rian Johnson’s example and ties these golden dice even tighter to the Han Solo character. But in doing so they’ve gone and skewed the new canon. Yes these are Han’s lucky dice, but according to the new canon he used them to win the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a game of “Corellian Spike” sabacc. That’s not how things go down. I have to wonder why Disney decided to change the story that they themselves already established, and it wasn’t even that long ago!
“I love you” “I know”
The line every single Star Wars fan holds as the most romantic moment in franchise history. And if you don’t you’re a jabroni. A lot of people like to say Harrison Ford improvised this line, but that isn’t true. What actually happened is Irwin Kershner, the director of The Empire Strikes Back, helped Ford come up with the line. The idea being they didn’t want fans to know that Han would definitely make it back in the following film.
Thus in the new film when Lando Calrissian tells Han Solo he hates him and Han responds with “I know”, there’s homage being paid to quite possibly the most famous Han Solo quote of all time.
C3PO talks to that saucy lady the Millennium Falcon
Everyone that encounters the Millennium Falcon quickly comes to realize that she’s a unique ship. She may look like a bucket of bolts, but she’s got it where it counts. For some people it’s because of her hidden compartments, others her battle prowess, and some folks just love how fast and maneuverable she is. C3PO noticed the Falcon was unique for an entirely different reason, the ship has a very odd dialect.
Well now we know why the ship has such an odd dialect. In what was perhaps the most emotional scene of the film L3, Lando’s co-pilot and droid companion was destroyed. But her navigational charts and memory core survived, so in an attempt to preserve her and save the remaining crew of the Falcon, L3 was uploaded into the Falcon’s computer. This merge created a brand new digital mind behind the Falcon’s sleek exterior and explains why during the original trilogy Lando so often referred to the Falcon “girl”.
Chess. It’s for everyone. Not just the con artists in Central Park
As a kid it completely blew me away when I saw Chewbacca and C3PO playing holographic chess with alien creatures. At that point in my life I don’t think I’d ever seen technology in film do something so small yet so impressive. I would later come to find out that they weren’t playing chess at all, they were playing Dejarik and the technology for such a game was a long way away.
Thank goodness Ron Howard loves dejarik as much as I do. Beckett hands Chewbacca a swift defeat (apparently Chewy has always sucked at this game) and in frustration Chewy slams his fists on the board, which disables two of the figures. As it turns out these figures are named Bulbous and Scrimp and were designed by A New Hope animator Phil Tippett. The figures never made it into the original film because there wasn’t enough room on the board for them. It may have took 40 years later, but these guys finally made it.
Good boy, good boy. Rip his face off!
Ron Howard has directed a film or two in his day. One of his most famous films had it’s story spring from the mind of none other than George Lucas himself. Willow is a fantasy epic that follows a young dwarf who dreams of becoming a sorcerer and his relatively peaceful life is turned upside by a small human child. Willow’s world is filled with lots of dangerous creatures, one of which being the lovely animal featured above, the Death Dog.
So if you haven’t guessed already, the Corellian dogs we see Murloch and the White Worm gang sic on Han Solo are a homage to one of Howard’s own films.
To be quite honest I didn’t even list all the easter eggs I found. I’d have to make two-three more articles to fit them all. There’s a lot of nods, tributes and fun little secrets sprinkled throughout this film. I’m sure I missed plenty of them, which is of course why I need to see the film five more times. If you found something that’s just plain awesome and you think I should include it, sound off in the comments and let me know!
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