A trilogy of novels written by A. C. Crispin that form part of the StarWarsExpandedUniverse.

* ''The Paradise Snare'' (1997)
* ''The Hutt Gambit'' (1997)
* ''Rebel Dawn'' (1998)

[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin As the title might suggest the story focuses on Han Solo]], specifically on his adventures in the years leading up to ''ANewHope'' as he goes from StreetUrchin and petty thief to Imperial pilot to the LoveableRogue we all know and love.

Confusingly this trilogy is the ''second'' trilogy of books to focus on Han Solo's early life. Nearly twenty years earlier Creator/BrianDaley had written ''The Han Solo Adventures'', three stand alone stories about Han's escapades as a smuggler. Crispin retroactively fitted Daley's books into her series so that they now canonically take place during ''Rebel Dawn''. So the chronology goes:

''The Paradise Snare'' -> ''The Hutt Gambit'' -> The beginning of ''Rebel Dawn'' -> ''The Han Solo Adventures'' -> The rest of ''Rebel Dawn''.

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!!''The Han Solo Trilogy'' provides examples of:
* ActionGirl: Several, most notably Bria.
* AffablyEvil: Crispin does the impossible and makes Jabba somewhat ''likable.'' Jabba seems to have a genuine soft spot for Han, he's better than most of his fellow Hutts at least, and they consider him deranged due to his fetish for humanoid females. Perhaps this is because Jabba is indeed ruthless, but also ''fair'' in his dealings with his underlings.
* AntiHero: Han is mostly a Type II, Bria ''starts'' as a Type I and ends up a Type IV.
* BeenThereShapedHistory: Bria was part of the Rebel unit that stole the plans for the first Death Star, before transmitting them to Princess Leia's ship. [[spoiler:The unit swallow poison pills to prevent imminent capture and interrogation by the Empire.]]
* BizarreAlienBiology: Hutts, like slugs, (their closest real-world equivalent, which is also used as an insult for them) are hermaphrodites [[https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Slug#Reproduction]], with both male and female sex organs. After reproducing they identify as female, but apparently can go back to identifying as male later (as Durga and Jabba's parents do).
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The Rebels aren't nearly the paragons of virtue they are in the films, but several key members who canonically steer it in a more honorable direction haven't joined the movement yet, and they haven't even become the Rebel ''Alliance'' until the last book, with the unification of three major groups, so there's lots of different ones, and no one to give a WhatTheHellHero speech if any of them go too far. In particular, the Corellian Resistance's Red Hand Squadron only gives no quarter to slavers, so it's more sympathetic than it might otherwise be.
* BolivianArmyEnding: [[spoiler: Bria Tharen and her Red Hand Squadron. Boba Fett later confirms her death when he brings news of it to Han]].
* CallForward: Greedo is noted as being a terrible shot and an idiot who will most likely get himself killed.
* CatFolk: The Togorians. As a nod to RealLife lions (although they actually come in all the colors and fur patterns of felines), the males are aggressive warriors while the females are intelligent, political plotters, and adept at mechanical and scientific endeavors. They also live separately most of the time, with males still hunting for food, and have different governments.
* TheChessmaster:
** Emperor Palpatine (as usual) [[spoiler: who instigates the Imperial attack on the home system of the Hutts as well as its failure all in order to disgrace an Imperial Moff that was getting too big for his britches]].
** Xizor, even more so: [[spoiler: he exploits the ongoing war between the Desilijic and Besadii Hutt clans in order to basically perform a takeover of Besadii, granting him a priceless foothold in the Outer Rim]].
* ContinuityNod: Dozens of them. Durga the Hutt (from ''[[Literature/TheCallistaTrilogy Darksaber]]'') is an important character as are several characters and locations from ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire''. There are even a few shout outs to the MarvelStarWars comics.
* EarlyBirdCameo: In a sense. This trilogy marks the first appearance of Baron Soontir Fel-Crispin asked MichaelStackpole whether there were any good Imperial pilots available, and Stackpole came up with Fel, later featuring him in the ComicBook/XWingSeries.
* DefaceOfTheMoon: Mako, a friend of Han's from the Academy, tried to deface the Imperial insignia on the nearby artificial moon but underestimated the power of the antimatter used and ended up destroying said moon.
* DoomedByCanon: It is pretty obvious that Han and Bria are not going to end up together...
* EarthShatteringKaboom[=/=]OrbitalBombardment: The Imperial Moff running the sector orders a Base Delta Zero (total destruction operation) against Nar Shaddaa in ''The Hutt Gambit''. [[spoiler:The Hutts buy off the admiral in charge, who is separately ordered by Coruscant to withdraw at his earliest convenience to make the Moff look bad. Vader Force-chokes the admiral to death, ostensibly for accepting the bribe, to cover up the shady goings-on.]]
* TheFagin: Garris Shrike.
* HasAType: Han with anti-Imperial revolutionaries. His first love [[spoiler:Bria]] becomes one by the end of the trilogy, while another lover,[[spoiler:Xaverri]], is already one when he meets her, and, of course, Leia in the movies and later expanded universe.
* HeartbrokenBadass: [[spoiler:Han, after Bria leaves him at the end of the first book, oh so very much]]. Plays a big part in forming the cynical personality he's developed by the time we meet him in the movies.
* HeelFaceTurn: Muuurgh.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Han and Chewbacca from the beginning of book 2 onwards. In lesser measure, Han and Lando.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: [[Literature/TheCallistaTrilogy Durga]]. Much like AaronAllston did for [[Literature/TheCourtshipOfPrincessLeia Warlord Zsinj]] in the ComicBook/XWingSeries, Crispin took a one-dimensional villain created by another author and turns him into a more complex character.
* InsigniaRipOffRitual: Han went through this after he was court-martialed and cashiered for preventing a superior officer from killing Chewbacca when he was a rebellious slave (which also lets Chewie escape). When he dreams about it later, it ends with him attacking the officer who did it.
* LovableRogue: Han of course, but also Lando and Mako.
* MadOracle: Han, Chewie, and Mako encounter one during ''The Hutt Gambit'', who claims that Han will face betrayal from those he trusts [[spoiler:(Bria in ''Rebel Dawn'', Lando in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', Mako in ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'', Zeen, Kid [=DXo'ln=], Wynni and Ana Blue in ''Literature/TheNewRebellion'', and finally his own son in ''Literature/LegacyOfTheForce''. She doesn't mention anybody by name, but stares at Mako, who's with him)]], will be rich but only after he no longer cares about it, will be a great warrior, and will do much for love. Han, of course, is skeptical (not to mention drunk), and has forgotten about it by the next day.
* MamaBear: Dewlanna's response to Shrike attempting to beat Han to a bloody pulp is a good example of why you should never piss off a Wookiee.
* NoodleIncident:
** During Han's painful memory of his InsigniaRipOffRitual he makes mention of his Corellian Bloodstripe (the red and yellow stripes that he wears down the seam of his pants). It's an honor given out by the government of Corellia so it's the only one he gets to keep, but we're never told just ''what'' he did to earn it. Even in later novels we're never told what happened except that it was a very harrowing and painful experience that happened over several days. Furthermore there are two classes (Red for First Class and Yellow for Second Class) of Bloodstripes and he's earned them both.
** Notably the Noodle Incident mentioned in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' happens in ''Rebel Dawn'' (where Lando appears furious at Han when they meet again over "that stunt you pulled"). [[spoiler: The Corellian Resistance screws Han and his smuggler pals out of their share of the treasure owed to them in the raid on Ylesia, [[WhatTheHellHero even turning their guns on them]], because they need it to fund their search for the Death Star plans, along with the rebellion in general. To Lando and the others, it looks like Han was complicit in the betrayal rather than also being a victim of it himself, because Han was the one who brought them the Corellian Rebels' proposal in the first place.]]
* ParentalSubstitute: Dewlanna, who watched over Han on the Trader's Luck, and sacrificed her life to help him escape.
* PathOfInspiration: The Cult of The One and The All, created by the Besadii Hutt clan and run by the T'landa Til, who use their mating call to ensnare "pilgrims" for slave labor.
* {{Prequel}}: Leading up to when Han first meets Luke and Obi Wan in ''Film/ANewHope''.
* PsychicStrangle: [[spoiler:Darth Vader executes Admiral Winstel Greelanx this way for accepting the Hutts' bribe.]]
* ReleasingFromThePromise: {{Defied}}. Han ''tries'' to do this, saying he won't hold Chewie to his life debt, but Chewie tells him he doesn't have the right to. Later Han relents after Chewie saves his life in a bar fight.
* RunningGag: Anytime Kibbick the Hutt is mentioned it is pointed out that he is an idiot.
* [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil Slavery Is A Special Kind Of Evil:]] A view shared by the protagonists throughout the series. Han runs away from his first job as a pilot for the Besadii Hutts when he discovers that their main business is slavery ([[spoiler:freeing a slave he'd fallen in love with in the process]]); later he resigns in disgrace from the Imperial Navy after freeing another slave from his brutal Imperial taskmaster [[spoiler: Chewbacca, who escapes to pledge Han a life debt for it]]; and specifically only accepts a job smuggling for Jabba after he's made it clear that he will never transport slaves for him. Bria and Chewbacca, being former slaves themselves, naturally share this outlook [[spoiler: which is a big part of the reason Bria joins the Rebellion]], but contempt for slavery is widespread even beyond that-Lando's way of expressing contempt for bounty hunters, for instance, is that they're "on a level with slavers." Given that the protagonists and their friends are all drug smugglers, con artists, and other "scoundrels," arguably a case of EvenEvilHasStandards.
* SoundOnlyDeath: Vader Force-choking Greelanx for taking a bribe and throwing the battle of Nar Shaddaa.
* StartOfDarkness: [[spoiler: Mako Spince]] is a pretty likable character here. In fact, he's one of the heroes of the story. In the third book, however, he gets captured by SpacePirates, [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil tortured]], and crippled for life. When Han and Lando visit him, he refuses to speak to them and makes it clear by his body language that he wants them to leave. When he next encounters Han years later, he sells his old friend out to TheEmpire. Not because he's under any [[SadisticChoice pressure to do so]] as Lando was in ''Empire'', but just for [[OnlyInItForTheMoney credits]].
* TheEndOfTheBeginning: Naturally enough ''Rebel Dawn'' ends with Han sitting in a seedy bar in some backwater agonizing over how he's going to find the money to get Jabba off his back, only for Chewie to come over and tell him there's [[Film/ANewHope this old man and a kid who want to book passage someplace...]]
* WaveMotionGun: According to these novels, blasters have an Overload setting, which allows them to destroy vehicles, but carries the risk of the weapon exploding. The same setting also allows them to be used as grenades in a pinch.
* WouldHurtAChild: Jabba, and not just any child, but his infant ''cousin''.
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