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Literature / The Han Solo Adventures

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"I happen to like shooting first, Rekkon, as opposed to shooting second."

The Han Solo Adventures are a series of Star Wars spin-off novels by Brian Daley, featuring Han Solo and Chewbacca in a time before they met Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. They are among the very first original novels in the franchise, written when there was only one movie called Star Wars. Along with all the spin-offs of the time, they are now officially classed as "Legends".

The three books in the series are Han Solo at Star's End (1979), Han Solo's Revenge (1979), and Han Solo and the Lost Legacy (1980). An omnibus edition titled The Han Solo Adventures was later published in 1992.

Not to be confused with The Han Solo Trilogy, a separate series written some decades later by A. C. Crispin, although Crispin referenced these stories in hers (setting them during a Time Skip in the middle of Rebel Dawn, the third book of her trilogy).

The Han Solo Adventures contain examples of:

  • Action Prologue: All three books begin with an action sequence in the first chapter or two that is largely unrelated to the plot of the rest of the novel, but makes for a satisfying short story and further illustrates the kind of crazy life Han and Chewie lead.
  • Artifact Title: The original releases of the books were subtitled From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, matching the branding of Splinter of the Mind's Eye and the A New Hope novelization, but Luke himself does not appear in any of them, being set before Han and Chewie ever met him.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Han Solo's Revenge has a scene where Han (who is an experienced gunman) deliberately removes the trigger guard from his weapon. He is heading into a hazardous situation where he might need his pistol and is donning environmental gear, but the glove of the environment suit is too thick for his finger to fit inside the trigger guard. Note: This is an actual thing on certain models of firearms (such as the M16), put in there expressly for this purpose.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Corporate Sector Riot Gun in Han Solo at Star's End. It can fire a constant stream of energy (used for mowing down a crowd as "crowd control") that can clear a room of combatants in a hurry. However, it has very poor aiming characteristics, as Han finds out when trying to shoot at Espos using its single-shot mode. It can only hit effectively on "constant fire," which dramatically increases the chances of friendly casualties in a pitched battle.
  • Berserk Button: Han doesn't react well to those who mistreat his ship or his friends. And, if Chewie is in danger, Han will flat out murder anyone who tries to keep him from going to his partner's aid. Also, Han will not carry slaves, and anyone trying to make him, as in Han Solo's Revenge, had best run far and fast.
  • Bluffing the Murderer: In Han Solo at Star's End. While ferrying a group of people to find the top-secret prison called Star's End, Han discovers the leader of the mission dead and the data pad containing the prison's secret location destroyed. After he locks up the others while he tries to sort things out, he discovers that the dead leader had scratched the location into the table he was found dead on. Han then tells everyone to calculate a hyperspace jump to the correct star system, but he deliberately gives everyone the wrong planet. He then outs the killer as the one who corrected his calculations by using the right planet.
  • Boxed Crook: Fiolla, an Authority inspector, forces Han and Chewie into this position in Han Solo's Revenge when she needs outside help in cleaning up an illegal slaver ring with too many connections inside her organization. Unusual in that she isn't threatening them with jail time. Rather, Han is on the verge of seeing the Millennium Falcon repossessed by one of his creditors, and Fiolla promises the collections agent that she will pay off their loan... after they've helped her complete her job.
  • Call-Forward: At the end of the series, Han and Chewie—broke as usual—decide to convince Jabba the Hutt to hire them for another Kessel Run, with the implication that this is the job-gone-wrong for which Jabba has put a price on their heads in A New Hope.
  • Cargo Cult:
    • Han Solo and the Lost Legacy features a group of cargo cultists who are the descendants of the crew of the treasure-laden starship of an ancient warlord; they have lived on a backwater planet for generations, maintaining sacred "landing fields" complete with mock-ups of spaceships and ritualized "communications procedures." As it turns out, a few of them know the truth—that they are safeguarding the warlord's hidden treasure, waiting for the chance to use it to reestablish his empire—while using the rest of the cultists as unknowing support.
    • Han inadvertently creates one in the Batman Cold Open of Han Solo's Revenge when he and Chewie try to run a legitimate holotheatre on the desert planet of Kamarr. Han had been running a travel guide of a water planet to the water starved natives and ended up starting a religion by accident. The cult became violently upset when Han started showing a new video and chased them off the planet, leading into the main plot.
  • Cat Folk: Atuarre and her cub Pakka, seen in Han Solo at Star's End, are Trianii, humanoid felines who tend toward the slimmer, more graceful type of cat, rather than hulking Panthera Awesome. Atuarre is an accomplished dancer, and Pakka a gymnast.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: The third book, Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, but not the other two.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Han Solo at Stars' End was adapted by writer Archie Goodwin and artist Alfredo Alcala into comic strip form, marking the first time an original prose Star Wars story was adapted into a visual medium.
  • Construction Vehicle Rampage: In Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, two female mining technicians run over scores of Xim's War Robots in a vehicle called a land gouger while trying to escape the besieged camp.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Vice President Hirken, the officer in charge of the Star's End private prison. In addition to being greedy and cruel, he also turns out to be a Dirty Coward.
  • Covert Distress Code: In Han Solo's Revenge, when Han is being marched back to the Falcon at gunpoint, he is warned to not make any suspicious moves or attempt to signal to Chewbacca, who is waiting in the Falcon. However, not attempting to signal Chewbacca is his covert distress code, since if all had been well he would have given an "all clear" signal. Chewbacca is waiting for him to give the all-clear signal, and deploys the ship's guns when he doesn't get it.
  • Crippling the Competition: In Han Solo's Revenge, Han gets roped into a formal duel against the notorious gunslinger Gallandro. He conspires to stun both of their right hands; this forces Gallandro to concede since Solo is ambidextrous and Gallandro isn't.
  • Cryo-Prison: In Han Solo at Star's End, Star's End prison keeps thousands of prisoners the Corporate Sector Authority finds inconvenient in stasis, including Chewie, only thawing them out for interrogation sessions before putting them back under. Han and his companions are sorely confused when they infiltrate Star's End, finding few of the personnel or support structures needed for a prison of the size they're expecting, before discovering the truth.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: In Han Solo's Revenge, Han is facing the one man he's ever met who's a quicker draw than him, so avoids a duel by shocking both their right arms into useless paralysis; the gunman is forced to retreat, because Han is ambidextrous.
  • Dirty Coward: President Hirken turns out to be one. When Star's End goes down, he demands that Han save him, because he is obviously too valuable to be left to his fate like the lower-ranking staff ... and ends up shot by his own wife for trying to desert his post like this.
  • The Drifter: Han and Chewie are basically this in the Corporate Sector. Other novels, set in the more familiar parts of the galaxy, have them mostly attached to the same boss (Jabba) and plant roots in the same area of space (Nar Shaddaa, Tatooine). In this trilogy, they move from planet from planet and from employer to employer, never staying tied down anywhere for too long. Each book also features them getting drawn into someone else's business despite their (or at least Han's) better judgment and desire to be left alone (freeing political prisoners in the first book, cleaning up an illegal slaving ring in the second, an archaeological treasure hunt in the third).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: As one of the very first novels in what would later become the Star Wars Expanded Universe (and even later be rebranded the Legends continuity), Han Solo at Star's End uses somewhat different science fiction terminology than what would later become the norm in the setting. For example, the word "robot" occurs somewhat frequently, whereas in later works robots are usually called "droids" in most contexts.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: In the final book, Han is shaken to find out that his mentor "Trooper" Badure, a war veteran and piloting instructor turned adventurer, has been reduced to contract labor at a mining camp.
  • Frictionless Reentry: In Han Solo at Star's End, the Millennium Falcon uses its shields to offset the heat of entering the atmosphere of Duroon.
  • Girl of the Week: Played with. There's a different female lead in all three novels (Jess, Fiolla, and Hasti). In the first case, the two of them clearly have had (and have again, towards the end) a relationship. In the second case, despite plenty of flirtatious banter, nothing happens...but then, at the end of the book, it does seem likely Han and Fiolla will at least have some kind of brief fling ("I might just have to hold on to one of my hostages a little longer"). In the third case, Hasti actually rejects him and deconstructs the idea, saying that there's no future in a relationship with a girl-in-every-port space captain.
  • Good Old Robot: Bollux is an ancient labor droid whose long experience more than makes up for his obsolete body, which can be (and has been) modified anyway. After he is partnered with a young and high-tech hacking droid named Blue Max, who is concealed within Bollux's chest cavity, during Han Solo at Star's End, they join Han on his adventures to see more of the galaxy. Han is able to put aside his usual distrust of droids in their case.
  • Great Offscreen War: Xim the Despot's crusade, which is brought up in the third book, and became one of the defining events of the setting's early history.
  • The Gunslinger: Gallandro, a major antagonist in the second and third books, is a famous gunman and Living Legend whose skills with firearms outstrip even Han's.
  • Gun Twirling: Gallandro's introduction in Han Solo's Revenge includes "his sidearm spinning twice around his finger and ending up in his holster" an instant after he demonstrates his speed and accuracy with a blaster on some holotargets at a shooting range.
  • Heads-Up Display: The Z-95 Headhunters in Han Solo at Star's End feature these, called by that name:
    "Go to Heads-Up Displays," Han ordered, and they all cut in their holographics. Transparent projections of their instrumentation hung before them in the canopy bubbles, freeing them of the need to divert their eyes and attention from the task of flying in order to take a reading.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Gallandro in Han Solo's Revenge and Han Solo and the Lost Legacy.
    But it was the man's eyes that had set off most of Han's alarms, making him absolutely certain of the man's profession. The eyes were a deep, clear blue, unblinking, unwavering. They examined all the newcomers, remained for a moment on the Mor Glayyd and came to rest on Han, making a chilly estimate of him in a moment.
  • Improvised Weapon: In Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, one of the Maltorran workers at the mining camp grabs a beamdrill, a short-range cutting tool that produces intense plasma-beam pulses that can cut through almost any material and is traditionally used as a mining tool, and fires its beam directly into one of Xim's war droids. Unfortunately, the beam hits the droid's power core and causes it to explode, killing the Maltorran in the process.
  • Indy Ploy: Han is a master of this; at one point, when asked what he actually plans to do (after they've infilitrated the Corporate Sector Authority base in Han Solo at Stars' End) he replies "Me? I'll think of something. Inspiration's my specialty!" The line "Inspiration's my specialty" is repeated in the next book in the trilogy, Han Solo's Revenge.
  • Inheritance Murder: The Mole in Han Solo at Stars' End does a variant of this. He tips off the Corporate Sector that his father and older brother are speaking against them, knowing this will get his relatives either killed or arrested and leave him in control of the family fortune. When they're merely sent to a prison facility, he attempts to sabotage efforts to rescue them.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Skynx the Ruurian in Han Solo and the Lost Legacy resembles a giant fuzzy caterpillar. He has eight sets of limbs which function as both arms and legs, and he will eventually form a chrysalis and metamorphose into a "chroma-wing" (read: butterfly) which is unintelligent and cares only for mating. An expert in pre–Old Republic history, he wants to experience a real human-style adventure before he reaches the end of the intelligent stage of his life. Despite being a Non-Action Guy academic, Skynx's strange biology proves incredibly useful during the journey, as his style of movement is both very stealthy and excellent at climbing sheer rock faces.
    • The Kamarians in the Batman Cold Open of Han Solo's Revenge are more traditional looking insect people, with four arms, chitin, and a distinctly fly looking face.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Han's personality in a nutshell, as anyone who's seen the movies knows. Various people including old friends, enemies, and people he's just met see through the facade. Rekkon also deconstructs the concept early in the first book:
    Rekkon: A callous exterior isn’t an uncommon way of protecting ideals, Captain; it hides the idealists from the derision of fools and cowards. But it also immobilizes them, so that, in trying to preserve their ideals, one risks losing them.
  • Killer Bear Hug: Chewbacca eventually inflicts one of these on Egome Fass in Han Solo and the Lost Legacy. Their final fight (after the two have repeatedly crossed paths) ends with the two heavyweights simply grabbing each other in their arms and squeezing, alternating lifting each other clear of the ground. Chewie eventually wins, finally squeezing Fass until something important (presumably Fass' spine) goes CRACK.
  • Living Legend: Gallandro.
    Badure: Gallandro? Slick, you're talking about the guy who single-handedly hijacked the Quamar Messenger on her maiden run and took over that pirate's nest, Geedon V, all by himself. And he went to the gun against the Malorm family, drawing head bounty on all five of them. And no one has ever beaten the score he rolled up when he was flying a fighter with Marso's Demons. Besides which, he's the only man who ever forced the Assassins' Guild to default on a contract; he personally canceled half of their Elite Circle—one at a time—plus assorted journeymen and apprentices.
  • Mega-Corp: The Corporate Sector Authority is a big-business-out-of-control counterpart to the Empire's big-government-out-of-control. It's described as "owner, employer, landlord, government, and military," and obsessively preoccupied with stamping out competition from small-time, independent "freighter bums" like Han and Chewie. The Empire, for its part, mostly leaves the CSA alone to run its systems as it sees fit.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: The Corporate Sector, where corporations own entire regions of space. In fact the government, the Corporate Sector Authority, is just an umbrella corporation owned by them jointly. They don't like competition from smaller business entities, perhaps unsurprisingly.
  • Orphaned Punchline: A scene begins as Han is telling Chewbacca a joke, right as Chewie is drinking some foamy beer, so the laughing Wookiee sends suds flying everywhere. When Chewie gets irritated, Han points out that's how the joke was told to him, too.
  • Our Showers Are Different: In Han Solo and the Lost Legacy Han pays for the use of an "omniron" at a spa. Feeling the need for distraction, Han sets it for "maximum treatment", which includes fifteen-second cycles of icy water, "sonics" that vibrate his skin, waves of heat, streams of detergent, foam, air nozzles, and emollients applied by "autoapplicators". Meanwhile, Chewbacca is enjoying the use of a room dedicated to "more hirsute clientele"; while he floats in a zero-gee field, an electrostatic charge separates each of his individual hairs so that old oils and other dirt can be removed, before new oils and conditioners are applied. Other areas in the spa provide a wide variety of other services for many other species (such as "gill-flushes" for "piscine or amphibian life forms").
  • Quick Draw: All three novels feature Han in quick draw situations. In Han Solo at Star's End and Han Solo's Revenge, Han uses trickery and avoids a true fight against, respectively, Uul Rha Shan and Gallandro. In Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, Han actually does draw against Gallandro, and loses, getting wounded. Shortly thereafter, Gallandro is outdrawn... by automated laser beams.
  • Ram by Braking: Han pulls this off in a spaceship in Han Solo at Star's End. The Millennium Falcon is temporarily attached to a gigantic freight barge (normally a strictly robot-controlled vessel) but a pursuing Corporate Sector Authority dreadnought has managed to lock on with a Tractor Beam. Han dumps the barge's cargo of grain into the warship's Tractor Beam (temporarily blinding the warship's sensors), activates the barge's retrothrusters, and then blasts the Falcon loose. The battlewagon collides with the barge (slicing the barge in half while the dreadnought also takes considerable damage) while the Falcon successfully speeds away.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Han's very existence is built on this.
  • Revenge Myopia: In Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, J'uouch goes berserk when her brother dies while trying to kill Han and tries to kill him for revenge. Then she gets attacked by Hasti Forge, whose sister J'uoch killed in cold blood. The fight ends in a Disney Villain Death for J'uoch.
    J'uoch: He killed my brother! I'll kill Solo if I have to blow these mountains apart.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Averted. It's mentioned that even with the large amount of space the Empire controls, even more is outside its domain. All of Han's adventures in this series take place in the Corporate Sector, a mostly-uninhabited region controlled and exploited by various corporations with the Empire never making a physical appearance.
  • Shock Collar: In Han Solo's Revenge, the Lurrian slaves captured by Magg and Zlarb are chained together, the collars acting as Shock Collars: the slavers can hit the whole string at once in an emergency.
  • Showdown at High Noon: In Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, Han faces down the legendary gunslinger Gallandro. The two of them have been working together, until Gallandro decides it's time for a showdown. Gallandro wins the quick draw and wounds Han, but shortly thereafter steps into a restricted zone with his drawn gun, activating a no-weapons system. Gallandro is cut down by a dozen lasers at once.
  • Siblings in Crime:
    • Han Solo at Star's End features a sympathetic version, with two brothers who work for Doc Vandergate's outfit of outlaw technicians.
    • Gallandro's employers in Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, are a pair of murderous twins who run a mining camp.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Han and Chewie are happy to transport all kinds of things, ranging from the illegal (guns, drugs, escaped convicts) to the bizarre (nature documentaries). Their one hard rule is that they will not, ever, transport slaves. When a trafficker tries to force them to do so, it ends very badly for him.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The Trianii Cat People aliens often become the "Triani" (with just one concluding i) in other books referencing them.
  • Stock Ness Monster: The Swimming People of Dellalt are essentially intelligent lake-dwelling plesiosaurs.
  • The Speechless: Pakka, who was so traumatized by the Espos that he's been rendered mute.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: In Han Solo at Star's End, Han determines that one of the people on his ship is The Mole. The traitor flees, hoping to find a place on the Falcon where he can hole up, but stumbles into the airlock instead. Once he gets the information he needs, Han remarks that it's just as well he stumbled into the airlock since he would've ended up there anyway, and opens the outer door.
  • The Trickster: Han Solo, to a degree. In the Brian Daley novels he pulls a wide array of tricks, with a playfulness that nicely offsets his grimmer, mercenary side.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: In Han Solo's Revenge Fiolla uses the exhaust from a swoop to disable a man who is trying to kill Han with a vibroblade. Very shortly afterwards one of the man's colleagues tries the same trick on Han and Fiolla when everyone is in an aerial swoop chase, and for a while the chase turns into a dogfight with both sides trying to use their swoop exhausts as weapons.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: Han Solo and the Lost Legacy involves Han and Chewie getting involved with a bunch of treasure-hunters looking for the lost treasure of Xim the Despot, a pre-Republic warlord who once ruled a mighty empire and reputedly left behind an immense (but possibly mythical) treasure. They wind up finding the "treasure," but it turns out to be a large stockpile of stuff that was vital and hard-to-find strategic war supplies back in Xim's day, but has long since become obsolete or common as dirt. Han and Chewie are able to scrounge just enough valuables out of the junk to more-or-less break even on the whole fiasco, while their companions have to be content with treating the treasure as an archeological find—one large enough to occupy the rest of Skynx's academic career, so he promptly hires the others to assist him in cataloguing and studying it.
  • Zerg Rush: In The Lost Legacy, Guardian Corps droids perish by the dozens in the mining camp battle, being run over by construction vehicles or shot by firing lines of riflemen, turret gunners, or the cannons of a freighter. However, few of those initially successful opponents survive, as hundreds of robots concentrate on them until the war robots' combined numbers and power are too much.

Alternative Title(s): Han Solo At Stars End, Han Solos Revenge, Han Solo And The Lost Legacy