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Literature / The Han Solo Trilogy

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The Han Solo Trilogy is a trilogy of Star Wars Legends novels written by A. C. Crispin. The three books are:

  • The Paradise Snare (1997)
  • The Hutt Gambit (1997)
  • Rebel Dawn (1998)

As the title might suggest, the stories focus on Han Solo, and specifically on his adventures in the ten or so years leading up to A New Hope, as he goes from Street Urchin and petty thief, to Imperial pilot, to the Loveable Rogue we all know and love. Along the way, he gathers friends and allies both new and familiar; Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and the Millennium Falcon all appear for the first time in The Hutt Gambit, for example, and Han doesn't acquire the Falcon until Rebel Dawn.

Confusingly, this is the second trilogy of books to focus on Han Solo's early life. Nearly twenty years earlier, Brian Daley wrote 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 three chapters in the middle of Rebel Dawn. So the chronology goes:


The Paradise SnareThe Hutt Gambit → The beginning of Rebel DawnThe Han Solo Adventures → The rest of Rebel Dawn.

Similarly, Crispin set The Lando Calrissian Adventures during and after The Hutt Gambit; Han meets Lando just before those stories begin.

The Han Solo Trilogy provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: All of Han's girlfriends over the course of the series. Salla Zend is a gunrunning smuggler, and Xaverri has a day job as an illusionist but also runs cons against Imperials with Han's help. When Han first meets Bria Tharen, she is a slave addicted to the Ylesian priests' Exultation emanations, but in the course of breaking her addiction she discovers the cause of the Rebellion and becomes a high-ranking commando and spy.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In regards to Durga, as previously seen in Darksaber and Shadows of the Empire. Much like Aaron Allston did for Warlord Zsinj in the X-Wing Series, Crispin takes a one-dimensional villain created by another author and turns him into a more complex character.
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  • Affably Evil: Crispin does the impossible and makes Jabba the Hutt 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.
  • Analogy Backfire: Imperial governor Sarn Shild gives a Rousing Speech calling for a crackdown on the Hutts, culminating in a pledge that they will be brought to their knees! "Um... figuratively speaking, of course."
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Ganar Tos, Teroenza's servant, has a creepy desire for Bria. While at first she's not bothered too much by it, since he doesn't do anything, before she knows it he's bringing her before Teroenza to get married. At no point is she asked for consent, and it's clear neither one cares. Bria only manages to delay this by insisting on following Corellian custom, which requires the bride to wear a green dress. After this, she escapes with Han before the delay is up.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Han is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who is always claiming that he sticks his neck out for no one and is only interested in profit, but does the right thing when the chips are down regardless. He gathers friends and allies because of his hidden altruism—rescuing Chewie from slavery and taking in Jarik, a Nar Shaddaa street urchin, for example.
    • Bria is a Classical Anti-Hero in The Paradise Snare (held in slavery by addiction and only able to escape because of Han) and progresses to an Unscrupulous Hero in the early Rebellion, where even by the standards of an insurgent group her methods are harsh.
  • Arc Welding: These books followed on quite a bit of previous lore on Han's past from various other sources, and tried to incorporate and integrate much of it, sometimes requiring minor Retcons in the process. Some of this reaches into Continuity Porn at times, referencing incredibly obscure things such as the very earliest licensed comic books, while others concern quite major events in the history of the setting. At the same time, the trilogy still leaves many things unexplored, presumably to leave it open for other authors in the future (or George Lucas himself, if he wanted to do anything with it), or else due to the writer's own preferences. There is almost nothing on Han's years at the Military Academy, for example.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: How Garris Shrike meets his end. Han can't bring himself to shoot Shrike in cold blood, even though he knows that Shrike is a danger to him and he's trying to make himself pull the trigger. The problem is solved for him when another bounty hunter shoots and kills Shrike, so that he can collect the bounty on Han.
  • The Beard: As part of her work with the Corellian Resistance, Bria serves as this to Moff Sarn Shild (under a false name), since his sexual tastes aren't for human females. It is implied he likes members of other species, which the speciesist Empire he serves wouldn't tolerate.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Bria is part of the Rebel unit that steals the plans for the first Death Star, before transmitting them to Princess Leia's ship. The unit swallows poison pills to prevent imminent capture and interrogation by the Empire.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed:
    • Moff Sarn Shild kills himself after his failed attack on Nar Shaddaa. Having received word that the Emperor has summoned him back to Coruscant and made it clear he is most displeased, Sarn figures that anything would be better than facing Palpatine's wrath—and almost certainly a slow and agonizing death. Given just how sadistic Palpatine famously is and that he knew the Moff was planning to rebel against him, it's very likely that Shild was right.
    • After transmitting the plans to Princess Leia's ship, the surviving members of Bria's unit (including Bria herself) all kill themselves by taking poison pills rather than to risk being later captured and tortured into giving up the information by the Empire, then no doubt being killed.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Han is incapable of speaking shryiiwook, Chewbacca's language. Chewie can't speak Basic. Both can understand the other just fine however so they get along with no problem (a surprisingly large number of other people also appear to know shryiiwook too). Han also had this earlier with Jalus Nebl, a Sullustan.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Hutts, like slugs (their closest real-world equivalent, which is also used as an insult for them), are hermaphrodites, 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's parent Aruk and Jabba's parent Zorba do).
  • Black and Gray Morality: 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 don't even become the Rebel Alliance until the last book (with the unification of three major groups), so for most of the series, there's lots of different "rebel" groups that are largely disconnected from each other, and no one to give a What the Hell, Hero? 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.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: For Bria Tharen and her Red Hand Squadron. Boba Fett later confirms her death when he brings news of it to Han.
  • Bounty Hunter: A number of them are sent after Han over stealing from the Besadii clan, including Boba Fett, who becomes his nemesis. Bria is also hunted for freeing many Besadii slaves.
  • Brainwashed: Ylesian Pilgrims undergo brainwashing into the scam One and the All cult through them combining Exultation (a highly addictive sensation they receive from the priests that is claimed to have a divine source) with a diet which leaves them always malnourished, thus more malleable than usual.
  • Call-Forward:
    • In the first book, Han Solo's accounts are flagged by Corellian Security Force Agent Hal Horn, the father of Corran Horn from the X-Wing Series.
    • Greedo is noted as being a terrible shot and an idiot who will most likely get himself killed.
    • A subtler one: Jabba is already well known to enjoy humanoid females, and after meeting with Bria to coordinate the attack on Ylesia, comments that he wouldn't mind having her as a dancer. Han replies that it might not be wise to try to force a trained and experienced Rebel commander into that situation. As anyone who's seen Return of the Jedi knows, Jabba will find out soon enough just how true that is.
  • Cat Folk: The Togorians. As a nod to Real Life 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.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Emperor Palpatine (as usual), 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. However, he doesn't anticipate the smugglers making their own pact with the admiral in charge. It doesn't affect how the plan goes off, since both smugglers and Palpatine want the same thing (for the admiral to retreat from the battle), but Darth Vader still summarily executes him for treason.
    • Xizor, even more so: 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.
  • City Planet: Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa. The two both have many different levels, the worst on the bottom. In The Hutt Gambit, Han notes that the uppermost levels of Nar Shaddaa look like the lowermost levels of Coruscant. He promptly resolves NEVER to visit the lowermost levels of Nar Shaddaa.
  • The Clan: Hutt society is divided into these, which also double as crime families.
  • Code of Honour:
    • Roa's Rules, which Han, Chewie, and their general crowd within the smuggling community try to live by. Some of the rules are just common sense (never gamble unless you're prepared to lose, always be prepared for a quick getaway, never pilot a ship under the influence), but others are moral imperatives (never ignore a call for help, never take from those who are poorer than yourself).
    • Boba Fett has one as well. He considers himself a law-abiding being, but also tries to remain honorable in his dealings with his clients, and at one point is shown trying to figure out how to respond to an offer from a Hutt not to honor a bounty to kill someone while still satisfying his code.
    • The Hutts have a rudimentary one, though how much they live up to it fluctuates throughout the series. One of the rules, alluded to in the Hutt Council from Rebel Dawn, is that it's okay to exploit other species, while some better behavior is expected between Hutts.
    • The male Togorians like Muuurgh, along with Wookies in general, have strict ones. In the former case, if they gave their word of honor, it won't be broken unless the person who received this got it under false pretenses. Wookies, on the other hand, will serve whoever they owe a life debt. Both also show a strong loyalty toward their families, friends, friends' families etc. When he introduces Muuurgh to Chewie, Han notes they have a lot in common.
  • Collapsing Lair: Teroenza's treasure room suffers a great deal of damage in the first book, and the damage to the support pillars results in they and the ceiling collapsing (killing Zavval the Hutt in the process from everything landing on him). Unusually for the trope, the room gets rebuilt between books.
  • Continuity Nod: Dozens of them. Durga the Hutt (from Darksaber) is an important character, as are several characters and locations from Dark Empire. Han hears stories about the Jedi as told by an old bartender. There are even a few shout-outs to the Marvel Star Wars comics.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Bria's forced wedding date and Mrrov getting shipped off the planet to slavery fall on the same day, so both can be rescued at once.
  • Cyanide Pill: Bria and Red Hand Squadron take fatal "lullaby" pills off-page to avoid being tortured into giving up information by the Imperials in the event of capture.
  • Daddy's Girl: Bria's clearly very close to her father, and vice versa. This is in contrast with her mother and brother, especially the former who tries to control her life.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Xaverri's husband and children were killed by the Empire, inspiring her vendetta against them. She declines to go into details on what happened, saying recounting it might kill her. Han's past also counts-he was a street urchin recruited by a criminal into working on his behalf as a beggar, con artist and thief.
  • Deface of the Moon: 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 the whole moon.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Bria went through a period of this after she left secondary school and was heading off to college. She'd planned on being a museum curator and was engaged to a young man who came from a very wealthy family, but didn't feel happy with either of these. Her mother was furious when she broke off their engagment after she caught her fiancee cheating, and demanded Bria get back together with him because of the "great match" the pair had in her mind. Bria refused to do so though, and when she attended a service by missionaries from Ylesia, experiencing Exultation, it felt right to her. She sold her jewelry to buy passage, left Corellia, and became a Pilgrim on Ylesia. However, it turned out the entire religion is a scam to get slaves, first processing illegal spice on the planet and then sold off elsewhere. Her addiction to the Exultation and devastation at learning that it was lies took Bria a long time to shed. Eventually she found another purpose however, joining the Corellian Resistance and helping liberate other Ylesian slaves.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Not a supernatural example, but the fact that Han kills a Hutt lord in The Paradise Snare raises some impressed eyebrows among those who've heard of it. Jiliac and Jabba respect him for having done it, since the Hutt in question was one of their competitors, but warn him not to let it become widely known that a human killed a Hutt and got away with it.
  • Doomed by Canon: It is pretty obvious that Han and Bria are not going to end up together—or at least, not live happily ever after...
  • The Dreaded:
    • Black Sun and its leader Prince Xizor. Even the Hutts, among the most powerful criminal elements there in the galaxy, are wary of it. Aruk repeatedly warns Durga against involving himself with Black Sun or being in Xizor's debt. His rival Jiliac hopes that he follows this advice, as she has no desire to be in competition with Black Sun.
    • Darth Vader is spoken of only in fearful, hushed tones. When he's coming to "speak" with Admiral Greelanx after his defeat, it's clearly terrifying (and for very good reasons, of course).
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Danalis, one of the other street urchins recruited by Garris Shrike, killed herself after finally realizing he would never have her face fixed in return for her work (she'd been horribly disfigured as a child).
    • Bria briefly contemplates suicide looking over the edge of a turbolift on Coruscant and realizing how easy it would be fall off, then she'd no longer have to suffer from her addiction, before Han pulled her back.
    • Moff Sarn Shild kills himself after his fleet is defeated at Nar Shaddaa and he's been summoned for an inquiry on Coruscant, knowing that he's just delaying the inevitable otherwise.
  • Duel to the Death: Durga challenges Jiliac after he learns she poisoned his parent. He manages to win despite her far larger girth.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In a sense. This trilogy marks the first appearance of Baron Soontir Fel—Crispin asked Michael Stackpole whether there were any good Imperial pilots available, and Stackpole came up with Fel, later featuring him in the X-Wing Series.
  • The End of the Beginning: 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 this old man and a kid who want to book passage someplace...
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Durga, though a ruthless crime boss like most Hutts, does genuinely love his parent Aruk, to the point that he keeps its extent a secret (most of their kind would see this as unseemly, if his affection were greater than his desire for self-gain). He's distraught when Aruk is killed, and hunts down the murderers. It's subverted with Jabba, who though fond of his aunt Jiliac doesn't let this get in the way of his ambitions.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Only a short while after hiring him, the t'landa Til priests think nothing of revealing to Han that Exultation and the entire religion built around it are a giant scam, and laughing at the stupidity of the pilgrims who have fallen for it. Admittedly they have no way of knowing that he's fallen in love with one of the pilgrims in the meantime, but it still says something about them that they can't imagine that anyone "strong minded" could be offended by the revelation.
    • In a minor example, the female slaver who Bria encounters during her raid on the Helot's Shackle just cannot fathom the idea that Red Hand Squadron want to free slaves, not steal them for sale later. This gives Bria a distraction as the woman attempts to comprehend the idea, and she shoots her.
  • Exact Words: While playing a high-stakes card game, Lando offers Han a marker for "any ship on [his] lot" when he runs short of cash. As he doesn't specify that he means his inventory, Han uses the marker to claim Lando's personal ship, the Millennium Falcon, which Lando had left parked in said lot. Lando tries to object, but Han presses him on his literal statement, and Lando unhappily agrees.
  • Explosive Decompression: In The Paradise Snare, Han remembers having to clean up after someone cycled the airlock to kill themselves, and it was apparently quite messy.
  • Extended Disarming: In The Hutt Gambit, Boba Fett is forced to disarm, which takes several minutes and produces a large pile of weapons.
  • The Fagin: Garris Shrike doesn't have a whole gang of children (most of his underlings are older), but raises Han in this way, having him steal, con, and participate in illegal swoop races for him while becoming progressively more cruel and abusive.
  • Faking the Dead: Han fakes his death by leaving the fake ID he'd used on a dead bounty hunter who came after him (he killed the man in self-defense) then erasing the guy's face with a blaster bolt. However, this only works for so long, and later Teroenza finds out he's alive, so more bounty hunters come after him.
  • False Utopia: Ylesia turns out to be one for Pilgrims who settle there. While they have hard work, the Exultation gives them a feeling of intense pleasure and makes them feel united to the One. Unbeknownst for them though, in reality the Exultation is not divine or spiritual at all, it's just a natural mating call t'landa Til males use which if used on other species will affect them in this way. Han sees through it right away, but he isn't a believer. Worse, in the end they're all sold as slaves, and sent to mines or the Imperials' military brothels. Since the Exultation is very addictive though, most of them don't want liberation (they're not aware of the rest).
  • Fantastic Drug: Spice, which has various types and is highly restricted, thus very profitable for smuggling. There's the Exultation as well, which isn't an actual substance but in fact the mating call male t'landa Til use with a drug-like effect on members of other species. It is equally addictive though, and used to hook "pilgrims" in their fake religion on Ylesia.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Hutts consider themselves the superior species, and thus entitled to cheat and exploit the "lesser" ones. Xizor seems to share these sentiments, and uses this to flatter Hutts by noting that their species are cold-blooded and therefore rational, rather than hot-blooded and given to emotions as mammals like humans are. It goes both ways, of course, as the Empire bases its rule at least partly on the idea of human supremacy.
  • Fetish: Jabba's taste for scantily clad humanoid females is brought up several times. It turns out to be something viewed as perverse and bizarre by fellow Hutts.
  • Feuding Families: Desilijic and Besadii, the two most powerful Hutt clans/crime families.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: The trilogy shows how Han was an officer in the Imperial Navy, and what happened to cause him to leave and begin a life of crime. Or rather back to it, since he already worked as a con artist, drug smuggler and thief before. He was blacklisted from legal piloting with his dishonorable discharge.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Bria Tharen is this, from the point of view of the t'landa Til and their Besadii overlords. At the beginning of the trilogy, she's just one humble and self-effacing pilgrim among thousands. By the end of the first book, she's indirectly caused Han Solo, Muurgh, and Mrovv to escape with her, stealing a number of the high priest's precious valuables and killing the Hutt overseer of the colony. By the third book, she's become a Rebel Commander whose squadron specializes in freeing slaves and gives no quarter to their owners, which is beginning to put a serious dent in Besadii's trade. And by the end of that book, she and an entire Rebel force come back to Ylesia and destroy the entire operation for good, along with Besadii's main source of income. Making matters even worse is that Durga had just had to indebt himself further and further to underworld kingpin Xizor by asking him for help and protection against her raids, and he was planning to pay off his debt by sharing Ylesian profits. With those profits gone, any hope of keeping his independence from Xizor disappears, and he becomes little more than another one of his underlings, as seen in his next appearance in Shadows of the Empire. Beware the Quiet Ones, indeed.
  • Greed: This is basically the driving force of Hutt culture, to the point that even valuing close family over profit is looked down upon.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Han surmises that Shug Nix has suffered from this due to his mixed background given Shug's wariness when they first meet, probably from Imperial officials mostly, as the Empire views anyone of such heritage as second-class citizens.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Shug Nix is the son of a Human father and mother who is from another species. Han can tell right away from his looks, though they're not that different from a full Human.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Many of the Ylesian "pilgrims" don't want to be liberated, as they're addicted by Exultation and don't realize that it'll end once they're sold as slaves in much worse conditions. They're also initially unaware that it's even slavery, as they've been scammed into believing the religion.
  • Has a Type: Han with anti-Imperial revolutionaries. His first love Bria becomes one in the second book, while another lover, Xaverri, is already one when he meets her, and, of course, Leia in the movies and later Legends stories.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Han, after Bria leaves him at the end of the first book. This plays a big part in forming the cynical personality he's developed by the time we meet him in the movies.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Muuurgh is a Punch-Clock Villain keeping an eye on Han for the Ylesians, but readily switches sides to help Han and Bria escape when he learns that his mate, Mrrov, is also a Ylesian pilgrim and his bosses had kept that fact from him.
  • Hermaphrodite: The Hutts. As a result, they're capable of reproducing asexually. In these books, this is the only form of reproduction we see them use, though in some others they're also shown reproducing sexually.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Though he has other romances over the course of the books, Bria is clearly the one Han never got over and wanted the most. Of course, we know he ends up with Leia in the end, though it still holds up during the trilogy. Interestingly, all his other girlfriends are dark-haired.
  • Heroic Suicide: Bria and Red Hand Squadron take suicide pills to prevent the vital information they have being tortured out of them by the Imperials when facing imminent capture.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Han and Chewbacca from the beginning of book 2 onward. In lesser measure, Han and Lando.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Expressions like "The rat's in the kitchen" have been modified with "vrelt" (apparently a similar creature) instead of "rat" and so on.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Averted with Han, who at one point mentions he doesn't believe in any gods and had been made clear as irreligious in general earlier. He remains neutral or respectful about religion however, unlike in the first film, where he'd mocked the idea of the Force (that was later though). The Ylesian scam religion even had outraged him due to exploiting people's spiritual aspirations, which ends up with them addicted to enslave them, rather than saying this shows the danger of religion, or simply that it's all delusion.
  • Human Shield: When the bank manager on Coruscant tells Han his account's been frozen, then attempts to keep him there until he's arrested, Han takes him hostage instead and uses the guy this way. It ends up with the guy dead as stormtroopers shoot at them while Han is making his escape.
  • I Gave My Word: Muuurgh gave his word of honor to keep his contract with the t'lanta Til priests on Ylesia, which includes watching Han and killing him if he ever betrays them. As honor is the core tenet of his culture, he won't break it until Han proves they lied to him. Since there's no honor working with a liar, the contract is voided, and he works with Han to go against them. Boba Fett also believes in this, having Han inform Bria's father she had died because of a promise he would do this.
  • I Have This Friend...: Han gives Salla his own backstory in the Imperial Starfleet in this format, telling her how a friend of his tried to "do the right thing" only to be stripped of rank and kicked out of the service, partly because his own commanding officer committed perjury against him; there was only one other witness, and "who's going to believe a Wookiee?" Subverted in that it's pretty clear that both of them understand who he's talking about.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Kibbick dies, when Teroenza impales him repeatedly with his horn (and then uses a blaster to disguise the wounds, blaming Bria Tharen's rebel cell for it).
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: 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.
  • I Owe You My Life: Chewbacca, according to his culture, owes Han a life debt for saving him. This means he makes it his duty to serve and protect Han. While first Han finds this annoying, but slowly warms up to him and then the pair grow into fast friends.
  • It's Personal:
    • Being embarrassed by Lando (who injects him with his own hypnotic drug and then forces him to disarm himself and fly away) provokes this reaction from Boba Fett. He keeps this personal grudge separate from his work, however.
    • Having Han Solo steal part of his collection, destroy part of his house, kill his boss, and run away with two of his slaves and one of his employees similarly provokes this reaction from Teroenza. He vows revenge and spends the rest of the trilogy trying to get it. Unlike Boba Fett, this very much interferes with his work.
    • Durga's determination to find the murderer of his parent Aruk. When he finds the proof that Jiliac is behind it, he challenges her to a duel to the death.
    • Bria Tharen's enslavement leaves her with this outlook towards slavers. Her unit develops a reputation for giving no quarter to slavers, and she devotes considerable effort toward convincing her superiors that it makes sense to destroy the Ylesia operation, even though it's not an Imperial target.
    • Xaverri's attitude towards the Empire, for having killed her loved ones in the past. When Han offers her an opportunity to help defeat an Imperial fleet, she leaps at the chance.
  • Kid Sidekick: Han picks one up for part of the trilogy, a Street Urchin from Nar Shaddaa named Jarik Solo who claims to be a distant relative. Han figures out quickly that it's not true, but likes him enough to keep him around and allows him to keep the last name.
  • Leave No Survivors: Red Hand Squadron has this policy toward slavers. They offer them no quarter. It's also the source of their name and emblem, a blood-dripping hand. However, as they're slavers, though it makes some uncomfortable this is portrayed as paying evil unto evil.
  • Long-Lived: Hutts frequently live to a millennia or so. Wookiees don't have quite this longevity, but Chewie is about two hundred years when he's introduced, and doesn't seem to be considered old. His father is still around, though elderly. Dewlanna was over six hundred when she died, and also old by Wookiee standards.
  • Lovable Rogue: Han of course, but also Lando and Mako.
  • Love at First Sight: Han's reaction to seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time. Being already a seasoned pilot and starship expert, he can tell immediately that it's been heavily modified and isn't the ordinary freighter it looks like. He never loses sight of the ship again, and acquires it the first chance he gets.
  • Mad Oracle: Han, Chewie, and Mako encounter one during The Hutt Gambit, who claims that Han will face betrayal from those he trusts (Bria in Rebel Dawn; Lando in The Empire Strikes Back; Mako in Dark Empire; Zeen, Kid DXo'ln, Wynni and Ana Blue in The New Rebellion; and finally his own son in Legacy of the Force. 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.
  • Made a Slave: All the Pilgrims who go to Ylesia really are being enslaved. The religion they follow is just a scam, and they're addicted to control them by what's passed off as a spiritual gift. After a year they get sold off planet to brothels and mines. If any realize earlier it's all a scam, they're threatened into staying. The Empire has also enslaved many Wookies (they were declared a slave race, although a lot are still free, and others like Chewie have escaped).
  • Mama Bear: 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.
  • Master of Illusion: Xaverri, who makes a good living as a stage magician. This becomes a Chekhov's Skill when she is brought back towards the end of The Hutt Gambit, and creates the image of a heavily armed battle fleet around Nar Shaddaa in order to frighten and distract the approaching Imperial warships, helping the smugglers in their battle.
  • My Beloved Smother: Bria's mother was like this. She was constantly pushing her to make a "good match", no matter what Bria thought about it. Even after Bria found out her fiancee had cheated and broke up with him, her mother insisted on her getting back together with him. All this led to Bria having very low self-esteem, contributing to her running away to become a pilgrim on Ylesia (which, it turns out, is a scam for enslaving people).
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Han is very upset when he finds Bria is the (apparent) concubine of a Moff, saying he never imagined she'd be so "cheap". Later he learns the truth (Bria was just the beard to the Moff as cover for spying on behalf of the Corellian Resistance). In fact, she hasn't even been with any men after Han, but he's had about four different girlfriends since her.
  • Mysterious Past: Han never finds out what happened for him to get dumped on the street, and doesn't remember anything past that (as his mind shuts off the fragments of memory which he has). Garris Shrike appears to know, and goads him using it, but is killed before he can reveal what really happened. Han's aunt also knows apparently, but is so distraught to see him he never learns anything of his past from her.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • During Han's painful memory of his Insignia Rip-Off Ritual, he makes mention of his Corellian Bloodstripes (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 of Bloodstripes (Red for First Class and Yellow for Second Class) and he's earned them both.
    • Notably, the Noodle Incident mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back (where Lando appears furious at Han when they meet again over "that stunt you pulled") happens in Rebel Dawn. The Corellian Resistance screws Han and his smuggler pals out of their share of the treasure owed to them in the raid on Ylesia, 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.
  • Orbital Bombardment: The Imperial Moff running the sector orders a Base Delta Zero (total destruction operation) against Nar Shaddaa in The Hutt Gambit. 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.
  • Parental Abandonment: Something happened with Han's parents, so he ended up a street urchin, but he never learns exactly what. Most likely they're dead.
  • Parental Substitute: Dewlanna, who watches over Han growing up on the Trader's Luck, and sacrifices her life to help him escape.
  • Planet of Hats: The Hutts are basically an entire species of gangsters, with every Hutt clan also running a criminal syndicate. We never see or hear of a single one who isn't like this. "Kajidic" is the word for their guiding philosophy, loosely translated as "Somebody's got to have it, why not us?" and also used for both their clans or syndicates. Their entire culture literally revolved around engaging in organized crime. Wookies and male Togorians all follow a strict code of honor, plus being fearsome warriors (the female Togorians have a separate culture of being more the intellectual types, which they also strictly abide by). Pretty standard for Star Wars works, admittedly.
  • Plot Hole: In the first book, Teroenza thinks of how he made up the Ylesian religion. However, in the next book his boss Aruk does the same thing. It's possible they both had a hand and don't give the other credit though.
  • Prequel: Leading up to when Han first meets Luke and Obi-Wan in A New Hope. Rebel Dawn ends about 30 seconds before he sits down in the cantina booth with them.
  • Private Military Contractors: Black Sun has several such companies under its control, and lends one to Durga in Rebel Dawn to protect Besadii's operation on Ylesia (the Hutts normally rely on Gamorreans and other guards who are essentially thugs, and far less effective) in return for thirty percent of the profits over five years. This makes liberating the slaves there far more difficult for the Corellian rebels and the smugglers which they enlisted.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: After learning his account's been frozen as Corellian Security has learned that he deposited proceeds from selling stolen goods, Han takes the bank manager hostage before he can get arrested. This gets the man killed as he's shot when stormtroopers try to stop Han escaping. Yes, he didn't intend it, but it's probably the worst thing Han does in the trilogy. He never has to face any consequences for it either. This is just fine apparently, because he is the hero.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Wookies and male Togorians. Both strongly believe in a code of honor, but also are ferocious in war or the hunt. Wookies in particular will serve anyone who saved them from death. Both show great loyalty to their family or friends in general.
  • Psychic Strangle: Darth Vader executes Admiral Winstel Greelanx this way, supposedly for losing the battle, but actually because Greelanx has information that points to the fact that the Emperor set Shild up to fail in his attack on Nar Shaddaa, and they want to make sure he doesn't piece it together or blab to someone who would.
  • Reality Ensues: Someone isn't going to kick an addiction overnight. Nor are they going to just get over the issues which led them into getting addicted under a cult starting out. Unfortunately, this means Bria and Han's first affair is doomed to fail.
  • Releasing from the Promise: 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.
    • Notably, this comes up again later, after Chewbacca's marriage—Han doesn't try to release him so much as just assume that this means he's been released, as his new duties would obviously take precedence over a life debt. This causes a minor meltdown from Chewie's new wife, who takes it as an insult to her husband that Han would think he'd abandon his life debt. He quickly apologizes for the misunderstanding.
  • Retirony: Subverted - in the lead-up to the Battle of Nar Shaddaa, Roa announces that he's ready to retire and settle down with the woman he loves, and intends to do so after the battle. And indeed, despite getting shot down and narrowly escaping the wreckage before his fighter explodes, he recovers from his injuries, marries Lwyll and gets an honest job running Lando's used spaceship lot.
  • Rich Boredom: Bria came from a very wealthy family on Corellia, and felt empty with her life of luxury. After she'd attended a Ylesian service and experienced the Exultation, she ran away to become a Pilgrim on Ylesia. However, the entire faith turned out to be a scam for enslaving people.
  • Running Gag: Anytime Kibbick the Hutt is mentioned, it is pointed out that he is an idiot.
  • Scam Religion: The t'landa Til can produce a state of complete pleasure in a person. This state of pleasure is highly addictive. Normally it is used to attract t'landa Til females, but instead the self-appointed clergy use it to lure their victims to Ylesia. They go from planet to planet and recruit people. People who experience it and are not strong enough to resist it are drawn into it and become addicted. The pilgrims become slaves in the Ylesian spice factories. The "Exultation" is a major part of their day, when the pilgrims get their daily fix. These poor slaves are completely brainwashed and cannot live without their drug. The faux religion that the t'landa Til have established is just a ploy to get free slaves and spice. The whole operation is owned by the Hutts. When the slaves are brainwashed and dependent enough, they get shipped off to the spice mines of Kessel or sold as sex slaves to a brothel if they're good-looking.
  • Sex Slave: This is the fate of the attractive Ylesian Pilgrims after a year. Han realizes Bria will end up this way if he doesn't do something, and it spurs him to run away with her.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Discussed and averted. Han feels nervous about being messengers to Jiliac from Zavval, when the former might take out his displeasure about the message on them. Jalus reassures him the Hutts all agreed not to do this, however, because it caused them loss of profit from a breakdown in communication, and he's right. Jiliac doesn't harm them, just sends them back with a blistering retort.
  • Shout-Out: One of Han's aliases is "Jenos Idanian," an anagram for the other most famous movie hero portrayed by Harrison Ford.
  • Slave Liberation: Han helps Bria and Mrrov escape from Ylesia along with Muuurgh. Later he helps Chewie escape rather be shot for resisting an overseer's cruelty. Bria and her unit Red Hand Squadron later run many missions against the Ylesian slavers to free the Pilgrims who unknowingly have been enslaved and are sent off-planet for sale. She eventually organizes a plan to end the entire thing with a massive attack on the planet.
  • Slave Race: The Wookies have been declared slaves by the Empire for use of their great physical strength and technical skills. However, many still remain free on their home world. This is how Chewie met Han, as the latter rescued him from being shot by an overseer.
  • 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 (freeing a slave he'd fallen in love with in the process); later he's cashiered from the Imperial Navy after freeing another slave from his brutal Imperial taskmaster (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 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," this is arguably a case of Even Evil Has Standards. Even Boba Fett feels this way, though it didn't stop him working for slavers, or taking a bounty on Bria for freeing them.
  • Slut-Shaming: Han calls Bria a lowest-level streetwalker in Rodian when he's mad at her, based on her past (fake) relationship with a Moff. She's so appalled Bria is driven to tears and nearly draws down on him. Note too that she wasn't actually promiscuous at all-the accusation was enough.
  • The So-Called Coward: Lando, being primarily a gambler, con man, and ladies' man, occasionally gets this treatment from those who don't know better. Boba Fett is genuinely shocked when Lando, offered a chance to escape him, refuses to take it unless his other prisoner, Bria Tharen, is also released.
  • Sound-Only Death: Vader Force-choking Greelanx for taking a bribe and throwing the battle of Nar Shaddaa. Han listens to it while hidden in a nearby closet.
  • Space Pirates: Recurring throughout the trilogy. In The Paradise Snare, some of them are hired by Desilijic to attack Besadii spice shipments, with Han barely escaping one of the raids. In The Hutt Gambit, a pirate fleet commanded by Drea Renthal is hired by the Hutts to defend Nal Hutta from Imperial attack, siding with the smugglers fighting them near Nar Shaddaa. In Rebel Dawn, the same fleet attacks a star liner carrying Boba Fett and his captives, Lando and Bria: because of her past relationship with Lando, she pressures Fett into releasing them. Also most smugglers are basically pirates themselves according to Lando.
  • The Starscream:
    • Teroenza, towards the Besadii clan. Not at first, but being unappreciated by his superiors, having an idiot as his immediate boss, being frustrated in his desire for revenge against Han Solo, and realizing that he can run the Ylesia operation perfectly well without oversight leads him to become this: when Desilijic offers him a chance to turn on Aruk, he jumps at the offer.
    • Sarn Shild, the Imperial governor of the sector including Hutt space, is this towards Emperor Palpatine, dreaming of breaking the Outer Rim off from the Empire to become an independent nation, and possibly even then conquering the rest of the galaxy. Unfortunately, Palpatine is aware of his ambition (and may even be using the Force to encourage it) and sets him up for a fall.
  • Starship Luxurious: The Queen of Empire, a two-kilometer long cruise ship, is the epitome of luxury. It was raided by pirates.
  • Start of Darkness: 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 Space Pirates, 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 in Dark Empire, he sells his old friend out to the Empire. Not because he's under any pressure to do so as Lando was in The Empire Strikes Back, but just for credits.
  • Stupid Evil: The Empire during the events of the books as it becomes increasingly repressive. As Han reflects, tax people to death paying for your war machine, then massacre them just for peacefully protesting this, and naturally many will find armed revolt is the only option (plus Imperial officers that retain a conscience will defect).
  • The Syndicate: Black Sun is an interstellar criminal organization so powerful it even has entire mercenary companies in its employ. The Hutt kajidics are this on a smaller scale, and even they fear Black Sun (before Durga, none were dumb enough to get into bed with them however).
  • The Teetotaler: Bria is revealed to not drink as she's afraid she'll like it too much. Having been addicted to something before, she's afraid the same thing might happen again.
  • Telepathy: Glitterstim temporarily gives users this ability. Bria uses some to reveal that Teroenze, the High Priest of her religion, really is just a con artist who made the entire thing up.
  • Their First Time: It is heavily implied that Bria and Han have sex on the Togorian beach for the first time.
  • Thieves' Cant: "Trader talk." A sort of dialect that mixes multiple languages together and is very heavy on colloquialisms and You No Take Candle. Han uses it to speak with Jalus Nebl, a fellow pilot for the Ylesian operation, when he wants to make sure their bosses can't understand.
  • Third-Person Person: Muuurgh refers to himself this way at first, before Han corrects him on the use of the personal pronoun. Mrrov though doesn't do this. It seems to be from his just being rusty with Basic. Jalus Nebl also does this however, in his own language.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: The R2 unit on the Ylesian Dream where Han stows away. It has to safeguard the life of a sentient being, and he shows the course will be too long for him to survive on the available oxygen. However, this conflicts with a restraining bolt it has preventing a course change, until he removes the device.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Someone used this method to kill themselves in Han's childhood.
  • Token Minority: Lando, Salla and one Alderaanian cop are the only black Humans in the books. Xaverri might be darker than white as well, though it's unclear.
  • Transgender: In tandem with being hermaphrodites, Hutts are apparently gender fluid, identifying as male most of the time, but female while pregnant and carrying their young in a pouch after birth.
  • Tribe of Priests: All clergy in the One and the All faith are males of the t'landa Til species. In fact, many Pilgrims don't even seem to know their species' name, and just call them "Priests". This is because only males of their kind are capable of the Exultation the faith is built around-it's really a mating call to t'landa Til females that also has a very pleasurable effect on other beings too, with the whole religion being a scam.
  • Truly Single Parent: Hutts, being hermaphrodites capable of asexual reproduction, often are this. Their children refer to them as simply "my parent" in this case, rather than "mother" or "father" (Hutts will also switch gender identities as they wish, and usually go from male to female during pregnancy, so this makes sense).
  • Upper-Class Twit: Played straight with Bria's mother and brother. Once Han returns Bria to her family, as soon as they discover he hasn't been entirely honest about his past, they report him to the police. Subverted with Bria's father, who opposes this and actually gives Han a generous loan to help him on his way, and with Bria herself. It's implied that the father being a Self-Made Man who also started out as a lowly pilot has a lot to do with his being sympathetic towards Han, and just generally less of an all-around snob. He also had a somewhat checkered past too, according to Bria, explaining his sympathy for Han.
  • Utopia: Alderaan has no pollution, little crime and no wars. Han is very dubious that it's true at first on being told this. However, after unsuccessfully trying to sell his glitterstim cargo there with no luck (as there isn't a market for narcotics on Alderaan) he admits it really is the case. Despite having little crime though, the police still exist, as Han is discovered trying to sell his cargo by an Alderaanian undercover cop and warned off.
  • Vow of Celibacy: Bria took such a vow as a Pilgrim on Ylesia, which means she's upset when Han kisses her and feels attracted to him. She also later tries to use this when Ganar Tos is having Teroenza marry them but the latter simply waves this aside by releasing her from it. After she's escaped with Han, having already learned that their religion was fake, Bria naturally no longer feels bound by this, and the pair have sex.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Bria Tharen intends the Ylesian operation to be this. She argues for her and her troops to be sent in to liberate it, partly for ideological reasons and partly in the hopes of recruiting some of the pilgrims, but also because many of her troops are still inexperienced and need to test themselves in real combat before taking on an enemy as deadly as the Empire. Unfortunately, Durga had already anticipated this and buffed up Ylesia's defenses by getting Xizor to send a private military firm to secure the place. The Rebels still win the battle, but it's bloodier than expected.
  • Wave Motion Gun: 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.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jabba, and not just any child, but his infant cousin.
  • Wretched Hive: Par for the course in Star Wars. The one we see the most is Nar Shaddaa, the "smugglers' moon" orbiting the homeworld of the Hutts, where Han and most of the other smugglers employed by them make their home. Zigzagged as although there's only one government official on-planet (he does basically nothing) most of its inhabitants are criminals and the lawless areas definitely do exist, there's also plenty of people who live or work on the planet fairly comfortably. It likely helps that the crime is mostly organized, and they wouldn't tolerate too many street crimes cutting into their profits.
  • You Killed My Father: After he finds out that Jiliac is the one who had Aruk (his parent) killed, Durga challenges her to a duel. He manages to kill her, narrowly.


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