"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."
From the moment Han Solo slid into frame surrounded by the most wretched scum and villainy Mos Eisley had to offer, fans have been obsessed. The bad boy with a heart of a gold may have already been a tried and true trope in 1977, but our favorite smuggler redefined its meaning when the Millennium Falcon came soaring back to the Death Star to save the day, and ever since, we’ve been willing to follow this fateful Corellian to the end of any galaxy.
Since our initial meeting, we’ve seen him make the legendary Kessel Run, lead a Galactic Rebellion, fall in love with a princess, become a father, and sacrifice himself in an effort to rid the darkness within the one he loved most. Victory, loss, love, and heartbreak have colored the onscreen journey of Han Solo, and that trademark smirk has accompanied him through it all.
But there are so many more adventures to be had.
Within the pages of both Legends and Canon, readers have witnessed the near entirety of Han’s life as he travels from the streets of Corellia to planets, freighters, and moons too numerous to count (in this collection, anyway). Although each creator assuredly brings their own take to the pilot, the theme of a daring scoundrel on the edge of the law is ever present throughout these stories.
If you love Han Solo, smugglers, bounty hunters, and heists, you can’t go wrong with this collection.
The Paradise Snare offers a glimpse into some of the most formative years of Han Solo’s life. After getting away from a rough upbringing on Corellia, Han looks to make his way in the galaxy as a pilot. Being new to the scene, he takes up a less than desirable job running cargo for priests in a religious colony on the planet Ylesia. However, dark secrets about the true nature of the colony soon emerge and force Han to make the toughest decision of his young life: stay and help the colonists or save his own skin.
AC Crispin pens a beautiful story with this novel that offers a rich, rewarding insight into Han’s earliest years. It’s one of the deepest dives you can take into the history of Solo. As the book progresses, readers will note more and more familiar characteristics of the galaxy’s scruffiest nerf herder.
The Hutt Gambit continues AC Crispin’s masterful addition to the Star Wars catalogue by bringing Han face to face with some of the most colorful characters in a galaxy far, far away. Within the second novel of Crispin’s trilogy, Han meets a Wookiee named Chewbacca, a gambler named Lando Calrissian, and he begins to work directly with one of the most vile factions imaginable: the Hutts.
However, when the Galactic Empire threatens not only Han’s business dealings, but possible the first home he’s ever known, he has to decide how far he’ll go to protect these new alliances - dare he call them friendships? And, of course, he’s being hunted by the notorious Boba Fett, because it couldn’t be too easy, right?
In the third installment of AC Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy, the final threads of Han’s backstory are expertly weaved together. After coming into possession of the Millennium Falcon, Han is looking for smuggling jobs. When he accidentally reunites with Bria Tharen, he is pulled into a mission with the Rebellion. However, not everything is as it seems, and Han soon finds himself on the wrong side of the Hutts, the Empire, and even supposed friends.
With Rebel Dawn, Crispin once again delivers a phenomenal story that not only serves as a perfect ending for her own trilogy, but a seamless springboard for the events of the Original Trilogy. Readers are in for an absolute treat as this fantastic trilogy comes to a close.
At Star’s End is the first book in Brian Daley’s Han Solo Adventures trilogy that depicts Han and Chewie working jobs throughout the Corporate Sector of the galaxy. In this novel, they discover a close friend and brilliant ship mechanic has been imprisoned by the Authority and go to rescue him. However, they didn’t plan on him being locked away in Star’s End—one of the most bizarre, nightmarish prisons the galaxy has to offer.
First published in 1979, Brian Daley was one of the earliest authors to write backstory for Han and Chewbacca with At Star’s End. Though it has many unfamiliar elements from the Original Trilogy—most notably the Authority and the Corporate Sector—Daley still manages to write a highly enjoyable rendition of these beloved characters that rings entirely true.
Han Solo’s Revenge is Brian Daley’s second offering in the Han Solo Adventures Trilogy. Always on the lookout for the next lucrative gig, Han and Chewie take on a cargo shipment that turns out to be more than they bargained for. After sorting things out, Han goes in search of whoever set him up, seeking to settle the score.
Published in 1980, mere weeks before the release of The Empire Strikes Back, Daley presents another convincing portrayal of everyone’s favorite smuggler. Despite not having as much source material to work with as later writers, Daley managed to give us three books that have aged amazingly well, even in light of all the new material.
In Brian Daley’s final installment of the Han Solo Adventures, we find Han in the familiar position of having a price on his head. Chasing that next big payday, he and Chewbacca head off in search of a fabled treasure. But once they arrive, things get messy and they find themselves having to fight off assassins and a robot army to get the Millenium Falcon back and make their escape.
This last action-packed adventure in Daley’s series is a perfect fit for the Han Solo we’ve come to know over the years. The roots of this “lost legacy” would become part of the intricate history of the galaxy far, far away – it’s even the source of an Easter egg or two in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Scoundrels is a classic heist story involving none other than Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.
After Han’s reward for helping the Rebellion at the Battle of Yavin is stolen, he finds himself in desperate need of credits. So, when he is approached about a job stealing back hundreds of millions of credits from a crime lord on the planet Wukkar, he jumps at the chance. However, more than a few twists and turns along the way threaten to derail the entire operation and leave Han wondering which of the people standing by his side can be trusted…
Set before Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rae Carson gives us a glimpse into how Han and Qi’Ra’s relationship began. In a story that gives us a glimpse into life with the White Worms and on the streets of Corellia, we see the pair start out as rivals pitted against each other by Lady Proxima and evolve into the duo we see at the beginning of the film, getting help along the way from intriguing new characters after their job takes a messy turn.
Don’t let the ‘young adult’ tag deter you: Most Wanted is a fast-paced heist adventure with just enough twists to keep you guessing while it keeps you turning pages. The extra depth and gravitas it lends to Han and Qi’Ra’s relationship may well change the way you see that spaceport scene and Qi’Ra’s fateful decision aboard Dryden Vos’s yacht.
More than just a novelization, in her Expanded Edition Mur Lafferty offers us glimpses of scenes cut from the film and gives further development to some of the other characters. We learn more about what happened to Qi’Ra after the spaceport and get more insight into Tobias Beckett and his relationship with Val. Lafferty gives us a new insight into L3’s fate and ends with a wonderful epilogue that nicely links the movie to yet more parts of the Star Wars lore.
From a prologue that nicely captures young Han’s personality, to looks into the White Worms den that are somehow even more cringe-inducing than seeing it on screen, to Han’s time in the military and that wonderful epilogue, Lafferty’s adaptation is what we imagine reading a director’s cut would be like!
After the destruction of the Death Star, Han & Chewie are more than happy to take their promised reward and head off to pay back Jabba the Hutt, but Princess Leia Organa has something else in mind for the duo. A quick rescue mission to help the burgeoning Rebellion - what harm could it do?
Bounty hunters and Imperials, alike, repeatedly chase the pair across the planet Cyrkon, and by the time it’s all over, Han finds himself deeper than he ever thought possible in a cause he tried so long to avoid.
When a common foe from Han and Lando's past shows up on the latter's doorstep, the recent hero of the Rebellion and new father to Ben Solo must rush off once more to save both his friend and possibly, the entire galaxy.
Last Shot uniquely employs a number of different eras throughout the novel, and while jumping between time periods, we get to experience Han, Lando, L3-37 and more at various points in time, allowing us to witness the maturation and evolution of our favorite characters right before our eyes.
With a host of new characters right alongside the classics, including a villain that can't help but terrify all those who encounter him, Last Shot is an essential addition to the Han Solo story.
The would-be second volume of the Empire and Rebellion trilogy (Kevin Hearne's Heir to the Jedi was originally intended to be the third book, but was made canon after Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm) Honor Among Thieves is a thrilling caper written by James S. A. Corey (The Expanse) set during the time shortly after Star Wars: A New Hope. We find the rebellion on the hunt for a new world to serve as a base for their fight against the Empire.
While Leia sets about negotiations to secure a new home for the rebellion, she sends Han Solo on a rescue mission. Scarlet Hark, a deep cover rebel agent has signaled extraction from a core world that also serves as a stronghold for the empire.
Han Solo is the man for the job, and he and Chewie oblige Leia's request, and as it often goes for our lovable rogue, Han finds himself in scrape after scrape, and escape after narrow escape as the plot becomes more complicated, and greater dangers are revealed.
Scarlet Hark, a new character created by Corey, makes a strong impression, and Honor Among Thieves is one of only two appearances of the character, the other being in a short story that appeared originally in Star Wars Insider #148, Silver and Scarlet. Of particular note, Honor Among Thieves is the last novel published in the original EU, now referred to as Legends.