‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Strays From the Series’ Canon in 2 Big Ways

Solo: A Star Wars Story reveals a significant amount about Han Solo’s backstory, shedding light on events we had previously heard about in the movies and in the franchise’s expanded universe.

But not everything in the film is consistent with what came before. Here’s a look at two of the most notable ways Solo doesn’t fit with what we’d previously been told, one of which is a pretty big change to the relationship between Han and Chewie. 

The expanded universe explained the origin of Han’s dice

Han's golden dice
Han uses golden dice as a lucky charm. | Lucasfilm

Han Solo’s gold dice date back to the original Star Wars, in which they can be seen in the cockpit of the Falcon. From there, the old expanded universe developed a history with the dice, establishing in the comics as early as 1983 that Han used them to win the Falcon from Lando. Supposedly, Han kept the dice as a lucky charm.

This would be a pretty unimportant piece of trivia had the dice not been so significant in The Last Jedi and now in Solo; they even get the last shot of the latter film.

What the new canon has had to say about the dice

Han's dice
Han used the dice to win the Falcon in the comics, | Dark Horse Comics

The expanded universe is not canon anymore. Yet the new Disney canon also established that Han used the dice to win the Falcon.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, after all, has an entry on the dice that reads, “Solo has kept the golden pair of dice that he used in the ‘Corellian Spike’ game of sabacc in which he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian.”

None of this happens in Solo

Han Solo
Han didn’t use them to win the Falcon in the movie. | Lucasfilm

Han’s dice show up in Solo and play a pretty big role. We see them early on in the movie, and they get several close-ups, with Han giving them to Qi’ra during the opening prologue.

Yet those who read up on the dice’s history around the time of The Last Jedi were probably confused when Han never used them to win the Falcon in Solo.

Han ends up playing Lando twice in the movie, winning the Falcon during the latter game. But he doesn’t use the gold dice either time.

Dice aren’t even used in the game at all

Lando plays against Han
Dice don’t play a part in the game. | Lucasfilm

The weird thing isn’t just that Han never uses his golden dice to win the Falcon. What’s especially odd is that in Solo, the game of sabacc doesn’t even involve dice at all.

At least, the game that Han and Lando play doesn’t. The book Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide clarifies that there are many different variations of the game and that dice are used in the Corellian Spike version. But that’s not the one Han and Lando play in the movie, as was previously canon.

The EU explained why Chewie spends time with Han

Han Solo and Chewbacca
Han Solo and Chewbacca spend a lot of time together. | Lucasfilm

Another key aspect of the expanded universe was an explanation for why Chewie spends so much time with Han: it’s because he owes Han a “life debt.” Han saved Chewie when they first met, so the Wookiee pledged his life to him.

The idea of life debts also came up in the films themselves, with Jar Jar Binks being indebted to Qui-Gon Ginn after he saves him in The Phantom Menace.

What the new canon has had to say

Chewbacca in the Falcon
Han insists Chewie doesn’t owe him his life. | Lucasfilm

This whole life debt idea doesn’t just exist in the old expanded universe; it was re-established in the new, Disney era as well. After all, there was an entire canon novel released in 2016 called Aftermath: Life Debt, which establishes that Chewbacca has pledged Han a life debt.

However, Han himself says that Chewie doesn’t owe him anything. In one passage of this book, Han also says that he was on a bad path prior to meeting Chewbacca, but the Wookiee set him straight.

Solo does not really fit with this

Han and Chewie in Solo: A Star Wars Story
Han and Chewie are good friends in Solo, but not because of a life debt. | Lucasfilm

Solo focuses heavily on Han and Chewbacca meeting for the first time, with Han saving Chewie. But never does the phrase “life debt” come up.

The movie technically doesn’t explicitly confirm that Chewie doesn’t owe Han a life debt. But if he did, one would assume that it would have come up in Solo. In fact, after Han saves Chewie on Mimban, he has to convince him to stick around, obviously implying Chewie doesn’t owe him anything.

Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide also makes no mention of any life debt, just saying that Chewie feels personally loyal to the crew who freed him.

It’s possible that a Solo sequel will introduce the life debt idea. But it seems more likely that Lucasfilm is moving away from it, not liking the concept of Han being essentially Chewie’s master and instead just depicting them as friends.

These elements also surprised us

Han Solo and Chewie
The movie made some other small but notable changes.  | Lucasfilm

Solo is also full of other surprising things that aren’t exactly plot holes, but they stray from what we previously knew or assumed.

A few of those inconsistencies and/or unexpected elements are:

  • The Pykes look a lot different in Solo than they did in The Clone Wars.
  • The Kessel Run didn’t involve Han transporting spice, as fans tended to assume seeing as that’s what smugglers traditionally used the route for.
  • Han did not actually make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs; he tells Chewie that it’s 12 if you round down.
  • Chewie was about to eat Han when they first met.
  • Han didn’t win the Falcon from Lando through traditional means; he did so after calling out Lando for cheating. He also lost when they first played.

Who would have guessed a Han Solo prequel could surprise us so much?

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