No matter how you feel about the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars prequel, you probably have strong feelings about Han Solo, an iconic rogueish dreamboat whose name is forever tied to the franchise. So, get ready for this bomb: In a recent Q&A with Bob Iger, the Disney CEO revealed the new spin-off would tackle Han in his formative years (ages 18-24), how he came about the Millenium Falcon and Chewbacca, and how he got his real name. Which of course begs the question, what's Han Solo's real name? And... wait, Han Solo's real name isn't Han Solo?
OK, so it isn't uncommon for Star Wars characters to adopt cooler titles (the Dark Side is really big on this). However, prior to this announcement, I don't think anyone's ever had to question the legitimacy of Han Solo's moniker. Incidentally, "Han Solo" is a pretty standard-sounding name in the Star Wars universe — a galaxy far, far away where something like "Ben" sounds totally off-putting. What other name could he have possibly traded it in for? Something equally ridiculous like Glen Duo? Or was it Henry Walton Jones Jr. (named after his father, the dog was Han Solo)? I've got a bad feeling about this.
One thing I can at least kinda-sorta understand is if he specifically altered his last name. When we're introduced to Han in A New Hope, he is the consummate loner, caring for nothing and no one but himself (oh, and Chewie, obviously). Perhaps when he decided to take on smuggling as a career path (and most likely severed ties with his birth parents) he adopted Solo to solidify his new life. He was flying out on his own, nothing screams "independence" more than changing your last name to "Solo." Except maybe going by "Han Independence." Ehhhh...
But overall this is eyebrow-raising news, something that mildly disrupts the Star Wars canon as we know it. And the thing is, it's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Han Solo solo film. That's what happens when you get retroactive with beloved characters, and why I have high anxieties about this film. It's not that characters aren't allowed to evolve, and Han's story arc in the original Star Wars trilogy showed tremendous growth as it is... surely I never expected he came out of the womb with a blaster ready. I just fear all the ways a prequel could lessen the bad assery of the smirking Corellian we've grown to love over the past four decades (cough, Anakin Skywalker, cough).
Welp, mark your calendars for May 25, 2018, because that's when we'll learn just how Han got his name... and no doubt made his name as a real rebel.