On Thursday, there was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror... over Twitter. In a Q&A with Disney CEO Bob Igor, details were released about the upcoming young Han Solo prequel — the most daunting being that it would tell the story of how Han Solo got his name. Cue absolute madness: Han Solo's name isn't really Han Solo?! It felt although years of Star Wars canon were just overtly discarded. But as it would turn, Han Solo's name has actually been debated in the past.
Apparently the theory that Han Solo made up his name has been around for a long, long time — since 1983, in fact. A tweet from @bigredrobot has been circulating that points out Luke speculated what Han's real name is in the Return of the Jedi storybook. The passage occurs when Luke recognizes Han's no longer the self-absorbed smuggler he met in the cantina. The text reads,
"Luke felt a change in Han, and he knew that everything he and the others had risked had been worth it. 'Solo' means 'alone,' he thought. He had often wondered whether that was Han's real name. Maybe it was an alias Han had chosen-one that Han felt described him better than his real name."
And that's pretty much the theory I maintained upon hearing the announcement, because if Han Solo isn't his true name, then that would make sense. The thing is, Han Solo isn't a detrimentally stranger name than 90 percent of the monikers within the Star Wars canon. I'd be truly appalled and confused if he ended up being something like "Steve Johnson."
But what would make sense is if the hardened rebel was, in fact, named Han, and then changed his surname to "Solo" as both a mark of independence and a way to seem more badass, especially in his formative years when he’s trying to make a name for himself. Like, I’m in the Brooklyn music scene, and I’ve seen literally hundreds of NYU kids do just that. Roguish Cool Guys are like, known for making that move.
That said, this doesn't mean I'm automatically more comfortable with the big reveal, or that we can even take the Return of the Jedi storybook as bonafide Star Wars canon. It's based on canon material, sure, but those thoughts were never embellished on in the actual script. Regardless, it give a bit more padding to the "Han made up the 'Solo' name for street cred" theory, which I'm sure will be revealed to us when the prequel hits theaters in 2018.