'Solo' Still Leaves So Much About Han's Upbringing A Total Mystery

by Danielle Burgos

The latest Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, finally gives some background and insight into the infamous smuggler-turned-Rebel hero Han Solo. Yet while it provides a lot more information than fans have heard in the past, the film picks up with Han already in his early 20s, when he's already living on the streets alone. Little is known about his childhood, including the identity of who Han Solo's dad is, as well as his mom. Though there's not much said about the duo in the larger Star Wars universe, what information there is points to some family history that sounds awfully familiar.

Han Solo's name reflects his upbringing. Orphaned at the age of seven, he never really knew his parents, and he was raised by an infamous pirate by the name of Garris Shrike. Like a Dickensian villain, Shrike picked up orphans on the street and brought them on board his ship, the Trader's Luck, training them in pickpocketing and other petty crimes. The case could be made that he was the closest thing Han had to a dad, despite the constant physical and verbal abuse Shrike hurled at the child.

Han had a mother figure on the Trader's Luck as well, an older Wookie named Dewlannamapia (Dewlanna for short) who served as ship's cook. She taught Han to understand the Wookie language, saved him during a childhood illness by sneaking him off the ship for medical attention, and even plotted to help him learn more about his past. She's the one who got Shrike drunk enough to reveal Han's real last name was Solo, according to Star Wars comics lore.

Thanks to her help, Han was able to research more about his family. What he found out was surprising — he was descended directly from nobility. Han could trace his lineage through his father's side back to to Berethron e Solo, King of Corellia. His birth father, Jonash, had been kidnapped away by pirates from the royal family at a young age, though it's suspected this may not have been mere coincidence, as Han's paternal grandfather Den Solo was thought to have been notorious pirate and kidnapper Dalla The Black.

Eventually Jonash escaped and married a woman named Jaina, Han's birth mother. Little is known of what happened to the two of them, but Han was left orphaned, or possibly abandoned, at a significantly young enough age he'd have little memory of his birth family. At one point Dewlanna helped a teenaged Han escape to the remnants of his blood relatives. Unfortunately they were despotic and cruel, and seeing Han as a potential threat to their rule instead of family, called Shrike to take him back.

These events deeply shaped Han's childhood. Despite knowing his actual parentage, the character remained highly secretive about all elements of his past for much of his life. The lone mention of his family outside of the actual events was an offhand remark that another ship of his, Jaina's Light, was named after his mother, as the Star Wars novels report.

The novels also depict how C3P0, in an attempt to help Han impress Princess Leia, dug up his family's royal side. Han himself never brought up the subject, and it doesn't seem he ever got over his troubled past. He pretty much fled his own marriage and child-rearing responsibilities, separating from Leia, which may have partly led his son Kylo to turn to the Dark Side.

They say those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it; in Han's case, a past too painful to face or forget about set him, and his son, up for the same cycle. There's still hope Kylo will come back into the fold, but for now, let's hope he doesn't repeat the same mistakes as his own father did.