Everything That Happened To Han Solo After The Original Trilogy


  • Han Solo’s story continues after the original trilogy, with his character developing from a selfish rogue to a heroic asset to the Rebel Alliance.
  • Han and Leia get married and have a son named Ben, but their family starts to fall apart when Ben turns to the dark side.
  • Han becomes a racing pilot and is eventually killed by his son, Kylo Ren, in an attempt to bring him back to the light. His sacrifice lays the groundwork for Ben’s eventual redemption.



Han Solo is one of the oldest characters in the Star Wars franchise, but his story doesn’t end after the conclusion of the original trilogy. Having just played a pivotal role in the downfall of the Empire and Darth Vader, the futures of Luke, Leia, and Han all look very bright, though Return of the Jedi doesn’t reveal much about what those might look like. The last the audience sees of Han, he’s celebrating the end of the Empire along with Luke and Leia. Offscreen, however, Han continues to have a very interesting and adventurous life after the credits stop rolling.

When he was first introduced in A New Hope, Han Solo was a selfish rogue of an outlaw who only joined Luke’s mission to rescue Princess Leia for the promise of a sizable amount of reward money. By the end of the movie, however, he saves the day with a daring return to the action. As the trilogy progresses, Han shows incredible character development as he becomes a truly heroic and selfless asset to the Rebel Alliance. After the trilogy’s end, Han has more chances to showcase all that character-building in multiple aspects of his life.

6 Han Solo & Leia Married Shortly After Return Of The Jedi

Han Solo and Leia Organa at the Battle of Endor

Princess Leia’s romantic relationship with Han may not have been at the forefront of the series, but their chemistry was certainly a driving force behind the characters. Though the movies began with the teasing of a possible love triangle between Luke, Leia, and Han, the series soon shifted gears. Luke, after becoming increasingly entangled in his own hero’s journey to destroy the Empire, was revealed to be Leia’s brother, which created the perfect opportunity to solidify her romance with Han. Unfortunately, by this point, the series has come to its conclusion – onscreen, that is.

The novel Star Wars: The Princess & The Scoundrel tracks the events immediately after the celebration on Endor, namely, Han and Leia’s wedding and subsequent honeymoon. To create a fitting venue for the ceremony, Han transformed the inside of the Millennium Falcon into a galley for the guests. After the wedding, the couple prepares to navigate life together, beginning with a trip on the luxury star cruiser Halcyon. Once aboard, they find themselves in the spotlight of all sorts of remnants from the newly dismantled Imperial era. Faced with the knowledge that peace is still in process, Han and Leia start their lives in an adventure-filled way befitting them.

5 Han Helped Chewbacca Free Kashyyyk From The Empire

Han Solo and Chewbacca in Star Wars

Han’s trusty copilot Chewbacca has a complicated past of his own. The Wookiee made a brief appearance in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith when Yoda visits Chewbacca’s homeworld of Kashyyyk. When Order 66 happened, Yoda was able to escape, but the planet was soon deeply oppressed by the emerging Empire. The landscape was desolated, a trade blockade was put in place, and many Wookiees were forced into enslavement. This enslavement is ultimately what leads Chewbacca and Han to meet in the swamps of Mimban. After the two strike up an understanding and escape their captors, they become close friends.

A little under a year after the fall of the Empire, Han and Chewie start getting involved in plots to liberate Kashyyyk from the residual oppression that the New Republic had yet to deal with. Unfortunately, the plan was a setup by the fractured remains of the Empire’s forces, leaving Chewie a captive. But by the time the two reconnect, Chewbacca has rallied the revolting Wookiees and captured an Imperial airbase. With the help of Leia, Luke, Lando Calrissian, and some other old friends, the larger threats are neutralized and the Wookiees are set free. The liberation of Kashyyyk led Han, Chewbacca, and a few others to continue their efforts, freeing the slaves left on the spice planet Kessel.

4 Han & Leia Had A Son, Ben

Soon after their wedding, Han and Leia welcomed their son Ben, who was named for the old Jedi Master who had introduced Han to the Rebellion and brought him to Leia, not to mention Kenobi’s long history with Leia herself. Both Han and Leia had a close relationship with their son in the early years of his life. Though they didn’t share the same connection through the Force that Leia had with the boy, Ben idolized Han and spent his childhood dreaming of being a pilot like his father.

Eventually, their prominence in their respective careers led Han and Leia to have busier schedules and an increased reliance on caretaking droids, which led Ben to develop a sense of loneliness. As the boy grew older, this would create a foothold for Snoke to exploit in Ben’s subconscious. When Ben began training with his uncle Luke in his new Jedi Order, things got more complicated for Han’s family as Ben’s pull to the dark side became stronger.

3 Han Went From Pilot To Racer

Split image of Han Solo piloting the Millennium Falcon and facing Darth Vader's TIE Fighter in Star Wars comics

Han Solo was an exceptional pilot long before he was contracted to help Obi-Wan and Luke travel to Alderaan, and after all the excitement chronicled in the original trilogy subsided, he found the perfect outlet for his skills. As Leia became a prominent politician in the New Republic, Han became a racing pilot, even returning to his home world of Corellia to compete in a race known as The Gauntlet. After winning The Gauntlet, Han and his team of racers competed in the Five Sabers championship. He eventually became the manager of the Five Sabers for a time.

2 Han and Leia Separated After Ben Turned To The Dark Side

Han and Leia hug in The Force Awakens

For a time, Han’s family enjoyed peace, but when Leia’s premonitions of Ben’s slip into the dark side proved true, the family began to fall apart. Han and Leia remained married and continued to regard each other with love, but until the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the couple went years without seeing each other in person. When Rey reconnects them, Han and Leia immediately focus on how they might save their son from himself. Luckily, it was Kylo Ren’s connection to his father that ultimately dissolved the hold that the dark side had on him.

1 Han Was Killed By His Son, Kylo Ren

Han Solo is stabbed by Kylo Ren

When Rey’s friends vow to rescue her from Kylo Ren, Han has another motive to get to Starkiller Base. After an emotional reunion with Leia, Han promises to try to bring their son home to the light. In a testament to the development Han went through from scoundrel to hero, Han puts himself in harm’s way, sacrificing his life as the other young heroes make their escape, not unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi’s final confrontation with Darth Vader. As Han confronts his wayward son, he gently reminds Ben that he belongs in the light. Though he seems to expect Kylo Ren’s killing blow, Han lays the groundwork for Ben’s eventual redemption.

As one of the most daring and adventure-driven characters in the Star Wars saga, it’s no wonder that Han Solo has more tales to tell beyond the ones that originally made it on the movie screens. Luckily, novels, comic books, and other media help to fill in the blanks of his exciting life before picking things back up in the sequel trilogy. With countless Han stories yet to tell and so many new projects hitting the Star Wars timeline, elements of Han Solo’s story might still have a chance to make it to the big screen.

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