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Monday, 28 May 2018

Easter eggs you may have missed in Solo: A Star Wars Story

Hilarious image stolen from hilarious interwebs.
Heads up. This is spoiler country.

Here you'll find out about some of the specific nerdy foiled-wrapped chocolate nuggs Ron Howard and his Disney overlords left behind for you to find in Solo - A Star Wars Story. Some of these things aren't exactly Easter eggs - they're more like geeky deep-dives into the world of Star Wars canon and the Expanded Universe (or EU), which used to be hard to follow 'til the Powers That Be chucked everything in the metaphorical canon dumpster and started again just in time for Episode VII - The Force Awakens.

Anyway, there are spoilers here. So if you stumbled in here by accident, you can still leave now without doing yourself any spoiler-related injuries. I'm just padding out this top bit of the article in case you did stumble in here by accident. It happens all the time on the internet.

If you are looking for an actual review, here's one I prepared earlier. It's spoiler-free in the sense that it doesn't give away anything that wasn't already shown in a trailer. Like, did you know Chewbacca is in the film?


Ok, still padding. Are you sure you're ready for this?

Like I said, some of these are not exactly Easter Eggs, more like just a bunch of nerdy stuff I noticed, having been a long time Star Wars EU devotee. How much of a devotee? I'd rather not talk about it.

Anyway, you've been warned. Now, let's do this.

Aurra Sing


This near-human bounty hunter has a "hey look at that weird character" cameo in Episode I - The Phantom Menace, during which she does nothing. Naturally, it turns out she was a kick-arse bounty hunter, and naturally she became a fan favourite character, popping up in the Clone Wars TV series and the Darth Maul comic mini-series. She doesn't appear in Solo, but she does get a rather significant mention. During a conversation between Lando Calrissian and Tobias Beckett, Calrissian notes Beckett is responsible for killing Sing. "Pushed," clarifies Beckett, to which Calrissian responds that puts him in Beckett's debt, because Calrissian owed Sing a lot of money. So there you have it - Sing is dead. Surely that tiny snippet of conversation will become an entire prequel comic book series.

The Kessel Run and the Maw


There are quite a few "goofs" (as IMDb charmingly calls them) in Episode IV - A New Hope, one of which is Han Solo's boast that he made the Kessel Run in the Millenium Falcon in 12 parsecs. Of course, every idiot knows parsecs are a unit of distance, not time, so this was retconned in the EU. In the later Han Solo Trilogy book Rebel Dawn it is explained that the Kessel Run is a dangerous trade route that skims around a cluster of black holes known as The Maw. The closer you flew to the Maw, the shorter the route, but it made for a more dangerous trip - hence Han's parsec brag. Solo pinches that idea from the now non-canon EU, although the Kessel Run now travels between a giant space storm containing asteroids, black holes and all kinds of traffic hazards. But it succeeds in making Han's nonsensical boast more sensical.

Darth Maul


Yep, that was a decidedly not-dead Darth Maul popping up at the end of Solo. But wait, I hear you exclaim, didn't he bite the big one in The Phantom Menace when good old Ben Kenobi cleaved him in twain? True. However this then-frustratingly underused Sith Lord was resurrected in the Clone Wars TV series, having apparently survived getting lightsabered in half. With the addition of some robot legs, Maul has become a major player in the Star Wars universe, apparently becoming the secret big boss of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate.

Sabacc


The very first mention of the card game sabacc can be found in an early draft of Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, where it's mentioned that Lando won Cloud City at a high stakes "sabacca" table. This became "sabacc" in the Lando Calrissian trilogy of books, and at some point, it became Star Wars fact that Lando lost the Millenium Falcon to Han in a game of sabacc. This has been embraced as canon now, as confirmed in Solo. How the game works in Solo is unclear, but there are real-life sabacc decks you can buy, which operate as a kind of cross between blackjack and poker.

Corellia


A lot of stuff has been written about Corellia in the EU, all of which is now classified under the Legends banner (ie. non-canon). One thing that has survived the canon cull is the idea that Corellia is a planet renowned for its ship-building and that it is the home world of Han. The other stuff about Corellia - such as the idea it was part of an intelligently designed galaxy comprising five habitable planets all equipped with an engine so the planets could be moved - probably won't be kept in the canon ... because it's batshit crazy.

Warwick Davis


Warwick Davis has appeared in every Star Wars film since Return Of The Jedi and he pops up again in Solo. According to the credits, his character is named Weazel - which is the name of the character he played in The Phantom Menace (pictured above sitting next to Watto at the pod races). There's nothing official in the canon that explains how Weazel went from pod race gambler to trusted soldier in Enfys Nest's Cloudrunners. Naturally there's all manner of stuff about him in the EU, because every single character seen in a Star Wars film pretty much had a book or comic written about them.


"Gangster on Tatooine"


Darth Maul isn't the only big bad hinted at in Solo. Pat yourself on the back if you figured out that the "gangster on Tatooine" Beckett was talking about was Jabba the Hutt. This isn't confirmed, of course, but you could safely bet the Millenium Falcon on big ol' Jabba crossing paths with Han and Chewie at some point in a Solo sequel, should it happen. After all, there's obviously some serious history there, as hinted at in the A New Hope special edition, which eventually leads to Han becoming a wall decoration in Jabba's palace.

Han shoots first


Nothing gets Star Wars fans in a lather more than the "Han shot first" discussion. Of course Han shot first. It was like that in A New Hope until George Lucas changed it so Greedo shot first in the special edition. Which was dumb, because it made Han lucky instead of dangerous and Greedo inept instead of dangerous. Congratulations, George - you made a dangerous situation into one where no one was actually dangerous. ANYWAY, it's very much worth noting that director Ron Howard and writers Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan seem to think Han is a shoot-first kinda guy because guess what happens in the final face-off between Han and Beckett? That's right - Han shoots first. Well how do you like them apples, George?

Tag & Bink


Tag and Bink are two comedic characters from the non-canon EU, who are basically the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the Star Wars universe. Through a series of comics they stumble across almost every major character, and inadvertently trigger most of the major events in the galaxy (including retconning a few goofs along the way). But Ron Howard has apparently brought Tag and Bink into the canon. I can't say I noticed them, but apparently they're in Solo, played by writer Jon Kasdan and first assistant director Toby Hefferman. Anthony Daniels also apparently has a cameo in Solo, but does anyone really care about that?

Notice any more Easter Eggs or EU references? Go hog wild and make a comment below!

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