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Star Wars Icons: Han Solo

Smuggler. Rogue. Hero of the Rebellion. Scruffy-looking nerf herder. Han Solo has been called all these things and more since making his debut in the original Star Wars film back in 1977. Four decades later, the irrepressible Solo continues to be one of the most iconic and enduring elements of the saga.

Star Wars Icons: Han Solo covers the character’s entire journey, from his genesis in George Lucas’s first drafts of Star Wars to Harrison Ford’s iconic performances in the original three films and The Force Awakens, and the character’s rebirth in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The book also takes an in-depth look at Solo’s role in the Star Wars expanded universe, through novels, comics, video games, and more, and the indelible impression the character has made on pop culture.

Illustrated with a treasure trove of rare and previously unseen imagery, including candid on-set photography and stunning concept art, this deluxe volume also features exclusive new interviews with Harrison Ford, Alden Ehrenreich, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew, Ron Howard, J. J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Jonathan Kasdan, and many more key creatives.

Comprehensive and revelatory, this is the definitive book for Han Solo fans across the galaxy.

Author: Gina McIntyre
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release date: April 9, 2019
Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-1683834960

Back in 1977, Star Wars fandom  – if you could call it a fandom back then, it was more like Beatlemania – generally fell into two camps – Team Skywalker or Team Solo. Han was the cool older brother, your sisters boyfriend with the hot rod car who didn’t really care if your folks liked him or not, while Luke would probably help your Dad mow the lawn and your Mom do the dishes (and whine about not being able to go to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters). Sure, Luke had the destiny and the lineage to save the galaxy but Han Solo….he was Han freakin‘ Solo!

I was a Han Solo guy. I wanted to fly the Millennium Falcon, enjoyed Solo’s sardonic replies, appreciated his dry wit and ever-present sarcasm. He wanted the girl that we all wanted back then, and while no one (well, no one pre-1983 that is) would have begrudged Luke and Leia being together, many of us secretly wanted the scruffy nerfherder and the Princess to make it work. And they did, for a while.

Gina McIntyre’s Star Wars Icons: Han Solo takes us from the very beginnings of the Solo character, back when he was a scaly green lizard, right through the original trilogy years and up to The Force Awakens and Harrison Ford’s last hurrah and then on to Solo: A Star Wars Story when Alden Ehrenreich picked up that trusty old DL-44.

Beautifully presented and impeccably designed, the book takes us from those early days when Solo existed only as ideas in George Lucas’ notepad and Ralph McQuarrie’s sketches. The tome is littered with quotes and stories as we roll through the evolution of Solo and the Millennium Falcon, from Eagle Lander wannabe to the flying hamburger we know and adore.

The Earthly personification of Solo came in the form of Chicago-born actor Harrison Ford, and while his route to the role is legendary (fixing the door of George Lucas’ office, appearing in the mega hit American Graffiti and reading with various actors for five months until Lucas saw the light and cast him because “I didn’t want two guys looking exactly alike….Harrison worked well with Mark and Carrie.“) they then had to shoot it, taking Ford and the cast to London and Elstree Studios in Borehamwood.

This isn’t simply a story of the making of the films though, not even from Ford / Solo’s point of view. While it gives great detail and depth in that regard, it also looks closely at Solo related merchandise of the time and – in a loving throwback to Steve Sansweets’ Star Wars Scrapbook: The Essential Collection the book is packed with pull outs, reproductions of bookmarks, repros of script pages and cuttings from the Star Wars newspaper strips. Seriously, McIntrye must have thought every Christmas had come at once when she saw the finished book, it’s a stunner.

Star Wars Scrapbook: The Essential Collection
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Sansweet, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 84 Pages - 04/01/1998 (Publication Date) - Chronicle Books (Publisher)

We also look at Star Wars in pop culture, sidestep to Legends and the much-loved Brian Daley Han Solo novels and Solo’s appearances in the EU. There’s even a stunning tri-fold pull out of the Drew Struzan covers for A.C. Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy. Literally every page you turn reveals a prize, a treasure or a nugget of info you didn’t previously know.

We get a good look at Han in the original Marvel run from ’77 to ’86 as well as the newspaper strips and the Dark Horse era, take a look at the many other pop culture characters he has influenced (step forward Madmartigan and take a bow Mal Reynolds) and look at Solo related West End Games releases which bleed nostalgia as well as the Special Editions which featured a couple of Han-heavy moments (and a fold out of a possible answer to the Jabba scene in A New Hope that may well have been a preferable solution, if a little beyond the technology of the time.)

The Force Awakens brought Ford back to his much-loved role in 2015, wrapping up the story of the older Solo just as a prequel was being concocted starring Alden Ehrenreich. The latest iteration of Han is given plenty of detail with some stunning pull outs and images as we look at the latest canon novels and Marvel comics and end the book with a loving recreation of Ralph McQuarrie’s early image of Luke, but instead drawn with the Alden era Han.

There aren’t enough words to gush over this book, and fingers, toes and lekku crossed that this is simply the first in a series of books looking at Star Wars Icons, because surely there’s more than enough scope for Star Wars Icons: Leia Organa and Star Wars Icons: Luke Skywalker to follow over the next few years.

Star Wars Icons: Han Solo
  • Hardcover Book
  • McIntyre, Gina (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 04/02/2019 (Publication Date) - Insight Editions (Publisher)