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The Most Terrible Things Han Solo Has Ever Done

They call Han Solo a swindler, a scoundrel, a cheat, a halfwit, a scruffy-looking nerf herder—and he wouldn't have it any other way.

While most would-be heroes would do anything to improve their rep, the most lovable rogue in the Rebel Alliance revels in his bad reputation. After all, he's a criminal. Who cares whether he's trustworthy? As long as he gets paid, Han doesn't seem to care one way or the other.

He joined the Empire

Before he roamed the galaxy committing crimes, and years before he became a general for the Rebel Alliance, Han Solo worked for the bad guys. That's right: as a young man, Han joined the Imperial Navy.

If you don't believe us, the proof is right on Han's costume. The markings on Han's pant legs, which appear in all three original Star Wars movies, are called Corellian Bloodstripes, and are awarded by the Corellian military to soldiers who perform particularly bravely in the heat of battle. They're not official Imperial regalia, but they are a military insignia (Corellia is part of the Empire, after all), and serve as pretty much the only onscreen confirmation of Han Solo's Imperial past.

Before Disney chucked out the old "Legends" canon, A.C. Crispin's novel The Hutt Gambit told the story. Han enrolled in the Imperial Academy after running away from his mentor, a pirate named Garris Shrike. While training, Han proved to be an excellent pilot, and he graduated at the top of his class. Shortly afterwards, however, the Empire sent Han to help with an Imperial slaving operation. That's where he met Chewbacca—but instead of skinning the injured Wookie, Han defied orders and helped him escape. Han's commander courtmartialed him for his insubordination, and Han returned to a life of crime—with a new best buddy by his side.

He stole his 'wife's' money

Marvel's in-canon Star Wars comic focuses on the time period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, but the series occasionally dips into the past to reveal small tidbits of information about characters like Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Early on, the comic revealed a little bit of Han Solo's pre-Rebel history, too: before he met Luke and Leia, Han got married and ran off with his wife's hard-earned cash.

Of course, as with all things Han, it's not actually that simple. In Star Wars #6, Sana Solo finally tracks down her erstwhile husband and announces that she's Han's wife, much to Leia's confusion and chagrin. In Star Wars #12, Sana reveals the truth: her real name isn't Solo, it's Starros. Their marriage was part of a con—Sana calls it "a scam," although it isn't clear whether the couple went through with a ceremony, which would make it kinda-sorta official anyway. The part that's true, of course, is that Han stole Sana's cut of the haul and took off. She's been tracking him ever since, hoping to get the money she's owed—and, if things go well, a bit of revenge.

He might've stolen the Millennium Falcon

All of Han Solo's old acquaintances have something in common: they want him dead. Whenever Han runs across a former friend or business partner, they seem to have some long-standing grudge, usually related to a unique and devious way that Han cheated them.

That includes Lando Calrissian, Han's former best buddy who sells the smuggler out to the Empire in The Empire Strikes Back. When Han lands on Lando's facility in Cloud City, the smuggler seems notoriously cagey—he tells Chewie to keep his guard up, and seems more than ready for a fight. There's a good reason: as viewers quickly learn, Lando used to own the Millennium Falcon. When Han claims he won the Falcon "fair and square," Lando's face falls. He doesn't protest, but he doesn't seem to agree, either.

See, Han might've not exactly won the Falcon as fairly or as squarely as he claims. The events of the actual card game—some variant of the poker-like pastime known as "sabaac"—remain mysterious. All we know for sure is that there was a pair of golden dice involved. According to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, Han Solo keeps the dice in the Falcon as a trophy. However, Lando greets Han in Empire by calling him a "swindler." The official Star Wars website notes that the fateful sabaac game "may or may not have been fair." Now, Lando's no saint—a few scenes later, he delivers Han and his friends to the Empire—but given Han's history, we're giving Lando the benefit of the doubt.

He threatened to kill his girlfriend and alienated his friends

There's another explanation as to why Lando and Han parted on bad terms, although you'll have to go back to the now-defunct Expanded Universe to find it. In Rebel Dawn, the third and final book in A.C. Crispin's The Han Solo Trilogy, Han's off-and-on love interest Bria Tharen recruits Han to help take out a slaving colony on the Hutt-controlled planet Ylesia. Han's reluctant to trust Bria—she ditched him a few years earlier—but the payoff is too much for Han to ignore. In return for helping recruit fellow smugglers for the operation, Bria promises Han some Ylesian "spice," which is really just Star Wars parlance for "drugs."

We're already on iffy ground here, and it gets worse. Once the mission ends, the Rebel soldiers under Bria's command draw their guns and tell the smugglers that they won't be getting paid after all. Han responds by vowing to kill Bria if they ever cross paths again, while the assembled criminals, including Lando, assume Han is in on the whole thing. He can't convince them otherwise. To sum things up: Han only acts like a hero to get drugs, ropes his allies into risking their lives for him without pay, decides to murder his girlfriend when she decides not to give narcotics to a band of criminals, and pisses off his best friend. At least he never gets a chance to follow through on his threats: shortly after betraying Han, Bria dies while stealing the Death Star plans for the Rebel Alliance. She goes out a hero, while Han returns to a life of crime.

He smuggled drugs

Early in A New Hope, viewers only know a few things about Han Solo: he's got a cool vest, his co-pilot looks like a gorilla, he owes a crime lord named Jabba the Hutt a lot of money, and he can make the infamous Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

Those last two facts are important, because they mean that one of the very first things viewers learn about Han is that he's part of the drug trade. The cargo that Han dropped, and that he needs to pay Jabba back for? In the Star Wars novelization, it's revealed to be a shipment of "spice," or drugs.

And the Kessel Run? Well, earlier, C-3PO worries that he'll be sent to the "spice mines of Kessel," while the Clone Wars animated series reveals that the Pyke Syndicate harvests spice on the planet, confirming that the Kessel Run is a name for a common drug-smuggling route. No, Han isn't a dealer—that seems to be Jabba's job—but he is the man who keeps the boss' inventory in stock. All things considered, that's just as bad.

He doesn't take 'no' for an answer

Han and Leia have a complicated relationship, but in one scene in The Empire Strikes Back, their rocky romance crosses the line into sexual assault territory. Watch this scene, and see if you can see what's wrong.

Don't see it? Here's a short list. First, Han comes up behind Leia while she's in an enclosed space and puts his arms around her. It's an unwelcome gesture, which we know because Leia violently pushes him away. Instead of apologizing, he blocks the doorway, cutting off her escape. When Leia hurts her hand, Han grabs it and smirks. When Leia tells him to stop, he doesn't. She says it again. He responds by pushing her up against the wall and going in for a kiss.

It's all supposed to be romantic, which makes the scene a little more confusing, and at the end of the day it's clear that Leia is just fine with Han's come-ons. Still, it's also hard to watch the scene through a modern lens without realizing that Han is a little creepy—if Leia hadn't been in love with him, would he have acted any differently? We're not so sure.

He kidnapped Princess Leia

In the old Expanded Universe, Han Solo kidnapped Princess Leia in order to marry her—after the two were a couple. See, in Dave Wolverton's The Courtship of Princess Leia, a world-spanning nation called the Hapes Cluster pledges its allegiance to the recently formed New Republic. Hapes is a powerful ally who can provide the Republic with much-needed ships and soldiers—all the Republic needs to do to make the bond official is let Hapes' royal heir, Prince Isolder, marry Princess Leia.

If you think Han Solo is going to let that happen, however, then you don't know Han. Consumed with jealousy, he hits the gambling tables, where he wins the deed to Dathomir (the same planet that the rancors, Darth Maul, and the Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress all came from). After Isolder insults the Millennium Falcon and offers to trade a better ship for Leia's hand, Han loses his mind completely and kidnaps Leia, dragging her to Dathomir—which happens to be in the territory patrolled by a ruthless warlord called Warlord Zsinj. It isn't long before Han and Leia (and Luke and Isolder, who followed the Falcon to Dathomir) end up in trouble. Romantic!

They're all fine by the end, of course, with Leia deciding to marry Han and Isolder finding happiness with Teneniel Djo, a Dathomir native who captures Isolder before falling in love with him. Still, treating your bride like an object to be won and kidnapping her against her will isn't exactly the strongest foundation for a lasting relationship—something Han will learn all too well as time goes on.

He's a deadbeat dad

In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Han Solo had three kids. One died, and another turned to the dark side, killed Luke's wife, tortured Luke's son, and started a second galactic civil war. In other words, Han isn't exactly Father of the Year material.

And then Disney bought Lucasfilm and tossed out the whole Expanded Universe, giving Han a chance to redeem himself. So what happened? His son turned to the dark side again—and this time, it's Han's fault. According to Adam Driver, who plays Ben "Kylo Ren" Solo, Han and Leia's kid went bad because his parents were too busy to give him the attention he needed.

"Imagine the stakes of him, in his youth, having all these special powers and having your parents kind of be absent during that process on their own agendas," Driver says. "He's lost in the world that he was raised in, and feels that he was kind of abandoned by the people that he's closest with. He's angry because of that, I think, and he has a huge grudge on his shoulders." That anger made Ben a prime target for Supreme Leader Snoke, who was able to turn Ben's resentment to his advantage and turn young Solo to the dark side. It worked, too—later, Kylo murdered his father, paying him back for decades of fatherly neglect the only way he knows how.

He abandoned Leia

So, your son just turned evil, killed the universe's remaining Jedi, burned their temple to the ground, and drove your brother into exile. You'd probably need some kind of emotional support, ideally from your husband, right?

Well, if you're Leia Skywalker Organa, you're not getting that. After Kylo's fall, Han Solo took off, abandoned the fledgling New Republic, and resumed his smuggling career, leaving Leia to deal with the fallout all by herself. Han is gone for a long time, too—when he runs across Rey and Finn in The Force Awakens, Han doesn't have any interest in reuniting with the supposed love of his life, and only takes Finn and BB-8 to the Resistance base—where Leia is—after his original plans go south. Han even admits he left because he wanted Leia to miss him. At best, that's negligent and cruel. At worst, it's emotionally abusive. Han Solo might be an on-again off-again hero and an ace pilot, but as a husband? He kind of sucks.

He got his entire crew killed

When viewers first see Han in The Force Awakens, he's piloting a freighter called the Eravana. Compared to the Millennium Falcon, it's much, much bigger. As such, the Eravana needs a crew that's bigger than just Han and Chewie if it's going run smoothly.

So where is everyone? Short explanation: they all died. Longer explanation: they all died because Han accepted a job that was way, way too dangerous, and his crew paid the price. After Han reclaims the Millennium Falcon from Finn and Rey, he quickly mentions that the Eravana is full of rathtars, tentacled carnivorous creatures that are responsible for deaths all over the galaxy, including one grisly incident known as the Trillia Massacre. When Finn asks how Han got not one, not two, but three of the beasts on board, Han quips, "Used to have a bigger crew." And that's it. He's not sorry. At all.

In hindsight, maybe the drug smuggling wasn't that bad.