Solo: A What-If Star Wars Toy Story

What happens when a movie is coming out and very little official information comes out about it? We speculate, of course! And since the Lego sets have leaked, I’m going to try to make my best guesses about what’s going to happen in our favorite galaxy based on our favorite plastic – Lego Star Wars meets the biggest question since who in the world is going to direct this thing!

Rumor has it that a Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer is coming sometime during Super Bowl 52 (Not going to lie, I had to look up which one it was this year – I can name more Hutts than I can name football players) Although the comics and novels are keeping the blood of Star Wars flowing as they always have between films, it’s the films that matter to most. So if movies are so important, where’s the trailer for the film? It’s coming in May and usually there’d be one by now.

First off, let’s get the business out of the way. Solo: A Star Wars Story is directed by Ron Howard, but was originally directed (and nearly finished) by directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. This may be an unpopular opinion but I’m honestly fine with Disney’s decision to go another way and dismiss them from the project. Was it handled properly? I don’t know, I wasn’t there. But the bottom line is that Disney wasn’t getting the movie it wanted out of them. If you hire some one to build an extra bathroom in your house and they build you a balcony instead, you have every right to kick them off the project. This story has been controversial, as many wonder how extensive reshoots have been and how much of the original story changed. What it means for the final product is uncertain. And the fanbase stands divided – some didn’t want this movie and still don’t, some are excited because it’s still a Star Wars film, and others are worried Han Solo will get a hacky backstory.

Before I begin this work of speculative fiction, let’s throw a soft spoiler warning out there. I don’t know if any of this is true and any truth that winds up actually happening is purely coincidence. So, let’s go over the characters first. I would add photos of the characters, but since they are still in ‘leaked’ status, I’m going to remain on the safe side and just describe what’s been floating around in Lego-Leak-Land.

Han Solo: The dashing rogue, a smuggler and potentially a speeder racer. He’s the kind of charming scoundrel they make movies about (obviously.) Han has three Lego figures coming out with the first wave of Solo sets with three distinct outfits – a white jacket and black pants with dirty patches of grey all over, a brown jacket with black undershirt and pants, and lastly what appears to be a light sandy green and grey variation of Imperial officer battle armor. This outfit also features a cape, goggles lifted up onto the helmet, no rank marking (odd) and a blaster rifle instead of his pistol.
Chewbacca: Chewbacca looks slightly different, which is weird because his appearances between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope are pretty consistent, and this story takes some place in the middle. Chewie is pictured with a bandolier going from shoulder to shoulder, dipping down the front of his torso in a V-shape. The head mold is new and he wields a blaster rifle instead of his normal bowcaster.
Lando Calrissian: Lando looks awesome! He’s the only man in the galaxy that can pull off these kinds of outfits. Lando wears a yellow shirt with what appears to be black suspenders connecting to black pants. He has slightly shorter hair than his normal cut and wears a cape with a high neck piece. His accessory is a medium-sized blaster rifle colored silver-grey.
Qi’Ra: Little is known about Qi’Ra. She has two figure variations, one in a grey outfit with red undershirt with her hair down, and the other is a light tan jacket with black undershirt and pants, and her hair up in a ponytail. Both variations include a blaster pistol. Her first outfit is similarly dirty like Han Solo’s clothes in his first outfit, and they come in the same set, so they are most certainly crossing paths on some dusty, sandy planet.
Tobias Beckett: Beckett is a curious character as well. The only figure shown for him features an outfit/disguise similar to Han’s Imperial outfit – he wears a grey trench coat over green officer’s armor, and wears an officer’s cap in dark grey. He wields two blaster pistols in silver grey and his printing features many straps and belts as well as an Imperial rank marking indicating the rank of army captain (assuming none of it is covered by the jacket)
Moloch and Rebolt: Very little is known about these two. Moloch is an alien similar to the Pikes (an alien who is most certainly a Pike also appears.) His unique head mold has a larval/insectoid quality to it. He wears dark grey robes adorned with some gold-yellow lining and some straps across his chest. His gear includes some sort of white and gold stick/staff and a standard blaster pistol. Rebolt appears to be a colleague of Moloch, and I’d bet that the pair are animal trainers, herders, or farmers of some kind. The inclusion of new creature, the white Corellian hounds, and the inclusion of Moloch’s stick and Rebolt’s whip leads me to believe they make their living off these animals in some way. Anyway, Rebolt appears human. He wears the newer cap piece in tan, which was originally used by Pao in a Rogue One set. His armor is dark grey, near-black and scuffed/dirty with patches of lighter grey.
Quay Tolsite: Quay is undoubtedly a Pike, unless they came up with a new alien race that looks a lot like the Pikes from The Clone Wars. This character’s robes are black with printed tubing leading up to a shrouded, masked head. Near where the feet would be, there appears to be a lot of dirt and burn marks. Quay likely gets into some kind of conflict, and is prepared with a standard blaster pistol.
And of course, Imperials: Most interesting of all the Imperial figures (but really, all of them are great) is the Mimban stormtrooper. Mimban is a planet, so either Mimban factors into the plot or troops are pulled from there to assist nearby. The trooper, which I believe to be a some rank above normal soldiers, wears light grey trooper armor caked in dirt and sand, as well as a tattered grey cape with a lined pattern. This trooper most likely commands other new troopers in the film, such as the Imperial patrol troopers, which feature extensive black markings on their helmets and may not have as much leg armor as normal troopers (think baggy pants like scout troopers or shore troopers.) An Imperial officer has also surfaced with the rank of army major, and he features sideburns, a mustache, and grey cap to match his uniform. A female navy trooper also appears, so Solo’s crew likely runs in with a star destroyer or space station near Mimban, Corellia, or Kessel.
Last but not least: Another type of trooper, which has only been shown in the buildable ‘constraction’ figures line, has also been revealed. It wears a helmet similar to that of the tank drivers from Rogue One, and has a cloth waist cape and a blaster rifle. Many speculate that based on their name – the range trooper – is some kind of sniper unit. I would be surprised if we didn’t also get a minifigure version. There are also two new droids. First there’s the bright red Kessel Operations droid, which has a protocol droid-ish body and a face with a single, somewhat large photoreceptor (eye.) Then we have DD-BO, which is a stubby-bodied astromech droid (it uses the same body piece the same size as Chopper’s) but instead of normal astromech legs, it has a pair of short boxy legs connected to a bar under the main body. And truly last but not least, a TIE fighter pilot popped up that has new grey printing up the middle of it’s helmet, and possibly some text across the forehead.
Phew. Now that we’re all familiar with the reference material, let’s dive in to this what-if story. . .

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . .actually we probably aren’t doing this bit since Rogue One didn’t do it. What do you mean “it has to have a crawl?” Well I didn’t write one so just. . .just read. . .

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . .actually we probably aren’t doing this bit since Rogue One didn’t do it. What do you mean “it has to have a crawl?” Well I didn’t write one so just. . .just read.

On the planet Corellia, a young man works on what appears to be a racing vehicle. Other similar vehicles speed by, and the man knows he’s faster than them. But as things tend to go, he isn’t so lucky. He can’t seem to get in sync with his speeder, or get it to keep working long enough to be fit for a proper race. This young man is Han Solo in the days before he became the rebel general with a heart of gold. Right now he’s home, but isn’t sure what to define ‘home’ as just yet.

An older man appears, scolding Solo for moping on the job. Although he can’t get his speeder in working order, he knows his way around a garage and junk yard and can make-do. Anything he fixes will certainly fall apart, but with any luck it’ll survive long enough to get a job done. The older man, Solo’s mentor and employer Tobias Beckett, looks after Han as a son of sorts.  He knows Han wants something better than the filthy slums at the outskirts of Corellia’s bigger cities, but realizes that sometimes things don’t get much better under the Empire’s rule. Armed stomtroopers patrol the streets day and night, dragging away innocent civilians and scoundrel scum alike. No one knows what happens to them, and they usually aren’t heard from again.

The only worthwhile pursuits in the outskirts are racing, pit fighting, and gambling on either of those activities. These races certainly aren’t as high-stakes as a podrace akin to the ones on Tatooine or Malastare, but they pass the time and earn credits for those skilled enough to win. Han dreams of racing and moving faster than the Hutt’s pace of the outskirts. He’s going to make the big payday and get off Corellia, find a better job, and hopefully someone to spend some time with. So far, all he has is Beckett telling him what to do all the time.

At Beckett’s request, Han takes one of the working vehicles into the market district to pick up a shipment. He passes by a hover-cart carrying animals, which are used for sport in the arena pit. Dozens of white, gruff Corellian hounds are in cramped cages. There’s also a taller creature, brown and furry, roaring at anyone who so much as looks his way. Han arrives at the dealer stall to pick up the shipment, and after talking his way out of a payment dispute between the dealer and Beckett, he’s off on his way. Solo hates being the middleman, but at least he isn’t the one who owes money this time. . .

On the way back to Beckett’s, Han witnesses a woman being harassed by stomtroopers. He’s never involved himself with the Empire any time he could avoid it. He keeps driving but keeps an eye out. These street scuffles have a way of escalating into chases and brawls, and Han’s going to be damned if he has to explain running over a stromtrooper on the clock to Beckett. The morning’s episode seems to trail off further into the market, the stomtroopers’ shouts becoming quieter and less distinct. Han stops at an intersection and waits for more hover-carts and pedestrians to pass through. It looks like the troopers lost their mark in the dense foot traffic. But then suddenly Han feels a shift in the weight of the speeder, something feels off. He instinctively twists back, blaster drawn. The barrel rests in the face of an unwelcome passenger – the girl the Empire was after.

“Awfully quick to pull a blaster on someone, aren’t you?” She asks, hushing her voice.

“Yeah sweetheart, and if you don’t explain what you’re doing in my speeder you’ll answer to those troopers back there.”

“No! Please. . .you don’t know what they’ll do. . .”

“I can guess well enough.”

“I just need to get out of the market district. Please, I just need a ride.”

“This ain’t a shuttle service, you. . .”

Suddenly another trooper patrol appears, this one with speeders. If Han doesn’t get the girl out, and they see him, he’s in for a real-life race. But the Empire doesn’t race, does it? It pursues. It destroys. And Han isn’t in the business of getting annihilated. “Fine, just keep your head down,” He adds, begrudgingly getting the speeder moving again.

On the way back to Beckett’s garage, the girl checks if it’s safe to show her face. Realizing they’ve left the market in record time, she sighs in relief, “My name is Qi’Ra.”

“That’s nice.”

“I’m with the rebellion.”

“You know, the less you tell me, the more likely I am to help you. This ain’t the kind of place the rebellion can recruit in out in the open.”

“I wasn’t recruiting, I was on a mission.”

“You’re still telling me things.”

“Well, you’re impossible,” She scoffs.

“I’ve been called worse.”

“Where are we going exactly?”

Han abruptly stops the speeder, “We’re here.”

“This is the middle of nowhere.”

Han is well-aware of what he’s doing. Beckett hates the rebel alliance. Their attacks caused the crackdown on Corellia and now it’s harder than ever to get any work done without worrying about a random inspection. “Look, I did you a favor. The troopers don’t run this way for a few more hours. Plenty of time to get back to your ship or wherever it is you’re going. The least you can do is not drag me into this war of yours.”

Qi’Ra solemnly nods, “I guess you’re right. Thank you, stranger. Sorry to cause you any trouble.”

Han then realizes how cold he’s being, but Qi’Ra waves him on, insisting he leaves. Back at Beckett’s, he’s able to finish his work for the day and put the weird experience behind him.

Later on, Han learns why Qi’Ra was poking around in the first place. She’s investigating the disappearances, probably some mercy mission, or really just a fancy way of recruiting people by saving them. Han’s heard all the horror stories of people disappearing and being forced to work in the labor camps, specifically the mines of Kessel. But that’s got nothing to do with him. That is, until he meets Qi’Ra a second time.

Han finds Qi’Ra entangled with a group of patrol troopers in town. He doesn’t get directly involved, but finds the brown furry creature from a few days before once again. Remembering the angry roars he heard from the big guy, he lets him loose as a distraction. Han has no idea what he’s done. The mighty creature, apparently also upset by the stormtroopers, rages into the crowd and begins tossing them aside like playthings. Han’s impressed. He’s never seen anything that could pick up a trooper in full armor and pitch it across the street like discarded trash. But of course Han’s gotten himself into trouble without realizing it. There’s half a dozen unconscious troopers on the ground, a beast made of fur and rage, and a rebel agent looking for an escape – and Han has the only speeder nearby.

“Hey!” He calls out to Qi’Ra. Recognizing him, she sprints for the speeder. And so does the angry creature. “Fuzzball, I didn’t invite you too. . .”

The creature roars, and Qi’Ra can apparently understand it, “He says he’ll explain later, drive!”

A chase through Corellia’s streets ensues. Han knows the streets well enough to avoid many of the Imperial speeders, but once the screeching sound of a TIE fighter is heard overheard, he wonders if it’s all over. The creature roars, this time more subtly, and makes other strange sounds. “Chewbacca says go that way!”

“What’s a Chewbacca?” Han can’t decide who he trusts but follows the creature’s advice. Up ahead there’s a ship, likely Qi’Ra’s ride offworld. Or maybe Chewbacca’s, but Han isn’t sure if the fuzzball is the flying type. As they get closer, Imperial patrol speeders close in from the sides, and several stomtroopers step down from the loading ramp of the freighter ahead. It’s too late – Qi’Ra’s ride has been impounded, and Han will be implicated in whatever crimes she’s committed against the Empire.

Despite his best efforts, Han can’t talk his way out of a sentence to the spice mines of Kessel. Along with Qi’Ra and Chewbacca, he’s been forced into a choice between slavery or a blaster bolt to the head. The days are long and arduous, made worse by the Imperial slave drivers and some self-important guy in a ridiculous outfit and cape. Han is quick to start hatching a scheme to get offworld, but the plan is going to take time to put together. He’s stuck on an unfamiliar world with nothing but a wanted rebel and what he’s learned is called a Wookiee backing him up.

Days become weeks and months. Han’s life sentence on Kessel has been mundane and dangerous at the same time. Mining tunnels collapse, dangerous gasses explode, and impatient officers make examples of those who can’t keep up with the quotas. To make matters worse, the Empire employs bounty hunters to track down escapees and drag them back to the mines. Han is quick to take notice of who’s a chump and who’s the real deal. He spies something like a stormtrooper but more rugged, clad in green armor and wearing a jetpack. That would be the one not to mess with.

Months later, Han gets to know the self-important guy in the cape. He’s fallen on hard times, as he describes it. He was actually skimming off the top and the Empire caught onto his scheme, and that’s how Lando Calrissian earned a life sentence on Kessel.

“I think I can get us out of here.” Lando says.

“And how do you figure that?” Han asks.

“Well it’s pure and simple. I used to have top access to everything on this station. I get us to the hangar bays, we find a fast ship, and we leave. Simple as that.”

“Simple as that? Are you out of your mind?”

“It just so happens they impounded my ship before we had that disagreement about the status of my employment. And it just so happens to be the fastest ship in the galaxy. . .”

So that’s how I picture about the first third of Solo going – Han’s in the wrong place at the wrong time and instead of stepping up and rebelling (because we know he isn’t that grown-up yet) he wastes away until he develops a fighting spirit of his own. How do they get off Kessel? Does Chewbacca dislocate any shoulders on the way out? And does the leaked Boba Fett minifigure mean he’s in this film after all? I hope there’s a trailer coming soon and I hope I got at least a couple things right!

As always, thank you for reading!

Keep on trooping,

Supreme Leader David

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