There are quite a few obvious references to Star Wars in the new Solo movie. The plot itself includes everything from the Sabbac card game between Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to the Millennium Falcon’s famous Kessel Run. But if you peel back the layers, Solo reveals some much deeper connections to the ever-expanding Star Wars universe. Here’s a look at a few you may have missed. Or, maybe you noticed them and are looking for an online article to validate that fact. Either way, here they are.
Spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story below. Buckle up, baby.
“We don’t need their scum here.”
After Beckett (Woody Harrelson) brings Han and Chewie along for their big score, Val (Thandie Newton) is very vocally against the idea. As the group settles around a campfire the night before their heist, she says they could’ve hired anybody for this job — then specifically Bossk.
The Trandoshen bounty hunter only had a few seconds of screentime in The Empire Strikes Back. After two Imperial Officers smugly declare their kind scum, they look up to see the mighty Bossk staring down at them. He, along with Dungar, Zuckuss, IG-88, and of course Boba Fett, were all brought there by Darth Vader to help track down the elusive Han Solo (who, by the way, was biding his time parked on the side of his Star Destroyer).
A major figure in the old Expanded Universe (now referred to as Legends), Bossk has remained a part of Star Wars continuity since Disney took over the franchise, appearing in animated form in a handful of Clone Wars episodes. Additionally, he shows up in assorted comic books and novelizations throughout post-canon Star Wars. No matter where he pops up, he’s always sporting that sweet Doctor Who spacesuit.
“Pushed. Pretty sure the fall killed her.”
The first time Beckett shows up on screen in Solo, he’s unstoppable on the front lines. When Han figures out his scheme the next day, he’s shown to be equally ruthless off the battlefield. But there wasn’t anything that really sold hardcore fans on his alleged badassery until Lando himself revealed that he was the guy who killed Aurra Sing.
Aurra Sing was seen very briefly watching Anakin’s pod race in 1999’s The Phantom Menace. With her standout appearance, there was some speculation that she could become the prequel trilogy’s Boba Fett. That never ended up happening, but she has shown up quite a bit in The Clones Wars, as well as in a run in a Darth Maul comic series.
“What was that?”
This is one of the stranger references that seems to come completely out of left field. About halfway through the film, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) ruthlessly takes down a guard using hand-to-hand combat. When L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) asks where she learned to fight like that, she replies simply “Teräs Käsi.”
The fighting style is relatively new to Star Wars canon. It’s mentioned briefly in the mobile game Star Wars: Uprising and the Praetorian Guards in The Last Jedi are also said to have been trained in the art. But back in the old Legend days, Teräs Käsi was best known as a Star Wars fighting game on the first Sony PlayStation. Sure, it had clunky controls and wildly unbalanced characters, but it was still a Star Wars fighting game, for crying out loud.
“Never thought I’d be smuggling myself.”
As Solo pilots the Millennium Falcon through the nebula at the end of the film, the coaxium they’re taking back to Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) is stored in some very familiar compartments in the walkway of The Millennium Falcon. Designed for smuggling, these spaces were first seen way back in 1977’s A New Hope when Han and company repurposed them as a temporary hideout from Imperial Stormtroopers.
“A most peculiar dialect.”
After L3-37 starts a mini-droid revolution, she’s tragically struck down by blaster fire before she can board the Falcon. After giving us a surprisingly touching death scene, she gets to live on as part of The Millennium Falcon.
In order to navigate their way out of the nebula, Lando takes L3’s neural circuits and installs them into the Falcon. While it helps our heroes navigate a shortcut through the Kessel Run (clocking in at 12 parsecs — if you round down), it goes a long way in explaining some things about the Falcon in general.
In The Empire Strikes Back, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) tells Solo that the Falcon has “a most peculiar dialect,” which would indicate L3’s personality is still intact. Not to mention that as one of the most defiantly independent droids in the entire franchise, it sheds some new light on why the Falcon is so prone to malfunction.
“Don’t trust anybody.”
Yes, this is unequivocally the ‘Han shoots first’ moment in the film, but prior to blasting a hole in the chest of his (brief) mentor in a life of crime, Becket imparts some advice to Solo that seems to stick with him for years after. His words are what inspire the gruff, untrusting Solo that one day Luke will eventually meet in the Mos Eisley Cantina.
“You and I will be working closely together.”
There weren’t a lot of surprising moments in Solo, but the one-time Sith apprentice formerly known as Darth Maul showing up at the end was certainly unexpected. After Qi’ra kills her boss, she uses his ring to contact Maul, who appears as a hologram. This might have thrown casual viewers for a loop. After all, he’s cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) at the end of The Phantom Menace. This could lead to the assumption that Solo takes place before the prequels — which isn’t the case.
If you look closely, when Maul stands up while talking to Qi’ra, you can see he’s sporting cybernetic legs. Outside of the films, Maul’s a pretty active presence, showing up throughout The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series. There’s a bit more explanation there as to how Maul survived the duel in Naboo’s royal palace, and how he became the boss of an elaborate crime syndicate.
With more Solo sequels and/or spin-offs on the horizon, possibly including the just-announced Boba Fett movie, his appearance hints at him being the big bad in future installments. It also meets the minimum requirement for lightsaber appearances per Star Wars movie — which is apparently one.