Han Solo (born 30 BBY), a character in the fictional Star Wars universe, is played by actor Harrison Ford in the Star Wars movie series.
The witty Solo, a human from Corellia, is a smuggler who flies the Millennium Falcon with the assistance of his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca. Solo was once a promising young officer in the Imperial Navy but lost his commission when he first met Chewbacca, then an Imperial slave, and helped him escape. He won the Millennium Falcon from fellow scoundrel Lando Calrissian, in a game of sabacc.
Though intent on repaying a large and mounting debt to Tatooine crime boss and former employer Jabba the Hutt (and having shot and killed Jabba's employee, Greedo), Solo is dragged into the rebellion against the Empire after being hired to shuttle Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to Alderaan.
Solo had unusual abilities for a non-Jedi human. Among them are his ability to handle a lightsaber, a nearly prescient capability to detect danger, and his ability to surprise Vader at the Battle of Yavin.
Solo plays a major role in the Star Wars saga, moving from a reluctant participant to a central figure over the course of the first three movies. He eventually receives a commission, becomes a General and leads the commando raid on the shield generator facility on the forest moon of Endor.
His debt to Jabba the Hutt and relationship with Luke Skywalker have led many to speculate that he is modeled after Lucas's friend Francis Ford Coppola.
After the Return of the Jedi
In the novels that take place after Return of the Jedi, Solo plays a central role in the turbulent years following the death of the Emperor. Solo was picked to command a New Republic task force to hunt down and capture or kill Warlord Zsinj. Four years after the Return of the Jedi and the Battle of Endor, Solo resigns his commission in order to court Princess Leia. After killing the warlord along the way, he marries Princess Leia on Coruscant.
Han and Leia have three children together: twins Jaina Solo and Jacen Solo, and Anakin Solo, named after his grandfather Anakin Skywalker. Imperial agents frequently attempt to kidnap these children, with the intent of raising them as Dark Jedi.
Solo and Chewbacca later go on a diplomatic mission to Kessel. While there, they are shot down and imprisoned by the administrator Moruth Doole. While in the prison, Solo befriends a young man named Kyp Durron. Chewbacca, Solo, and Durron manage to escape in an Imperial Shuttle. They go into the Maw, and are captured by Admiral Daala, who is guarding the secret Maw Installation. Solo is taken to Qwi Xux, who helped design the Death Star, and who just designed an Imperial Superweapon, the Sun Crusher. Solo convinces Dr. Xux that the Empire is evil. Xux and Solo free Chewbacca and Durron. The group then stole the Sun Crusher, and returned it to the New Republic.
Durron soon began training. During this training, Durron fell to the Dark Side. Solo took off to hunt down Durron after Durron found the Sun Crusher and took the vessel on a rampage. After Durron was found, the Sith Lord who was influencing Durron was destroyed. Durron surrendered to Solo. Solo stood at Durron's side when Durron went before the New Republic council, and took Durron back to Luke Skywalker. Skywalker forgave Durron, and Durron continued his training, eventually becoming one of the first Jedi Masters of the new order.
Later Han Solo returned to Corellia for the first time in many years. Solo's cousin, Thracken Sal-Solo, was inciting a revolution to overthrow the existing government, and the entire system was on the edge of civil war. Solo and his friends helped defuse the situation before it degenerated into a full blown war.
Chewbacca died in "Vector Prime," the first New Jedi Order series of books. Han Solo took the death of his companion hard, sinking into alcoholism and depression. He took his anger and grief out on his family, and returned to his loner lifestyle. By the end of the New Jedi Order series, Solo had finally managed to accept Chewbacca's death and move on, and repair his relationship with his family.