Even though it sounded like a terrible idea from the beginning, Solo: A Star Wars Story managed to turn out much better than we were expecting it to be. Despite a troubled production that saw the replacement of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller with Ron Howard and extensive reshoots that wound up pushing the film’s production costs to upwards of $300 million, Solo manages to be a fun heist movie set in the Star Wars universe that expands the franchise in some small, yet surprising ways. While primarily focused on tell Han Solo’s origin story, the film makes time to throw in references to more obscure Star Wars stories, as well as some nods to other film franchises.
Here are 15 Easter eggs that you may have totally missed in Solo: A Star Wars Story (and if you haven’t seen the movie yet, be warned that there are a bunch of SPOILERS below).
15. Blaster Pistol Scope, Explained
In Solo, we learn that Han’s signature DL-44 blaster originally belonged to his mentor figure, Beckett (Woody Harrelson). While it’s not much of a backstory (and to be fair, we really didn’t need any backstory for how Han got his pistol), it at least explains the gun’s odd configuration in a subtle way that doesn’t beat viewers over the head. The presence of a scope on Han’s blaster has seemed like an odd choice from the start, especially with its placement on the right side of the gun. However, since Beckett favors using his left hand to shoot, the scope’s location makes a lot more sense, since Beckett would use his left eye for targeting.
The criminal underworld of Star Wars takes center stage in Solo, which affords the writers plenty of opportunity to make reference to characters and events closely associated with the seedy side of the galaxy. One such example occurs early on in the movie when Han first joins up with Beckett and his team of outlaws. Though Beckett vouches for Han and Chewbacca as being up to the task, his partner Val (Thandie Newton) isn’t so sure and says that they should have reached out to a bounty hunter they know and trust – like “Bossk.”
Though he only makes a brief appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, the lizard-like Trandoshan bounty hunter Bossk has become a popular character in expanded universe content such as books, comics, and animated series (he was even a playable character in last year’s Star Wars Battlefront II). He also kinda has it out for Han and Chewie … maybe it’s because Beckett didn’t give him a call for the Vandor job?
13. Mandalorian Rally Master Armor
There are some very cool artifacts in the possession of Crimson Tide leader Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), but the one most likely to catch the attention of fans is the large set of red Mandalorian armor on display in his elaborate quarters. It’s possible that the armor could signal that Vos has Mandalorian heritage but it could also be a callback to Knights of the Old Republic, Bioware’s beloved 2003 video game that is now assumed to be non-canon since Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney.
As that game explains, standard troops wore blue armor, Field Marshals wore gold, and frontline veterans wore silver. Crimson armor was saved for the Rally Masters and was designed to make them stand out in battle. The suit’s heritage is confirmed in Solo: The Official Guide, which lists it as “Rally Master Armor.”
12. Indiana Jones Artifcacts
Speaking of Easter eggs hidden among Dryden Vos’s large collection of ancient relics, there are idols from all four Indiana Jones movies scattered throughout his trophy room. This includes the fertility idol stolen by Indy in Raiders of the Lost Ark (it’s located behind Han during his initial meeting with Vos), the Sankara Stones from Temple of Doom, and the Holy Grail from The Last Crusade, though we haven’t spotted these last two (Lucasfilm confirms they’re there, however).
Much easier to spot is a crystal skull on a raised platform near one of the yacht’s exterior windows, which is no doubt a nod to the most reviled installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
11. Sith Holocron
Okay, last one we promise! The holocrons — tiny, polygonal forms of memory and storage information — have only played a small role in the Star Wars movies so far and we’ve only seen the Jedi variety. As revealed in Star Wars Rebels, the Sith also have their own holocrons and Dryden Vos has one in his personal collection that looks much different than the ones introduced in Rebels. Unlike those holocrons, which are small, red, and triangular in shape, Dryden’s is a massive, golden-black one. Whether or not Dryden knew how to make use of this holocron, it looks like it will be in Maul’s possession now given what happens at the end of Solo.
10. Han’s Reference To ‘Star Wars Rebels’
Solo is the first Star Wars movie to truly feel connected to the franchise’s side stories. Specifically, the acclaimed animated series Star Wars Rebels gets a couple nods in the film. In that series, the heroes travel around in their own signature ship called Ghost, which is actually a CEC VCX-100 light freighter. As a Corellian with shipbuilding in his background, Han would know quite a bit about this ship and he uses that knowledge to confidently bluff his way into a game of sabacc with Lando, telling the smuggler that he owns a VCX-100. However, you don’t need to watch Rebels to get this reference, as the ship also shows up at the Battle of Scarif in Rogue One.
9. Tam Posla Cameo
One of Solo’s best cameos belongs to a character that the majority of viewers have probably never even heard of. Briefly introduced in Rogue One as a bounty hunter on the trail of Dr. Cornelius Evazan, the pig-nosed man who assaults Luke Skywalker in a Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope, Tam Posla has since become a popular hero among a small contingent of Star Wars fans thanks to his appearance as a loyal, just, and cool bounty hunter in the pages of the Doctor Aphra comics. He shows up in Solo as a background character during Han and Lando’s sabaac match.
8. Aurra Sing’s Fate Revealed
One of our favorite Star Wars callbacks comes in the form of a brief bit of dialogue that reveals the fate of a character first introduced in Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Aurra Sing first made an appearance as a hard-to-miss spectator during that film’s podrace scene and she eventually became a fully-fleshed out character in the second season of Clone Wars as a bounty hunter and mother figure to a young Boba Fett.
When Lando and Beckett eet in Solo, the former mentions that he heard a rumor that Beckett was the one who took Aurra Sing down. Beckett corrects him, claiming in mock innocence that it was “the fall” that took her life. In other words, Beckett is a bounty hunter-killing badass.
7. The Millennium Falcon’s Nose, Explained
Anyone who’s paid close attention to the exterior design of Han Solo’s iconic ship knows that the Star Wars films haven’t exactly been consistent with it, especially when it comes to the ship’s front end. The Falcon’s signature nose notch does not appear in this movie and while we know that Han makes some cosmetic changes to the ship in the years between Solo and A New Hope (like turning it into a “hunk of junk”), getting rid of a whole portion of the ship seems like a bit of a stretch.
Fortunately, the whole thing is cleared up when Han points out that Lando has added an auxiliary ship to the design, which also performs double duty of making the Falcon look just like Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art. Now, thanks to Solo, we know that the notch is a standard part of the Falcon’s design used for moving cargo containers and once Lando’s upgrade is lost, the ship returns to its original design.
6. Chewbacca Breaks The Dejarik Board
Given how much focus the Millennium Falcon gets in Solo, it’s hardly surprising to see the ship’s Holochess board make another appearance (or if you want to get technical, its debut). We see Chewbacca encounter the board for the first time, as he plays the game of Dejarik with Beckett, who evidently has yet to hear the term “Let the Wookiee win.” Chewie doesn’t take the loss well and tries to swipe the pieces from the board in a fit of rage, only to discover that the pieces can’t move on account of being digital.
However, there’s more going on here than just establishing Chewbacca’s love of board games. If you look closely at the board when Chewie swipes, you’ll see that two of the game pieces blink out as a result. This is a nod to the two pieces created by animator Phil Tippett in A New Hope that were scrapped by George Lucas on account of the board not being big enough. Tippet showed off the two figures — Bulbous and Scrimp — as part of a Kickstarter in 2017, but now we have a canonical explanation for them not being in the original movie.
5. Cape Advice From George Lucas
Although he officially walked away from the Star Wars franchise when sold the rights to Disney back in 2012, George Lucas is close friends with Solo director Ron Howard, so it was hardly surprising to learn that the legendary filmmaker paid a visit to the set during production. However, Lucas went one step further and even co-directed a scene, offering a bit of advice for how Han should handle himself. The scene in question is the one where Han finds Qi’ra trying on one of Lando’s capes aboard the Millennium Falcon. The original version of the script called for Han to remove the cape and return it to its hanger, but as Howard tells Variety, Lucas felt that this was much too “polished” an action for a character like Han.
“He said, ‘You know, Han wouldn’t bother to hang it up… And then he sort of did it. George became Han Solo for a second. The body language was there and the attitude. Not only was it a nice accent on the scene, but it was also a reminder that George created this character and really understood him. He was so reluctant [to offer his opinion], and yet the choice was so right that it was fun to use it,” Howard stated.
4. Cloud City Nod
Donald Glover’s performance as a young Lando Calrissian is easily one of the high points of Solo, as the actor channels the great Billy Dee Williams while also putting his own spin on the character. As we know from his debut in The Empire Strikes Back, Lando has a taste for the finer things in life, he takes his position as a well-dressed leader of a mining colony very seriously.
While Lando hasn’t yet landed his Cloud City gig when we meet him in Solo, Glover certainly plays up Lando’s prim and proper sensibilities, so when he states that “mining colonies are the worst” upon arriving on the gritty, grimy Kessel, Lando’s distaste for his surroundings shines through. Of course, this line also references his future as someone who will eventually run a mining colony. However, we also learn that Cloud City may already be in Lando’s sights, as he has a chrome model of the station in his collection aboard the Falcon.
3. Lando’s ‘Return of the Jedi’ Disguise
Alright, it’s hard to miss this Easter egg but it still needs to be pointed out as an example of pure fan service. Though Lando doesn’t use any disguises during the Kessel job — mostly because he stays on board the Millennium Falcon for the majority of the action — Beckett dons the same disguise we see Lando wear in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi.
Of course, the armor serves a practical purpose in hiding Beckett’s face from anyone who might recognize him but the visual composition of the scene is fitting as well, as much like Lando with Leia, Beckett is also serving as security detail for a woman short in stature (Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra). Evidently, Lando was such a fan of Beckett’s disguise that he decided to use it himself over a decade later when he needed to go undercover.
2. ‘I Know’
One of the most famous exchanges in Star Wars history comes just as Han Solo is about to be frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back. As Han makes eye contact with Leia, she blurts out “I love you!” to which Han confidently responds, “I know.” This improvised line has become the stuff of legend and perfectly encapsulates Han’s effortless cool factor, so it’s fitting that Solo would pay homage to it in some way. This time around, it’s Lando Calrissian letting Han know how he truly feels about him, stating plainly that “I hate you,” as he looks upon the trashed Millennium Falcon. Without missing a beat, Han replies, “I know.”
1. Hey, It’s Warwick Davis!
Fans of Ron Howard’s 1988 fantasy film Willow likely noticed that that film’s star pops up towards the end of Solo in a fun cameo. That’s right – actor Warwick Davis plays one of the Cloud-Riders led by Enfys Nest and this definitely isn’t his first time appearing in a Star Wars movie. One of Davis’ earliest roles was the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi and he also had a small part in The Phantom Menace as “Weazel,” a character who bets on the pod race with Watto and wins big when Anakin wins the race.
In fact, Davis plays the very same character in Solo, as the film’s official guide notes that his name is Weazel and that he “previously worked with the Hutt gang out of Mos Espa on Tatooine,” which means that the man who made a bet with Watto in The Phantom Menace turned out to be one of the founding members of what would become the Rebel Alliance. Cool stuff!