In other words, if Han Solo were to pick up a lightsaber, would he be able to handle it without slicing open his own limbs?
In yet other words, if our beloved scoundrel were to be born before the Great Jedi Purge would he have been trained as a Jedi?
Would Han Solo be named in the famous secret list kept by the Jedi of all Force-sensitive children in the Galaxy, before the list was destroyed, that is?
While there is no concrete answer to the above questions, Star Wars fans will agree that it’s closer to a yes, than a no.
It may be noted that none of the nine canon films, two spin-offs (including the Han Solo movie), and the two canonical series, ever mention Han Solo as Force-sensitive.
Granted that he hung out with “the last Jedi” Luke and married “the secretly most powerful Jedi” Leia.
Even his son, Kylo Ren, wielded the evil red lightsaber and was in line to be the next Sith Lord. But Han’s own Force powers have always remained elusive.
That said, my research into Han’s Force history has led me to some interesting facts, besides the oft-cited examples of his Jedi-like capabilities.
We all know how he would manipulate Jabba The Hutt to do his bidding or could magically control where his opponent would shoot during a duel with Greedo.
Then there were his famous “feeling” tropes when Han could just “feel” if something good, or bad, was going to happen. Fans of the prequel series The Clone Wars would know these are all Jedi tricks.
In fact, the canon has always portrayed Han as a cynic, someone who did not believe the Jedi, or the Force, were real. Palpatine and Darth Vader did a good job ensuring the Jedi were wiped out from the Galaxy and also the memories of its inhabitants.
So even if there was any Force sensitivity in Han, he would always show it off as his unique talent or gift. (Even the time one he actually wields a lightsaber when trying to save his friend Luke, the feat is dismissed without any furor.)
So while Han may display a number of Jedi-like qualities, lose his life while fighting to redeem the fallen Jedi Order – he remained in the greyer areas of Force-sensitivity.
But isn’t Star Wars all about pushing out the old black and white ways of looking at the world, and in favor of the grey?
1. The Skeptic Han Solo
Born on the “mud planet” of Corellia, Han had missed out on the great Jedi Age by almost a decade. As inhabitants of the Corellian underworld, all concepts of Jedi and the Force were nothing more than ancient history to Han and his fellow scrum rats.
At the time, all Han could dream of was to learn to fly a ship, and escape into the stars. All else was only means to that one end.
Even after he acquires his dreamboat, the Millennium Falcon, and meets a young Luke who’s training to be a Jedi – Han is skeptical of it all. Even seeing the Force in action during Luke’s training sessions with Obi-Wan does not seem to affect his cynicism.
In fact, it is not until Han and Leia have dinner with Darth Vader (talk about father-in-law setting the son-in-law straight!) that Han turns into a believer.
So it may not be a surprise that for most of the Original Trilogy, we see Han consistently denying the Force itself, let alone his own capabilities with it. He was as skeptical as the viewers were of it all.
No wonder he was a fan favorite for the longest time. The cool Han Solo who thinks everyone is stupid – what a rave he must’ve been!
2. Han’s Jedi Mind Tricks
We know Han is incredibly good at “talking his way out of” bad situations. But to many fans, this sweet talk seems to imply his latent Jedi mind tricks.
During his interactions with Jabba in Return of the Jedi, Han convinces Jabba to forego a death sentence in the sarlacc pit to face the bounty hunter, Boba Fett.
He then manages to survive that as well, and all that while he is temporarily blinded from being frozen in carbonite.
There is always something very distracting about the way he waves his hands around Jabba. If that’s not Force in action then what is it?
Then there is the infamous cantina scene where Han Solo is squared off against another bounty hunter Greedo. This poorly edited scene has roused both the ire and awe, of many fans. Who shot first – Han or Greedo?
If Greedo shot first, how did he miss so blatantly? If Han shot first, why can’t we see it? George Lucas has even tried to clarify the matter, saying it was Greedo who shot first. But this only added fuel to fire.
In the scene, as you can see, just before the shooting begins, Han is seen casually pointing out a spot on the wall behind. In the very next scene, Greedo takes a shot at Han, misses, and hits the exact same spot! Trick or no trick – no prizes for guessing.
3. It’s All About the Feeling
In the first two Star Wars films, Han can be seen having a good laugh about the Force and the Jedi every now and then. Just as viewers, he too finds the idea of a “mystical energy field” controlling him as absurd and delirious.
And yet, he remains the best of his mates in sensing its warnings. From the garbage compactor on the Death Star to the corridors of his beloved freighter, Han’s gut feelings were rarely wrong.
Every Jedi in the first two films – Obi-Wan, Leia, Luke, and Darth Vader – have at least once said “I have a bad feeling about this” and it has come true. In Han’s case, it has only happened four fricking times.
So it may seem that not only does he have the Force, he also has it more than his friends!
In Return of the Jedi, when Luke goes missing, Han has a bad feeling and decides to set out in search of his friend in the frozen wastelands of Hoth?
Trapped by a wild creature, Luke would have died in the harsh cold had Han not found him just in time. The whole scene seems very unlikely if we think Han is not channeling some kind of Force.
4. Galaxy’s Luckiest Man
When Obi-Wan is explaining the Force to Han and Luke in A New Hope, Han responds with “I just call that luck.” Maybe this is less of an admission of disbelief and more a statement of intent.
But the former Jedi master Obi-Wan has the best answer, “In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.” Indeed, if I had a nickel every time Han saved the day and said he “just got lucky” I would be a millionaire.
Han would always be able to find himself in the right place at the right time. He would somehow always know where and when he was needed the most.
We are first introduced to Han’s save-the-day streak during the climactic battle of A New Hope. Luke is put in a tough spot by his deadbeat dad, Darth Vader.
But Han has a last-minute change of heart about leaving the Rebels and returns, stumbling upon the father-son duo, and saving Luke’s life. Luke manages to pull off the impossible shot needed for the bombardment of the Death Star, the day is saved.
In Solo: A Star Wars Story, the climactic face-off between Han and his friend Beckett ends with Han pulling the trigger at just the right moment.
Beckett had almost convinced me with his dreamy plans of learning a musical instrument after retirement. But Han’s instinct was not just razor-sharp, it was saber-sharp!
Many fans believe that since Han’s sensitivity has never been explained to him before, he’s always just thought of it as luck. But even as he watches
5. Pilot Skills And Alien Tongues
There is something about the vastness of the Galaxy, and its many terrains and planets, which makes for the whole Force-using, an important part of traveling through it.
Almost every great Force-user from the Star Wars universe has a special connection to flying space ships. To man a ship around a Galaxy as huge as the one far, far away needs a lot of skill, experience, and then some more.
From Anakin’s childhood penchant for pod racing to Luke’s immediate admittance to the Rebel Alliance after his story about shooting womp rats on his speeder – there’s something about being good at slicing well through space that hints at a talent for the Force.
Not just flying skills, Han’s language skills too were more than up to mark. Without any droid sidekicks, he seemed quite self-sufficient when interacting with inhabitants of alien lands and unknown cultures.
Let us not forget, he saved his life, and also rescued Chewie from slavery, just by knowing the native language of the Wookiees.
It’s not just Jabba The Hut, but even when Han meets Greedo in the Mos Eisley cantina, he clearly understands the green alien’s dulcet tones sans translator.
6. When Han Wielded the Lightsaber
In the canon films, there is only one instance when a non-Force user wields a lightsaber. Guess who is it? After discovering Luke in the wintery wastelands of Hoth in Return of the Jedi, Han finds Luke suffering from severe frostbites and injuries from a wampa attack.
The dropping temperatures and a brewing cold storm overhead, force Han to use Luke’s lightsaber and cut open his dead tauntaun. He then sticks Luke inside its entrails to keep him warm until he can build a makeshift shelter for the night.
We do see Han using a lightsaber and with ease at that, even if he only uses it for an emergency.
In the comics too Han has wielded a lightsaber only during an emergency like when he and Leia were on a mission to rescue Luke, in Star Wars Volume 2.
7. About Solo: A Star Wars Story
The 2018 Star Wars spin-off film Solo: A Star Wars Story follows the adventures of Han Solo and his friends Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian in the early years of the Empire. Han is out to make a name for himself in the seedy galactic underworld all while dreaming of flying among the stars.
He is seen in the classic will they/won’t they relationship with fellow Corellian scrunge rat Qi’ra. One of the greyest characters of the franchise, Qi’ra helps Han survive the ruthless criminal organization, Crimson Dawn. However, by the end of the film, she is seen spearheading Crimson Dawn.
The film offers a treat for Han Solo fans, answering so many questions from the original trilogy about the galaxy’s favorite hero. However, it has been termed as redundant and irrelevant to the original canon plot.