Han Solo has always been the biggest smuggler in the Star Wars Universe, but his time on Hoth proves that he is also its worst engineer.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars # 12 by VC’s Charles Soule, Ramon Rosanas, Rachelle Rosenberg and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Han Solo has been one of the most iconic figures in pop culture since his introduction in 1977. While his cinematic adventures may be over for now, his exploits continue in the pages of Marvel. Star Wars. While there isn’t much about him that has changed, readers have had a chance to see aspects of Han Solo that hadn’t previously been mentioned. Han Solo is not only the greatest smuggler in the galaxy, but he was also the worst engineer of the Rebellion, as Star Wars Test # 12.
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Then The Empire Strikes Back, things are not going very well for the Rebellion. The Starlight Squadron’s first mission was disastrous, leaving them without their leader Shara Bey. The rebels have been nervous ever since they fell into the trap set by Imperial Commander Zahra, especially Shara’s husband, Kes Dameron. On the observation deck of Redemption, Kes finds Leia in a quiet moment of reflection. The two have a chance to discuss their respective relationships, both with people who have recently been lost to the Empire. When the subject turns to Han, Kes asks how he and Leia make things work despite their wildly different personalities. Leia doesn’t have a simple answer to your question, but she has the story to explain it.
Shortly after the Hoth base was completed, the heaters were turned off during an especially cold night. Temperatures inside the base soon became too cold to survive, so the rebels loaded as many people and animals as they could onto their ships to wait for the weather. Normally, this would have been enough, but the cold wasn’t just bringing in the residents of the base. The reactor that powered the base was made of spare parts, none of them built to withstand the extreme cold of Hoth.
With a quick thought, Han and Chewie headed to the reactor with a spare part of the Millennium Falcon in hopes that they could make a simple enough repair. Unfortunately, by the time the two arrived on the scene, the reactor was already on the brink of melting. In a desperate attempt to heat things up, Han opens fire to the fuel canisters in the room, setting off a wildfire that soon engulfs the entire chamber with smoke.
While this unfortunate decision was near lethal, it gave Han and Chewie the time they needed to fix things, all while the rest of the base waited in stunned silence from the safety of their ships. The way Leia presents the story is a fond testament to Han’s undying dedication to the Rebellion, even if that loyalty lies deep within his constant grievances and harsh exterior.
There is certainly truth to that, considering the risk it took to save a base in a cold and desolate world that Han already hates. As comforting as it may be, it’s probably the best thing the Rebellion would entrust to someone else to maintain their power grid in the future.
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