For years, fans have imagined what Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia have been up to after Return of the Jedi. And even with Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening in just four months, we still don’t know. Director J.J. Abrams has offered up a tiny tease, though, specifically about Han Solo.

There is a generation of people…of characters in this world who may have heard of him, who may not have heard of him at all. What would he mean to people now? And that just struck a nerve for me. So, it’s certainly part of our story.

You can hear the quote in this video, along with some other cool but highly unrevealing interviews with members of the cast.

That’s Abrams talking to Variety at the D23 Expo last weekend. And those words are just fascinating. In the original Star Wars trilogy, Solo already had a reputation. He was well-known across the galaxy as being a good pilot, but also a bit of a scoundrel. There was a bounty on his head first from Jabba the Hutt, then Darth Vader, too. His reputation shifted however, when he joined the Rebellion, quickly rising to the rank of General and leading an essential mission on Endor that helped destroy the second Death Star.

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That event alone would make him famous across the galaxy. But Abrams’ quote makes it sound like there’s more to it than that. He “means” something to people. Do they revere him? Fear him? Misunderstand him? Has he been a good guy since the film ended? Will he be looking for redemption? Lots of those answers surely lay in the relationships between him, Leia and Luke.

Most believe (probably because it happened in the Expanded Universe) that Han and Leia got married and had kids. But we don’t know if that’s what happened in Abrams’ film. And if it did, was Han Solo a good father? Was Luke a good uncle? Did Leia embrace her connection to the Force? Was Han okay if she did?

There are almost too many questions for any kind of worthwhile speculation, and that’s why Abrams and his team have held these mysteries most sacred in marketing The Force Awakens. But this quote gives the teeny, tiniest hint at Solo’s place in the universe and it definitely sounds like he’s only increased his legend in the past thirty years. He’s done significant things that would give him additional fame or, possibly, infamy.

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So when Han Solo comes “home” in this film, it’ll not only have meaning to fans who love the character, it’ll resonate with the other characters in the film too. And honestly, that’s probably even cooler.

Feel free to post your Han Solo urban legends from a post-Return of the Jedi world, in the comments.

[Variety via Nerdist]


Contact the author at germain@io9.com.

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