Old Friends: Han Solo
Synopsis: 19 years before the Battle of Yavin, Han Solo was an orphan on the streets of Corellia. In the 3 volumes of The Han Solo Trilogy, and the stories included in the Han Solo Adventures, falling between Volume 2 and 3, (to be reviewed spearately) his "back story" is developed and we learn how and why he became the man we meet in the Mos Eisley Cantina.
Review: 10 years after being taken from the streets of Corellia by Garris Shrike, sadistic pirate Captain of the "Traders Luck", Han Solo realizes that he will never enter the Imperial Academy unless he breaks away from the tyrannical rule of the pirate band. With the help of his best friend Dewlanna, a 600 year old Wookiee, he escapes to accept a pilots position on Ylesia.
On his arrival, he meets Teroenza, a t'landa Til and is introduced to a religious movement "The All". Relieved of his weapons, he is assigned a cat-like bodyguard, Muuurgh the Togorian. Hired as a pilot, and touring the facilities, he meets Pilgrim 921 and promptly falls for her. On closer examination, he finds the religion to be a sham, that he has been hired to smuggle spice, "The All" is a cover for a slave/spice running operation, and he's really working for the Hutts.
Following his first smuggling run and a pirate attack, he escapes and lands on Alderaan to make repairs and arrange medical care for Muuurgh, injured in the raid. Returning to Ylesia, he finds the t'landa Til so impressed with his quick thinking, they assign him a mission to Nal Hutta to meet Jiliac the Hutt.
Han's mission is accomplished on Nal Hutta. This diversion gives the reader new insights into the workings of the Hutt Empire and their outlook on their place in the galaxy. He returns to Ylesia determined to rescue the pilgrims, disrupt the slaving and separate the t'landa Til from their wealth and treasure.
I certainly would not want to reveal all the plots and twists involved in the relationship between the t'landa Til and the Hutts, or the repercussions following his departure from Ylesia, but suffice it to say Han Solo's actions at this time will affect him, and the direction his life takes in the future. The development of his personality and his relationships with this very diverse cast of characters gives great insight into the man we will know so well in later years.
Title: The Paradise Snare