Han Solo is crucial throughout the original Star Wars trilogy. However, Obi-Wan Kenobi has finally explained part of his relationship with the Jedi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi set up many interesting character arcs in the original Star Wars trilogy, but one of the most subtle was the way in which it teed up the old Jedi’s relationship with roguish smuggler Han Solo. Ever since he burst onto the scene in a dodgy Mos Eisley cantina, Harrison Ford’s iconic character has been one of the most beloved figures in the entire franchise. However, while his connection to Obi-Wan, Luke, and the Rebel Alliance was almost accidental, Kenobi’s response to the dashing scoundrel was actually foreshadowed by his adventures in the Disney+ series.
Before helping Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker escape the clutches of Imperial forces on Tatooine, Han Solo was a criminal. As evidenced by his fractious relationship with Jabba the Hutt, the smuggler often strayed the wrong side of the law, bringing him into conflict with both authority figures and his dangerous paymasters. On the face of it, Han seems an unlikely figure for Obi-Wan to turn to when the future of the Rebellion is potentially at stake, however dire his need. However, Obi-Wan’s decision to put his faith in Solo actually comes from experience, as demonstrated by the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
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Much like Han Solo, Haja Estree is a black market operator, working as a con man in the criminal underworld of Daiyu. While purporting to be a Jedi, Haja offers assistance to those in need – including off-world transportation – for a price. Although his deception initially disgusts Obi-Wan, the Jedi ultimately realizes that Haja has a good soul, for all his duplicity. Even though Haja and Han are ultimately very different characters, it’s easy to see how his earlier encounter with the Daiyu-based felon informed Obi-Wan’s willingness to trust Han Solo in A New Hope. Even though he was motivated by money and dealt with some of the most nefarious individuals in the galaxy, at his core he was someone Obi-Wan could trust in a time of need – just as Haja had been nearly a decade earlier.
Judging by Obi-Wan’s initial response to Haja, it’s likely that had he not had the benefit of learning more about the con man, his view of those operating on the other side of the law would have remained dim. After witnessing his deceptive tactics firsthand, Obi-Wan draws a blaster on Haja, threatening him with physical violence. However, Haja’s willingness to put himself in harm’s way for the sake of others prompts Kenobi to reconsider his opinion, culminating in his declaration that the word of a liar and fake Jedi is “good enough for me” in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6. This demonstrates how Obi-Wan has moved from a default stance of suspicion to learning that there’s often more beneath the surface than someone’s immediate circumstances.
This growth on the part of Obi-Wan explains his willingness to work with Han Solo. His experience alongside Haja has taught him that even those that engage in deception for a living can still be good at their core and invaluable allies when the chips are down. For all Han’s arrogance and skepticism of the Force, Obi-Wan can recognize in him the same traits that Haja embodied. Were it not for his previous encounter and subsequent friendship, it’s likely that Obi-Wan would have been far less willing to trust Solo with such an important mission. As such, it’s not a stretch to say that the relationship explored in Obi-Wan Kenobi helped lay the foundations for the story told in the original Star Wars trilogy in a subtle yet vitally important way.
More: Kenobi’s Finale Fixed Original Trilogy Darth Vader Lines & Plot Holes
All episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are available on Disney+
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After an eclectic career incorporating scuba diving, cheffing and teaching, Tommy eventually found his calling as a writer. With an early focus on food, he now specialises in all aspects of entertainment. Despite being a Lord of the Rings and Alien obsessive, his real passion is for truly terrible movies. He loves anything with a 0% Rotten Tomatoes rating and rarely passes up an opportunity to watch The Room. Tommy is based in London and joined the Screen Rant team in 2021.
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