In Solo: A Star Wars Story, Han doesn’t have a family and takes the name “Solo” because he is, well, alone.
But that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten where he came from; he’s just moved on from it. Because he does remember his father, and he talks about him at times – and we may have just seen him for the first time in canon!
In the first issue of the new Han Solo & Chewbacca comic, written by Marc Guggenheim, Han Solo and Chewbacca are send by Jabba the Hutt on a job with the scoundrel Greedo to a very familiar planet to Solo: Corellia, his home. Han mentions how he never expected to go back but that 500,000 credits is a good enough reason, and once there Han reflects a bit on his days as a youth running on the streets. He also discloses that his father used to build YT-1300s for the Corellian Engineering Corporation, and at the end of the issue, Han bumps into – literally – a man who he notices works for the CEC. When the man asks what Han’s father’s name was, Han says Ovan – which, shockingly to both men, is this stranger’s name. The issue ends as he embraces Han in a hug, saying, “By the stars, I don’t believe it… I’ve found you, boy.”
In other words, it looks like Han Solo has now been reunited with his father, Ovan. But there’s also some skepticism needed here, as it remains to be seen whether this is really Han’s father or not. Given some of the history there, it’s understandable to have some doubts.
But regardless, this is the first time that Han’s father’s name has been explicitly identified in canon, as we now know that Han’s father was named Ovan. We know very little about him; we know that Han was never close with his father and that Ovan wanted to fly but never was able to buy his own ship, so instead he was a shipbuilder. By his teen years Han was on the streets, but it’s never been disclosed why (though it’s easily assumed that Han ran away from home). If this really is Ovan, it would confirm that Han’s father wasn’t dead – something Jon Kasdan imagined when writing Solo as part of the untold backstory, as he imagined Han’s father was alive and drinking himself to death.
There’s also a fun little nod with the name Ovan. Whether this man is Han’s father or not, we now know that Han’s dad was named Ovan, which is a callback to the original draft of The Empire Strikes Back, written by Leigh Brackett. It’s a very different story than the classic we’ve come to know, and at the end Han Solo (who is very much not frozen in carbonite) leaves Luke and Leia to go off in search of Ovan Marekal, who could be an ally to the Rebellion. So this name is a deep pull to that non-canon story that has been long-forgotten. Guggenheim has given Han’s father a name that’s a fun nod to that draft.
This story made for a compelling cliffhanger that has me curious to see what comes of this – and whether this man is really Han’s father or not. While that remains to be seen, we did get more concrete information about who Han’s dad was, which is still notable.