It’s been six and a half years since the release of The Force Awakens, in which it was revealed that Han Solo and Leia Organa had a son, Ben. He went off to train with Luke Skywalker, but turned to the dark side – an event that tore the family apart. The Last Jedi expanded on what happened even more, while The Rise of Skywalker saw Ben Solo redeemed, returning to the light to aid Rey in her fight against Palpatine.
But we have had surprisingly little material about the Solo family before all of this happened. In fact, we’ve had almost nothing at all.
We’ve had a few glimpses at Han and Leia around Ben’s birth (in Aftermath: Empire’s End). We’ve had a story about Leia after Ben went to train with Luke (in Bloodline). We’ve had a look at Ben’s time training with Luke (in The Rise of Kylo Ren, and also a small bit in Shadow of the Sith). But time with the Solo family? We’ve had almost nothing. The closest has come in Last Shot, taking place when Ben is still a young child, where Han and Lando go off on a mission together.
But we recently got our first actual story about the Solos together, and it came from the unlikeliest of places: the LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation special. Now, it must be noted that this story isn’t canon, so we technically still haven’t gotten a canon story like this… but it’s still very enjoyable to watch.
In the special, Leia appears to Finn as a Force ghost to tell him about the time her family went on vacation together. Han planned a trip for them to take before dropping Ben off to train with Luke, and Han, Leia, Ben, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2 headed off together. Their first stop was Mimban, where Han reminisced about meeting Chewie, but Ben grew bored with re-visiting his father’s old hits. Instead, he wanted to create new memories of their own. His suggestion is to fly the Millennium Falcon, but Han isn’t ready to let him do that.
Instead, Han takes the gang to Endor, the location of a new resort – which winds up being quite lackluster. But while there Ben makes some friends, and in an effort to impress a girl he lies about flying the Falcon all the time. He shows the others the ship, but to his horror one of the kids starts flying it away and accidentally takes it into space – into a field of debris. They contact Han and Leia, who realize that it’s the Death Star debris. Leia convinces Han that it’s time, and he walks Ben through how to pilot the ship. Ben does so expertly, navigating out of the debris and landing safely on the planet.
As the family then arrives on Ossus to drop Ben off with Luke, he shares a goodbye first with Chewie, then with Leia (who tells him to try not to lose a hand, as runs in their family), and then with Han. Han tells Ben he loves him (“I know,” Ben replies), and they share a hug before Ben walks toward Luke to greet him.
The whole segment is terrific. It’s a fun story that is very engaging, it’s got some great animation, and the music is absolutely superb (mixing in so many classics). But the best thing of all is seeing how Han and Leia are good parents who love Ben and want the best for him. It seems that the franchise has tried to toy a fine line between not trashing Han and Leia as parents but still not absolving them of blame for what happened. That’s fair, but at the same time we actually haven’t seen much of their interactions with Ben. I love this part of the Summer Vacation special because it shows us exactly that, showing us the love they have for their son.
I really hope that we get more stories about the Solo family before long, because it seems long overdue.