The upcoming “Solo” movie features several elements that have long history in Star Wars lore. Among those is Han’s homeworld of Corellia or the swoop gang of Cloud-Riders. What you are going to read below aren’t spoilers for the film, rather trivia that may or may not be referenced also in “Solo” itself.
Corellia is first mentioned by Han already in A New Hope in relation to starships. In the Star Wars lore, Corellia was an industrial world famous for its starship manufacture. It now seems the upcoming film is going to finally show it on-screen.
Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) was the first character whose official bio confirmed her to be Corellian. But we have every reason to assume that the industrial planet seen in the trailers is Corellia as well, and therefore that Han’s origin also lies there. All the views of streets where Han is driving his speeder (called “Corellian M-68 Landspeeder” in the starwars.com databank) are probably Corellia, as are the views of the ships being built in the sky.
Corellia’s history in the now-defunct canon is very rich, but we can name at least several chief characteristics that we can expect to remain true. Firstly, as mentioned, Corellia was one of the centers of ship manufacturing – princess Leia’s ship from A New Hope was a Corellian corvette. Millenium Falcon was also built there (its official designation was Corellian YT-1300f light freighter).
Corellia has also always been the center of innovation, commerce and many businesses in the old Republic, and exporter of all sorts of goods. Its prominent inhabitants were always seen as very profit-minded. As one of the core worlds, Corellia was the very opposite of Outer Rim backwater planets such as Tatooine or even Naboo, and more like Coruscant. Still, Corellians had always possessed independent spirit and in one way or another throughout the history tried to underline that they were on equal level with Coruscant.
Do you remember Han’s outfit in the original Star Wars trilogy? His pants have stripes on the side, which, in the lore, were Corellian Bloodstripes – a military honour given to certain citizens for their courage and bravery in representing their homeworld. It remains to be seen whether the new film is going to reflect this in any way.
This is probably the strangest piece of trivia related to “Solo”. In trailers for the film, we witness Han strolling on to a beach inhabited by a gang of masked, savage-looking people. According to the official Star Wars website, they are the “Cloud-Riders”.
Now we don’t know much about who these people are apart from their looks and the fact that they ride swoop bikes. However, the name “Cloud-Riders” has been used for a swoop bike gang already once in Star Wars history: in 1977, the very year the first film came out.
There was a – from the current point of view most peculiar – line of Star Wars comics published by Marvel, which was always considered only secondary canon, even after the “normal” comics. One look at the cover tells us why:
Green rabbits in spacesuits. Nevertheless, this issue is important because it started the storyline featuring the Cloud-Riders. The story takes place on the planet of Aduba-3. Its settlers are facing yearly raids by the Cloud-Riders, a swoop gang, and they ask Han Solo and Chewbacca to help (a connection!). This was, in fact, second original Star Wars story ever published (the first six volumes of the Marvel series retold the film story; this was the eighth volume).
The choice of the Cloud-Riders’ name was not just coincidental, as the writer of “Solo”, Jon Kasdan, confirmed on his Twitter account. However, everything else probably is. Kasdan said that he had stumbled upon the name when browsing Wookieepedia “and it stuck”, however, the story of the swoop gang in the film was planned before the name had been picked.
As a sidenote – take a look at the cover once again (if you can bear it). The person portrayed there looks nothing like Han from the old films, but don’t you think, if anything, he looks surprisingly much more like Alden Ehrenreich than Harrison Ford? Maybe we found the missing link…