Trilogy Review: The Adventures of Han Solo

This cool 70s cover is really the only reason to check this one out.

The Adventures of Han Solo trilogy was written in the late 70s and early 80s by Brian Daley and really is an outlier for those of us interested in the full Star Wars universe. Written as standalone adventure stories the three books, Han Solo at Stars End, Han Solo’s Revenge and Han Solo and the Lost Legacy share some supporting characters but largely are complete, unique stories with flavor-of-the-week love interests and fairly simple narratives.

Because Daley lacked the overall story arc and complement of supporting materials that other writers such as Timothy Zahn, James Luceno and Karen Traviss had, the trilogy as a whole suffers from a lack of common species and events that make the universe consistent no matter the author. This isn’t Daley’s fault but as a result, the species and characters he introduces  (my own favorite was a pirate named ‘Zlarb’) appear to be more two-dimensional and make the stories seem like just more late-70s pulp (which, to be fair is kind of what they are.)

To anyone not determined to read all of the stories in the canon, I would say skip these books in favor of the later Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin which was written much later and tries to tie in the Adventures of Han Solo and The Adventures of Lando Calrissian books into something a little more relevant to the Star Wars fan. Sure, you may not get to see Solo and Chewie disguise themselves as circus performers to break into a prison (seriously, this happens) but the later trilogy has appearances from Jabba and even the big man himself, Vader, that aren’t forced and puts Solo and Chewie in the right context. Crispin’s books also tell the story of Han’s origins and how he came to win the Millenium Falcon.

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.