Star Wars is an intricately woven epic space opera. Even since its humble beginnings in 1977, George Lucas envisioned a sprawling adventure spanning multiple years — evidenced by his naming of the Star Wars sequel film, Episode V, in 1980. As the Star Wars saga powers on with new entries like The Mandalorian and Dave Filoni’s The Bad Batch, Star Wars fans are getting to see more than ever before about the events in between the blockbuster movies that make up the Skywalker saga.
Whether it’s seeing how Order 66 impacted the Jedi or exploring a post-Galactic Empire universe, Lucasfilm’s newest television shows are continuing to expand the galaxy far, far away. Recently, one of the franchise’s favorite characters was seemingly connected to a relative newcomer in an intriguing way…
The Bad Batch debuted on Star Wars Day AKA May the Fourth. Dave Filoni’s new animated series serves as a crossover and direct follow-up to the prequel trilogy movie, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), and follows The Bad Batch, or Clone Force 99, as they navigate the universe under the rule of the Galactic Empire. With Order 66 newly enacted and the Jedi either killed or on the run, Hunter, Crosshair, Wrecker, Echo, and Tech — all voiced by Clone Wars alum, Dee Bradley Baker — take the young character Omega into their custody after the Empire seize control of Kamino.
The Disney+ television show joins Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian as the latest addition to the Star Wars canon. The latter saw Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin and Grogu set out on a galaxy-spanning adventure to find the Jedi, all the while being hunted by Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) forces and bounty hunters like Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen).
The Mandalorian served as Shand’s Star Wars debut during season 1 of the bounty hunter series. Fans didn’t have to wait long to meet her again as Wen reprised her role in The Mandalorian season 2 and only a few months later made her animated debut in The Bad Batch.
Episode 4: “Cornered” saw Shand hunt Omega for an unknown employer, leading to a thrilling chase in the skies of Pantora. Fortunately, Shand failed but the following episode, “Rampage”, pointed at Shand possibly being the bounty hunter behind Han Solo’s reason to leave the Rebel Alliance.
What about Han Solo?
In the film, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) tells Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) that he intends to go on the run as the bounty put on his head by Jabba the Hutt is getting too difficult to handle. After the Battle of Hoth in the original trilogy, when asked by Leia what made him change his mind about staying with the Rebellion, the roguish smuggler answers — “Well, the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed my mind.”
At the time, Han’s response was a throwaway comment, seemingly put there by the screenwriters in an attempt to world-build the Star Wars universe. However, following Shand’s hunt for Omega, Clone Force 99 ends up heading to meet Cid — a Jedi informant — and you’ll never guess where? Ord Mantell.
Star Wars has previously provided information about this specific reference to Ord Mantell. A bounty hunter called Skorr was named as the one who Han Solo ran into on the planet, but with Shand now an increasing part of these new Star Wars outings, it could be possible that Lucasfilm will retcon Skorr in favor of Wen’s Shand.
Now, this could just be a coincidence but with Star Wars seemingly trying to interconnect its media, chances are the bounty hunter that changed Han’s mind could be Fennec Shand. This would make sense in the way “Rampage” also introduced Bib Fortuna and Jabba the Hutt into The Bad Batch. The latter two characters have an integral link to Han Solo, as fans saw when Boba Fett claimed his bounty by delivering a carbonite-frozen Solo to Jabba’s Palace at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. And then there’s Shand’s relationship with Boba Fett — we saw the two join forces in the second season of The Mandalorian.
There seems to be a lot pointing to Han Solo somehow being connected to Fennec Shand and The Bad Batch might actually retcon the bounty hunter that “changed [his] mind”, to be Wen’s sharpshooter. Signs also seem to be leading to the Millennium Falcon pilot cropping up in Deborah Chow’s Disney+ series, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
So, whatever happens, it is seeming increasingly likely that fans will potentially see Han Solo re-enter the universe in a new Star Wars story. Whether it will be in an animated fashion alongside The Bad Batch or back in live-action with the Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), however, remains to be seen.
Do you think that Han Solo is linked to Fennec Shand?