One of the most interesting lines in the original Star Wars movie was the statement that Han Solo “dropped his cargo at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser.”
Well, fans from the DAVE (Digital Arts and Visual Effects) School in Orlando, Florida, decided to tell the real story of what happened through computer graphics and a clever storyline entitled Star Wars: “The Solo Adventures.”
The five-minute episode begins with the Millennium Falcon dropping out of hyperspace at a predetermined location to deliver mysterious cargo to a ship owned by Jabba the Hutt.
Han Solo (excellently voiced by John Armstrong) tells Chewbacca (who speaks through grunts and groans from the actual Wars movies) that they’re “approaching the rendezvous, Chewie. Let me know when Jabba’s ship is in range.”
“We are behind schedule,” Urik Beto (a surly droid voiced by Corey Smith) tells Solo. “I am not pleased.”
“You know, Jabba and I go way back,” Han responds. “I don’t see why this cargo even needs an escort.”
“Your need to know is irrelevant,” the drold states as it walks out of the chamber.
With Beto gone, Chewie grunts, and Solo replies: “You said it. I don’t trust him either. I’ll be glad when Sparky gets … off … my …. What is this?”
Han is surprised that the Falcon is being pelted by debris from another vessel. Chewie roars, and Solo replies: “Well, why didn’t you say anything?”
When he and Chewbacca survey the area, Solo utters one of the best-known lines in all of Star Wars: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Just then, they spot an enemy vessel, and Han realizes that the Empire intends to intercept his cargo.
He and Chewie rush to the cargo hold and encounter Beto, who asks: “Are you ready to complete the cargo transfer?”
“Don’t play dumb,” Solo responds. “What is this, some kind of Imperial hijacking?”
“They are willing to pay more, a lot more,” Beto answers. “If you make this easy, I can cut you in.”
“I don’t give up my cargo,” Han states, “and I’ll never work for the Empire.”
“I’m not sure I understand your standards,” the droid says, “but I am sure that I don’t care.”
Bato then pulls out a blaster weapon with his right hand and points it directly at Solo and Chewbacca.
“Listen, pal,” Han states. “If you had a nose, you could smell the fuel leak I’ve been meaning to fix. You fire that thing, and the whole ship explodes. And that’s not good for anybody.”
“Your warning is acknowledged,” the droid states before holstering its blaster and rearranging its hands into whirling metal claws.
However, before it can attack, Solo pulls out his weapon and shoots Beto right in the head, and the droid falls to the floor.
“Fuel leak,” Han says sarcastically. “Stupid droid.”
But before Solo and Chewie can leave the room, the droid stands up again and says “Stupid humans” before opening the cargo bay door.
The decompression pulls the mysterious cargo—and Beto—out into airless space.
Chewbacca growls, and Solo responds: “Well, he looked dead to me! Do something!”
With a hand from Chewie, Solo is able to escape the chamber and close the door behind them.
After they reach the control room, Chewbacca growls and Solo replies: “I’m working on it! Don’t you have any ideas?”
The Wookie grabs the flight control and sends the Millennium Falcon flying off at high speed, which attracts the attention of a few Tie Fighters in the vicinity.
“Any ideas we can discuss first?” Solo growls.
While dodging blasts from the Tie Fighters, Chewie lures them into crashing into other Empire vessels.
“Way to go, Fuzzball,” Solo says.
But at that moment, a huge vessel arrives on the scene.
“Terrific,” Han grumbles. When Chewbacca growls in response, Solo says: “I know it’s a Star Destroyer, but I forgot to say goodbye.”
With that, Han flies the Falcon around the Destroyer, causing Beto to declare that he’s getting the reward of “seeing Solo die.”
Spoiler Alert: If you’d rather watch the fan film’s ending yourself, skip down to the link at the end of this article. If not, just continue reading.
To the droid’s utter dismay, Solo’s ship swerves around and flies directly at it.
“No, no, no, NO!” Beto shouts before Solo blasts him into a million pieces.
With that accomplished, the Falcon jumps to hyperspace and leaves the scene.
Once clear of the enemy vessels, Solo speculates that knowing Jabba, “he’s gonna put a price on my head. What could the Empire want so badly?”
The scene then shifts back to the cargo Solo was carrying that’s now tumbling in space, and we see that it’s Jar Jar Binks encased in carbonite!
Okay, my computer-generated hat is in place, and it’s time to review “The Solo Adventures.”
The Good: This exciting vignette was produced by the 2010 graduating class of the DAVE (Digital Arts and Visual Effects) School, the same school whose graduates created Batman: “New Times” back in 2005. Both films are excellent in their own way, as is the students’ work on the Star Trek: Phase II fan film series.
I have to give extra credit to John Armstrong, who did a fantastic job providing the voice for Han Solo. That combination with Chewi’s “dialogue” lifted from the Wars movies helped make “Solo Adventures” a pleasure to listen to and to watch as an action-packed fan film.
The Bad: Poor Jar Jar Binksa. No wonder hesa didn’t appearsa in the original Star Warsa movies. And all the fansa cheered when wesa learned his final fatesa!
The Ugly: After watching this independent production, I learned that Hasbro is producing a “Jar Jar Binks in Carbonite” special figure that will only be available at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Gee, I wonder where they got that idea. Surely, the Force sure moves in mysterious ways!
If you’d like to learn more about the DAVE School, just point your Web browser to this site. And if you’d like to watch “The Solo Adventures,” click on the link below.